Five years ago, Vann and Vanessa Banks bought their home in Stockton for $320,000. After three refinances, the equity is gone. They can't make the mortgage and the Banks may lose their home -- to the big bank.
"Just one month behind, but we got there by struggling, trying to catch up, where we fell two to three months behind," says homeowner Vanessa Coleman-Banks.
We met the Banks at a foreclosure workshop in San Francisco's Bayview District. It was one of 25 workshops being held around the state. The fear of foreclosure is forcing homeowners to seek help. The California Department of Real Estate says 50 percent of foreclosures occur when the owner does nothing.
"We want to simplify it for homeowners so they can keep their homes. We want to make it possible for renters to be able to live in affordable housing," says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi came to push a series of bailout measures. She says Congress should act by May 5.
"Something good will come of it, that a lot of us have been feeling a long time that there needs to be some regulation," says Pelosi.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says lenders foreclosed on 130 properties in the Bayview during the first quarter. At the podium, he promoted his 'don't borrow trouble' campaign.
"Call 311 and ask about our don't borrow trouble campaign. We have a hotline, we have counselors, we have resources, legal aid, we the have the ability to help you navigate through these difficult times," says Newsom.
The banks realize time is running out for them. In June, their monthly mortgage will increase another $235, the interest up three quarters of a point. Vann Banks already sold his Cadillac and Mercedes and hopes someone will buy this Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
"No more boats, no more expensive cars, that's over with me," says Banks.
Pelosi and other legislators we heard from blame the lending industry for causing the mortgage crisis, but the Vanns admit they are a perfect example of Americans living beyond their means.