Hundreds attend nonprofit's ‘Save the Dream' event

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - Hundreds of people snaked through the Convention Center in uptown Charlotte on Thursday morning, desperate for help so they can keep their homes.

NACA, or Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, says it helps homeowners renegotiate troubled mortgages. The nonprofit is in Charlotte as part of its "Save the Dream" tour.

More than 500 people worked with NACA and financial advisers working to restructure their mortgage payment options at the event on Thursday morning.

Some people arrived as early as 5 a.m. and waited for the doors to open at 8 a.m.

People go through four stations, including a financial counseling session and a meeting with lenders.

For many, their mortgage payment or interest rate has become too much.

One man said he is in danger of losing his house and is waiting to find out if his lender would be able to offer him a better payment option.

"We are five people in my house, and then we have been trying to be on time with our mortgage payment which is, for the last two years, been very, very high," Jesus Tejada said.

A NACA representative said about 55 percent of the people there would leave with a new payment option Thursday, and another 80 percent would likely get one in 30 to 60 days.

NACA said it's helped hundreds of thousands of people keep their homes by negotiating better terms with lenders.

But it's also been the subject of controversy.

In the spring of 2010, a Channel 9 investigation found NACA's Charlotte office had dumped stacks of sensitive documents in a dumpster, which included clients' Social Security numbers and bank account numbers.

At the time, NACA CEO Bruce Marks refused to talk to Channel 9 about it, and now, he still insists NACA did nothing wrong.

"No one should be concerned at all about the security," Marks said. "There's been no issue out there."

NACA's actions, however, were investigated by North Carolina's attorney general, and while NACA admitted no wrongdoing, it did agree to pay the state $3,000 to settle the case.

NACA insists it's ready to help thousands of people save their homes this week in Charlotte.

Previous Stories: February 4, 2011: NC AG Takes Action Against Nonprofit After Channel 9 Investigation July 23, 2010: NACA CEO Addresses 9 Investigation April 29, 2010: 9 Investigates Non-Profit's Handling Of Sensitive Client Documents March 8, 2010: Payroll Problems Persist At Mortgage-Assistance Company March 5, 2010: Workers Demand Unpaid Wages From Local Company December 5, 2009: NACA Save The Dream Tour Stops In Charlotte