NACA & Its 'Save the Dream' Tour

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Mark CappelFeb 2, 2011
Key Takeaways:
  • NACA provides no-cost mortgage counseling.
  • It stages the "Save the Dream Tour" to assist homeowners in distress.
  • NACA also offers competitive mortgages and refinances.
I am thinking about attending NACA's Save the Dream Tour. What can you tell me about NACA and its services?

I heard about NACA, and am planning to go to Arizona to attend a workshop and then to try to leverage that organization to restructure my loans, etc so that I do not lose my home. I don't know enough to be dangerous here, but trying to figure out if this organization is legit and worth their time. Any thoughts?

The acronym NACA applies to three organizations, which can be confusing initially:

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America

The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America is a non-profit organization offering mortgage origination, refinances, HUD-approved mortgage counseling. It also stages media events where NACA’s leader and volunteers confront CEOs of banks it believes are harming consumers. The group also organizes large events it calls the "Save The Dream Tour" where NACA provides mortgage counseling to distressed homeowners and face-to-face meetings with bank officials to facilitate mortgage modifications.

National Association of Consumer Advocates

The National Association of Consumer Advocates helps consumers find local lawyers with experience in debt, mortgage foreclosure, landlord-tenant, vehicle lemon laws, and other consumer-related legal issues. This NACA also offers occasional seminars for lawyers who want to learn more about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure prevention, and similar issues.

National Association for Campus Activities

This NACA helps student event planners at colleges and universities find speakers and entertainers for campus events.

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA)

Our discussion will focus on Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. NACA has three primary functions: mortgage and refinance origination, mortgage counseling /mortgage modification, and consumer advocacy.

Mortgage and Refinance Origination

NACA offers what it calls a paperless process to originate loans. NACA claims to have $10 billion in commitments from lenders to originate mortgages and mortgage refinances. NACA's origination fees are low, but come with a catch. The borrower is required to pay an additional $50 per month for either five or ten years, depending on the loan, to NACA for a "Membership Assistance Program" (MAP). MAP provides up to three months of mortgage payments if the homeowner is unable to afford their mortgage payment. A peer committee administers the fund.

A NACA loan also includes a requirement to volunteer five times per year in NACA local offices, NACA demonstrations, or the MAP peer committee. Also, no member of the household can have an ownership interest in another property, and the homeowner must occupy the NACA-financed property.

Mortgage Counseling / "Save the Dream Campaign"

NACA sponsors and organizes large meetings around the country where it provides mortgage counseling to distressed homeowners. NACA encourages the major mortgage servicers, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, to send representatives who are authorized to give approvals on mortgage modifications. At a recent meeting in Los Angeles, NACA claimed it processed 30,000 modifications, and received approvals on 80% of its applications.

NACA does not charge a fee for this service, and the NACA Web site claims the modifications are more significant that those offered by the mortgage servicer’s directly. A common comment by Save the Dream participants is due to the large numbers attending, it is common to spend an entire day or more waiting to see a counselor and then a bank representative.

NACA also offers mortgage counseling in its local offices.


The founder of NACA is a former union organizer in Boston, and does not shy away from using confrontation, often covered by the media, to target banks and bank CEOs NACA determines are engaging in anti-consumer activities.


NACA requires that its clients use its Web site to enter information about themselves their property, and loans. NACA touts the system as being paperless and more efficient than what other mortgage originators use. On consumer complaint Web sites, however, some clients state the system is not so efficient, and the Web site does not display correct or updated information about their account status.

There is a consistent series of complaints from consumers that the closing time for a new mortgage is three months or more. Postings on NACA’s Web site forum indicates readers find it difficult to reach a NACA customer service representative on the telephone, and instead get either no answer or a message indicating the office is closed.

Some Save the Dream Tour participants state that the modifications they receive at the event are provisional and subject to approval by an authority at the mortgage servicer's home office. It is impossible to know what percentage of participants who receive a modification at the event are final or subject to later approval.

Your Question

It costs nothing but your time to participate in a Save the Dream session. If working directly with your mortgage servicer has lead you nowhere, then participating in a Save the Dream Tour cannot cause you any harm. Visit the NACA Web site to learn what documents to bring to the session. Double-check your documents before you depart lest your trip be in vain due to a missing piece of paper. If you have any doubt about what to bring, err on the side of caution. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a folding chair if you plan to arrive early to be the first in line. Bring a book or two. Also, set your expectations realistically. If you have no income, for example, there is nothing anyone can do to assist you.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.




kkaren miranda, Feb, 2012
I am desperate and frustrated. My loan modification has been denied because i have a FHA loan that can be modified. I am already 7 months behind on my mortgage. NACA is advocating for me, but was can get a hold of them. My property is going to be foreclosure soon. I don't know what to do. Has anybody out there had their FHA loan modified? Is there hope for me? thank you
BBill Admin, Feb, 2012
Readers? I welcome your constructive thoughts on Karen's questions.
TTim Trumble, Feb, 2012
It is tougher to get a modification on an FHA mortgage than virtually any other mortgage out there. FHA has by far the strictest and least homeowner-friendly modification guidelines in the mortgage industry. For example, where Freddie Mac will allow the interest rate on a mortgage to be modified to as low as 2%, FHA will not go below the prevailing market rate, which is now hovering around 4%. Where other investors have much more generous guidelines on how delinquent a mortgage may be and qualify for a modification, FHA will simply refuse to modify any loan that is more than 12 months past due. That having been said, NACA does succeed in getting FHA mortgages modified. In fact, Wells Fargo/FHA mortgages seem to be doing very well getting modified lately. NACA can be harder to reach during tour events, such as the tour presently underway on the West Coast. If you will post your request on the NACA Forum at, a NACA staff member will get in touch with you.
BBill Admin, Feb, 2012
Thank you for this information, Tim.
ppattie Rosario, Jun, 2011
NACA is back in LA June 2-6. We went to try and get help numerous times last time they were in LA. But received no assistance at all. Seems that they only help people that are behind on their loans. Not those who have tried to keep current on their loans from borrowing from family, draining savings, selling everything they have, doing without food and medical necessities..... Just to keep current on their mortgage. We definitely can not keep up with our bills and mortgage due to pay and hour cuts and high medical costs. Yet we were told by Naca, the only way they could help us is if we stop paying our mortgage. On top of everything else, we do not want to take a chance in loosing our home. But that is what NACA is asking to MAYBE help us get a lower interest rate and lower the payment. Can this deceptive practice be looked into? Shouldn't they also be helping the people who are "trying to do the right thing" and pay the people they owe? Is it right for them to ask you to stop paying creditors just to get help from them? Thank you so much for your time, Patricia R Its not about buying more than you can afford. Its about pay cuts, hour cuts, and just plain layoffs. Who can plan for that? If you plan to be jobless then your mortgage should be zero dollars a month. Is that possible? Our mortgage was only 20% of our income until my husband experienced pay and hour cuts and I got a cut in disability payments. I cant work and my husband took on a second job. We are trying..but still not making ends meet. Definitely NO money for much needed medical care. Is this OUR fault?
BBill Admin, Jun, 2011
I cannot speak for NACA, but I think you mischaracterize NACA's mission and messages. NACA is not telling people to stop paying their mortgages. NACA helps people who are delinquent in their mortgage and seek to negotiate with their mortgage servicer but have gotten no where because the mortgage servicers are flooded with modification applications and still have not staffed-up enough to deal with the problem. By consulting with homeowners at the NACA events, NACA can help shorten the process to a few hours.

Again, does not speak for NACA, and we report what we have learned in our research and messages from readers.
PPattie Rosario, Jun, 2011
in Naca's mission statement it says nothing about being delinquent. Only states about affordability. "NACA has been in the forefront of fighting these lenders as well as being nationally recognized as the largest and most effective organization in assisting homeowners with an unaffordable mortgage. The primary NACA solution is to restructure the existing mortgage by permanently reducing the interest rate to achieve an affordable mortgage payment. This is the best solution for homeowners with an unaffordable mortgage payment. Thousands of homeowners working with NACA have had there mortgages restructured with interest rates reduced to 4%, 3% and as low as 2% and where necessary the outstanding principal reduced. Homeowners often save over $500 a month and some over $1,000 a month"
BBob Johns, Jun, 2011
Heard if your credit is good, NACA is less interested in helping you because they get paid more to help people with bad credit. From what I've been told they get paid half as much for helping people with good credit.
TTim Trumble, Sep, 2011
The sad fact is that it is much harder to get a modification when the mortgage is current. The bank cannot see that you are sacrificing elsewhere to do the right thing and meet your obligations. All they can see is that you are making the mortgage payment on time every month. It becomes a case of "actions speak louder than words". You may apply for a modification, but the fact that you pay your mortgage every month tells them that you do not have a problem paying because you ARE paying. That being said, NACA will never tell you to not make your mortgage payment if you can afford to. Responsible home ownership is the foundation of NACA's mission. But many people who can't afford the payment make a mistake by draining their 401-K, credit cards, etc. to make the payment. Eventually it will only make the problem worse since you make it harder to get a modification and you are also depleting your retirement or creating another huge debt you can't afford. Some lenders do have a 'gray area' called Imminent Default. Basically, you must prove that you are about to go past due on the mortgage and cannot do anything about it. However, Imminent Default is not considered in many cases unless you have an advocate like NACA working for you. The fee paid to NACA by the servicer is the same regardless of the homeowner's credit score, and the servicer only pays the fee to NACA if a modification is reached and the trial period on the modification is completed successfully.
CChuck Bradford, Oct, 2011
Patty, I feel your frustration but it's absolutely true. These damn banks and mortgage companies WILL NOT LISTEN to anyone that is trying to do the right thing by restructuring their exhisting loans secondary to the fact that this economy is in the dumps and many of us that once made good money are loosing our asses. I've gone through the same frustrating experiences that you are right now. AND, it wasn't until I finally depleated my lifes savings and was forced to stop making my payments that FINALLY I began to be offered the very help that I had originally asked for. How Stupid is that. The only saving grace is that these forclosures take forever and there are many alternatives for keeping your home. Can't say as much for your credit though. TAKE IT FROM ME AND DON'T DEPLETE YOUR SAVINGS....
vvanessa livingston, Feb, 2012
I understand your frustration. I inquired about getting help before I fell behind and I didn't qualify. I maxed out cards and did whatever I could and now I find myself broke and facing foreclosure, but I have stepped up with some income now, not much, and hope that NACA can help me now that I am own my way to foreclosure. I asked the bank long before I got to this at least 3 years or more ago and they did nothing. It seems as though you almost have to go homeless before anyone will listen. I will let you know how it all turns out. I want to learn to do something that could help people in my situation before it gets to this point. Tried to find help after I learned ab out predatory lending and no one would consider helping unless you have a certain amount of cash on hand, go figure, if you had the cash you would't need any help you can just pay your bills all of them and on time.
vvanessa livingston, Feb, 2012
Hi Vanessa. I read your comment mostly because your name is Vanessa like mine and its funny but you almost mirrored me in my same experience. I tried to get the rip-off mortgage company to help me before I fell behind and they wouldn't even consider it. Now I am heading to foreclosure also, but I am determined to turn it around. Have idea for work but don't know for sure it if will help, but I am going to try.
nnicey M, Mar, 2011
NACA help me save my home it was an extremely long process, but at the end I have my home. Go with NACA but always stay on top of everything that goes with everything your supposed do. Good Luck.
BBill Admin, Mar, 2011
Thank you for your positive feedback about NACA. You make an excellent point that it takes effort and dedication to resolve a serious problem. As you pointed out, even if you are working with a quality firm, you still need to make sure that you fill out all paperwork thoroughly, supply all documents required, and maintain good communication, to increase your chances of having things work smoothly.
MMinaxi Raja, Feb, 2011
I attended Naca's free seminar here in phoenix. It was very informative and definitely helpful to me! If you are interested in keeping your home, this organization will definitely help you in one way or another! Try it as Naca did help me!
BBill Admin, Feb, 2011
Thank you for sharing your feedback on NACA. Would you please briefly tell us how they helped you? With so many people facing foreclosure, I am confident that readers will be interested to hear any specifics about the help you received from NACA that you wish to share. For instance, did NACA help you obtain a loan modification?
MMinaxi Raja, Feb, 2011
I had to take with me my proof of income and also write a hardship letter that changed my situation. I was able to see the lender (Wells Fargo) on the spot to discuss my situation in person. I was behind in my payments by 9 months. The late fees were waived and mortgage amount reduced from 1625 to 1225. The rate was also reduced from 7% to 3% for 1st 5 yrs and it rate will not go up more than 5.25% for the life of the loan. The difference from 1625 to 1225 will give me a chance to catch up on some other bills. It just took away the fear of being foreclosed. I am very thankful to Naca as I was not getting anywhere with the Bank for almost a year. Good Luck to anybody else in my situation, think positive and keep trying and do not give up! All the best of Luck to you!.. :)
BBill Admin, Feb, 2011
Your detailed information is very helpful. Four follow-up questions if I may:
  1. Was the modification you received subject to approval, or did you receive a final approval on the spot?
  2. Was there a fee? If so, how much?
  3. How long did the process take?
  4. Approximately how many people would you estimate attended your event in Phoenix?
MMinaxi Raja, Feb, 2011
Glad to help.
  1. The modification was on the spot! I did drive back home to pick up my pay stubs for proof of my income, originally I had taken bank statements and was informed that due to all fraud and forged type of paperwork they would prefer if I had my pay stubs with all the information like my gross & net with the deductions so they can properly calculate my earning. They were looking for proof of hardship and real expense amount to calculate what I could afford and if this was feasible to the lender.

    I waited for an hour or so after all the numbers were plugged in the computer for the negotiator's boss (management) to look over all the paperwork via the Internet.
  2. I did not pay a single penny except for the parking meter. The negotiator said the bank pays NACA for every successful modification.
  3. I went to the event after work on Friday at 6p.m and returned home at 10 pm as my lender had left for the night. So I returned back on Saturday morning 9 a.m for a meeting with my negotiator and the paperwork for the modification was completed by that evening 9 p.m. I returned back with a letter of modification and reduced interest rate. The negotiator said that the rest of the documents will be mailed to me as the he had problem with printing them there. Since then I have received a letter to inform me that the late fees have been forgiven. I have to still receive the new docket for the new mortgage payment, that begins in April.
  4. I was told the first two days were very busy here. But when I went on Friday night there were about 400 to 500 people being assisted that day and on Saturday there were a few less, maybe 350 people.

I found NACA helpful, and recommend it if you are getting nowhere with your mortgage servicer.