WATHA - Times are tough for many people struggling to pay mortgages, deal with the economy, and keep their families afloat. It is even worse for customers of the failing IndyMac Bank, which the federal government took over this week. A local man is caught in that web. A Pender County man got in touch with us after seeing our story earlier this week about another local Indymac customer. He says he needs help. Eulises Bland collects $1,000 a month in disability and just about all of it pays for his mortgage. His wife's income pays for their other bills. They have had to file for bankruptcy to try to make their monthly mortgage payments, and Bland is desperate to get his payments lowered, but says he has had no luck with IndyMac. He pays an 11 percent interest rate, and he says the bank won't respond to his request. After all the bills are paid each month, Bland says his family has about $100 left over. "So far we've gotten this far, but we would like to have more things to be able to afford to go out and take the kids out to a movie. But the way that the crunch is now with IndyMac Bank, it's horrible," said Bland. Credit and housing counselor Mike Young said, "Just because the bank is in trouble doesn't mean his mortgage isn't going to become due or that we can't make some other arrangements or modifications to it." Young says if you want to get interest rates dropped, you have to establish better credit. Young says in situations like Bland's, you have two options -- raise your income, by getting a part-time job, for example, or lower your expenses.
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