LOS ANGELES (AP) — Armed with folding chairs, coolers and jugs of water, thousands of people who want to avoid losing their homes lined up around the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday seeking help with mortgages they can no longer afford.

The nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, which is offering homeowners the chance to restructure their loans at lower rates, said about 5,000 people were in line when the doors
opened at 8:30 a.m.

Thousands more were expected over the next five days, during which counselors will be helping people at risk of foreclosure around the clock.

Bruce Marks, chief executive of NACA, said at similar events around the country, one-third of the applicants have reduced their mortgage rates on the spot.

Bruce Marks, founder of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, Joins KNX 1070’s Dick Helton, and Vicky Moore

About 80 percent have reduced their payments within 30 days, Marks said. The reductions typically come through agreements NACA has with lenders to reduce interest, cut the amount owed, and in some cases extend the life of the loans.

Among those waiting in line was Irene Ybanez, 44, a secretary who was looking for help with mortgage payments on a loan that she refinanced in 2007 after her husband lost his job in the real
estate business. They refinanced their La Puente home so they’d have money for him to start an architecture business in his native Philippines, but the business failed and now the couple is unable
to pay their mortgage.

Ybanez said she had come close to agreeing to a modification deal with her lender, Citibank, but her loan was sold to a third party and the arrangement was canceled.

“It’s horrible. It’s disgusting, really. It’s not that you’re begging for anything. You’re just trying to make your home payments,” she said, choking back tears.

Michael Mendez, 56, a carpenter from El Monte, was coming back to the foreclosure event for the second time in as many years.

After last year’s event, he was put in a trial modification that brought his mortgage rate down to 2 percent, which he could afford to pay. But the trial period, which was supposed to last a few months, has never ended and he’s looking for a permanent rate that he can afford.

As part of the trial, Mendez is constantly badgered every month for pay stubs and other documentation.

He said he worries he may not end up with a monthly payment he can afford.

“It’s stressful, very stressful. You can get physically ill just thinking about that everyday, that you could be out on the street,” Mendez said.

The group says it can help people at risk of foreclosure reduce their mortgage rates to 2 or 3 percent, claiming to have about $10 billion in funding commitments from lenders in similar events around the country.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. BRUNO ROSSI says:


  2. Dan Tavares says:

    If you want help with these issues, please contact GLM & Investments
    800-455-6058 X1

  3. Chris Andries says:

    If you want more help and discuss options go to http://www.TheAndriesRealEstateTeam.com We will be happy to discuss your mortgage options free of charge and decide your best solution.

  4. Kyle Kohler says:

    If you don’t qualify for loan modification – Short Sale and avoid the consequences of Foreclosure.


  5. Carol Custodio says:

    If you are one of the many people that are turned down for a loan modification, DO NOT PANIC!! We can provide you with alternatives and solutions that can save your home. Our law firm is a federally designed debt relief agency. Please call us at 1-800-974-5680. or check our website http://www.DLBKlaw.com

  6. damion & ruth says:

    after loosing half my income and getting the run around from B.A. for 1 1/2 years trying to get a loan mod NACA got me one from 6.1% down to 3% for the life of the loan saving us $577 a month. we took chairs and food for a couple of days. NACA is going to be in L.A. in january check out the website!

  7. Margaret Howe says:

    Got my payment reduced by $300 a month and a fixed rate instead of an adjustable. Glad they are coming back to California, because there’s a lot more people who need this kind of help. It’s a long wait to get through all the steps, but even a couple of days was worth it.

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