A foreclosure sign in Tigard, Ore.(Photo: Don Ryan, AP file)
A for sale sign stands in front of a bank-owned home in Las Vegas on Feb. 8, 2008.
(Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Homeowners all across Florida are struggling to keep their homes out of foreclosure and this has many seriously questioning whether or not they'll be able to keep their home.
If home is where the heart is, Velma Clark's heart is in Arlington a neighborhood in east Jacksonville.
"There's a lot of memories in this house," Clark said as she stood in her kitchen.
She has lived at this residence for the past 15 years, and even though her son wasn't born there it still carries a lot of sentimental value. Recently though, the family fell on hard times and the monthly mortgage payment became a burden.
"And that was horrible. It was horrible. It kind of broke my heart," she said. "I'm like 'What's going on?' You know?"
When the fight to keep her home began, it was November 2012. She applied for a home loan modification trial with her bank.
"It just makes you feel like 'Oh my God. I don't know whether it's going to stay mine or are they going to take it or what?" she said.
As Florida leads the nation in foreclosure activity and its self explanatory why many First Coast homeowners came for the free help that was being offered at Prime Osborn Convention Center, Sunday.
"I'm here to get my final solutions," she said, at the convention center. Her husband awaiting free counseling help not far away. "Try to get everything taken care of."
It's a free mortgage modification event that, through contracts, has decision makers from every major lending company on-site.
"If you come armed with all of the documents and your mortgage is too high," said Darren Duarte, director of communications for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. "There's a great chance you're going to walk out of here with a lower payment."
"There is a solution," Clark said, as she talked about what she wanted other homeowners in her situation to understand. "There is a way out."
The event is free and open to the public. Monday is the last day of the event. It is at the Prime Osborn III Convention Center downtown from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. The NACA website has more information.First for you, if you are facing foreclosure, Duarte says:
1) Go to a housing counseling agency of some kind.
2) If you don't have the money to catch up on your mortgage payments, try calling your bank and try to work it out with them.
First Coast News