Giffords office hosts workshop helping homeowners facing foreclosure

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A recent report shows foreclosure activity jumped nearly 18% in October.

With more people losing their homes, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords office teamed up with a free assistance program to get people the help they need.

"I was told I was qualified then was told I wasn't qualified and now I'm at the point where I've almost given up," said homeowner Mike Jean.

Mike Jean owes more money on his home than it's worth.

"I've almost walked away myself only because financially it doesn't make sense," Jean said.

Mike is not alone.  Dozens of homeowners facing foreclosure or paying high mortgages showed up at a housing workshop to get answers.

"A homeowner will call a service line an 800 number and not necessarily speak to the same person twice," said Evelia Martinez.

Evelia Martinez with Don't Borrow Trouble Pima County says her agency cuts through the red tape.  And they do it for free.

"It's important that the homeowner be protected, that they understand what their rights and responsibilities are and how they can go about to be successful to get their loans either refinanced or modified," Martinez said.

The event was hosted by the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Staffers say the housing problem is not going away any time soon.

"Fifty percent of homes in Arizona are in negative equity.  Our foreclosure rates are typically in the top three in the country, so we're doing our best to be helpful," said Amanda Sapir from Gifford's office.

Mike does not want to become another statistic, he hopes representatives can show him how to afford the American Dream.

"All it really takes is just one life event to lose my home.  I'm like many other people out there just trying to find a way," Jean said.

Anyone unable to make it to Wednesday night's workshop can contact the congresswoman's office for resources and information.