Steve is a married, father of three in rural Connecticut who, in 2008, had an excellent position working for a government contractor selling military products to the U.S. and other governments (parachutes, uniforms, backpacks, etc.). He had to separate from the company in early 2008 because a corporate relocation resulted in a commuting nightmare.
He had taken a chance on an adjustable rate mortgage loan some years before because he had two children in private college at the time and was stretched financially. His interest only mortgage payment was $3,000 a month.
After leaving the contracting position, Steve was unable to find new work until October of that year. Between October 2008 and April 2010, he worked a job for a local manufacturer that paid about a third of the contracting position but it enabled him to begin to get back on his feet. He also supplemented the work with a sales job over the summer of 2009. However, over that time period, he and his wife went through their savings and retirement money, and used credit cards to cover obligations.
During this period, Steve reached out for help to 15 organizations, including local housing authorities and community outreach groups but received just one response. He did another round of emails, and Victoria Gowlis with Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich reached back to him. She was in the southeast part of the state, however, and he was over an hour away. "If you can't find anyone closer to you to help you, I'll do it," she told him. Steve knew how serious this was, was determined to find the help he needed and drove the distance to receive the free advice. By doing so, his chances for a modification were dramatically increased.
Steve describes Victoria as "absolutely perfect," someone he "can't say enough great things about." Calling her the "complete professional who knew exactly what she was doing," he said things "started rolling the minute I got involved with her." "The system worked exactly the way it was set up to work" and he had a Making Home Affordable trial modification in just a couple of months. Gone was the adjustable rate mortgage. He is now in a permanent HAMP modification. His interest rate is two percent, his mortgage payment has dropped by $500 and he has already paid off over $7,000 in principal.
Steve recently landed a very good position with a new company. "I'm not making the kind of money I had been making, but I'm getting there. Thanks to the HAMP modification, I am successfully rebuilding my life."