Atlanta, GA. -- They come in with stories of frustration. One woman was laid off in April but still needs to see her son through college. Another lost her financial footing as she fought breast cancer. A man drove all the way from Charlotte to see if he could stop his house from being auctioned on Monday.
Different stories, but one thing in common-they need mortgage help. That's where the non-profit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) comes in. They facilitate direct communication between the struggling homeowners and the banks that own their mortgages. In the majority of cases, they're able to help those that show up with the proper paperwork. They've done so for over 250,000 homeowners so far, and they expect between 5,000 and 7,000 people at this weekend's American Dream event. Those numbers are down from the 50,000 at a 2009 Atlanta event, and 20,000 this past January. NACA spokesman Ricardo Herrera doesn't credit an improving market for the lower numbers.
"The number has dropped but I think it's just homeowners either ready to walk away from their homes or have just given up," Herrera said.
Many who showed up had their payments cut by a third and principals also reduced.
"We had two sons and I couldn't' let them down, so I couldn't give up," Frances Smith said. "I just had to do a lot of paperwork and legwork and be patient and like I said everything did work out."
The event continues through Monday, visit NACA's website to get a look at the paperwork you'll need when you show up.