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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
As home ownership in the Magnolia State remains a struggle for many, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America is trying to make it a little easier.
"This mortgage crisis hit a lot of people, not just in California, not just in Georgia, not just in Arizona and Nevada. It hit people all over the country," said NACA communications director Darren Duarte.
Duarte says help is available if folks just take the effort to get it.
"It will stabilize neighborhoods, it will help stabilize the economy," Duarte said.
It's called the Save the Dream Event. For the next five days, existing homeowners who can't meet their mortgage payments can get a free loan modification.
"In cities we go to, most people save on average between $500 to $1,000 off their mortgage payments," Duarte said.
Hundreds of counselors and bank representatives from major lenders are providing the services.
"It's worth the trip," Henry Rodkin said.
Rodkin and his wife Veronica drove more than 600 miles from their home in Ocala, Fla., to downtown Jackson, looking for a mortgage reduction. Retired and living on a fixed income, Rodkin says he and his wife are trying to hold on to home they bought in 2006.
"When they say it's a fixed income, there's nothing else to help you. The everyday expenses sometimes get ahead of you and we have repairs on the house and the car and so forth. It doesn't take long before you're behind," Rodkin said.
In addition to payment reductions, the event is also aimed at trying to help those who lost their home to foreclosure and those looking to buy a home. Rickie Lillien became a first time home buyer four years ago in Pearl. Through NACA she says counselors and financial leaders worked to guarantee her a low fixed interest rate.
"I'm single and I have one income. I would have gotten a house earlier but I've always been really scared of getting into any kind of debt," Lillien said. "After being with [NACA], they just made me feel really comfortable with what I was going in to."
The event is being held at the convention complex in downtown Jackson and will run through October first. You are encouraged to register before-hand but walk-ins are welcome.
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