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Dawn Porter: Didn't qualify
Dawn Porter: Didn't qualify
Dawn Porter at her home in Alpharetta, Ga.
Dawn Porter spent months trying to convince her lender to modify her mortgage under the Obama plan -- with no success.

Porter, who lost her job as an interior designer in March, has managed to stay current with her $960 monthly payments. And her home is still worth more than she owes, thanks to her putting down 20% when she bought it.

Still, she been told she's ineligible for the program, she said. The bank, JPMorgan Chase, has told her that she has too much equity in her home and that she doesn't earn enough to qualify for a modification.

Tired of fighting, she finally gave up. While looking for a job, she's surviving on unemployment benefits and has started a high-end design company specializing in children's rooms called Spoiled Rotten Rooms.

But she thinks the Obama administration should expand its foreclosure rescue plan to help homeowners like her.

"They wrote the law for people who had bad mortgages and who are upside down," said Porter, referring to people with mortgages that exceed their homes' value. "There's no way someone like me would make it.

A long-term modification is usually not the right solution for an unemployed homeowner, said a Chase spokesman, noting the bank doesn't discuss individual cases.

Instead, the institution often offers a forbearance plan that allows homeowners to make smaller or no payments for a few months while they look for work. If they cannot find a job after an extended search, they probably cannot afford the home so the bank will discuss with them exit options, the spokesman said.

NEXT: Jeffrey Huegel: Lower payments

Last updated October 24 2009: 8:56 AM ET
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