Victory keeps project moving to save homesProject Save Our Homes claimed another victory last week, when U.S. Bank canceled foreclosure proceedings and offered a new mortgage agreement to Chris and Krystal Dunbar of Superior. The couple’s home had been set for a sheriff’s sale this week.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Project Save Our Homes claimed another victory last week, when U.S. Bank canceled foreclosure proceedings and offered a new mortgage agreement to Chris and Krystal Dunbar of Superior. The couple’s home had been set for a sheriff’s sale this week.
“We have extended a loan restructure offer to the Dunbars to keep them in their home,” said Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, spokeswoman for U.S. Bancorp. “At U.S. Bank, foreclosure is always the last option and we work with thousands of borrowers across the country to help them stay in their homes. We hope our efforts will help keep the Dunbars in their house.”
According to Garrison-Sprenger, the bank had been working with the family for several months to find a solution. The family said during a protest at a Duluth branch of the bank last week they were contacted by email and phone to start the process of negotiating an agreement after getting support from Project Save Our Homes.
“They weren’t willing to even talk to the Dunbars before their friends and family got behind them,” said Joel Kilgour, a member of the grassroots group.
At a cookout Saturday, the Dunbar family and members of Project Save Our Homes celebrated their success. On Sunday, they were out collecting signatures to help another family in foreclosure by Wells Fargo Bank.
“We’re almost at 1,000 signatures already,” Kilgour said, on a petition to help Mary Ann Jones, who lives in Superior’s East End.
According to Tom Goyda with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the bank has postponed the sheriff’s sale of Jones’ home once already.
“We continue to work with her and Lutheran Social Services to find options for her to stay in the home,” Goyda said. Foreclosure, he said, is always a last resort when all options have been exhausted.
He encouraged homeowners to contact their bank right away if they know they will have trouble paying their mortgage due to job loss, medical bills or other factors.
“The sooner we start working with someone, the more options there are,” Goyda said.
Working with a third-party like LSS can help some homeowners, according to Jason Menke, vice president of communications for Wells Fargo Regional Banking. But it’s critical that the third party group be HUD approved or certified. To check for HUD-approved agencies, visit www.hud.gov.
Project Save Our Homes claimed its first victory in January when Ann Lockwood of Duluth was offered a new agreement from State Farm Bank that allowed her to stay in her East Hillside residence and prevent foreclosure. Project Save Our Homes has also worked with two families away from the media limelight to prevent foreclosure on their homes, Kilgour said.
In each case, the group has used people power in the form of petitions and rallies to urge banks to work with families in foreclosure. For more information, visit www.projectsaveourhomes.blogspot.com, call Kilgour at (218) 340-4356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.