South Bay homeowners attend mortgage seminar

January 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Homeowners in the South Bay who desperately need some help with their troubled mortgages got some, thanks to a seminar designed to help residents navigate through a tangle of programs.

Robin Siebler is on disability and her husband just got laid off so she's looking for options to help shrink her mortgage payment.

"We're financially OK, we have money in the bank, we can make all of our payments, but I want to take advantage of the current interest rates that are lower," said Siebler.

Roy Sumisaki has never missed a mortgage payment, but over the last few years he's nervously watched as his home value has sunk.

"It's probably, market value right now is about $550,000, but the loan is over $700,000," said Sumisaki.

According to Santa Clara County records, there are more than 200 notices of default filed each week. Compare that to just under 300 a week during the worst part of the mortgage meltdown three years ago and it is clear things are getting better, but there are still a lot of people going into default.

Siebler and Sumisaki say they're at this event to find options that will keep them from becoming part of the default statistics.

There are unfortunately all kinds of reasons why more than two dozen homeowners have come to this seminar seeking information in their troubled mortgages. The good news is that there's lots of information, and that's one of the reasons why organizers have put together this seminar, to link those homeowners with information that can help them hang on to their homes.

"Now you're getting people who have either given up, or figure 'It just can't happen to me, there's nothing that can be done,' and yet there are all these programs out there, if we can just get people to realize that, there is some hope," said Cathy Warshawsky, a San Jose home loan broker.

Warshawsky is a one of the organizers of this seminar. She says there are now lots of programs to help homeowners like Siebler and Sumisaki and even home owners who have already gone into default.