Senior saved from foreclosure

Seven On Your Side
November 8, 2008 2:23:17 PM PST
How can you beat foreclosure? Some homeowners are paying companies to help negotiate better interest rates with lenders. But buyer beware, there's no guarantee it'll happen. And what's more, you can get the same or better help for free. Andre Henry and his grandmother Evadne Kinear are in the middle of a mortgage mess. Recently, Evadne's monthly mortgage payment shot up hundreds of dollars when her interest rate adjusted up.

Andre Henry told Seven On Your Side's, Tappy Phillips, "The mortgage is going up and it's like, we won't be able to afford it."

Evadne is a senior citizen and living on a fixed income. She was worried she would lose her home, so she paid RSR Asset Management nearly three thousand dollars to contact her lender, Washington Mutual, to try to lower her mortgage.

"But then once he got the money," Andre says, "I feel nothing was done."

Despite paying three grand for help, her mortgage stayed the same. And that fee? It was non-refundable. And Andre says, RSR Asset Management gave him no answers. "You leave a message, no one calls back. So what are we to do? This is $3000 here we're talking about," said Andre.

Evadne says Washington Mutual told her that RSR had contacted it about renegotiating her mortgage but had submitted incorrect data and then finally stopped communicating with Washington Mutual completely at the end of the summer.

So, we went to the Garden City offices of RSR Asset Management to find out what happened with Evadne's case. But, we never got past the receptionist and numerous calls went unanswered.

The big take away? You don't have to pay for help restructuring your mortgage? Pedro Salazar of the Financial Empowerment Center says,"Why pay for it, when you can get it for free."

His and other non-profits can help cash strapped homeowners restructure their mortgages at no cost. "I'm not trying to say for-profit services are bad but you sometimes may get guidance and the services that you need for free," says Pedro.

And as for Evadne's mortgage? After we contacted her lender they worked out a fixed rate mortgage at a rock bottom interest rate, saving her hundreds each month.

"My grandmother can stay where she is and be comfortable making the payments," says Andre

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For free help with foreclosure or other mortgage issues: http://www.nhsnyc.org/ or
http://www.novadebt.org/

Story by: Tappy Phillips


Produced by: Steve Livingstone


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