Fresno Unified School Board member loses home to foreclosure

FRESNO, Calif.

He says the decision came down to keeping his house or paying his son's tuition.

Dr. Tony Vang sits on the Fresno Unified Board of Trustees and works as a professor at Fresno State.

Dr. Vang says he tried to modify his mortgage for two years but when that didn't work, he chose education over his home. He says he purchased his home back in 2004 for $268 thousand, but now it's worth less than half that amount.

Combined with his son's $52 thousand a year Stanford tuition, he said the financial strain was just too much.

"I was facing two serious financial hardships. I had to make a decision, whether to keep my son in school or pull my son out of school and keep my house," Dr. Vang said.

Dr. Vang says he is now leasing a home in the same neighborhood in Central Fresno, saving approximately $1 thousand a month.

"This financial hardship impacts everybody's life, regardless of whether you're professional or non-professional," he said.

Dr. Vang has now become one of about four million Americans to lose their home in the last five years.

Although Fresno foreclosure filings have slowed, down nearly 13 percent from last year at this time, 547 homes entered the foreclosure pipe last month.

John Shore with the Community Housing Council says he wants people to know help is available and banks are now more willing to keep people in their homes.

"Right now we have people who have sale dates, who their home is scheduled to be sold a week and because they're B of A or one of the big lenders, they're postponing those sale dates," Shore said.

That's something that didn't work for Vang. Still, he says he's looking ahead and committed to serving the community.

Dr. Vang claims that he still lives within his district he represents. He's now leasing a house and hopes to purchase it once his credit improves.

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