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.

Advocacy

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.

Complaints

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.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

Get up to 5 competing mortgage quotes

10 Comments

kkaren, 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, Feb, 2012
Readers? I welcome your constructive thoughts on Karen's questions.
TTim, 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 https://forums.ncaca.com, a NACA staff member will get in touch with you.
BBill, Feb, 2012
Thank you for this information, Tim.