Tonight, more than 8.5 million American families stand at-risk of foreclosure; they stand to lose everything. They also, however, qualify for federal mortgage modification-a government sponsored program to restructure mortgages, fixing the rates and making the payments affordable, so that families can keep their homes and their dignity.
The Anderson family numbers among the more than eight million hard-working American families caught in the credit crunch and uncertain how to manage their difficulty. Jim, a successful sales representative, has managed to keep his job through the New Depression, and with forecasts improving every month, he feels confident that the worst has passed. Susan, a Human Relations professional, has not fared so well. She lost her job when her company eliminated HR positions, and she has not been able to find full-time work since the downsizing. Until recently, Susan's unemployment compensation and the family's savings kept them afloat financially. Now, however, with their savings exhausted, the Andersons must face the question, "How will we avoid foreclosure on the home we have worked so hard to make distinctively our own?"
The Andersons have applied for a federal home loan modification, working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and their lender to complete all the applications and paperwork. They feel confident that they will get federal assistance, but the waiting and hoping take their toll.
The Andersons know they meet all the criteria: They own and occupy their single family home, which the lender and appraiser have valued at $630,000, well below the legal qualifying threshold of $720,000. Their mortgage is backed by Freddie Mac, a condition all applicants must satisfy; and they are one month behind on their mortgage payments-also an essential qualifying criterion. Most importantly, Susan very carefully made the case for her "hardship," demonstrating how she lost her job through no fault of her own, and showing how she conscientiously continues, unsuccessfully, to search for work; she sends out her resume at least ten times per day.
Guillermo Rodriguez, their loan advisor, feels confident the federal government will come through for the Andersons. "They are exactly the kind of family the administration had in mind as it crafted this legislation," he says. "They deserve this assistance, and I feel confident they will get it."
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