Several families experience home foreclosure

June 26, 2008 5:11:53 PM PDT
More than 700 Durham families have lost their homes to foreclosure in just the last 5 months.

And now the bull city is launching a program to help.

The garret's call their home their little piece of heaven on driver street. But with a struggling economy they could no longer afford their mortgage.

"Not being educated or not being knowledgeable, I stepped into something that I didn't even have an understanding of what I was stepping into," homeowner Tony Garrett said.

Their interest rate shot up.

"It's not like we hadn't been behind before, but we've always been able to catch up. But then as the interest started to grow, then it became harder to catch up," homeowner Mary Garrett said.

There were 729 foreclosures in Durham in just the last five months according to state records.

Glyndola Beasley says she's gotten double the calls at her non-profit credit counseling service.

"Working the lenders is where we spend a great deal of our time, negotiating those new interest rates and new work out plans, is what we're doing the majority of the day," said Glyndola Beasley with Durham Regional Community Development.

The city of Durham and other organizations have launched a campaign to help families save their homes.

They're putting ads in the paper with guides and tips on preventing foreclosure and they've set up their first workshop at NC Central July 19 starting at 11 a.m. is free to the public.

"Just as every other product has warning labels on it, there should be warning labels on those mortgage papers Tony said.

Tony and Mary got help from credit counselors.

They say a second attorney may have helped them comb through paperwork.

Experts say getting help the minute you hit financial trouble - could save hundreds of families their dream homes.

"Don't ignore the letters that come to your house. Talk to your mortgage company and you will be surprised about the ones that want to help you," Mary said.


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