Homeowner says she was ‘simply a statistic’ to her mortgage servicer, then she came across Keep Your Home California and saved her house
Sometimes homeowners need a little help – and some hope.
Just ask Carrie G. The wife and mother of two toddlers was able to “catch up’ on her mortgage payments thanks to Keep Your Home California after a challenging, emotional and extremely frustrating experience with her mortgage servicer.
“We weren’t looking for a handout,” says Carrie, whose story is like many other homeowners in the state. Her husband, a construction worker, lost his job for six months and the family struggled financially, getting behind on their mortgage payments. “It’s our responsibility, our house.”
But “as hard as we tried to stay on top of our finances, things just got ahead of us and we ultimately fell behind on our mortgage,” says Carrie, who gave birth to their now 1-year-old daughter during this period.
So, Carrie, the manager of a veterinarian hospital, began looking at their mortgage options in order to save their home.
“For close to two years, I lived breathed and slept financial statements, tax returns, hardship letters and being transferred around from one bank employee to another,” she says. “I was simply just a statistic, not a wife, not a mother, not a homeowner.”
Eventually, their bank approved the couple for a temporary loan modification – and a smaller payment while her husband was out of work and on disability for six months. However, the mortgage servicer denied converting the temporary loan modification into a permanent modification, and even required the financially struggling couple to pay an additional $21,000.
She got the bad news the day before Thanksgiving in 2013.
“I was in tears, I just lost it,” says Carrie, who lives in the East Bay. “After a roller-coaster ride of being approved, then denied a modification with our lender, we ultimately faced the heart-wrenching reality that we may very well lose our home.”
Then, during one of her many calls with the mortgage servicer, a representative mentioned Keep Your Home California.
“I had heard the radio ads, but I thought it was just one more employee trying to shove me off to someone else,” she says. “We had already started looking for homes to rent and finding someone to help with the foreclosure.”
But Carrie contacted the Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center, one of the nonprofit housing counseling agencies that has partnered with Keep Your Home California, in the Bay Area. A certified housing counselor, Nai, walked Carrie and her husband through the application process – all for free.
“Not once did she make me feel ashamed of our situation,” Carrie says. “She offered nothing but support, guidance and assurance that we were not alone. It honestly seemed like a pipe dream that we would receive the aid.”
The couple applied for the free mortgage-assistance program in December and were approved in mid-January.
“They gave me updates, they didn’t give me false hope,” she says. “It’s some of the best news I’ve ever heard.”
Keep Your Home California’s Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program allowed the couple to “catch up” on their mortgage.
“I definitely sing your praises,” she says. “This is truly changing our life, changing our future and rescuing my family and our home. Words can’t express our gratitude for what has been done for us. We feel like this is a fresh start for us.”
And there are many other families in similar situations, Carrie says.
“My heart goes out to those people,” she says. “I know there are tens of thousands of people with stories much worse than ours. My advice to them is to not give up, have faith and persevere. You never know what may lay around the corner.”