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Published Chapter

62 Senior Moments

Chapter 2: The Answer to Our Prayer

Bradford Financial, Inc. & Law Offices of Chris Albanese, LLC

(Story told by the Senior Client)

Are there enough boxes to fill thirty-nine years of memories? Our friends seemed to think so. I couldn’t tell you how many times we heard them tell us to stop wasting our time and start packing. Our house, our home was set for auction the following Saturday. Unless something happened, virtually instantaneously; we were going to be thrown out. Where would we go? The only upside of this terrible situation was that we wouldn’t have to worry about how to pay the mortgage anymore.

By the time you added up all the bills, at the end of the month, there was not enough money to pay for the prescription medication that the insurance company did not cover. My husband and I could either pay our mortgage payment or pay for medication and food. Forced to choose between paying for medication and making the mortgage payment was like being caught between a rock and a hard place. There was no money for the basics, let alone extras. To make matters worse, our house was in terrible need of repair, however, hiring a painter or contractor was not exactly in the budget. Although it was spring, one of our favorite seasons, we were scared, frustrated, angry and very sad.

It was a sunny morning and we could see the deer on our front lawn and in the field across the road nibbling on grass as we sat around the kitchen table. Starting into our half empty coffee cups with heavy hearts, we started to reminisce about how much had changed in our neighborhood. We just couldn’t believe that in a little over one week from now our home would be purchased by a stranger at an auction. We tried everything we could think of to save our home. We talked to our creditors, went without necessities and even ordered a DVD from a commercial we saw on television about reverse mortgages. Unfortunately, nothing worked. Our creditors didn’t care – they just wanted their money. We never got the DVD or any other information about a reverse mortgage from that company. The guy who was supposed to send it to us went on vacation or something. It was clear he really didn’t care about our situation.

Sandy, a close family friend, drove by our house and saw the auction sign on our front lawn. She immediately encouraged us to contact Ann Marie Savona and Glenn Johnson at Bradford Financial. She assured us that anything was possible and if there was a chance to save our home, Ann Marie and Glenn were the ones to help do it. As a last resort, on a hope and a prayer, we took Sandy’s advice and made the call.

During the initial telephone conversation, Glenn expressed how he could hear the desperation in our voices. He said he could almost feel the anxiety through the phone line. It seemed as though we were on the same page because we were indeed desperate and anxious. Glenn continued to assure us that there was still hope for saving our home and a reverse mortgage would be the vehicle he and his partner would use. He answered all of our initial questions, took time to explain what a reverse mortgage was and how it worked. We thought it sounded too good to be true but certainly wanted to pursue it as it might just be the answer to our prayers. Glenn gave us specific instruction and we gathered the information needed for the paperwork. We set an appointment to meet later that same day.

During our first meeting, we explained how we got into such an uncomfortable financial situation and once again expressed concern if the solution being discussed would even work. We tried to stay hopeful, but we were doubtful, as we had already resigned ourselves to the harsh reality that our house was gone forever. After listening to our story and gaining a better understanding of our financial situation, Glenn and Ann Marie assured us there was an opportunity to save our home from

foreclosure. Using a reverse mortgage, the goal was for us to pay off the existing mortgage, eliminating all future mortgage payment s and hold back $10,000 for necessary repairs in order for the house to pass inspection. It was simply amazing that we would also have a few thousand dollars left to use for emergencies, so we never had to found ourselves in a similar situation.

Outside of the needed repairs and tight budget, our particular loan scenario was a bit out of the norm. Herbert and I are lucky that Ann Marie and Glenn have backgrounds as financial planners. They pride themselves in conducting a thorough discovery process in evaluating how a reverse mortgage ties in with every other financial product their clients may have. There was a significant age difference between Herbert and myself and I was not yet 62. Normally, the folks at Bradford Financial would not recommend a reverse mortgage with such an age difference, however, n this case our house was set for auction; it was as good as gone. The required HUD counseling was scheduled the next day.

With a lot of work to do in a very short period of time, Ann Marie and Glenn focused their attention on coordinating meetings with various home improvement professionals. The personally contacted an appraiser, contractor and termite inspector so each vendor could work to9ghter to determine what outstanding work was necessary to bring the house up to code. The list of repairs included replacing windows and painting the entire house. Every penny counted! The contractors were made aware they had to be very flexible and willing to reduce their prices. One contractor in particular Howard Smith with Smith General Contracting was extremely helpful in offering reduced rates to help us as much as he could. Time and money were luxuries we just didn’t have. Ann Marie and Glenn rolled up their sleeves and got dirty. They were able to save us even more money by personally taking the necessary water samples and driving them to the lab to get the test results.

We were scheduled to close our reverse mortgage, a loan that would save our home from foreclosure. It was now time for Real Estate Attorney, Chris Albanese to do his part. Ann Maire and Glenn explained to us that for the past five years they worked closely with self-employed Real Estate attorney, Chris Albanese. Chris oversaw all Bradford closing entangled in foreclosure proceedings.

Four days after their very first meeting, the professionals at Bradford Financial and Attorney Chris Albanese closed our loan and saved our house from foreclosure. Attorney Albanese described the loan closing best when he said “There was not a dry-eye in my office. This was such an emotional experience for everyone. The Willey’s had virtually lost their home and now they were able to fix up their house and are still living there today. It’s the only time in my live I’ve been told I’m the answer to somebody’s prayers. Most people don’t say that to an attorney!”

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