Working out the final details to pay for my home

Oiy.  November 15th was my deadline to pay Huntington for my home.  On Monday, November 14th Fran delivered the balance to my legal aid "Save the Dream" funded atty, Mr. Williams.  He has had a bank check for Huntington for $ 55,000 since Sept. 30th, my original deadline.  Huntington generously extended the deadline to Nov. 15th to give me time to apply for the federal Hardest Hit program.  Here's a BRIEF summary of what's happened since then and where we are today.

  • In October of 2010 I applied for the Hardest Hit program though a certified agency, the Heights Repair Resource Center.  In March of 2011 I recieved a notice from the HRRC that I did not qualify under their "hardship" guidelines.  In June of 2011 I finally got the "official" answer from the "Restoring Stability" folks who administer the federal program for the state of Ohio.  A week or so later I recieved another letter from the "Restoring Stability" folks that if my circumstances changed I should reapply.
  • Late June Huntington accepted my offer of $ 80K.
  • August-ish we worked out the legal language to that agreement.
  • September I launched my campaign to raise the money.
  • Sept. 27th, armed with the paperwork showing that Huntington would accept my $80 K AND with over $ 50 K in the Brynna Fish Benevolent Fund, I went to the HRRC and reapplied.
  • I was told it would take 4 - 6 weeks to get an answer and that they write "award" checks the first of the month.  I knew then that it would be down to the wire.
  • Late October I inquired at HRRC if there was any news about my ap and was informed that still no news about Hardest Hit, but that my application for $ 3,000 for Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention funds (that's the max) was approved pending approval of the state funds.
  • When Nov. 1st came I was getting anxious about timing but still no news from the Hardest Hit program.
  • Friday, Nov. 4th Fran contacted Joyce Garver Keller, the lobbyist in Columbus for the Jewish Communities of Ohio, to see if she could find out anything.
  • Monday afternoon, Nov. 7 I got a call Tonya Brunner from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency which administers the Restoring Stability/Hardest Hit program.  While on the phone with me she was looking in her computer for my application.  Not there, she says.  She looked as far back as July of 2011.  I tell her that actually it was a RE-application.  Oh, that's another story and she poked around and finally found my application in the computer, submitted Oct. 5th but categorized as "in-active".  There had been an obvious snafu.  Fixing that would be the easy part she informed me.   And I spent the rest of the afternoon, and most of the rest of the week getting additional documents to OHFA for my application.  Mid week, the HRRC staff was back in the loop and helping to move this along.  
  • Thursday, Nov. 10th, I was informed via email from HRRC that my application, supporting docs and action plan meet the Restoring Stability Guidelines and that all docs are prepped and in the "Closing Underwriting Folder"
  • Monday, Nov. 14th my HRRC counselor translated that for me to me that I've been approved for assistance and they were reaching out to my servicer (Huntington) but he did not know how much. 
  • I'v learned that my application was approved under that "lien cancellation" program.  Ok.  Good.
  • Around 4:30 pm same day, Nov. 14th I got a call from HRRC counselor that the supporting docs I provided were not sufficient and I needed to provide then with a lien release doc asap.
  • Call to my legal aid atty resulted in feverish call to Huntington atty to sort out what this could be.
  • Certainly Huntington would not provide a lien release or lien cancellation without having all the funds!
  • More emai and phone calls exchanged and Huntington's outside counsel (same guy for the 3 1/2 years of this long process) agrees to keep this process moving and not to impose the Nov. 15 deadline.
  • Meanwhile I was in touch with a contact at the Neighborhood Housing Services that I got after I gave my healthcare testimony on June 6 for the Greater Cleveland Congregations grass roots community organizing project.   This gentleman was as flumoxed as I was, and as my atty was about why OFHA would be requesting such a document and he agreed to read their new manual on my behalf.  He got back to me and said it still makes no sense.  He suggested that maybe it's a training issue and the OHFA folks are simply using incorrect terminology.   He also suggests that not many applications have been approved for the "lien cancellation" program and maybe this is part of working out the procedures.  Jeez!!
  • Nov. 15,  and 16 and my nerves are frayed and we're still trying to sort this out but Mr. Williams tells me that Huntington filed the consent for summary judgement on Nov. 15th.  I did not understand the full implication of that then.
  • Nov. 17th I woke up for the third day in a row with a migraine!  No wonder!!!!  On my way to Fran's  from the Cleveland Clinic where I got a toredol shot I called my mom to check in.  She was actually holding a piece of mail for me and was about to call me.  It was from the County Clerk of Courts and had "huntington" on the envelop.
  • I stopped to pick it up and opened it in the car in the driveway. 
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  •  The reality of seeing this "NOTICE" along wiht the court filed foreclosure judgement was utterly shocking!
  • I called Fran.  I called Merle.  Merle suggested calling the lobbyist.  Fran called Steve Hoffman, head of Cleveland Jewish Community Federation.  That evening Fran and I wrote up the summary he needed to reach out to his contact at the Cleveland head office of Huntington.
  • Friday Nov. 18th, by 9:00 am Steve called Huntington.  I don't know if anything ever came of that call.
  • more phone calls and emails and while I am shopping for Shabbos dinner at Hinen's I get a call from my atty that he and the Huntington atty are trying to get ahold of Tonya at OHFA and only have their 800 number.  I get them the direct line and her cell number.
  •  Tuesday Nov.  22 I hear from the HRRC counselor that it's his understanding that everything is "complete and once the paperwork is drawn up the title company will contact me".  He adds "Please be patient it's a process that's not always time efficient.
  • And, I learn that the Huntington atty has been in touch with OHFA.  Finally!
  • Today, Wednesday, Nov. 23 I learn from my atty that the Huntington atty has connected with the Servicer Liaison at OHFA and that they are working out the final details.  I learn that my atty has spoken with Mr. PB who runs the County Foreclosure Prevention Fund and has been advised that they can probably rush an application but they are almost out of money.  I tell my atty that I've been told I've been awarded the money!  Oiy.  Also, seems like the OHFA folks are expecting to get my funds and then pay Huntington so that needs to be worked out, especially because we didn't know that, Huntington didn't know that and the two checks totally $ 62 K I had drawn from my Benevolent Fund are bank checks made out to Huntington.  My attorney also has a regular BFBF check for $ 18 K just in case the county and state funds did not work out.
  • I call my counselor at the HRRC to let him know the status of things in case he doesn't already know and to ask about the $ 3K from the county.  He now has to call the county because he is the one who put in that ap and got the approval answer.  He did not seem to know that OHFA collects all the funds owed Huntington, less the $ 15K they awarded, and then they schedule the closing.
  • To be continued and hopefully very very soon.  Have a happy Thanksgiving all and I am so thankful to all!!!!

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