RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hundreds of homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments turn-out for an event aimed at keeping people in their homes.
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA, helps homeowners negotiate lower rates with their banks. Friday, the non-profit kicked off it's "Save The Dream" event at the Richmond Convention Center.
Blame it on a bad economy, bad loans, or bad luck -- Larry Cary and others say they need mortgage relief.
"I had to take early retirement and I can no longer work. So my income has been reduced I'm struggling to make my mortgage payments," said Cary.
An all too common hardship says Kim Villarreal.
"My husband in the past 2 years has gone through 3 lay-offs and recently he was offered a 50% pay-cut or another layoff - so we took the pay-cut," she added.
To avoid foreclosure Villarreal and others in similar situations are at the "Save The Dream Event" sponsored by NACA -- it's free! The goal is to help homeowners reduce unaffordable mortgage payments.
"We figure out what's the affordable payment for the homeowner -- then we send that to the lender. We get the lender to approve it and the lenders are here on site," said NACA Spokesman Darren Duarte.
Loans are restructured not refinanced.
"We have contracts with these banks that say if we can document and verify that the homeowner rate is unaffordable they can go as low at 2% fixed rate for the life of the loan," he added.
Villarreal is hopeful.
"I'd love to stay in our home," she said.
Reginald Stewart who drove down from Maryland got his mortgage rate lowered -- to 3 percent.
Reginald Stewart: " I'll save approximately $500 a month."
Nicole Bell: "That's exciting."
Reginald Stewart: "Yes, very exciting."
Nicole Bell: "You don't seem excited."
Reginald Stewart: "I am believe me. This is as excited as I get."
The "Save The Dream" event will be run from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily until Tuesday, December 6th.
It's being held at the Richmond Convention Center. The event is free and open to anyone-- you don't have to be in foreclosure or behind on payments.