7 On Your Side viewers help local woman

June 4, 2008 8:01:22 PM PDT
Things are looking better for a Fremont woman living with Parkinson's disease and struggling to save her family's home.

With a little help from ABC7 viewers, Marie's fortunes are beginning to change.

Marie does not want to use her last name, but now the Fremont woman is looking a lot better these days.

When 7 On Your Side last saw her, she was showing symptoms of Parkinson's -- a disorder in the central nervous system that causes tremors and a lost of muscular control.

But now, her medication seems to be working much better.

"It's working pretty good. I was able to sleep the last two nights," said Marie.

It was just three months ago, when it almost seemed certain Wachovia would foreclose on her home.

In March, the bank refused to accept a $7,000 cashiers check from Marie. Wachovia said it would not accept anything less than $14,000, the amount it would take to bring her mortgage current.

But after our story aired that same month, the bank sent her a letter putting her on a three-month payment plan.

The bank said: "once three monthly payments are received on time and in full, your file will be referred to our loan resolution center for consideration of a modification to the loan."

"Hopefully they'll see that we made our payments on time and we're you know we're good clients and work with us to do the loan modification," said Marie.

Like so many others caught up in the foreclosure crisis, Marie and her husband got into a bad loan.

The negatively amortized loan meant her debt was increasing every month instead of decreasing.

Maeve Louise Brown is Executive Director of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates in Oakland.

"When you make the minimum payment, you're paying less than the amount of interest that you're accruing every month," said Brown.

On top of that, the family can't afford health insurance, and was hit with a $10,000 hospital bill when her husband became ill.

They got into further trouble when she accidentally applied a mortgage payment intended for their first mortgage to their second mortgage.

The family's story touched many 7 On Your Side viewers.

Two wrote notes to Marie which we delivered to her. Included in the letters were two checks totaling $1,500.

"Oh, my! Oh, my God," said Marie.

The generosity from two total strangers clearly touched Marie.

"It means I'm not going to have to worry about the next month's mortgage payment," said Marie.

In fact, 7 On Your Side was there when Marie went to Wachovia in April to make the first of three mortgage payments.

The bank says it needs before it will renegotiate the loan.

Since then, she's also made her May payment on time and expects to make her June payment before the 15th.

The hope is, Wachovia will then follow through on their promise and renegotiate the loan.

"They need to have a loan modification that makes for affordable payments on the property for the next 30, 40 or 50 years," said Brown.

Wachovia tells 7 On Your Side it tries to work with all its distress homeowners to reach a resolution.


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