Local agency lends a hand to homeowners in need of help

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A non-profit agency in Birmingham is helping homeowners who have fallen upon hard times.

The Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham is having success keeping people in their homes.

Many people behind on their payments and facing foreclosure are finding that they can't negotiate with their lenders on their own.

That's where NHSB lends a hand.

Thursday night was the non-profit agency's annual meeting.

An official told the crowd that the demand for foreclosure help has surged this year by 400 percent.

The agency's executive director says the initial wave of the foreclosure crisis came because of adjustable rate mortgages. And now, unemployment forces homeowners into foreclosure.

Frankie Gulley had a pay cut at work and could afford her mortgage no longer. She turned to the agency for help.

"I feel blessed I am able to pay my mortgage note it's in my budget," said Gulley.

"One of the things we look for are loan modifications," said John Colon, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham. "With a loan modification you can reduce interest rate you extend terms of the mortgage all in the name of making that payment more affordable."

Neighborhood Housing Services has helped 700 families in the Birmingham area this year..

There is no charge for the service and the agency is warning people about scams.

Officials say right now criminals are preying on vulnerable home owners.

If you are told there's a fee for your foreclosure help, it may be a scam.