July 2

CCCS helps 72-year-old senior save her home

Lutheran Services in America is featuring senior services success stories. They recently featured Graceworks and Consumer Credit Counseling Service. The story initiative is part of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.

 

CCCS helps 72-year-old senior save her home

June* (not client’s actual name) recently went through a divorce which caused a lot of financial hardship, especially during her retirement years. She had to take a loan to buy her husband out of their mortgage in order to stay in her home. The loan amounted to about 50% of her retirement income. Seeking help, the 72-year-old turned to Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) in Springfield, Ohio. Once in touch with CCCS, she worked out a budget and a plan to pay back her debt. June’s goal was to see if CCCS could help her lower her monthly mortgage payment. Due to the type of loan, changing the payment wasn’t possible.

CCCS employee Rachel Klopfer has many years of experience as a credit counselor. As such, she wasn’t deterred by the bank’s refusal to alter the loan payments. Instead, she sprang into action, calling the bank several times to question the financial details of the loan. The lender eventually completed an analysis of June’s escrow account and found the amount was too high and could be changed. June’s age and income qualified her for the Homestead Exemption on property taxes, which was not properly included in the escrow calculation. This all worked in June’s favor, and Rachel was able to reduce the monthly payments after all. In fact, June received a check for the escrow overage which she used to pay off a credit card.

But Rachel’s assistance for her senior client did not stop there. She continued digging into other avenues to help her client with her home.  Rachel noted many household repairs were needed on the home June was so desperately trying to keep. There were several electrical issues in the home and the furnace wasn’t working properly and winter was coming. Rachel contacted Community Action Partnership for an application for CHIP funds to make necessary home repairs. June qualified for more than she had hoped, allowing her to replace her furnace, water heater, door and the old wiring.

Now, June is more comfortable in her home and better able to make the monthly mortgage payments. She attributes all of this to the caring counselors and CCCS.