Struggling Homeowners Desperate for Help - 8 News NOW

Struggling Homeowners Desperate for Help

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LAS VEGAS -- Southern Nevada homeowners have complained the process to get help with their mortgages can be very frustrating. Many of them feel trapped in homes that are not worth what they owe.

Zillow.com shows more homes underwater in Las Vegas than anywhere else in the country. High employment and low housing prices is causing many homeowners to make difficult decisions.

Ivan Hernandez is a homeowner at the end of his rope. His dream house, where he's lived for almost 10 years and raised three kids, is underwater by more than $100,000.

"I'm here at Job Connect trying to find a job, trying to save my house, but it seems impossible," he said.

To make matters worse, Hernandez has been out of work for three months. He's stopped making his mortgage payments and is struggling to make his bills.

"It's an emotional thing. It sucks. The whole family feels it, even the kids, even the dogs, you know. I can't even buy dog food," Hernandez said.

He says trying to negotiate his mortgage payment with the bank while trying to find a job is a daunting task that takes all of his energy.

Marvin Longabaugh is a Las Vegas attorney and represents homeowners drowning in their underwater homes. He says, whether out of desperation or necessity, stopping payments on a home is what it takes to get the attention of bank officials.

"The only option they really have for getting out from underneath the home strangely enough is to stop making payments and hope that the lenders will offer a deal that will allow them to walk away," Longabaugh said.

Zillow.com reports 71 percent of Las Vegas homeowners are in the same shoes as Hernandez. Median home prices have fallen more than 60 percent from their pre-recession highs meaning people owe a lot more than their homes are worth.

Hernandez expects he will lose the home he worked so hard to buy.

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