Yolanda and Juan purchased their first home in April 2007 in Ward 4 of Washington, D.C. By September of 2009 their monthly mortgage payments had become overwhelming. Facing a reduction in their income and bearing excessive credit card debt, they came to CARECEN for help. Immediately, CARECEN’s housing counselor was able to identify that Yolanda and Juan had been victims of predatory lending.
During the long 18 months that followed, Yolanda and Juan fought to save their home. CARECEN’s housing counselor, Anabell Martinez, assisted them every step of the way. When the couple was initially denied a loan modification, mainly due to their excessive debt, they participated in several of CARECEN’s group financial workshops and Ms. Martinez provided them with credit counseling. They put this increased knowledge to use and entered a debt consolidation program.
In March 2010, Yolanda and Juan began the loan modification process again. On several occasions, Ms. Martinez submitted complaints to the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking on the couple’s behalf to contest the loan servicer’s noncompliance with the process. These efforts began to pay off when the couple received the good news that their second loan of $99,000 had been cancelled. In January 2011 they were granted a permanent loan modification, reducing their monthly payments significantly from $2,255 to $1,405.