Hard times shouldn't mean a hard line from lenders
By Jennifer Hopkins
He had made every payment on time. In fact, he had made double payments for many years. But now his income was about a third of what it had been.
A borrower told me today that he loved me.
I first heard from this gentleman in the fall. He lives in a resident-owned community in central New Hampshire, and has a Welcome Home Loan for his mortgage. His wife recently passed away, and the recession took a lot of his retirement income. He was struggling, so called to ask us if there was any way to reduce his loan payments.
He had made every payment on time since his loan started. In fact, he had made double payments for many years. But now his income was about a third of what it had been then.
Together, we calculated what he could realistically afford to pay based on his new income. I was able to reduce his payments by more than $500 per month, which made them affordable. And since his double payments had reduced the loan's principal, even with his new lower payment he will pay off his loan five years early.
Yesterday we met to finalize these changes. When it sunk in that he was going to be able to lower his payments and keep his home, he was so happy that he said, "I love you" (picture this coming from your grandfather).
I am so proud of this gentleman. When the recession hit, he worked hard to adjust his household budget, though this was not easy. And he reached out to us when he needed help. I'm glad we could help him keep his home, keep his loan on track, and maintain his peace of mind with a safe and secure roof over his head.
It was a reminder that lenders can play an important role in supporting conscientious borrowers, even in a recession.
Jennifer Hopkins is the Single-Family Housing Program Manager at the Community Loan Fund.
NMLS #395262. Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department.