by Debbie Kidd
It was with great interest that I read the Department of Treasury’s report on South Carolina and the Home Affordable Modification Plan (HAMP). While it is extremely gratifying to see the program gain some traction, I can’t help but think of the herculean efforts of the teams of default counselors who have been working to help homeowners for the past two years. Our counselors have really born the burdens of the many clients who have come through our doors. Many have shed tears with them, and others have offered their own time to help families move out if a foreclosure did occur.
I am honored to work with such a devoted team of professionals who got up to speed quickly, conquered the technical requirements and adapted to every requested change. It’s not easy facing sadness and despair each day, but our counselors do it with dedication and integrity.
As proud as I am of our team, it’s the families who are etched in my mind and heart. It is not easy to walk into a public building, meet with a stranger, and have to explain why the mortgage hasn’t been paid in months. Additionally, having personal and sensitive financial documents reviewed and analyzed – with a critical eye looking for excess – would test the mettle of anyone. Yet, every single day, more and more people come to our office for help. We constantly take calls from people who are desperate, scared, and often misinformed. In some cases they have been scammed by a promise of something that’s too good to be true. Fortunately, we have been able to help a few folks get their money back.
Next year, we are going to have an opportunity to help even more families. It has been estimated that as many as 5 million adjustable rate mortgages are going to reset, resulting in serious payment shock. As we prepare to endure longer days, and even sadder stories, I am going to celebrate the turn of circumstances for those 7,914 South Carolinians who are going to stay in their homes. If a modification happened for them, it can happen for many others as well. South Carolina is very fortunate to have a responsive foreclosure task force and the staff of The Homeownership Resource Center standing ready to do all we can to help.
If you are a homeowner having trouble making your mortgage payment, or you suspect that trouble is just ahead, call us today at 888-320-0350 or visit us on the web at www.fsisc.org.