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Wendy Reuer, Published January 11 2014

Moorhead Habitat for Humanity home in foreclosure

MOORHEAD – For the first time in the history of Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity – a nonprofit that helps build homes for those in need – one of the volunteer-built homes here went into foreclosure.

The home at 3504 10th Ave. S. was built in 2009 for Fernando and Erica Amaya and their seven children.

Last week, it was bought back by Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity and will be sold to another family in need, said Rob Rich, executive director for Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity.

Volunteers, including the family partner who will live in the home, help build the house. Corporate sponsors and donations usually help pay for the building materials. Once the house is built, the families are then asked to pay a zero-percentage mortgage.

“The common misconception is that we just give habitat houses, but they are not free,” Rich said. “We sell (families) the house for what it costs us to build the house. So they have a mortgage and have to make payments and the payments go back into Habitat for building more houses.”

Of the original $115,492 30-year mortgage issued in December 2009, $105,519 remained, according to a legal notice regarding the foreclosure published in The Forum.

Rich said he was not aware of any life-altering events or circumstances that caused the family to fall behind on their mortgage. Rich said Lake Agassiz, which held the mortgage, would have worked with the family to avoid foreclosure.

“It’s a sad thing when it happens,” Rich said. “We try to work with people as best we can.”

He said Habitat for Humanity will check the home for any needed repairs or updates before helping move in another family.

He said a timeline for when a new family might be able to move in has not yet been established.

Fernando and Erica Amaya could not be reached for comment.

Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity has built 47 homes in Cass and Clay counties since 1991.

In 2013, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity built two homes and plans to build three this year.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530