TV: Free foreclosure help for Central Texas homeowners

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by By TERRI GRUCA / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on October 6, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 21 at 4:06 PM

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KVUE's Terri Gruca reports

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Foreclosures in Central Texas are hitting record highs. In Travis County alone there has been a 58 percent increase in foreclosure postings in the last year.

On the first Tuesday of every month, the steps of the Travis County Courthouse fill with people looking to score a deal. However, those deals are another family's heartbreak.

This Tuesday, 850 properties were being foreclosed on and potentially up for auction.

It's a place Bernard Wilkerson thought he was headed.

"They had given us a date, they had already given us a foreclosure date and I didn't know what else to do," he said. "I didn't want to lose the house."

Wilkerson had already lost his job and he didn't have the money to catch up on his house payments. That's when he learned about .

Frameworks is a non-profit that started five years ago with a goal of helping 300 families avoid foreclosure. Already this year in Central Texas, they've helped 700 families stay in their homes.

"We know how to put together a well devised packet a servicer will see and say this is someone who's serious about keeping their home," said Joyce McDonald, Frameworks executive director.

Wilkerson calls them miracle workers. While he found a new job, Frameworks went to work negotiating with his mortgage company.

"My mortgage dropped almost in half. My interest rate dropped four points to 2.5 percent," he said. "I know -- it's great. Isn't it?"

How much did it cost him?

"Nothing, absolutely nothing," he said.

Frameworks does not charge homeowners. The non-profit gets funding from HUD and other grants, typically banks hoping to avoid adding more foreclosures to their books.

A few months after beginning talks with Frameworks, Wilkerson is not only a proud husband and father of two, but still a first time homebuyer with a newfound sense of security.

"We're just so excited. We're back up to date. It's just a good feeling to come home," Wilkerson said.

Need Help?

If you need help Frameworks has workers who may be able to negotiate with your lender. Call 512-385-1500 for more information.

The organization also holds first time homebuyer classes three times a month. (The second, third and fourth Saturday of every month. The third Saturday class is always in Spanish.) The classes are held at 701 Tillery Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must register ahead of time. You can do so or by calling the above phone number for more information.

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