LAS CRUCES, N.M. - As the holiday season nears, thousands of families in New Mexico will face the possibility of losing their homes. The state administrative office of courts estimates about 9,000 families will have their homes foreclosed on this year.
A new settlement could help the state reduce the problem.
Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima joined Ismael Camacho, assistant attorney general, and a local advocacy group called Communities in Action and Faith (CAFE) to discuss the growing problem with foreclosures in the state.
One homeowner facing foreclosure said she was embarrassed by her situation at first, but then she realized there are millions of people going through the same thing all over the country.
"I was under the impression that only losers and lazy people had their houses foreclosed," said Katy Salazar, a homeowner who fought against her home being foreclosed on.
Salazar said she moved to Las Cruces with the hopes of owning her first home. Those hopes were shattered when she received a foreclosure notice.
"It's so hard to explain because there are so many emotions that I experienced. I failed myself. I didn't take care of myself," Salazar told ABC-7.
That's a feeling echoed by Rose Ann Vasquez, a single mother who is still struggling with foreclosure.
"It's an emotional roller coaster. You feel every day depressed.You feel like a failure. You feel like you've done something wrong," Vasquez said.
Thousands of others will experience the same feeling in the next few months.
As many people in New Mexico sit down for Thanksgiving dinner or wrap Christmas presents, about 2,200 families will get foreclosure notices.
Members of CAFE said there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
"Now we can prevent it. We can stop those 2,200 plus foreclosures from happening because we have the resources," said Sarah Nolan, executive director of CAFE.
The state attorney general's office received $11.5 million from the federal government. That money will be used to provide legal counseling for homeowners going to court for foreclosure cases, foreclosure defense and increase the amount of housing counselors in the state.
"The fact we have all these services now that are going to begin to roll out in January 2013 means we can start putting people in the pipeline now to receive services," Nolan told ABC-7.
CAFE is holding a homeowner's meeting Oct. 4 to help anyone dealing with foreclosure sign up for those state-provided services and get the help they need.