The foreclosure process is a nightmare. I've heard so many stories from friends who are realtors, that I had to share this incredible story. What's sad is most homeowners are so ashamed of finding themselves caught in the foreclosure process, they hide what's happening to them. By not sharing, they don't get support from their network of friends and suffer alone.
My goal in sharing this story, is that you will listen to what your friends might not be telling you verbally, and try to help them as they go through the foreclosure process.
The Foreclosure Process, A Homeowner Story
… A Homeowner's Story: My Unexpected Foreclosure Journey, from Tu Revista Latina Magazine
“Ironically, the unexpected part of my journey would become the destination. It has been a long, hard road and one I never thought I’d be traveling. One day I was proudly walking across the stage accepting my Master’s degree and the next I was a vulnerable mother with an uncertain future. The worst part was that it would not only affect me, but my children as well.
As a single mom I wanted nothing more but to provide my children with security and stability, and owning a home was a way to provide both. It was a modest home in a modest neighborhood but nevertheless it was ours. Often I worked two jobs, attended school full-time, and maintained my home all while raising a family. It was not easy but the beautiful memories in between these walls far surpassed the blood, sweat and tears. It was my reward for an honest day’s work. I was living the American dream, and then one day everything changed.”
Unemployment and The Foreclosure Process
You hear so many stories about foreclosure and it truly doesn't make sense to anyone. Here is just one of the many stories illustrating how quickly unemployment can cause the foreclosure process to begin>
“It was as if the wind had been knocked out of me. In an instant I was unemployed and facing foreclosure. What happened? How did all of my years of hard work come to this? For the first time in my life I found myself unemployed and it did not make sense at all. I had worked hard for my degrees and finding myself without a job was the last thing I expected. I applied for jobs all over New Mexico and the United States. I was prepared to move although I had deep roots in my community. I went on countless interviews and although I could not afford to travel to those interviews, I couldn’t afford not to either. I was the head of the household and needed the income–any income. I was unemployed for only four months but that’s all it took. Those four months led to an unexpected journey of hell. Those who have experienced applying for a loan modification, whether they are facing foreclosure or not, understand clearly what I’m talking about: massive amounts of paperwork, phone calls that get you nowhere, sleepless nights, etc. It is pure aggravation and frustration that takes its toll.
Recently I received notification that I was approved for a loan modification, which only took a little over a year. Many homeowners have been in the process of applying for a loan modification for two to three years so I consider myself one of the lucky ones. In fact, many homes are foreclosed and auctioned off as the homeowner waits to hear from the bank about their loan modification … I feel as if I’ve aged tenfold this past year. Many times, loss after loss, I wanted to walk away. It was a heavy, difficult burden to bear but the memories of past birthday celebrations, pancakes on Sundays, cooking grilled cheese and reading bedtime stories in between these walls kept me going.”
Who the Foreclosure Process Affects
By sharing her story and working with groups to support others going through the foreclosure process, Rose Ann Vasques hopes to empower others to fight and keep their homes!
“… I have met hundreds of homeowners on my journey (foreclosure process); veterans who have served our country, husbands and wives that found themselves unemployed, elderly couples on fixed incomes desperately trying to hang on to their homes, a clergywoman who is about to lose her home, professionals and small business owners that find themselves in financial difficulty, and a young, single mother barely in her thirties who is facing cancer and trying to make mortgage payments at the same time.
These are responsible, average people like me who are simply trying to make a living. I use the word “responsible” homeowners for a reason. Often times, the term is used to shift blame and imply that the majority of homeowners facing foreclosure are irresponsible. This is simply not true. The homeowners I have met have been responsible all their lives. Labeling homeowners as irresponsible is the reason they are ashamed of their situation, as I was in the beginning. I thought I did something wrong and wanted to keep it private. “