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Distressed Homeowners Flock to Convention Center

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Aired 10/22/10

More than 700 homeowners headed to San Diego’s convention center yesterday afternoon to find out what they could do to avoid foreclosure. The event gave people behind on their mortgages a chance to meet with representatives from their lending agencies.

Homeowners watched presentations in a waiting room until a representative of their lender called their number.
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Above: Homeowners watched presentations in a waiting room until a representative of their lender called their number.

— More than 700 homeowners headed to the San Diego Convention Center Thursday to find out what they could do to avoid foreclosure. The event gave people who are behind on their mortgages a chance to meet with representatives from their lending agencies.

The foreclosure tidal wave is not finished washing over San Diego County. When the U.S. Treasury’s Making Home Affordable program and the HOPE NOW Alliance hosted a foreclosure prevention workshop last year, the owners of about 500 homes showed up.

The owners of more than 725 homes headed downtown this year to find out if they qualified to modify their mortgages.

The increase doesn't surprise Alvina McHale, spokeswoman for the Treasury's home ownership preservation program.

"It used to be the subprime mortgage situation that was driving things," said McHale. "The unemployment problems in the country have really fueled that fire. I think the key is, regardless of your situation, even if you’re in a bankruptcy situation, you need to pick up the phone and call.”

Rachel Guerra said she is behind on her mortgage because her family’s income has dropped by more than half. She came to meet with the lender that took over her loan last month.

“With my previous one," she said, "I was doing it through mailing and all this stuff and I guess things weren’t getting received. So, this way I know everything is received and I know exactly what I needed to get.”

McHale said about 30 percent of homeowners that come to the Making Home Affordable workshops qualify for loan modifications.

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