Foreclosure signs are still far too common in Delaware. According to Realty Trac, as of December 2016, Delaware has the 2nd highest rate of foreclosure in the nation. The national average is 1 in every 1,537 homeowners; for Delaware it's 1 in every 857. In Kent County, it's even higher with 1 in 599 facing foreclosure. NCALL is working hard to keep them to a minimum. It takes a number of remedies to assist families in saving their homes when possible. Whether it be assisting with meditations, loan modifications or the Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (DEMAP) for hardships as well as improved money management, NCALL specialists use many programs and options to help families in crisis.
One such customer is Eugenia. She went through a divorce a few years ago that landed her in a difficult financial situation. She wanted to stay in her house, as it was also the location for her in-home daycare business; but she had a hard time keeping up with all of her bills. After trying to handle the problems herself, they only seemed to keep getting worse. For two years, she tried to keep everything afloat, and admits that her own pride was her worst enemy. She took out a series of payday loans, because she thought they were her only option. They made it a lot worse. Due to high interest rates, she ended up having to pay back more than triple what she borrowed.
“NCALL was awesome. There was no judgement, only kindness and helpfulness. "
- Eugenia, homeowner
Finally, she ended up at NCALL's $tand by ME program. When she was finally honest with her coach about her financial and housing situation, the coach referred her to the foreclosure prevention program. According to Eugenia, "NCALL was awesome. My counselor was so patient, kind and helpful. I was very nervous about sharing my situation with anyone. I feared the judgement and criticism that I was going to get. But, there was none of that. My experience with NCALL was awesome. There was no judgement, only kindness and helpfulness." She says she learned a lot working with NCALL. "I learned to communicate with collectors. Don't duck their calls, let them know what is going on." Her counselor also coached her to write out the details of her situation and how this occurred. "That really helped me to have more clarity about it and I was better able to explain it to others, as well as to understand how I got here, so it won't happen again."
Through NCALL's foreclosure prevention program, Eugenia was able to stay in her home. "I had tried to call my lender, but I didn't know who to talk to or what to say. My counselor knew what to ask for. His knowledge helped me to get on a payment arrangement that could work for me." Her house payment is now her first priority and she feels like it is affordable now. She has also taken on more work to increase her income. Her advice to others going through a similar situation, "Drop the pride! It's the biggest issue I had. There are resources to help you. Trying to do it by myself got me no where. Without NCALL, I could be homeless. My home means everything to me. I love my home and my development. I can't see myself anywhere else."