Assistance available as foreclosure problem grows

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –During the 3rd quarter of 2010 Realty Trac says 1 in every 357 homes in Louisiana received some sort of foreclosure action. More than 1,500 Louisiana home owners actually lost their home to foreclosure.

Tina Johnson was not one of those home owners, but she says she would have been if it weren't for the help she received from the Caddo Community Action Agency.

"This year we've actually assisted 25 different families maintain and retain their home and prevent foreclosure," said Agency President, Laurance Guidry.

Johnson lost her job last August.  By January she was having trouble making her mortgage payments.

"It's very stressful. I have kids. I'm a single parent. So all that going on, you know, losing my home. I don't have no where to go," said Johnson.

The agency helped her make her payment, and offered her financial counseling.

"When I cut out eating out so much and going places I don't have to go and just minimized it, I was able to keep up with my payments," said Johnson.

Now, she says she's back on track and will keep her home. Caddo Community Action Agency says they can offer help, but people need to come to them as soon as they start having problems.

"I would say if you miss 1 payment, then I would go," said Guidry.

Soon, Caddo Community Action Agency will also be able to help eligible home owners to get a loan of up to $50,000 through a Housing and Urban Development emergency assistance program that will make more than $16-million to Louisiana home owners. The details of the program are still in the works, but people must go through a HUD approved agency to qualify.

"I think that's a big shot in the arm for the housing industry, and I know it's gonna help a lot of folks," said Guidry.

The HUD approved housing counseling agencies in Shreveport are:

-Caddo Community Action Agency, 318-861-4808

-Legal Services of North Louisiana, 318-222-7186

-Money Management International Shreveport, 1-800-850-2227

-Queensborough Neighborhood Association Incorporated, 318-635-8100

-Volunteers of America of North Louisiana, 318-221-2669

©2010 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.