Thrown Overboard By Job Loss, American Homeowner Preservation Provides Life Line For Homeowner

Published on May 19th, 2014 by AHP Administrator

Steven Gilbert (left) shakes hands with AHP’s founder Jorge Newbery

In 2002, Steven purchased a three flat rental property in Maywood, IL because housing prices were going up, and for $200,000, he felt that he was getting a very good deal. He was a first time landlord and did not anticipate that the market would collapse, or that he would lose his job.

In addition to owning the three flat, Steven worked for a bread company and was a part-time delivery driver for a bottled water company. These two jobs provided Steven the income he needed to manage his everyday expenses while operating his apartment building. Suddenly, after 17 years with the bottled water company, Steven had the rug pulled from underneath him when he was laid off.

“I think the final straw was when I lost my job. I stopped working part-time and I would use my W2 income if somebody wasn’t paying their rent or if something broke down, the furnace wasn’t working, leak in the roof, whatever,” said Steven. “I would take my money and use it to cover, but when I lost my job, I didn’t have that cushion anymore, and that’s when things really got backed up.”


Steven Gilbert’s rental property

Steven attempted to speak with his lender about a loan modification, but they had no interest in talking to him. He filled out the paperwork and after over a year of dealing with the mortgage company, he was denied. Steven was told that because he had a non-owner occupied loan he would not receive modification. This frustrated Steven because he had told them it was a rental property at the beginning of the entire process.

Upon his denial, Steven was also told that his three flat would be sold at auction the following week. Left with no other options to save his property, Steven had reached his last resort. “It was really sad; I actually had to declare bankruptcy. So, I went down and filed a chapter 13. I didn’t know what I was going to do after I filed.” Steven said.

Steven consulted several lawyers before he actually went and filed his bankruptcy claim in Chicago. His case continued to get tied up and dismissed, which bought him more time. When he was attempting to file another claim he learned that American Homeowner Preservation (“AHP”) had purchased his loan. After realizing what AHP was offering him, Steven was skeptical. “I’m like, ‘this has got to be a scam. Somebody is trying to pull another fast one on me.”

As soon as Steven came in contact with Jorge Newbery, AHP’s CEO, his skepticism faded and he was filled with relief. “Jorge Newbery sounded earnest on the phone and said he just wanted to meet me. He said he had something that’s good for me for a change.” Steven said. AHP was able to settle Steven’s delinquent interest and charges for $2,000 and drop his monthly payments from nearly $1,700 to $320.

“I can’t say enough about him. I don’t have any hair and every year I have less because of how much stress I’ve been under,” Steven said. “It felt like a great weight had been lifted off my chest and I could breathe. It’s been happiness ever since.”

Steven is still trying to repair his credit and said that it can be difficult with foreclosure looming over your record. He credits AHP with providing him a newfound energy to continue his fight back to financial stability

“My attitude has changed because I think that AHP and Jorge Newbery gave me a breath of fresh air and they threw me a life line, and it kind of restored my faith in that things can work,” Steven said. “I’ve got kind of renewed strength. I’m just overjoyed that I think that I actually can obtain the American dream.”

More Success Stores