KANSAS CITY, MO -- Marilyn Brooks-Penn runs a daycare in her home, and says she came close to losing both. "My whole world was turned upside down," Brooks-Penn said.
The downward spiral started last fall. Brooks-Penn A paperwork and payment mixup with the state left her 10-thousand dollars short.
It put her two months behind on her mortgage, but her lender worked out a repayment plan.
"They did some type of balloon payment which I didn't quite understand but i agreed with it," Brooks-Penn said. Experts will tell you to seek advice anytime you're asked to sign something you don't understand, or if the terms of the deal change at closing or in the final paperwork.
When the balloon payment came due, Brooks-Penn says the lender wouldn't let her out of it. So, she turned to a HUD housing counselor for help.
But they say the lender didn't seem willing to help them either, and put Brooks-Penn's home up for sale.
"I started panicking," Housing Counselor Debi Peters said.
"There was someone here in our office that had a contact by some miracle with the FDIC. They were able to intercede and go get that sales date stopped," Peters said.
When Brooks-Penn got the call with the good news, she was on her way to a bankruptcy attorney. She'd already given up hope.
"I was so nervous I couldn't even use the phone. I had to pull over because I was shaking," Brooks-Penn said.
The housing counselor is hopeful the worries are behind them, and they can work out a deal.
"We were successful -- my fear being how many more Marilyn's are out there that are trying on their own and giving up hope," Peters said. We'll have certified housing counselors at NBC Action News all day taking your calls and getting you the help you need to modify your mortgage. They're also chatting online during all our newscasts. The counselors will be here this evening from 4-7 and during our 10 PM newscast. Call 816-932-HELP.