November 20, 2012

Settlement Success Story: Jose Machin

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In 2000, Jose Machin was living the American dream. He purchased his first home in West Palm Beach, Florida with his wife Estephanie. It cost them $61,000 with mortgage payments of $780.60 per month. Jose and his wife were both gainfully employed and never missed a mortgage payment. Then, sadly, their daughter was diagnosed with a disorder that required 24-hour in home medical care.

In March 2011, Estephanie was rushed to the emergency room and had to have surgery.  Around the same time Jose lost his job.

Unable to afford his daughter and wife’s medical care in addition to the mortgage, Mr. Machin was faced with foreclosure. Though he had never missed a mortgage payment, Jose was underwater on his home by more than $20,000 as its value had decreased from $61,000 to $40,000. Jose and his wife contacted a lawyer who was able to intervene on their behalf.

Like many others interviewed during this process, when asked what his advice to struggling homeowners would be Mr. Machin replied, “Just keep trying. I didn’t want to lose my home so I kept looking for help.” With the historic national mortgage settlement and the support promised to homeowners, Jose was able to take advantage of the consumer relief that had been set aside nationally for homeowners seeking assistance.

As a result of his efforts, he received a principal reduction that brought down the value of his home to reflect current market prices and decreased his monthly mortgage payment to $358.32. Thanks to the principal reduction he and his family received, they were able to avoid foreclosure and are now paying $422.28 less than they were earlier this year.

Mr. Machin has now found employment elsewhere which has allowed his wife to stay home and provide the care their daughter desperately needed.

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