Nonprofit Helps Homeowners Renegotiate Mortgages

By Kimberly King
|  Thursday, Sep 15, 2011  |  Updated 6:58 PM CDT
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Hundreds of North Texas homeowners facing foreclosure flocked to the Dallas Convention Center on Thursday for help.

Kimberly King, NBCDFW.com

Hundreds of North Texas homeowners facing foreclosure flocked to the Dallas Convention Center on Thursday for help.

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Hundreds of North Texas homeowners facing foreclosure flocked to the Dallas Convention Center on Thursday for help.

The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America is sponsoring a free event that puts homeowners face-to-face with their bankers in hopes of renegotiating their monthly rates.

Thursday was the first day of NACA's Save the Dream Tour five-day stop in Dallas, the first one in Texas.

Nonprofit NACA said typically 55 percent of the homeowners who attend the events get adjustments in the same day.

The group said that 80 percent of those who apply for help through its free service get adjustments within 30 to 45 days.

Marcella and Michael Norris attended on Thursday in hopes of getting a reduction based on their income.

The couple has been struggling for years to keep their home. Michael Norris lost his job more than four years ago, and the family relies on relatives to help cover their monthly house payments.

"It's something that's on your mind every day," he said.

He and his wife pay $1,471 per month on their 30-year fixed mortgage for their Justin home, which they purchased for $180,000.

Norris has since landed a full-time job, but the payments are still tough.

Elbert Smith, of Mesquite, had tears in his eyes when he learned his mortgage was adjusted. He had been paying a 10 percent interest rate.

"I've been paying about $1,500 a month," he said. "They reduced it to $900 with a 2 percent interest rate. This is a new beginning for me and my family."

NACA offers the program to homeowners who have tried to negotiate with their lenders without success. It gets a fee from lenders after a successful renegotiation.

Homeowners must make three consecutive on-time payments.

NACA's event at the Dallas Convention Center runs through Monday. Homeowners can register at NACA's website or show up at the convention center.

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