In the wake of the financial crisis, the nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America toured the U.S. helping struggling homeowners modify their mortgage payments to fend off foreclosure.
Now in its latest venture, NACA is launching a new effort to help borrowers get affordable home loans in the first place. The first stop will be in Charlotte this week.
The “Achieve the Dream” event, which runs Thursday through Sunday, aims to help homeowners receive below-market, fixed-interest-rate mortgages without consideration of their credit score or other factors, said NACA CEO Bruce Marks.
“It’s a one-stop shop,” said Marks, who came to Charlotte Tuesday for a kick-off news conference. “Over four days we will get people approved for NACA’s ‘Best in America’ mortgage.”
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Marks is a longtime activist who for decades has criticized lenders, including big banks, for not making mortgages affordable for low- to moderate-income individuals. Last spring, security yanked him from Wells Fargo’s annual shareholder meeting for interrupting the proceedings to speak out against the bank’s sales scandal.
Marks, however, has also forged partnerships with banks such as Charlotte-based Bank of America and Citigroup to provide the funding for his group’s affordable mortgage product. NACA said it has $13 billion committed to its mortgage program and that more than 60,000 homes have been purchased through its 47 offices, including Charlotte.
In a statement, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the city will also make grants to homeowners to supplement the NACA mortgages.
“The goal of owning a home is something we aspire to and build toward for everyone in our city,” Lyles said in a statement. “I welcome this partnership with NACA.”
The event will be held Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 5835 Executive Center Drive in the Charlotte East Business Park. For information about registration and what documents are needed, go to www.naca.com or call 281-968-6222. Walk-ins are also welcome.
At the event, counselors will be on hand to help applicants find mortgages they can afford. Those who are approved receive the same terms, including below-market interest rates (currently below 4 percent) and no down payment or closing costs. NACA will also have counselors who can help homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments as part of its “Home Save” program.
After the launch in Charlotte, Marks said the tour will move on to other cities, including Miami and Cleveland.