Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'Bank terrorist' brings help, jobs to the Q.C.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Nonprofit group says they're doing a better job helping homeowners modify their mortgages than the government. The good news for struggling homeowners in Charlotte is that they're here Dec. 3-7 and they're ready to help you help yourself.

A nonprofit group is bringing a mortgage-modification marathon to Charlotte this week that aims to provide speedy help for struggling homeowners.

In the 12th stop on its "Save the Dream" tour, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America said it expects to draw 50,000 people over five days to a program that brings together borrowers, counselors and lenders. Some loans will be modified on the same day, the group said.

NACA is based in Boston but has been expanding a Charlotte office that helps coordinate the nationwide tour.

The group this year began hiring in its Charlotte office as part of an expansion of its "Home Save" services. N.C. and local officials have promised NACA $3.5 million in incentives in return for hiring about 1,000 employees over five years. The group now has about 700 people in Charlotte and Marks has said the group plans to hire a total of 2,000 by the end of next year.

NACA works to find a quick, permanent solution for borrowers, while the government program starts with a trial-modification period, he noted. In a statement Monday, Charlotte-based Bank of America highlighted another challenge with the government program: getting borrowers to supply the necessary paperwork.

At the news conference, [Bruce] Marks acknowledged his approach is controversial. He has cultivated a reputation as a "bank terrorist" who holds protests at the homes of CEOs whose banks NACA deems to be engaged in predatory lending. This pressure has helped persuade lenders to sign loan-modification agreements with the group.

Read the entire Charlotte Observer article, and find out how to sign up for help, here.

In slightly related news: Two CEO Candidates Suggest Breaking Up Bank of America

Here's a clip from a documentary about the group. (Warning: It will make you cry.)

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