Struggling homeowners attend mortgage workshop

Despite record-low mortgage interest rates, U.S. home prices are expected to remain sluggish in 2012.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Struggling with their mortgage, Barbara Baker and her husband are worried about the home they've lived in for 25 years.

"To us, it's worth a life, it's worth everything," Baker said. "You know, being home. You know, the family coming, the grandkids, great grandkids."

With a interest rate they say is unbearably high for a couple on a fixed income, the Bakers turned to Bank of America for help, attending a customer information workshop Friday at the Omni Hotel.

"We're praying that they work out something for us," Baker said. "You know, living on a fixed income it means a lot."

Homeowners across the region are in drastically different situations, and to find a fix many just need help filing out the paperwork.

"This process that I went through, I couldn't have done it by myself," homeowner Jessie Mitchell said. "I learned a lot; a whole lot."

Mitchell was one of nearly 400 people expected to meet with a home loan specialist during the workshop.  They brought tax returns, bank statements and verification of debt to figure out what's going wrong.

"To meet with them face to face, we brought a staff on site that can see the customer go through their financial situation and determine what the best solution is for their financial picture," said Jessica Garcia of Bank of America.

The Jacksonville mortgage workshop runs through Saturday at the Omni.

Two additional workshops are planned in Northeast Florida next month:

  • April 24-25 at Hammock Beach Lodge,  Palm Coast
  • April 27-28 at Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, Gainesville