Marcia's Blog

When we work with our partners, everybody wins

Now that the country is getting back to normal after the government shutdown and all of the bickering taking place on Capitol Hill, one thing has become clear.

When We Work With Our Partners, Everybody Wins 

Now that the country is getting back to normal after the government shutdown and all of the bickering taking place on Capitol Hill, one thing has become clear.

We are stronger when we work in partnership with others. When we work together, everybody wins.

Not only is this true with Congress, but it is apparent when it comes to strengthening our communities, as well. If we want hardworking Americans to improve their financial situations and achieve their dreams of homeownership, counseling agencies, lenders, government, corporations and community members must work together. 

If you’re not convinced, ask Jacqueline Barber, a retired police detective in Atlanta, who was facing a nightmare situation. Ms. Barber suffered a work-related accident and had been diagnosed with multiple cancers. With a loss of income and health related issues, she soon faced foreclosure. If she were to lose her home, Ms. Barber, along with her daughter and four grandchildren between the ages of three and eleven, would be homeless and on the streets. She did have some income but just not enough to pay the entire mortgage.

Put yourself in her shoes and imagine how stressful that situation must have been for her.  In fact, she told me that it was an uphill battle the entire way, and the stress of the situation even caused her cancer to come out of remission.

Partners Saved the Day

That’s where the strength of partnership came in. Ocwen Financial approached HomeFree-USA and asked us to get involved.   Ocwen wanted to help, Ms. Barber wanted to save her home, and Occupy Atlanta -- an organization that had helped Ms. Barber through some difficult times -- also worked on Ms. Barber’s behalf.

Marcus Purnell, managing director of the HomeFree-USA Atlanta office, stayed by Ms. Barber's side every minute of the way and helped her to avoid being taken advantage of by modification vultures who considered her to be a vulnerable target.

With Ocwen's help, HomeFree-USA bought Ms. Barber's house. Not only are we allowing her to stay in the home with her daughter and grandchildren, but we are working with Ms. Barber through our Project Restore program to help her restore her credit and get her budget ready so that she will eventually be able to buy her home back at a fair price.  

The relief of being able to have a home for her grandchildren took tremendous weight off her shoulders, and she told us that the work done on her behalf was a God-send.

While HomeFree and Ocwen could each have helped Ms. Barber separately, we were able to make a stronger impact together. Thanks to the partnership, Ms. Barber is working on her credit (Marcus told her she could not buy a car) and she looks forward to the day when she will buy her home back and once again be a proud homeowner.

No government agency, lender, company or non-profit counseling agency can solve all of the world’s troubles on its own. But together, we can come very close. Just ask Ms. Barber.