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Homeowners get help at American Dream Event

October 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Help is on the way for homeowners in Southern California. The American Dream Event aims to help people keep and buy the home of their dreams.

The event, which is put on by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, kicked off on Friday and is set to last until Tuesday, Oct. 9.

After waiting for hours, some overnight, troubled homeowners filed into the convention center for help. Each one had a story of hardship and many had a common theme - the monthly mortgage bill is just too much.

"I'm only working 20 hours a week. I can't afford my mortgage and I can't afford my car, so I don't know which one I'm supposed to pay," said homeowner Beatrice Burnett.

Most were at the event for refinancing help. While there are signs that the housing market is improving, many are still underwater on their loans and more are trying to fight off foreclosure.

"I've been living in my property for three years even after the foreclosure," said homeowner Manuel Aguilar. "There's something mixed up with my title. They can't get me out of the house, but at the same time I want closure for me and my family."

NACA holds similar events all over the country, and officials say that some places are getting better but Southern California is still one of the toughest places for foreclosure and troubled loans.

"We didn't even do that much advertising here and we still have a lot of people coming in looking for help. We want to make sure to help as many people as possible," said NACA spokesperson Darren Duarte.

NACA says it can get those who qualify rates as low as 2 percent. For those currently paying 5 percent, that's a big savings.

"In some cases, we're seeing the outstanding principal balance being reduced too, if the investor allows it," said Duarte.

Years after the housing bubble burst, the pain is still very real to many. But homeowners at the event say they feel they have a fighting chance.

American Dream Event

Los Angeles Convention Center - Kentia Hall
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Oct. 5 - Oct. 9; 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

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