What happened to my parents can happen to yours - or any of us! So please give, and allow my parents to give back to you at the same time.
All their lives, my parents - Randa and Karim - have been successful professionals. They worked hard, saved for a rainy day, raised us responsibly and taught us to always be ready to help others. For endless years during my childhood in Maryland, I remember our mother taking us to cook meals in a homeless shelter every Tuesday, and when we would later see these homeless people working at the local store or other local business, my mom would greet them like she would any neighbor or anyone else in the community. We learned this from her, to treat everyone the same and recognize ourselves in others. You see the people in the shelter were normal and hardworking people with big hearts just like us, but they just couldn't afford housing.
In 1999 my parents bought the house they currently live in, where I was raised. They continued to work hard and save for a rainy day. But when that rainy day came, we could not have imagined how bad it would be.
In 2007 at the height of his career and productivity, my father was diagnosed with a rare blood disease, TTP, and had to step back a little from the car business he had launched years earlier with a friend. In 2009, a massive stroke forced him to stop work completely as he struggled to regain his memory. He was only 52 years old then. Eventually he was able to make a full recovery and went back to work for an academic and professional testing company where things finally seemed to have normalized again, until layoffs followed in 2013 due to the company posting a heavy loss. My mother never stopped working throughout and had been the administrator for the MBA program at George Washington University until then.
To cut a long story short, my dad then experienced two flare-ups in TTP that left him in need of care, and my mum left her job. He was able to make a full recovery and both are back on their feet, each with their own business: Karim launched an auto dealership, while Randa launched a catering business, Cuisine à Deux. With both their businesses up and running and doing well, you would think all would get back on track. But not in the world of mortgage lenders.
You see over a year ago, my parents' mortgage lender, Wells Fargo, agreed to modify their mortgage loan agreement by reducing the monthly payments for one year to allow for recuperation from the medical and other financial strains my parents had been juggling. At the end of the year, the unpaid amount would simply be added to the outstanding mortgage loan, and they would begin paying the higher monthly dues from then on. But the bank reneged on this agreement in January 2018, declining to implement the second part of the modification for technicalities that are downright absurd if not malicious, and are threatening foreclosure on March 16th if the deferred amount, interest and fees aren't settled in full by that time.
My parents' predicament is this:
1- They have already used up their savings on medical and related expenses, so they cannot put up the required $75,000 in cash.
2- To sell the house (even if it could be done in such a short time frame) would not solve the problem as my parents would still need a place to live, and their credit score today would not allow them to obtain a new mortgage or qualify for a rental, despite the fact that both their businesses are doing well.
All they are asking for is the opportunity to continue with their mortgage payments at the higher level that Wells Fargo had indicated would become applicable now, after the one-year modification. But they are being denied that right, the bank arguing that they already sold the loan off to Freddie Mac, which they say has denied the renewal. The only option is to settle what had been deferred by March 16th in full so as to continue with regular mortgage payments thereafter.
I am not asking you to help my parents for free: My mother is offering every one of you who donates from the DC-Metro area your donation's worth of gourmet and organic home-meals or dinner/party catering.
I am asking that you help my parents so they can continue to help themselves.
Sarah, age 25