Cornelius* suffered from a disability that forced him to rely on family members for help with transportation, household chores, and financial matters. Unable to pay all his bills on time, he was 7 months behind on his mortgage payment when the United Way referred him to Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
At CCCS, Cornelius met with Tina Williams, HUD-certified housing counselor. In addition to helping him create a manageable budget, Tina assisted Cornelius with applying for a loan modification from his lender. If approved, his monthly mortgage payment would be reduced, allowing him to consistently make on-time mortgage payments.
In August of 2011, Cornelius and Tina submitted his application. Less than a month later they received notification that his request had been denied. Undaunted, Tina and Cornelius determined to try again, submitting a second modification request.
After months of waiting for an answer, Cornelius finally received word in October of 2012 that he had been approved for a trial loan modification. His mortgage payment was reduced from $834 to $617 - a savings of $217 each month! After making three consecutive on-time payments, his modification would become permanent.
After two months, however, Cornelius' loan was sold to a new servicer. He and Tina worked diligently to make certain that the new lender would honor the trial modification established with the previous servicer. After many phone calls and the submission of additional documents, Cornelius' modification was successfully transferred and made permanent.
He returned for a final counseling session with Tina once he received his final modification documents. During their meeting, Cornelius confided that his brother had moved in to his home and was constantly demanding money, becoming angry when he refused to comply. Cornelius had worked very hard to save his home and to stay out of foreclosure, and he was committed to keeping up with his payments, but he felt trapped and scared by his brother's behavior. Tina referred Cornelius to Elderly Services, a sister program of the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults, recommending that he talk to someone about his fears and the dangerous situation in which he found himself. With the assistance of Elderly Services, Cornelius would receive resources to help provide physical, emotional, and financial protection from his brother.
Tina and Cornelius further discussed the importance of making on-time payments, buying medications, and taking care of necessities BEFORE giving any money to family or friends. They talked about not allowing anyone access to his checkbook or debit card and avoiding situations in which Cornelius might suffer financial abuse.
With Tina's assistance, Cornelius not only sustained a reduced mortgage payment, he also gained the financial skills he needed to maintain a consistent payment schedule. His home wasn't just saved from foreclosure, his household was saved from financial instability! And if Cornelius ever needs future assistance, Tina will be ready and willing!
*Client's name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.