NACA Save the Dream Mortgage Help Tour

Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll has gotten down and personal with desperate homeowners. In the illusion of recovery Kroll witnesses people showing up for free help from a group I've never heard of, the NACA.

Currently the NACA is touring the country with free help for distressed homeowners in the Save the Dream program. Current Pit stop is Charlotte, NC. Here is Kroll's account from the NACA mortgage help tour at San Francisco's Cow Palace:

A ragged line of them wound through the lot outside the entrance to the Cow Palace, a dingy arena decades past its prime on the southern edge of San Francisco. These people, and thousands more like them who had streamed into the arena all day long from as far away as Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, were unemployed, broke, bankrupt, or at their wit’s end. They were here waiting for help -- for their chance to make it inside the warm arena to participate in “America’s Best Mortgage Program.”

For these homeowners, the last shot at saving their homes -- and their personal version of the American Dream -- lay under the glow of the floodlights in a expanse where tiers of brown and yellow seats encircled a desk-lined floor more accustomed to livestock shows and rodeos. This was, in fact, the latest stop on the “Save the Dream” tour, a massive homeowner-relief event organized by a consumer advocate group, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA).

The turnout was staggering: close to 45,000 desperate homeowners showed up during NACA's five-day stand at the Cow Palace for the chance to renegotiate their disastrous subprime mortgages or sky-high interest rates or interest-only payments. For them, this event beat any chance at a star-studded concert -- and best of all, it was free.

Inside, homeowners received housing-related financial advice and met with NACA’s counselors, a stoic crew, always with coffee or energy drinks in hand and clad in red and yellow T-shirts with STOP LOAN SHARKS and SHARKS BEWARE emblazoned on their backs. Here, homeowners could have their income, taxes, and spending habits analyzed, and possibly walk away with a monthly mortgage payment that actually fit their situations. With that payment figure in hand, homeowners could then meet with representatives from their mortgage companies in the same arena and try to hammer out new terms on more affordable mortgages.

The process would save many of them thousands of dollars, defuse an explosive mortgage, even avert foreclosure. To boost morale, NACA officials occasionally ushered chosen homeowners to a makeshift lectern where each offered a glowing testimonial over a PA system to the work taking place. They spoke fervently of new fixed-interest loans and fought back tears, while thanking their counselors, friends, NACA, and -- regularly -- God.

Here is some video of these events.

Since we're non-partisan and I am always highly suspect of political agenda groups, I thought I'd link to this corporate conservative article on NACA. For myself, there is one thing I agree with from conservatives, to buy a home one must have a stable income to afford a home. This is why you see the jobs, jobs, jobs chant mantra on EP. Considering the conservatives found no real funky dirt on NACA (unlike ACORN), I decided to post this link to the NACA in hope some people find some real help.

Periodically we get anonymous comments from the desperate, asking us to help save their home from foreclosure. Unfortunately we're an economics blog and just don't have that kind of power beyond screaming our heads off on what is going on in America.

I note today's anonymous comment from a desperate homeowner:

citi bank and the scam on modifing my home loan
Submitted by janet shidler (not verified) on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 07:52.

citi bank offered me a home modification in may of 2009 in nov.2009 after 4 peyments they called to tell me i was not qualified. i made all payments on time and now they will not return my calls. i contacted sigtarp and greenpath. citi did not return those calls either. i have 2000,000in this home and need someone to help me talk to citi. thank you. i had a fixed 6% rate and used all my retirerment money.

Folks, you might try this if you're desperate. Check them out, do your homework but financial terrorist tactics against the large banks....who are currently getting into payday loans and charging loan shark interest rates on credit cards? Doesn't sound too extreme to me under the circumstances.

I would like to see a few class action lawsuits against some of these banks. Where are the Pro Bono attorneys, getting out there and fighting for the middle class?

It appears the Obama administration isn't going to do anything against these banks, who are making more money by foreclosing than modifying mortgages. Read HAMP is a SCAM and see if you could do any worse with the NACA. I don't think so.

Meta: 

Comments

Funny. Someone who actually wants to help those less fortunate

is labeled a radical (per the Human Events article). But if you are someone who practically plunders global wealth and resources you are a model capitalist. Fuck the conservatives and fuck their fucked up neo-liberal, trickle down, supply side policies.

People need to do their homework/research regarding any person or entity when it comes to mortgage finances. NACA on its face sounds legit. However, I don't like no down payment loans that they are marketing - just my opinion.

RebelCapitalist.com - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

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no down payment loans

That's what I thought as well. I tried to research this out but no money down loans, if that person's income isn't stable, up to snuff is a recipe for disaster.

I think that's one of the huge complaints from conservative land (legit) that the community reinvestment act forced banks to lend to people who obviously could not make the payments.

My thing is forget that absurdity and focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, enabling people to hold down a job, job, job, job, training, education to enable people to get and hold down a job, job, job, job....

Anyway, I looked over the conservatives because I never heard of this group and figure they would be the ones digging out the dirt if they could.

That article does note a lot of "to their credit" commentary....but I sure don't want to promote yet another organization who is busy ballooning the overall prices and getting people to buy homes there is no way over 5 years they are going to hang onto them.

I think it should be very amusing with a host of U.S. "middle class" shows up at their doors. Honestly that's another issue, the regular, generic, not "name brand" group called the U.S. middle class are the ones who seriously need help and so often these sorts of things only target the uber-poor.

Also, I personally try to differentiate between the corporate propaganda conservative vs. the real conservatives vs. the Ron Paul Luddite libertarian conservatives between the anti-choice, women as property conservatives. Too many conflicts of issue there to lump 'em as one bunch.

Why I grabbed the title "Populist" because "Progressive" had become so damn exploited and abused. I've seen corporations label themselves as "Progressive", special interest groups are magically "Progressive"...hell, we even have a 24/7 advertising car insurance company that claims to be "Progressive". ;)

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I disagree. CRA doesn't force anything.

Blaming CRA is just a smoke screen for how the mortgage industry fucked up. Majority of these subprime loans were not related to CRA eligibly lenders.

And besides CRA specifically says that banks should not abandon sound lending practices. Again fuck them!

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reserve judgment

and the reason is I have not seen a solid, objective analysis on who exactly got what from where in terms of mortgages. I see the foreclosure maps and I've seen the posts "correlating" somethings to those locations and it sure looks suspicious.

But yeah, bottom line the MBS backed CDOs, i.e. derivatives are the real problem and it doesn't matter if every single illegal immigrant making $9/hr cash under the table buying a $500k home got one.

But ya know I like those spreadsheets and I just cannot see objective data analysis on this whole "CRE" thing to say...
I was more pointing out some of their claims...

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Here is something

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Hey I've seen this

but I've seen others as well.

I think unfortunately the point of this post has veered way off.

The point is we have desperate people writing anonymous comments on our site saying "please help me" and maybe this program can get them their refinancing while the major banks screw and jerk 'em around, forcing them into bankruptcy to lose everything because it's more profitable.

So, it's not all of these past programs I want to debate, more maybe this is an option for all of the people getting the run around in the maze of useless "for show only" programs that's happening.

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Agreed and as I've written on this thread

people should definitely do their homework when it comes to dealing with entities like NACA. It helps that they are a HUD approved housing counselor. They say they are non-profit but even with that there are scam non-profits.

Other sources to check for legitimacy is with state attorney general offices or state consumer protection divisions. Better Business Bureau is another place to check.

A little secret: some law schools offer legal clinics - particularly housing law clinics and the legal services are often provided at a discount or free. Here is an example: Cleveland-Marshall Law School. There are also public-interest law firms that specialize in housing law.

This is a matter of losing shelter so people should be very aggressive because it is a matter of survival.

Having said that: I offered the above reference because I am sick and tired of the bullshit that conservatives and "free market" fundamentalists keep using to blame entities and programs such as ACORN and CRA for the mortgage crisis. Bottomline: the cause of the mortgage crisis was old fashion GREED with a lot of FRAUD mixed in and a touch of ILLITERACY.

RebelCapitalist.com - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

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NACA may be OK but again people should do their homework.

Again, these neo-liberal macroeconomic policies are to blame for this crisis. The lack of job growth and constant downward pressure on wages - the abandonment of full employment policies had to be replaced with something or else there would be a lot of pissed off people. So we get:

+ Asset price inflation
+ Cheap imports from national super retail chains
+ More household debt

It gave the impression or appearance of prosperity and growth but it wasn't REAL.

I agree its all about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS and reestablishing the link between wage growth and productivity growth.

RebelCapitalist.com - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

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That is not true at all.

That is not true at all.

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The author raises a

The author raises a compelling point - why no class action law suits against lenders? Instead we have an organization that has appeared to hijack borrower wrath. How similar is this to the baggers well funded hijack of populism and street protest. If even two borrowers, work together, within the court system, they have a much better chance of success. NACA has information on so many borrowers who are in the same situation, and what do they do? They have nearly worthless events.

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NACA is real

NACA has a real system and does not help people buy a house or try to get a mortgage restructure if they will not be able to afford it anyway which means that there has to be a steady income. If that means job, job, job or another form of steady income then that is the case, but we also realize that people can lose that job, job, job due to jobs being moved over seas, seas, seas or other layoff types. Due to the state of the economy everyone is suffering, but that does not mean that anyone should allow it. The problem comes that all of these people are losing their jobs or having to take pay cuts which means the loan that they originally signed up for is no longer affordable. Does that mean that people should be homeless or have to think about whether or not to feed themselves to keep the house. No!!! NACA is the best program in America and should be the national standard for mortgages.

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NACA

This contradicts what Bruce Marks has said about his organization. What need then, is NACA supposedly fullfilling?
Why do we need an non-profit to determine the financial eligibility of a borrower? Isn't this something Banks are supposed to do? The bigger questions, that incidentally Marks never advocates for, is why Banks and Wall Street were able to revisit loan sharking, to a degree that this country has probably never seen before. Why doesn't Marks bring his caravan of t-shirted protestors to the Treasury Department?

Why doesn't Marks release hard data on what his organization's results are? NACA has received considerable public funding, yet very little oversight. This is a recipe for corruption.

People need a competent attorney, not what NACA offers. This is true in any real estate transaction. If housing is "unaffordable" for millions of Americans we have a signifigant social problem that won't be addressed by filling out spurious HAMP RMAs.

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NACA

This contradicts what Bruce Marks has said about his organization. What need then, is NACA supposedly fullfilling?
Why do we need an non-profit to determine the financial eligibility of a borrower? Isn't this something Banks are supposed to do? The bigger questions, that incidentally Marks never advocates for, is why Banks and Wall Street were able to revisit loan sharking, to a degree that this country has probably never seen before. Why doesn't Marks bring his caravan of t-shirted protestors to the Treasury Department?

Why doesn't Marks release hard data on what his organization's results are? NACA has received considerable public funding, yet very little oversight. This is a recipe for corruption.

People need a competent attorney, not what NACA offers. This is true in any real estate transaction. If housing is "unaffordable" for millions of Americans we have a signifigant social problem that won't be addressed by filling out spurious HAMP RMAs.

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If you are a homeowner that

If you are a homeowner that is looking for an affordable mortgage payment and you are NACA qualified you should attend one of the upcoming events.Naca's next Save The dream Event will be held in Chicago, McCormic Place 2301 S.lake Shore Drive Chicago IL, 60616(5/13/10 to (5/17/10).Afterwards The next Save The Dream Event will be held in Atlantic City at Atlantic City Convention Center One Convention Boulevard Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401(5/21 to 5/25).
You can visit the NACA website at www.naca.com for more details.

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NACA shoud look within itself

I have tried to save my home through NACA attended Save the dream at San Francisco last year. Unfortunately my bank is not working with NACA. Believing NACA would help me I did all I can, contacted my representatives, bank regulators, bank ceo ...etc. But I found out the hard way NACA is as deaf as the banks. Their workers rude at times they even I have been told that was a free service what do you expect. Finally after so many appointments with NACA negotiators they are NO SHOW. NO phone calls.
Now they come out with automated email when you set up appointment ... this was sign of their Abandonment they wrote, "Through your web-file you can notify your servicer of your decision to accept their proposal or request a further review as well as send them an email. In many cases a discussion with a NACA Negotiator is not necessary."
This was 3 month process but it is taking more than 6 months now.

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Don't waste time with NACA

NACA is hopelessly compromised, this is non-profit group that makes money off of the desperate. This is a fact.
Sourcewatch generally defines a front group as an organization that purports to represent one agenda while in reality it serves some other party or interest whose sponsorship is hidden or rarely mentioned. NACA seems proud to say that some of their funding was provided by some of the Countries largest banks. HAMP is a well known failure, yet that's all NACA has in it's arsenal to help homeowners.
NACA doesn't release any statistics about much of anything.
Refusing to pay anything, and walking away if they bank doesn't reduce principle are better tactics then allowing NACA to waste your time. If you think dealing with hostile collectors on behalf of your bank is uncomfortable, wait until a vicious NACA "negotiator" tears your head off.
Better yet, start your own HUD Certified Counseling non-profit, make some T-Shirts and make some money the way NACA does.

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Corporations frequently rely

Corporations frequently rely on consumers who lack information to increase profits. Taking advantage of an uneducated consumer is classic exploitation. Perhaps NACA is counting on desperate, but generally uninformed borrowers who really need access to good information, and good counsel, but instead are lining up for what is certainly false advertising.
Why doesn't NACA provide more information to homebuyers? Useful information to make worry-free, better decisions? Would they lose their headcount? Perhaps. It is tragic, and perhaps disgusting, to see people who have obviously been taken advantage of by lenders, celebrate in a display of total irrationality: thanking God, thanking Bank of America. Holding onto a money pit that the Bank may foreclose on anyway isn't something to get religious about.

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What We Need

Why don't underwater homeowners organize and get a good real estate lawyer (or someone else who knows laws pertaining to foreclosure and asset protection) and approach lenders/ servicers collectively with proposals for interest rate reduction, penalty forgiveness, and principal reductions? Not case by case but "If we as a group don't get a reasonable settlement, we are ALL going to cease payment by a date certain, and to hell with FICO and to hell with HAMP -- we are all ready to become renters." If enough underwater homeowners did this lender-by-lender, the Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Suntrust, to mention a few, might wake up and start negotiating, to prevent their cash cows' running dry.

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Frank T.

ask.com is linking to this piece

and why all of the anonymous comments. For anyone looking for authoritative information on NACA, I suggest using Google and additional methods. I wrote up one story on this organization and am by no means an expert!

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Not anonymous

Robert no one who's posting is anonymous, many have used NACA and are in short sales or have lost their homes (in which case they probably wouldn't be posting) Why wouldn't NACA want it's members to start an effective class action lawsuit? Let's anwser that question.

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anonymous means

You do not have an account and are a registered user. Also, you almost seem to be spamming this post and I have no idea on the specifics, any validity of the arguments.

But if you want to blast NACA, get an account and give evidence that can be traced.

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Class Action Law Suit

Excellent idea Frank, but the enemy is always looking for insurgency from the riff raff. Seriously, there are Corporations that watch for this online, and they are paid quite well. Rossyln, VA comes to mind.

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Love to see it

Years ago, a class action suit was litigated (victoriously) over the "fixed" closing costs -- it was an anti-trust action. After that, there had to be competition and closing costs could be shopped and negotiated. Now, many of us "underwater" folks are current and could qualify for refinancing, but why pay for title insurance (all over again) and why pay mortgage origination points and taxes (all over again), just to get a lower interest rate? Banks are not willing to negotiate if they know you will pay the juicy 6 percent year in and year out. Yes, we can pay down principal, but what's the point -- unless we can make the math work? If the Fed bails out the banksters, why should they and Treasury not give the middle class a break and pass some of the cheap money to the rst of us?

I would hope the Fed folks read this (they aren't too far from Rosslyn). Whose government is this anyway?

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Frank T.

NACA members must educate themselves

" NACA has agreements with many lenders to make your mortgage affordable " what does this mean? Lenders have contracted with NACA? NACA is receiving compensation from lenders? Where is this information? - somebody dig!

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