Hope for Homeowners, 'Say HAMP'

01/12/2011 03:43 pm 15:43:43 | Updated May 25, 2011

Meet Harry.

Harry is a professional visual artist in business for himself, and for many years he has owned his home for quite some time as well.

Harry did not buy above his means. His area has a high cost of living but Harry had a thriving business, in fact he has even done freelance work for many big corporations when the economy was doing better and more money was in their budgets.

When the mortgage meltdown began Harry did not even think it would affect him, but it really did. Little did he know that he was about to embark on one of the most difficult journeys of his life, the fight to save his family home.

When the his customers began to cut back, Harry's income began to take a big hit. Harry was a very responsible family man and the thought of not being able to meet his obligation tore him up inside. The stress began to affect his concentration on developing new business, and even his health began to deteriorate as he could not even sleep at night.

Harry began to worry day and night about what to do about his bills and his mortgage. How would he ever get out of this downward spiral.

He decided to apply for HAMP and what he thought was going to be a helpful situation put him deeper and deeper in the hole and made him almost paralyzed in the fear of potentially losing his home. The anguish he felt was almost unbearable.

He went to an agency for assistance and yet again he was denied and no one really understood why.

The problem was in not understanding his income as a self employed borrower, knowing where he could begin to make changes to his bottom line, and lastly, how the bank would view his application. In a time where businesses were cutting back Harry also needed to revisit his company's budget and outgoing expenses.

He tried again and reapplied on his own after that and was denied again.

Harry quickly realized in the words of Albert Einstein that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Something had to change, or Harry would lose everything he has worked so hard for.

When desperate times call for desperate measures the logical steps of lowering expenses and finding ways to increase profit are not always crystal clear. It is especially difficult to focus on taking the right action when your thoughts are frozen in anxiety and despair.

It took some time for Harry to get himself back on track and regroup. But once he had clear goals and targets he needed to reach he was able to execute his plan and strive for the changes he had to make in his business model to save his home.

Next he realized he did not understand the program he was applying for, so he began to empower himself with information and he knew exactly where his financial package stood in the eyes of the lender before he sent in his package to Bank of America this forth and hopefully final time. He began to meditate, get closer to God and think and act positive, determined, focused and with a real knowing that he would succeed and would not give up until he saved his home.

Unfortunately, the resubmission of his HAMP application was initially met with resistance and he could not get anyone to see the month and months of work Harry had done to make changes to his business finances as they kept reverting to the numbers he had submitted in late 2009 versus taking into account the great changes Harry had strived so hard to make in 2010. He had to put together some escalation letters, be persistent in his endeavor to succeed, and not take no for an answer.

Harry finally got someone to listen to his request and his new HAMP application was finally accurately reviewed. Less than one month later, Harry was approved for his affordable and permanent loan modification.

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Napoleon Hill

Now Harry and his family can smile for the camera and say HAMP! Harry saved his home and he also learned some valuable lessons in perseverance, resilience and self advocacy, not to mention the power of positive thinking to improve all aspects of your life. Harry is on the road to recovery from the downward spiral of the economy he fell victim to. Things are really looking up for Harry and his family. Harry now knows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you have to take a step back and out of your current personal drama to find the path that leads you out, then find the courage within to take action and devise a clear plan. It may take some time, focus and vision but there is a way to get through the hard times.

Be your own best advocate, the only way you can do that is to get the information you need to so that you are empowered when you are trying to save your home. To think for yourself you must question authority. The days of just accepting the answer you get are over, you must be proactive on your own behalf, period.


Anna Cuevas is an invited blogger on The Huffington Post, author of several soon to be published books including "Fight for Your Dreams" with Bestselling author, Les Brown. Anna is the Founder of a blog dedicated to empowering homeowners with free information they need to confidently apply for a loan modification and also providing the latest Do It Yourself loan modification tools to Save Your Home. Request your free copy of "Dirty Little Loan Modification Secrets You Must Know" along with free bonus materials that take the guess work out of the loan modification process to stop your foreclosure dead in it's tracks.