Hawaii HomeOwnership Center (HHOC) is a nonprofit organization created to provide support to first-time homebuyers, who aspire to own a home. However, during the Great Recession, we found ourselves being called by homeowners asking for help to work with their lenders so they could keep their homes. We believe a safe and stable place to live is the foundation for success for individuals and families — including their children — so we felt compelled to provide support through a Foreclosure Prevention Counseling program until the community no longer needed it.
I’ll never forget the day after Thanksgiving 10 years ago. I answered the door for a man named Keoni, who dropped by on his day off. His work hours were reduced, so he met with one of our staff to review his options to save his home and submitted a request to his lender to modify the terms of his mortgage. Keoni arrived at our office that day hoping we could fax some forms to his lender related to his modification request.
While I was preparing his fax, he said in his soft voice, “I would have mailed these documents, but I didn’t have the postage to send it.” I was heartbroken hearing that Keoni didn’t have enough for a postage stamp to submit these very important papers to his lender.