Walnut Creek, CA (PressExposure) February 21, 2007 -- Walnut Creek, CA February 21, 2007 --
It was November 2005 when the bright yellow postcard came in the mail. It was similar to many others except that something about this one made her call. Betty Morris picked up her phone and called the 800 number to request some information from the sender. A little more than a year later, Betty doesn't have to make any mortgage payments.
"The Lord is good" Ms. Morris said as a tear ran down her cheek. "You have no idea what this will do for me and my family." Betty was in dire straits that cold November day. Her roof was leaking through into one of the bathrooms in the house and the floor in the bathroom had rotted from all the moisture. In addition to that, Betty had her bankruptcy dismissed only a few weeks earlier and her mortgage was in default. She was about to lose her home. You see, Betty is retired and permanently disabled. Her only income is Social Security and doing a little babysitting here and there. She did not have the means to fix her roof or pay back any of her debts included in her bankruptcy.
"This is not an uncommon story" said Ed Jeffry of Peregrine Lending. "Betty is very similar to many of the people who come to us for advice." The only problem was that Betty's home was no longer in good enough shape to have a conventional lender extend financing. Her home was "un-lendable". Top that off with Betty's low income and poor credit, she had all the rights in the world to give up hope. She didn't do that however and today she has a new roof, a new bathroom and never has to make a payment on her home again.
"We had to be very creative with her financing" says Luke Currier of Peregrine Lending, business partner of Mr. Jeffry. "Betty wasn't old enough for a reverse mortgage yet so we had to bridge the gap with a different loan." A reverse mortgage has no income, employment or credit qualifying restrictions, therefore the perfect fit for Ms. Morris. The unique plan was to borrow enough money from the equity in Betty's home to do the repairs needed so her home would be lendable again and give her some cash to help make the payments for 1 year. The trick was not to borrow so much that she could not qualify for a reverse mortgage when she became eligible. "It took some serious planning but thankfully we have great partners in our business who helped Betty through this plan." Mr. Jeffry was referring to Joan Silva of Siva's Financial Solutions and Celia Mason of BWC Mortgage.
Joan Silva helped Betty traverse the year with solid money planning. "I only ask that people come to me with a willingness to accept responsibility for their current financial successes and failures, an open mindedness to new or different ideas for achieving abundance and prosperity and a deep sense of commitment and dedication to achieving financial success and understanding. Betty had all of these." People interested in Joan's services can find her on the web at [http://www.SilvasSolutions.com] or by phone at 925-682-2005.
It was through Joan that Luke and Ed found Celia Mason. Celia specializes in reverse mortgages and is an independent insurance and financial services consultant and can also be found on the web at http://www.CeliaMason.com or by phone at 925-998-4678. She works exclusively with BWC Mortgage in San Ramon California. "You'd be surprised how many applications I take where my prospective clients are in the same shape as Ms. Morris or even worse" said Celia. "More times than not, a reverse mortgage is the only possible solution for people. The good news is that these loans have become much more consumer friendly. The stigma that is associated with a reverse mortgage is no longer valid." Reverse mortgages used to require signing over your home to the bank that issued the loan. That is no longer the case. Heirs can still inherit the property and whatever equity is in it at the time of the owners passing. "Celia is an advocate for the senior community and she deserves a lot of recognition for her work on this loan because we had a few curveballs that were thrown our way that only Celia could have handled" says Luke Currier of Peregrine Lending.
This loan would never have funded if not for Celia Mason and her connections with the funding lender. There were, as Luke expressed, curveballs that Celia handled with great expertise. There was a time when Ed, Luke and Celia thought this loan would have resulted in any of them receiving a penny for their efforts. In fact, it looked as if they might have to pay out of their own pockets to close the loan.
The company who helped Ms. Morris out by lending her money back in December of 2005 had a small clause in their paperwork that ensured them of a pre-payment penalty. That penalty was only supposed to be for 12 months but somehow that was changed from the time Ed and Luke set up the loan and when the loan papers made their way to the closing table. That penalty was more than $8,000. That's $8,000 more than Betty Morris had. But wait, there's more. A judgment had appeared on Betty's title from a collection company who had sued Ms. Morris and won. Betty says she never received notification and had no idea what the collection was for. Be that as it may, the judgment was on title and for an additional $6,400. "Between those two bills and paying off the loan on the house, we were in trouble" said Ed Jeffry. "We gave up everything we were earning on the loan, and when you split a commission on a $200,000 loan, we're not talking about a ton of money. We asked our title company to waive whatever fees they could and asked the lender to waive whatever fees they could as well." "Everyone involved saw the writing on the wall...If we don't fund this loan, Betty is going to lose her house."
Ed Jeffry and Luke Currier went back to work. They called the collector and got the judgment reduced by 20%. "We made an outstanding argument" said Luke Currier "and got them to see the light." After securing that reduction, they went to work on the mortgage holder but this time they hit a brick wall. "We went as high in the company as we could but after much negotiation they told us that she signed the paperwork and there was nothing that could be done." After that disappointment, Ed and Luke called Celia Mason of BWC Mortgage.
Celia put in a call to one of the Senior Vice Presidents of the reverse mortgage company with whom she had chosen to place Betty's loan. She explained the situation to him and he let Celia know about a new product coming out next month. After hearing the circumstances surrounding Betty Morris and all the work done to help her stay in the home she loves so dearly, he made an exception and placed Betty into that program while still honoring the rate she had secured two months earlier. This subtle change made all the difference. Changing to this program made it possible for the judgment and the pre-payment penalty to be paid and still have some money left over to give to Betty. Now you understand why if not for Celia, this loan would never have funded. "The public needs to understand that there are great people in this industry. People who care about their clients and who want to educate others about the opportunities that exist" said Celia. "It's not all about the money for me, Ed or Luke; it's about the people. That's where we draw our sense of accomplishment."
Needless to say Betty Morris agrees. "I'm doing everything I can to tell people about my experience with these fine people." "They saved my home, my family and my life."