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Distressed Homeowners Line Up For Mortgage Help

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(CBS4) Lines outside the Miami Beach Convention Center for the NACA event on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.

(CBS4) Lines outside the Miami Beach Convention Center for the NACA event on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.

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Neighbors 4 Neighbors

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Hundreds of homeowners behind on their mortgages or in danger of losing their homes lined up before dawn in front of the Miami Beach Convention Center hoping to get help.

The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) “Save the Dream” event will be at the convention center through Monday.

During the event, NACA’s mortgage experts will assess and modify thousands of mortgages for those who feel they can no longer keep up with their payments. The process begins with an orientation before meeting with loan counselors who will figure out a family’s ability to pay. That information is then submitted to a lender for approval.

Lela Rampersaud is desperately seeking a modification on her mortgage. Rampersaud said a stroke forced her to leave her job with the U.S. Military. Now she rents out two bedrooms in her home but still struggles to pay the mortgage.

“We left Key West at three this morning,” she said.

Rampersaud is no stranger to NACA’s mortgage events. This is the third time she’s attended here in South Florida because her bank won’t agree to a modification.

“I’m hoping for to get some answers today,” she said.

And many other are looking for answers. Approximately 700 people lined up to speak with the more than 12 banks Thursday morning.

After going through the process, some homeowners have had their interest rates reduced up to 4%; others were able to get a reduction in principal.

NACA councilors help homeowners create a new budget and advocate on their behalf.

“We get about 55 percent of the homeowners who come will leave with a same day solution… over 80 percent within 30 to 45 days,” Bruce Marks, founder and CEO of NACA, said.

Miami homeowner Grace Hampton said she hopes she’s one of the lucky ones who leave with a same day solution.  She’s lived in her home for more than 30 years.  But since her hours have been cut back at work paying her mortgage has become more difficult.

“It’s very frustrating to try to steal from Peter to pay Paul,” Hampton said.

Marks said it’s getting easier for homeowners as some banks are now giving significant principal reductions.

“Before we could get the interest rate down to as low as 2 percent fixed, but now we’re seeing tens of thousands reduced on the outstanding principle,” he said.

Doors opened at 8 am and close at 8 pm.

Homeowners looking for help are asked to bring:

  • Proof of Income (most recent pay stubs, rental agreement(s), retirement/pension, social security, child support, unemployment and/or any other form of verifiable income)
  • Mortgage Statement(s) (include a statement for each loan on the property)
  • Home Owners Insurance (Declaration page)
  • Bank Statements (3 months or 6 months if self employed, all pages)
  • Property Taxes (Annual tax bill)
  • HOA/Condo Fee (payment coupon or annual statement)
  • Latest Tax Return
  • Personal identification (photo id such as drivers license, state id)

NACA is a national non-profit community advocacy and HUD certified homeownership organization that has been fighting mortgage scams that decimate families and neighborhoods, according to the organization.

For more information about NACA visit www.naca.com.

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