Published on August 23rd, 2013 by Saeed Baeshen

American Homeowner Preservation (AHP) announced today a successful mortgage modification for first-time Chicago homeowner Mattie Griffin, helping the Griffin family avoid foreclosure and stay in their home. AHP was able to provide the Griffins with a principal reduction of 77%, a monthly payment reduction of 75% and settlement of delinquent payments for just 7% of the total owed, making the home and mortgage affordable for them in the long run.

Griffin, a hard-working florist, provides a home for herself, her children and several of her grandchildren. She purchased the home to provide her family with a sense of security and a place to call their own. As a first-time homebuyer, she didn’t know much about mortgages when she went through the process, and she trusted that the person who sold her the mortgage was offering her a good deal. She ended up with a large monthly payment of around $2,500 and an interest rate of nearly 10%, much higher than the going rate, but she believed that it was the best she could do – at least that’s what they told her.

The payments were high, but she managed to make it work. Then, the economy crashed and Mrs. Griffin’s income dropped dramatically because business was down – people who had lost their jobs were not buying flowers, they were struggling to survive. In an economy in recession, the mortgage quickly became more than the family could manage, and they fell behind on their mortgage payments.

Mrs. Griffin’s attempts to modify her mortgage with her original lender or refinance through another lender were labor-intensive and ultimately unsuccessful. By the time she received an offer letter from American Homeowner Preservation, she had little hope she would be able to keep her home.

When she received her AHP offer letter, she and her family were very skeptical – they thought it was a scam like so many other offers they had received that went nowhere. However, after researching AHP and talking to a mortgage broker who confirmed that the organization is legitimate, they went to the AHP offices in Chicago to discuss their offer.

“American Homeowner Preservation was different from everyone else we had dealt with,” said Theos Griffin, Mrs. Griffin’s son. “Other lenders treat you like just another business deal – they couldn’t care less about you. AHP was understanding, sympathetic and sensitive to our situation – they treated us like people, not numbers, and they really wanted to help us keep our home. It was a big difference.”

Jorge Newbery, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of American Homeowner Preservation, says the Griffins’ situation is not all that uncommon. “Mortgages can be very complex, and first-time homebuyers often don’t understand how to evaluate the mortgage someone is selling them  compared to other options that might be available,” he said. “Unfortunately, mortgage lenders are often incentivized to sell mortgages that may not be the best for a particular family’s situation, because they earn a higher commission. So it’s important for all buyers, especially first-time buyers, to carefully consider all aspects of their mortgage before they make a final decision and to make sure that they are getting the best deal they can.” Newbery continued, “In the Griffins’ case, there was never any intent to not pay, they just needed a mortgage they could afford given their new economic reality. It is very gratifying to be able to offer this family the fresh start they needed to be able to stay in their home.”

Theos Griffin says the family really appreciated AHP’s approach and is very thankful for the help. “They made us aware of options we hadn’t even thought of and explained everything to us clearly, so we know what we were signing up for and that it would be workable for us.” He concluded, “We were in disbelief that it could be real, that there could be a way to stay in our home. Once we realized we could, we were overjoyed. We were very satisfied with what American Homeowner Preservation has done for us.”

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