St. Johns Housing Partnership Financial Services
As a local non-profit and HUD approved agency, SJHP has been offering a free program with the help of St. Johns County Legal Aid, St. Johns County and Florida Housing Finance Corporation, to assist owner-occupied homeowners with mortgage help and foreclosure assistance.
The program has been successful in helping many homeowners who have found themselves struggling during these difficult economic times. Here are a few of their stories:
Lee’s Story: Lee is an 85 year old woman who was forced to stop working recently when she had a stroke, which led to additional medical issues. She is a widow, who lives on Social Security. Her adult son lives with her and helps around the house, but cannot provide much financial assistance.
She applied with SJHP in February of 2012. Additional challenges including her declining health and spending much of the past 10 months in the hospital and then in home nursing care left her with few options.
She was approved for a trial modification and made all of the payments and her lender has now approved her for a permanent modification. Lee’s interest rate was dropped from 6.625% to 2% for the next five years, increasing to a maximum of 3.375 in the seventh year. Her mortgage company also deferred $42,000 of the principal balance. Lee’s payment was reduced by a whopping $467 per month!
Mr. L’s Story: He was working in the construction industry in 2010 when the company he was employed by, suddenly closed their doors. He found another job quickly but was making far less than he had previously earned and as such, struggled to keep his mortgage current.
After working with the SJHP staff for more than six months, Mr. L. received his final modification. The lender reduced his interest rate to 2.5%; extended the term of his mortgage from 30 to 40 years and reduced his payment by $248 per month.
Mr. W’s Story: He has been working with SJHP for two years and although he received the paperwork for his in-house modification, he is still hearing from his attorney that his home will be foreclosed on.
Recently, with documents in hand, Mr. W stopped by to share his news with Cassy Barbour, Program Manager at SJHP, telling her, “I have the proof right here,” he said, holding the FedEx envelope.
Mr. W. received a principal forgiveness on part of his loan. His interest rate was slightly reduced and his payment went from $1521 to $897.
Joel’s Story: Joel has been working with SJHP for over one year. He had been working at Home Depot for a long time and was a master plumber. But after losing his leg, he was no longer able to work. He was receiving disability income, but his mortgage payment was more than 50% of his income and he had astronomical health care costs. He was able to maintain his mortgage payment by borrowing from friends and family.
With SJHP guidance, Joel eventually received a loan modification.
His payment was reduced by $233 per month and his interest rate was reduced from 6.375% to 4.375%.