After going through the recovery process of the time consuming and painfully
annoying knee surgery I had orchestrated on my wasted knee, I had a follow
up appointment with my doctor. When discussing my line of work the first
thing he said to me was "why would you represent people who refuse
to pay their mortgage, you pay yours don't you?" This was a first
for me. Usually, I get ohhhhs and ahhhs for actually using my law degree
to help people save their homes. But I was sincerely surprised at his
remarks. How could a man who did such an amazing job at putting my knee
back together with surprisingly minor to non existent scars make a comment
like this? At that point I realized the misunderstanding many people have
about those in foreclosure. The purpose of this blog is not to vent about
how someone doesn't like the work I do, but to inform readers that
homeowners in foreclosure aren't all financially irresponsible people
trying to get a free ride. It could happen to anyone.
I got the idea to write this blog from one of the most inspiring clients
to have sat in my quaint olive green office. By no means is she catching
a free ride on the foreclosure trolley. A few years ago she was a working
medical professional making over $110,000 per year. She had successfully
raised her three Ivy League educated children in the same home for over
20 years. She was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she had
worked hard and was a true example of achieving the so-called American
Dream. Until, one morning she woke up and could not walk. After months
of medical tests, analysis, procedures, doctors could not figure out what
was wrong with her. She ended up losing her physical freedom, her career,
her savings, her insurance plan, everything. She had multiple surgeries
and countless financial setbacks. (This is just barely touching the surface
with the problems she encountered.)
As if nothing else could go wrong, she was served with a foreclosure lawsuit.
Now, before any conclusions are made, throughout this entire ordeal she
was in constant communication with the Bank who gave her the run around.
At one point, dearest Bank of America, while trying to assist her, gave
her a phone number to a Porn Company to seek loss mitigation assistance.
She experienced a nightmarish relationship with NACA and other programs
that were created to assist homeowners. See, she was diligent in seeking
assistance in her financial time of need, but could not receive any help.
She was not ice skating around her payments and purposely avoiding them.
She was proactive, determined, and consistent. However, the way this system
is set up to work is not perfect. She was a responsible professional with
a stable career and everything changed overnight. This could happen to anyone.
You are probably thinking, this is just one person, but the truth is 80%
of the homeowners I meet have had some sort of life changing circumstance
that occurred in their lives and fell behind in payments. All it takes
is being over 30 days late in order for the bank to file a lawsuit against
you adding you to the foreclosure community. If you find yourself in this
situation, be proactive and seek legal help! Come join me in my kale smoothie
green office and let's talk about what's going on and how we can
help you. Remember, this could happen to anyone.
On the corner of Proactiveness and Chance,
Sonja-Lucienne Cajuste, Esq.