Mortgage problems continue for those trying to 'save the dream'

By Stewart Moore - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - You may remember when the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA, came to Columbia in March with the promise to help people struggling with their mortages.

Neal Johnson thought he did the right thing by seeking NACA's help, but now thinks it was the wrong idea.

"I'm divorced. Had some medical conditions in the previous 3-4 months, and so that made me run behind on my house payments," said Johnson.

Johnson's mortgage lender won't work with NACA.

Five months after the NACA event and months behind on his mortgage, Johnson didn't find out that using NACA wouldn't be an option for him until just last week.

"SC State Housing Authority refuses to work with us. They tell the members when we call over there. We are not going to work with them," said Theresa White with NACA.

Clayton Ingram from the State Housing Authority said this was not a new policy.

"We don't refinance our loans or structure them internally because of the way they're originated, but we do try and do everything we can to work with our borrowers to make sure they stay in their home," said Ingram.

When asked about specific programs or options struggling homeowners have, Mr. Ingram couldn't name one.

"When you start with the lowest rate, you can make in the market, there's not a lot further we can do," said Ingram.

The late notification from NACA that his mortgage wouldn't be restructured as he was told in march is too little too late. Now he is hearing devastating news from his lender.

"Sorry we can't help you. Other than serving me foreclosure papers," said Johnson.

"At some point if someone falls far enough in the rear, we do have to take possession of the home. That's after multiple notices and face to face counseling," said Ingram.

Bottom line, Neal is going to lose his home unless he comes up with extra income and despite petitioning for help, there is nothing NACA can do to stop it.

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