With the current economy and foreclosure woes our country is facing, it is good to be able to play a small part in helping people during these tough times. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jones (named changed for privacy). Mr. Jones is an 89 year old widower, World War II Veteran, a proud citizen of our country and his community. Mr. Jones has developed a few medical conditions in his advanced age and the expenses of treating his medical conditions were growing daily while his income (social security and a little savings) was not growing to meet his medical and housing expenses. Mr. Jones had been in his home for 35 years and about 10 years ago he took out a mortgage to make much needed repairs to his house after hurricane and wind damage.
Well, due to his medical conditions and the mounting bills, he had not paid his mortgage in 5 months as he had absolutely no money to do so even though he wanted to pay his debts. He is physically unable to work even though he is willing to. He received calls and letters from his mortgage company and contacted them to explain the situation, but nobody was willing to help him. Fortunately, Mr. Jones had heard about reverse mortgage from a neighbor who recently got one and had contacted a mortgage broker I work with.
Mr. Jones had waited some time before contacting the broker about a reverse mortgage, so much time in fact, that the foreclosure sale was literally only a couple weeks away. We worked quickly to get the title work in and contact the lender and foreclosure attorneys to get a stay on the foreclosure. We were able to get all the title work done and all parties notified within 48 hours. The broker was able to get Mr. Jones his mortgage counciling immediately and get his application through underwriting in record time.
When it was time for closing we were working up the closing figures and noticed that Mr. Jones was going to be about $3500 short on closing fees and the payoff, even after the reverse mortgage proceeds. The broker was very generous and knew his situation and decided to slash all of her fees and yield spread to get us closer to breaking even. I cut our closing fee down to $30 and took a loss on the Fed Ex and courier fees on Mr. Jones' behalf in order to make it so he did not have to bring any money to closing.
We closed the deal and we were able to keep the 89 year old Mr. Jones in his home for the rest of his life. I have a great deal of personal satisfaction in knowing I was able to do a little bit of good on my part to help this fine gentleman so he can live the rest of his life in the comfort of his own home. Sometimes we real estate professionals need to look beyond the bottom line and see into the lives and situations of others. I know that there will be many more deals out there where I will make money instead of 'losing' money, but once in a while you need to do what is for the greater good of other people, even when you get no financial gain or benefit, there are more important things to life than that. I know that the more good and positive things I put out into the universe unselfishly, the more I will be rewarded for my efforts in time. If you are in a position to help someone using your real estate expertise and experience, by all means you should. Someday I might be the 89 year old man looking for the same kindness and understanding that I gave, and hopefully someone will be there for me.