Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Eats Up Homeowner

Published on May 20th, 2014 by AHP Administrator

“It’s a cool neighborhood, it’s not the best, but it’s a nice neighborhood.” Manuel Nava said of the home he lives in with his wife and two children. Manuel describes his Columbus, OH home as unique for his neighborhood and feels lucky to have found it. Prior to this home, Manuel was living in a rental property but was abruptly uprooted when his landlord informed him that he had filed bankruptcy and Manuel had thirty days to move.

Manuel was familiar with the area and his towing business was there, so it was important to him that he stayed. When he found the home he wanted to live in nearby, he was told that he was getting “a deal” on an adjustable-rate mortgage. However, once the mortgage rates started to increase, Manuel had trouble managing his payments. “They were going pretty tough on me, increasing the payments every year.  I would start with a certain amount and after one year they would increase it and every year they would increase it,” Manuel said. “I told them, ‘you guys have to cut me a deal or something.”

Manuel purchased the home in 2008 and the recession and lack of work added to his financial troubles. He tried to work with his lender but they would not provide a loan modification for him, and Manuel believed he would lose his home. “It was either losing the house or losing my business, or losing it all. I decided, ‘I’m just going to have to go into foreclosure and probably sell my business.” Manuel said.

When Manuel was contacted by AHP in March, he was confused at first, but he did some research on the internet and thought the company seemed legitimate. When he found out Jorge Newbery was the CEO, he recognized the name and said Jorge was pretty famous in Columbus for owning and living in a housing project known for its high crime environment. Manuel said that it was great to be able to talk to Jorge directly over the phone. When working with his previous lender, Manuel said he usually was dealing with an automated phone service, and when he did speak directly to a person, they were not very nice.

In working with AHP, Manuel was provided several options which included settling his total mortgage payoff of $98,977.94 for $37,050 and reducing his monthly payments from $810.61 to $390. “They were pretty good choices, I never knew they were going to give me choices, I thought they were going to kick me out,” Manuel said. “I was expecting the sheriff to come and be like, ‘get out of here’. I liked the choices.”

Manuel chose the reduced monthly payments and is confident that this modification will improve his situation moving forward. “Things are going to work out great. I’m going to make my payments every month—not a problem with that. I’m probably going to buy this house because I’ve invested some money into it.” Manuel hopes that his towing business will continue to improve and that he will be able to save enough money to purchase the home in the next few years. “I don’t want to get a loan because those interest rates will eat you up.”

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