Homebody and cooking enthusiast, Rosie Williamson, and her husband Thomas could feel the walls of their beloved home closing in on them. What was once a sanctuary left them with images of the future that now looked more like an empty box with no way out; the thought suffocated them. As each month crept near, the intensity of their fear built. This went on for 6 months before they felt even a sliver of relief.
When Rosie was injured at work in January of 2015, it shook the foundation of the life that she had built with her husband and son. She couldn’t work and the household income suffered as her husband became the sole provider; there were medical bills for both Rosie and their son who struggled with autism on top of an already daunting mortgage payment. They knew that losing their home was a reality and applied for a Trial Agreement – they were denied shortly after and their glimmer of hope dissipated as quickly as it appeared.
“When you think about having to leave that’s a horrifying experience,” Thomas reflected. “Everything we did for a modification was denied, so we really needed help.”
Rosie and Thomas didn’t know what else to do. They were stressed out and falling too far behind to save their home on their own. They ended up going to Spanish Coalition for Housing (SCH) for the CEDA program, which has programs for Energy Assistance, home weatherization and more. It allows qualifying families to reduce energy costs in an effort to relieve at least one burden.
It was during that visit that Thomas saw a flyer for SCH’s many other services and “Foreclosure Prevention” jumped off the page and into their hearts as they once again felt the hope they were desperately searching for.
On August 31st, 2015, they were assigned to SCH’s South Chicago office with Homeownership Counselor, Araceli Diaz. Araceli worked swiftly to help them submit a Loan Modification to their mortgage lender for a second review on September 2, 2015 – they were once again denied in November. This time, however, they did not lose momentum. Araceli encouraged them to keep working with her no matter how long it takes.
In February, they submitted their third modification. They were approved and began receiving Social Security Income, helping to cushion the financial burden in a big way. Time was running short to save their property, but with Araceli’s dedication to their case and their determination to keep going, they were able to get approved for their final modification in October, 2016, nearly two years after their hardship began.
“Hurry up and go [to SCH] if you’re in trouble,” Thomas said. “There’s Superwoman, Superman, and then there’s Super Spanish Coalition.”
No matter how long the process takes, we have dedicated counselors ready to work with you from start to finish. We have counselors specializing in Foreclosure Prevention, Homebuyer Education, Financial Literacy, Landlord and Rental Services, and more. Call or stop by one of our three offices to start your journey today.
Hermosa: 1922 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago, IL 60639 – 773-342-7575
Pilsen: 1915 S. Blue Island, Chicago, IL 60608 – 312-850-2660
South Chicago: 9010 S. Commercial Ave. Chicago, IL 60617