A Good Ending to a Mortgage Nightmare

Do loan modifications really help troubled homeowners? It helped this family and it can probably help millions more!

When talking about the foreclosure mess, it is easy to speak of it in such a way that we do not think about real people. But this mortgage crisis is something that does affect real people and real families. And the Ahleman family is just one of those stories.

More than two years ago, the Ahlemans found themselves in a mortgage nightmare. Robert, a construction worker and Amy, a financial services employee, missed just one payment on the mortgage for their Bensalem, Pennsylvania home. Soon after missing just the one payment, they began getting letters from the mortgage lender as well as eviction threats. And that wasn’t the worst of it. As a result of the one missed payment, the Ahlemans were incurring late fees and other financial penalties on their mortgage. This made their subsequent payments “insufficient” according to their lender. The lender stopped taking their payments because they were not sufficient and this only put the Ahlemans further behind. Their two mortgage were beginning to smother them financially and they only way they could get out from under the mess was to declare bankruptcy.

There is a good ending to the story, however. The Ahlemans have emerged from their mortgage disaster as thriftier and more educated about how the system works. According to them, they look at life “totally different now” and they are not worried about their “house being ripped from underneath” them anymore. The trouble that the Ahlemans went through occurred more than two years ago when their story was less common.

Today, the story of the Ahlemans is all too common with troubled homeowners in this economy. Everybody is debating the best way to help this crisis. People are discussing the problem in coffee shops across the country all the way up to Congress and the President of the United States. The question continues to remain this: Should homeowners who cannot afford their payments any longer be foreclosed upon en masse or should the mortgage lenders work with them to arrive at a viable solution to help keep them in their homes while making their payments more affordable?

In the case of the Ahlemans, a mortgage modification helped save their home and as well as a great deal of trouble for the lender. Unfortunately, these types of loan modifications are not the norm for today’s troubled homeowner. The mess will continue until there is an agreeable solution that everybody can be on board with.

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