NACA’s Save the Dream Tour Promotes Mortgage Relief

7 03 2010

Last week Boston-based Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) traveled to Palm Beach County’s Convention Center in South Florida to promote “Save-A-Thon” event.

NACA brought an army of bank representatives – at least 100 from Bank of America alone – and NACA counselors who meet face-to-face with troubled borrowers, wrapped in blankets and travel-weary after flying from as far away as California, waited for the salvation of a mortgage modification. This non-profit group is offering free help to homeowners with lowering monthly payments through federal programs and agreements it has with many of the nation’s major lenders.

And while the event seemed at times like a church revival as homeowners with success stories were brought to a microphone to testify, there were sincere solutions occurring on the convention center floor.

Teresa Holston, a registered nurse who traveled from Los Angeles for the event, started crying when she spoke of her new 2 percent interest rate, a reduction from 9 percent.

“It’s like a new lease on life,” said Holton, who got in trouble when she refinanced her home and broke up with a boyfriend who was paying part of the mortgage. “I am just so grateful.”

For many homeowners, NACA’s event was the last attempt in a months-long struggle to work with their banks through the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable Program.

The program offers incentives to banks to lower monthly payments by reducing – sometimes temporarily – interest rates and principal amounts, or offering a principal forbearance, which cuts the principal balance on the front end, but tacks it onto the end of the life of the loan.

NACA founder and CEO Bruce Marks pushes for even better terms. He asks lenders to permanently reduce interest rates. If there is a principal forbearance, he asks that a mandatory repayment be made only if there is a profit made on the sale of the home.

He doesn’t always get his way. Many of the loans modified Thursday had reduced interest rates that will adjust at the end of five years. Still, the reduction helps the borrower now with making monthly payments.

“Frankly, it makes business sense for them to be working with us now,” Marks said about lenders. “These servicers have very good machinery to foreclose on people, but not to modify a loan.”

Marks has been criticized for his guerilla-style tactics, which include rallying outside bank executives’ homes. His operation is paid for partly with federal grants, having received $25 million last year, Marks said. Detractors complain he is not forthcoming with his success rates and should be more transparent since he is getting taxpayer dollars. He says about 30 percent of clients receive a same-day modification. Up to 80 percent eventually get their payments reduced, Marks said.

Bully or not, Marks has persuaded many major lenders to send representatives to his unconventional “Save the Dream” workshops.

NACA has legally binding agreements with all the major lenders/servicers and investors (i.e. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) covering over 90% of homeowners to achieve to a restructure or forbearance and is advocating against others. While servicers, investors and government agencies often fight against long-term solutions, NACA will continue advocating with homeowners to achieve a long-term affordable payment that is locked-in for the remaining term of the mortgage. All of NACA’s services are Free. NACA also provides for free a forensic audit to determine any violations in obtaining your current mortgage.

For more information, visit http://www.naca.com. You can find out about the workshop participation in Jacksonville. Check out their website.

Source: NACA and The Palm Beach Post

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4 responses

25 06 2010
Carol Palumbo

I am interested in a lower interest rate as I am sick and on permanent disability

22 09 2010
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