PREPARED AND READY TO GO
Nick found out about the Center for Nonprofit Housing’s programs from talking with a friend at work. In May of 2009 he decided that the time was right and he was ready to become a homeowner, so he contacted one of our counselors to get started. Nick’s greatest obstacle to overcome was an overdue book at the library, which was easily taken care of. By the end of the month he completed the CNH required educational classes and was approved for a mortgage with a local lender. He was ready for an interview with Family Selection Committee members on June 11, 2009, and was given the green light to purchase a home by July 2, 2009.
Nick worked with a local Realtor to find a great affordable starter home, which he put an offer on September 10, 2009, and utilized the federal tax credit incentive offered at the time. Three months later he sat at the closing table with pen in hand, excited about the direction his life was heading.
CNH, a TrueNorth community service, was able to help Nick with closing cost sassistance and needed repairs through funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
When asked about his strongest asset for being a good homeowner, Nick said: “I like to do things for myself.”
He has worked a steady job for six years and feels confident in his ability to financially and physically maintain his new home. Nick is currently enrolled in construction management education; he hopes to be able to retire early and get his house paid off along with other land.
Nick feels Fremont is a good community with everything here that he needs. His favorite activities include hunting, fishing, disc golf, rollerblading and sharing his home with a new puppy, pictured here on the beautiful wood floors he refinished.
When asked what aspect of CNH did he find most helpful, he said: “All of it.”
Nick adds that “CNH drastically improved my life; I am better prepared to make good judgments.”
CNH offers the tools to help families thrive and communities grow.
CNH SAVES HOMES FROM FORECLOSURE
In 1995, Bill and Judy Raymond were living the American dream when they purchased the family cabin Judy’s parents built in 1957. After remodeling, they had their ideal retirement home.
Then, after 20 years on the job as a car salesman, the economic downturn that drove the auto industry into bankruptcy hit home when Bill was laid off for six months and eventually forced to take early retirement. Judy’s cleaning business, also affected by the downturn, would eventually close as well.
The Raymonds knew how to tighten their belts and each found part-time jobs. Still, the loss in income forced them to strip their budget down to the bare necessities. In November 2008, a relative referred Bill and Judy to CNH’s free Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Program.
In a meeting with housing counselor Kitt Latsch to discuss their options, they told Kitt that losing their home was not an option and they were prepared to do whatever they had to do to keep their family home.
The meeting was the beginning of their ride on the emotional roller coaster of foreclosure prevention. A challenge that would have them agonizing over every financial decision and wondering from one day to the next if they would be able to keep their family home.
Five months after their first meeting, the Raymonds were approved for a Making Home Affordable three-month trial modification that reduced their mortgage payment by more than $1,200.
According to the plan, after making their payments for three months they would be reviewed for a permanent modification. Their trial modification dragged on for nine months, due to an overloaded system and an industry unprepared to handle the national foreclosure crisis. The Raymond’s would spend another Christmas in their lakefront home, wondering if it would be their last and not knowing how much more they could take. “We knew we could always call Kitt for guidance and direction” said Judy.
Overwhelmed, yet in disbelief, Judy called Kitt to give her the news that they had received an offer for a permanent loan modification. It seemed too good to be true, but after reviewing the documents, Kitt was able to quell their doubts. Fifteen months of living the nightmare of trying to preserve the American Dream, the roller coaster ride was finally over. Bill and Judy could now get back to their life of enjoying their grandchildren, feeling at peace once again and knowing that they could continue the Raymond family legacy thanks to their determination and help from CNH.
Judy said: “Kitt, you knew the right people to contact to get things going for us. More importantly you were always there to hold our hand and say the right thing to calm us down and make us feel better.”