A Des Moines man says a state program set up to help people prevent home foreclosures can help — but you have to get involved. Steven Christensen says he called the Iowa Mortgage Hotline to head off a possible foreclosure. His problems started in 2005 when he was off work with an injury. He says he was on workman’s compensation and when he came back the plant closed down.

Christensen says he is in his 60’s and felt that hurt him in finding a new job. Christensen says at the time he had a mortgage payment of just over 1,100. Christensen says that mortgage payment was the bulk of his Social Security payments, and he had to live the rest of the time he lived on a small pension. He says at the end of the day he had very little money left and in the winter the power bills put him into debt.

Christensen says he called the Iowa Mortgage Hotline and got the mediation process going. Christensen says it was a long process that took a lot of work on his part. Christensen says you have to be calling constantly to be sure that everything is done. He says the work will pay off in the modification of his mortgage payment.

He says he doesn’t know the exact modification, but says his payment was $1,147 it will end up being somewhere around $686. Christensen says the extra $400 dollars or so is helpful, especially in the wintertime. Christensen spoke at a news conference Thursday by Iowa’s Attorney General to announce that mortgage foreclosures in Iowa have leveled off. The A.G. says a big hurdle is getting people to call in and seek help, and says Christensen is an important example of what can happen if you do. You can call the toll-free number at 877-622-4866 or visit the Iowa Mortgage Hotline website at:www.iowamortgagehelp.com.