MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - An organization that claims to save homeowners from foreclosure is dealing with its own problems. The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA, is accused of pushing empty promises.
In the last three years, the non-profit had about 150 complaints filed against it with the Better Business Bureau. Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery said the organization, "preys on poor, black and financially strained homeowners."
NACA told abc24.com the organization helps low-income homeowners with bad credit lower their interest rate. It's a free service. CEO Bruce Marks told abc24.com his company never makes promises to homeowners because mortgage companies have the final say.
"We understand that homeowners are frustrated with the lenders and that's why they're doing the Wall Street protests," said Marks.
Marks understands that frustration but claims the non-profit is not to blame.
"That's why it’s crucial to come to these events. People can come here and they meet face to face with the lender, the decision maker, and get a solution on the spot,” said Marks.
Marks told abc24.com, NACA helps more than 500,000 people across the country through its "Save the Dream" event.
"When you have over 200,000 homeowners who have had a successful solution that speaks for itself," said Marks.
Nearly 150 complaints have been lodged with the BBB, most are customers who never heard back from NACA after an initial meeting, but Ruby Higgins of Whitehaven hasn't had any problems. She waited 9 months to see results and told abc24.com it was worth the wait.
"They're wonderful. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here today," said Higgins.
So while there are complaints about NACA's slow help and empty promises, that's certainly not the feeling among all.
“They actually cut my payments in half. I saved about 500 dollars,” said Higgins.
NACA starts its "Save the Dream" program Thursday, October 13, 2011. Mortgage lenders will be on hand to talk one-on-one with homeowners. They will also offer on the spot loan modifications. It's free and starts at 8 a.m. at the Cook Convention Center. Recently, NACA sued the federal government's Housing and Urban Development agency for withholding $750,000. A judge ruled in NACA’s favor.