Just over a year ago, Vanessa’s husband, who is in the Navy, was deployed to Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom. Vernon’s tour was expected to last about eleven months, including training and active duty. Vanessa prepared herself for all this would entail, and how she would balance her job, her role as primary caregiver to their two daughters, and management of the household expenses. To make things even more difficult, Vernon had a variable-rate mortgage on their San Diego home that was due to reset.
“I had a husband overseas and two children to worry about every day,” Vanessa said. “Worrying about my mortgage every month just added to my stress.” Vernon was paying nearly $2,300 each month, and was only paying down interest; Vanessa decided to contact her bank to see what options were available.
“I contacted my servicer and did a lot of research online. That’s where I learned about the Making Home Affordable © Program, and I asked my servicer about our eligibility,” Vanessa recalls. “I completed and mailed all the required documents.”
Vanessa and her husband applied for a trial modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program SM (HAMP SM), and began making reduced payments in June 2010. “I read all of the paperwork and directives very carefully,” Vanessa said. “As soon as the trial payments were finished, I reached out to my servicer again to confirm my permanent modification.”
Vanessa made two additional trial payments, and kept following up with her mortgage servicer. “At first I was patient with my servicer,” she said. “Then I became worried that my modification was not complete. I called them every day.” Vanessa’s persistent calls and letters were successful. Her trial modification was approved to become permanent in November 2010, with an effective date of January 1, 2011.
Vanessa made her first permanent HAMP modification payment in January 2011. “My monthly payment dropped by almost $400 and now includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance. I was so relieved,” she said. “It really was a Happy New Year for me!”
Vernon returned home to San Diego in February 2011. “I’m so happy to have my family together in our home,” Vanessa said.