12 ON YOUR SIDE ALERT: Loan modification help update

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We have an update to a 12 On Your Side Alert. Several months ago, we introduced you to a viewer facing foreclosure and trying to get help with a loan modification. After months of back and forth with the bank, he finally got some help.

A simple letter was enough for Henrico resident, Joseph Murray to celebrate. "The first line says congratulations. We have determined that you are eligible for trial modification. That is the best line I have read all year long," he says. Financial troubles nearly forced him out of his home and his efforts to get help from the bank was not working but things have changed.

"The big, big guys came to the little guy and says okay, we are going to work with you, so I am very happy about that," Murray told us. He didn't get the original loan modification, but the bank agreed to work with him. "I am quite sure you guys maybe had a small part in this but I guess my advice to anyone else in this situation is to stay on them, be persistent," he says.

Murray owed over 20-thousand dollars in back payments and interest was building. No matter what he paid, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Finally, the bank agreed to push that debt to the back of his loan. That means he is no longer delinquent and is now caught up. "That is really all I wanted was to have that bill off of me so that I am not in foreclosure and being constantly threatened and my credit rating isn't constantly dropping," he told us.

When Murray called 12 for help, we pointed him to Housing Opportunities Made Equal or H.O.M.E, a HUD approved housing agency that helps people facing similar problems. Counselors stress no matter your financial situation, stay in touch with your lender, it's what Murray did. "I didn't want to duck, I have a full time job, I am making some money, I can finally get out of this mess I was in, can you guys meet me half way," he says.

The loan modification process can be stressful and every case is different. For Murray, it was worth the fight. "I bought this home and then I got married. My six year old son who is seven now, this is the only home he knows. So we are trying to build a legacy here," Murray told us. That legacy is more of a reality because he didn't give up.

Counselor's at H.O.M.E remind homeowners that loan modification help is free. If you're facing foreclosure and need assistance, employees can give you some options. To reach counselors, you can call (804) 354-0641.

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