A foreclosure sign in Tigard, Ore.(Photo: Don Ryan, AP file)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Letitia Early, 51, lost her job in January 2008 and her ability to pay the mortgage on her home. But Early said she never lost her hope.
"I limped along and used my savings," she said. "Everything I had to make my payments."
She was doing everything to save the home she called her forever home.
"This was going to be my forever home for my disabled son and I," she said.
She was determined, but was struggling, and turned to the Making Home Affordable program for help. But the federal mortgage modification program application must still be approved by the bank and that was a problem.
"In November 2010, I actually received a rejection letter from Bank of America saying 'you did not qualify,'" said Early, "after I had provided all the information they wanted for two years."
Early, who was in a credit counseling program at Family Foundations, turned to the nonprofit for help. Family Foundations is a HUD-approved counseling agency and between the two, they were able to move Early's application to the right person.
Early was given a trial mortgage modification, which is normal in the process, but her problems were far from over.
"After the trial modification, I was able to make my payments and then I lost my job again," she said.
There was panic and there was Family Foundations. They turned to the state's "hardest hit" program for help, and it helped.
"The message we want to get across is that there is help available for homeowners," said Martha Cox.
Cox is with Family Foundations and said that many homeowners have apparently given up and they're not looking for help in keeping their home.
"Last month, Jacksonville was rated the top city for foreclosures in the United States," said Cox, "Help is available."
Early is changing careers from a program analyst to health care. She said now that she was able to save her home from foreclosure, she can sleep better at nights.
"I just feel like I persevered," said Early, "When you talk with other people who have gone through the same thing, their mortgage company did not work with them."
On September 19, 20 and 21, Family Foundations is hosting an event at its Atlantic Boulevard office to help homeowners in trouble.
You can register or get more information about the event at: www.familyfoundations.org
First Coast News