One Sunday, when LaShawn R. and her husband went to church they heard something different: A couple stood up and described a wonderful new “mortgage correction process” offered by a woman named Layla. You simply stop paying your mortgage, and, for a small fee, Layla works with the bank, leveraging some loopholes. At the end of the process, you receive the deed to your home, free and clear.
Because this scam was introduced by fellow congregants in an environment of trust, it seemed plausible. LaShawn’s husband was intrigued. Although LaShawn was skeptical—and their house was in her name—they decided to engage Layla, paying her $6,000 to file paperwork on their behalf with the Charles County Courthouse. LaShawn and her husband quit paying their mortgage. That was May 2010.
A year and a half passed. LaShawn and her husband divorced. LaShawn’s household income was reduced by half. Two years after they had met Layla, she had disappeared, and the couple who had sung her praises in church had lost their home. At that point, LaShawn says, she didn’t know what to do. “I was left alone in the process…I didn’t have the money to pay all the missed mortgage payments.” So she waited.
A total of five years went by before the bank contacted LaShawn. They gave her two choices: She could give up her house, or she could pay all the back mortgage in one lump sum. Neither choice was feasible.
LaShawn had an emotional attachment to the house. “It was my very first home as a single mom. I bought it myself for my daughter; it was ours.” But in 2014, when the bank started foreclosure proceedings, the house also was underwater; the mortgage far exceeded the value of the house. “My loan was for more than $200,000, but the house was valued in the low $100,000s,” she explains. “And I couldn’t qualify for any type of mortgage assistance because my salary clearly showed that I could afford the mortgage. When I went to court, I was at the point of letting them take my house.”
Instead, the judge suggested that she look into the SUN program. In early 2015, SUN bought the house at auction, then sold it back to LaShawn for $117,000, along with a new mortgage. Initially, with her poor credit, LaShawn could not have qualified for a conventional mortgage. But five years later, with her credit repaired, she was able to refinance, taking advantage of the low interest rates available through a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. “When the coronavirus hit and interest rates dropped, I said, ‘Let me see if I can qualify for a new mortgage.’ My interest rate is now less than what it was with SUN.”
At the time LaShawn refinanced out of the SUN program, she had over $68,000 in equity in her home, even after paying off her shared appreciation mortgage (link to video or glossary) of $29,932. By that time, her home had regained value and was worth $208,000. Without SUN, LaShawn would not have been able to maintain any of that personal wealth.
At SUN, the goal is to help people not only save their homes but recover their credit standing, and then be able to qualify for a lower-rate mortgage. Congratulations to LaShawn and the many other SUN borrowers who accomplished that goal.
Our mortgage loans are made by BlueHub Capital's affiliate, Aura Mortgage Advisors. Aura is a licensed mortgage lender (N.M.L.S. #ML23467).