Originally published in Poughkeepsie Journal – http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130501/NEWS01/305010022/poughkeepsie-foreclosure-nobody-leaves?nclick_check=1

Many homeowners were hit hard by the national collapse in the real-estate market that began in 2008.

A local grass-roots organization, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, has stepped up to try to help some caught by either their own unwise decisions, predatory lenders or both. Its goal is to help homeowners prevent foreclosures and evictions.

Many in Dutchess County need that help, the latest data show. The City of Poughkeepsie had 113 foreclosed properties in 2011, second only to the Town of Poughkeepsie’s 129, according to data from City of Poughkeepsie Corporation Counsel Paul Ackermann. All of Dutchess had 969 foreclosed homes that year.

For Flavia Perry, a 63-year-old Town of Wappinger homeowner in trouble, the group staged an event Tuesday outside Dutchess County Courthouse in the City of Poughkeepsie to protest the 2010 foreclosure on her home being reinstated.

Three years ago, Perry got an unexpected notice in the mail from Bank of America.

The balance of the mortgage that she got for her first home in 2002 was due in its entirety — all $180,000 of it — or Bank of America would foreclose.

She was in shock, Perry said.

“I thought I had a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, and they tell me now I had a seven-year balloon mortgage, all due in 2009,” she said. “I never in my life would have signed up for something like that.”

A fixed-rate mortgage is one in which the interest rate stays the same throughout the life of the loan, according to mortgagecalculator.org. A balloon mortgage is usually one with a large “balloon” payment at the end of the loan, which makes the monthly payments lower than they would be on a fixed rate.

“Guaranty Residential Lending gave me my mortgage originally,” Perry said. “My broker, Anthony Elcock, still says he sold me a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.”

“I’m not a mortgage broker,” Elcock said when reached by phone Tuesday. “I’m a mortgage consultant. Why am I being bothered about this?”

“That’s not surprising,” said Spencer Resnick, an organizer for Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, referring to Elcock’s reaction. “Flavia’s been lied to every step of the way.”