3828524552?profile=originalBy Gloria Dulan-Wilson ~

For those of you who know me, you know that I have been an avid supporter of affordable housing for quite some time -- this stems from both personal challenges of obtaining an affordable home of my own, coupled with the fact that it is ludicrous and inhumane, and downright insipid to claim to be the leader of the free world, and one of the richest nations in the world, and not make it possible for those who made that wealth a possibility to have decent place to live.

In the land of the free and the home of the brave, we who tout ourselves to be technologically advanced, and culturally superior, should never ever have anyone homeless within our shores. We who claim to have the corner on innovation, cultural diversity, and all of those other powerful isms we are throwing up in the faces of other cultures, have been exposed for the liars that we are - now I want you to note that when I say “we” I’m speaking generically. Meaning “we” as in the United States. Not “we” as in you and me personally. Because, truth be told, we don’t have a nickel in that dime that caused one of the most egregious economic melt downs in the history of the US.

And while there were those of us who were pointing our fingers at the so-called predatory lenders, it turns out that the real culprits, the real predatory lenders were the banks themselves. Those major, too big to fail leviathans that take your money and lend it back to you at 5% while you only earn 1.5% interest on the money you have in your account.

Now that they have effectively dodged the lethal bullet that would have made them revamp and mend their evil, usurious ways, banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, CitiBank and Wells Fargo think that they’re back in the business of keep away again. And, if we aren’t careful, they just might be.

So where is all this headed? Well, first of all, there is some help on the horizon in the form of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, otherwise known as NACA. For those of you who don’t know, but NACA has been in the business of making the banks heel for the past 25 years - long before the economic melt down; long before the HAMP programs, or the HOPE LOAN programs, or other programs that were designed to pretend that they were helping you, while they did nothing more than have you gathering paper, while you slipped deeper and deeper into debt.

NACA’s Save The Dream Workshop, and the First Time Homebuyers Workshop, will take place, back to back, Saturday, March 19, from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, 1200 Dean Street @ Nostrand Ave., in Brooklyn, NY


With NACA you won’t have some charlatan preying on your fear and anxiety and telling you that for $3,000 they can fix your mortgage. In fact if you have that $3,000, put it aside in an account so that you can use it for your delinquency, rather than letting some slickster rip you off.

Founder and CEO Bruce Marks recently held a marathon workshop in Atlanta, GA, 5 days, 24 hours a day, where he brought in 80 bank executives, servicers, and over 1,000 NACA counselors to work with people under threat of foreclosure, night and day - on a walk in basis, where they could get their problems resolved on the spot, and go home with their mortgages completely restructured. You will recall that NACA did a similar workshop in Javits Center in December 2009, and 3500 homes were saved.

We are working on bringing such a marathon to Brooklyn in May. It is a major undertaking, because they are looking for a property that is 100,000 sq. ft. in space, centrally located near subways and buses. (by the way if you know of such a property in Brooklyn, please email me at either gloriadulanwilson@gmail.com or choice2empower@gmail.com.

The workshop which takes place on Saturday is the prelude to that major event. It is also to make it possible for those who are really in dire straits to get assistance immediately, rather than trying to wait it out.

Bruce is so passionate and determined about bringing the banks to justice, that he was arrested after calling upon the Senate to make the banks pay up. In the most recent posting of my blog: gloriadulanwilson.blogspot.com, I talk about the dedication NACA has for homebuyers and home owners in distress.

If you have a home that is threatened with foreclosure, or know some one who does; or if you have a toxic over prices mortgage, or you suspect you have been a victim of predatory lending, please make sure you attend Saturday’s workshop. And also make sure that you don't keep this information to yourself. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to save itself.

If, on the other hand, you are looking to purchase your first home, this is the perfect time tomake sure you attend the workshop, you still have an opportunity to take advantage of the lower prices. But let me warn you, the forces are at work to try to raise the interest rates, even though these banks have not made restitution for the havoc they've already wreaked on American families.

Even as we speak, they are trying to get a "clean bill of health" so they can go back to business as usual. One headline read, "The Wealthy are Back!" totally ignoring the fact that millions and millions of homes are still underwater, and families ares till trying to negotiate with their counterparts, while they nickel and dime them to death with penalties, late fees, escalation clauses, etc.

However, all is not totally bleak:

I recently attended the graduation ceremonies of 40 families who participated in Bedford CentralCommunity Development's 16-Week Homebuyer Seminar Series. The program was developed by Wayne Devonish, Executive Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant MultiServices Center, who presided over the ceremonies. Rev. Clive Neil, who issued a hearty welcome, acknowledged that this was one of the largest classes ever. These are families seeking to become homeowners. This is their fifth annual event!  Talk about garnering community support, Assemblymember Annette M. Robinson has supported this program from early on, as has Carver Federal Savings Bank, and Assemblyman Karim Camara.

Generally speaking, most people have been through some quick and dirty so-called buyer training program, only to later find they knew no more than when they started. And that has been the danger of being a New Yorker - we've become convinced that we didn't have the time to spend 16 weeks learning something.  But a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - especially when it comes to real estate, and purchasing the roof over your heads.  It can become a game of sharks and sardines - as evidenced by the high rate of foreclosures we are currently facing nationwide.  But those who completed this 16 week intensive home buyer, home owner training, are now ready for the next step - purchasing their own home.  They are armed with knowledge and resources, that as Rev. Neil stated, "now that you know, you know that you know, and no one can take that from you!"

NACA, in recognizing this accomplishment, will fast track those graduates, so that once they've participated in the 2-hour seminar, the counselors will assist them in closing on their properties within 30 days (the only caveat is, of course, the buyer finding a home that meets their requirements, and NACA's guidelines -which are the same as HUD guidelines.)

Brooklyn Central's Homebuyer Graduates, were certified by the Honorable Judge Peter Sweeney, Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, who congratulated each of them for their accomplishments. Each participant received a certificate of completion, which was handed out by District Leader, Robert Cornegy. In addition their NACA eligibility, they are also eligible for discount down payments and other incentives, once they make their choice of a home to purchase.

And, as with any college that provides knowledge, the Homebuyer Program had a valedictorian, Ms. Nakita Q. Vanstory, a very enthusiastic, single mother, with an equally handsome and precocious son, Jessiah (combination of Jesse and Josiah), who shared the mike with his mother as she addressed her fellow graduates. The statuesque mother of two gave her fellow classmates a secret to saving monies for the IDA (a matched fund program that some banks provide for those participating in the homebuyer training program). "Every time I get change, I put it in a little jar. When the jar gets full, I take it to the bank. I got my boyfriend contributing to my jars, my 11 year old daughter," she asserted enthusiastically. Then, to illustrate how it was done, she held up a jar filled with coins and dollar bills, and put a dollar into the jar. The audience applauded wildly.

The timing of this commencement is propitious. Graduates who attend NACA’s seminar on Saturday, will be eligible for the NACA homebuyer package No Downpayment; No closing costs, and a Mortgage that’s 1% below the prevailing prime rate. This is a policy that NACA has always had, long before the economic down turn issues began. It makes it “the best mortgage product in town".

While the NACA program is great for low and moderate income families, their services are not based on your income. Their services are available to you regardless of your income, race, gender. You are eligible if you do not already own a home; if the home you purchase is to be your primary residence; is a one to four family property; and if you stay within the purchase guidelines in terms of how much the home can cost, you are eligible for NACA services. Then, of course the only other factor is predicated on the level of cooperation on your part in providing your paper work, and following the advice of the counselors.

So, Saturday, March 19, 2011, whether you are facing foreclosure, or you are looking to become a home owner, NACA WILL BE IN BROOKLYN, AT THE BEDFORD CENTRAL PRESYBTERIAN CHURCH: 4:30-6:30 FOR FORECLOSURE PREVENTION; and 6:30-8:30 FOR FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS.

You get the point, right? 

I've mentioned this event three times in the body of this blog.  I've sent out several e-basts, as have many of my associates.  The date, time and place are conveniently located.  A word to the wise should be sufficient. It is in the calendar of events in OUR TIMES PRESS.   Short of picking you up myself, there is nothing else I can do.  It is totally now up to you to take advantage of this opportunity.  I expect to see that sanctuary completely filled Saturday.

Pass it on, be there. Don't let this opportunity slip through your fingers.
Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson
1200 Dean Street (at Nostrand Ave)
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Foreclosure Prevention Workshop: 4:30-6:30
First Time Homebuyer Workshop: 6:30-8:30
Work Shops are Free and Open to the Public

Gloria Dulan-Wilson New York Author, Writer & Speaker
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