People trying to save their homes from foreclosure met with credit counselors Saturday, looking for hope. "We're in the process of foreclosure and we're trying to save our house," said Manuel Vivanco.
Vivanco and his family left the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building feeling a little better than when he came. "We learned we can't give up, we got to do everything we can to save our home."
The workshop was sponsored by Clovis' Community Development Agency and ByDesign Financial Solutions. Though Clovis hasn't been hit quite as hard by the foreclosure crisis as other cities, it is feeling the pinch.
"You have people who are losing their homes. We direct mailed brochures about this workshop to about 300 people who have received notices of default in the last couple of months just here in the city of Clovis," said Community and Economic Development assistant director Tina Sumner.
The city is concerned about the ripple affect foreclosure has on the community like blighted homes that can attract crime. Declines in home values and sales tax revenue have also forced city departments to cut back in certain areas. Clovis City Hall now closes at 3:00 p.m. to prevent having to pay employees overtime.
As cities nationwide struggle to cope with the housing crisis, a number of bills hang in both the state legislature and congress that would help homeowners and cities, while putting more regulations on lenders.
"We're ever hopeful that some legislation will come out that will either help us on the front end to help people not be foreclosed on or to assist us on the back end of what do we do once we have all these foreclosed houses sitting in our community sitting vacant," said Sumner.
For Manuel Vivanco, help can't come soon enough. "It's really scary, especially with work being so slow. I'm a construction worker and there's not much construction. It's scary," said Vivanco.
If you missed Saturday's event, there will be a similar workshop in two weeks. It will be held June 14 at the Fresno Convention Center.