Since 2007 the U.S. has been in a financial catastrophe. But for some reason, the only people who have gotten noticed are those laid off in 2008 when big business began to take a bigger hit. What happened to those thousands of people who were laid off in 2007, who’s companies closed and went out of business? Many of them have been left behind.
Long before Circuit City announced it was going into bankruptcy and closing it’s doors, it went through a major restructuring. That’s a fancy way of saying there were a series of layoffs. Early in 2007, in the summer of and later in the year soon before Christmas, over 3,000 people were laid off. Not just people in their stores, but also a large group of professionals in the companies main headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.
The capital of Virginia has seen it’s share of hardships like many other capital cities. Once a magnate for business, the “great recession” hit the city hard and it’s major businesses began closing their doors. Some for greener pastures, some to save money and focus on other regions where they have holdings. It’s not unlike other places around the U.S. or the world for that matter.
Everyone knows that without companies to work for, the American workforce suffers. Some more drastic than others. People lived off their unemployment. But those who were laid off in the first half of 2007 found themselves left out of the unemployment extensions. Those people began living off their savings, if they were lucky enough to have one. Once that was gone, they started hitting their 401k and other retirement accounts. When that was gone, they began trying to sell anything and everything they had in order to keep their home.
In steps the Government and President Obama’s Make Home Affordable program. An effort to save American homes for people caught in the financial catastrophe. The problem with the program is there’s no oversight of how banks and mortgage companies are applying the guidelines. Consequently only about 12 to 14% of people who apply are finding the help they need. There’s no appeal process, no one to go to for a second opinion. If the bank says no, it’s no and that’s the end.
But is it?
Check out the governments Making Home Affordable website (http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov) and you’ll find a large amount of information and online tools to help you through the process.
Starting with; Don’t wait until your mortgage is past due and delinquent. If you now you won’t be able to make your payments in a month or 2, or 4; contact your mortgage company and ask them for paperwork to apply for the Making Home Affordable program.
Check out the Asked & Answered page on the governments website (http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/asked-and-answered.html). You’ll find a large amount of information that will fit your situation and some that wont.
Once you complete the application and submit it to your mortgage company, place a call to the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE. They will help you find a financial counselor that can provide assistance and support for your application.
If you filed an application and your bank has turned down your request for aid, your best recourse is the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline and a financial counselor. These counselors are approved by the Government to provide help with the Making Home Affordable program. They know how it works, what the guidelines are and how they are supposed to be applied.
The Counselor will take your financial information, what money if any you have coming into your home, what your expenses are and what assets if any you have. They run it through their system and help you determine if you qualify for a mortgage modification. Even if the bank has turned you down already. The Counselor/Company will develop an assessment report and contact the mortgage company. Their report is very detailed and they can educate the bank on how the program is to be applied to your specific case. They become your advocate.
The bank still has the option of ignoring the recommendation. But with this information in hand, you can take the process to the next step if you’ve already been denied. Contact your senators and congressperson. Don’t assume they won’t listen. They are just as interested in helping you and ensuring this program works properly as you are. Send them an email or call them. Don’t send a letter through snail mail; it takes way to long. If you send an email, make sure you follow up with their office the following day.
Keep in mind this is your house, if it’s worth fighting for you have to make the effort to fight. Keep looking for a job. Keep after your representatives. Keep calling your bank and keep in touch with them about what they’re doing. There’s nothing worse than thinking you are doing the right things only to receive a letter in snail mail notifying you that your house is now in foreclosure and sale of the property has been scheduled.
It’s your home..fight for it..you can do it.