Sitting on a suitcase loaded with important bank documents, a 29-year-old man named Roy came all the way from San Jose, California, to Houston to secure a spot in line at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Saturday.
Roy is one of more than 8,000 people who have come to Houston in the past three days for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America's "Save the Dream" event.
"I got here at 11 o'clock [Friday] night," he said.
Roy joins other homeowners who brought sleeping bags and fold-up chairs to the convention center. They are struggling to make mortgage payments and facing foreclosure, and they are all hoping to meet with bank lenders to ask for help.
Roy says he's desperate.
"I bought my home with my partner in 2007 and he passed away, and I got stuck with my mortgage payments with the condo," he said.
Now on its 45th city, the nonprofit NACA brought its Save the Dream event to Houston on Thursday. Lenders from some of the largest banks are in town to help struggling homeowners slash monthly mortgage payments, reduce interest rates and offer loan forgiveness.
This face-to-face meeting is a last resort for some, but people have come with high hopes.
Samuel Jimenez -- a father of five who traveled to Houston from San Fransico, California -- says he is 29 months behind on his mortgage and his house is in foreclosure. But today, he leaves with good news.
Jiminez said his payments were $5,300 dollars before he came to the NACA event.
"But now I am only paying $1,490 a month, and that's interest and principle," he said. "I'm saving like $3,000."
Roy is holding onto hope that, like Jiminez, he'll board his plane home with good news.
"I'd rather walk away, but it's my home and I want to keep it," Roy said.
Save the Dream will be in town Sunday and Monday from 8am to 8pm.
NACA officials said there have been an average of 80 to 100 people registering every hour. They encourage people to come with patience and come prepared.
If you plan to attend this event, you should bring:
- Mortgage statement
- Home insurance declaration page
- 2010 tax return
- County tax bill
- Verification of income (three months of pay stubs, six months of bank statements if you are self-employed)
If you receive any government assistance like Social Security or disability, then you'll need three months of bank statements.
For more information, you can visit NACA.com or call 888-499-6222.