Home for Good

SUN Initiative, Worcester, Massachusetts

In 2005 Wendell and Patricia P. bought their forever home, a rambling three-family house built in 1925. Sure, it needed work, but it had lots of character, and they could see staying there for the rest of their lives. As Wendell notes, “We didn’t know what we didn’t know.” He continues, “We replaced the windows. We replaced the roof. Soon we’ll do the electrical and the heating system. We’re going to set the stage to be here quite a while.”

 But there was a time that scenario looked significantly less likely. “We had an adjustable rate mortgage that was potentially going to 13.9%. We struggled for years to get a fixed-rate mortgage. The bank would say: You’re going to get it. You’re going to get it. You’re going to get it…but our mortgage kept being sold, and every time we had to start the process from scratch,” Wendell says. “We weren’t getting anywhere.”

 Then a really bad winter hit and they had to choose between the mortgage and the heat; since they had to keep their tenants warm, they chose heat.

 Wendell and Patricia looked for help. “We were referred to the attorney general’s office. Eventually, they found out what was going on---that a group of investors held the mortgage, and they weren’t interested in giving us a fixed rate. We were going to lose the property.”

 But the attorney general’s office referred them to BCC. “That’s when things unfolded in a different way for us,” Wendell declares. “They were so professional; it was completely stress free. They walked us through every step and things happened exactly like they said they would.”

 “We were able to get an affordable mortgage and rolled some money for repairs into the loan. Overall it has been life-changing for us. For years we were in limbo, not knowing if we could keep our home. Now we can make plans for the future.”

 “There is still a major housing crisis. People are losing their homes. My advice to anyone reading this: If you are having difficulty, ask for help. Don’t just sit there worrying and waiting for some financial institution to come take your property.”

Photo credit: Marilyn Humphries