Jocelyn Harris is a mortgage broker from Delray Beach, Florida. In 2006, during the housing boom, she purchased her first and only family home for $250,000. At the time, she had a steady income and she and her husband were able to easily pay the mortgage. In 2008, the economy took a turn for the worse. Her husband’s hours at work were dramatically reduced and so was his income. Mrs. Harris’ daughter was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia and needed surgery. As if that wasn’t enough, Jocelyn was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
Jocelyn found herself trying to pay for significant unforeseen medical expenses, as well as monthly mortgage payments, all with severely diminished resources. Facing a foreclosure, Jocelyn sought help from the bank that originated her loan. Because [the bank] is participating in the national mortgage servicing settlement, it brought the value of her home down to its market value of $123,000 through a principal reduction. Jocelyn’s mortgage payments went from $1,200 a month to $700 allowing Jocelyn and her family to stay in their home.
Banks participating in the National Mortgage Settlement have provided over $10.5 billion in principal reduction that helps borrowers stay in their homes and lower their monthly payments according to the “Continued Progress” report issued by independent settlement monitor Joseph A. Smith, Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight.
“Don’t let anyone say that your situation cannot be helped. Always be up on the information of your particular circumstance,” advises Harris. “There is a possibility that there is a program out there that will help your situation. We put our life savings into our home and I was not going to let it be taken from me without a fight.”
Because Mrs. Harris stayed informed, she was able to take advantage of the national mortgage servicing settlement agreement. To find out more information on the settlement or to find help please visit NationalMortgageSettlement.com.