/ Modified may 1, 2010 2:25 a.m.

Foreclosure: A Woman's Story

Amidst the record number of housing foreclosures in Arizona, Tony Paniagua brings us the story of a Tucson woman fighting to hold on to the home she has owned for the past six years.

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Sea of Cortez

Foreclosures, bankruptcies and other financial problems are increasing but free assistance is available for many residents.

Southern Arizona Legal Aid and other non-profit organizations are seeing a huge increase in the number of people who need assistance with their finances including bankruptcies, foreclosures and other topics like credit card debt and better budgeting practices. Experts say each case is unique but Belinda Castro exemplifies the confusion and frustration that many people are encountering. After buying her dream home six years ago, 2009 was a personal nightmare. Castro lost her sister, her job and was diagnosed with cancer. She couldn't make her mortgage payments temporarily so she asked if she could make those payments at the end of her mortgage as part of a loan modification. She thought she got it but was notified in December he property had been sold.

Castro is still trying to untangle the legal mess with assistance from SALA. Castro says she just wants to get back on track and be able to breathe. "I don’t want to hold my breath" she says, "I want my home back, I want my life back.”

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