Help on the way for families facing foreclosure

Author: Colleen O'Brien, Reporter / Weekend Anchor, colleeno@kxly.com
Published On: Sep 06 2012 05:47:36 PM PDT   Updated On: Sep 06 2012 06:22:52 PM PDT
home for foreclosure story
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Foreclosure help is on the way for 500 families in the Inland Northwest now that 48 State Attorney Generals, Washington's included, won their lawsuit again five of the nation's biggest banks.

The National Mortgage Settlement includes $25 billion from Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ally, who were brought under federal investigation for illegally signing foreclosure-related documents outside the presence of a notary public or knowing if the documents were accurate.

Of the $25 billion in settlement money, the largest consumer financial protection settlement in U.S. History, Washington State will receive $648 million. Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners, or SNAP, will receive $3 million and is the only agency in Eastern Washington to receive a piece of the settlement.

The money is desperately needed as hundreds of families still face foreclosure. From the outside things might seem fine for your neighbors, but how many of us really know what's happening?

“I was laid off from my job of 10 years,” Tom Milroy said.

“I got sick on Mother's Day and went to Holy Family and stayed for two-and-a-half months,” Jaclyn Milroy said.

“When her condition stabilized somewhat, I found out I had cancer,” Tom said.

And while the married couple faced hardship after hardship the looming thought of losing their home hung over their heads. Through two years of medical and financial struggle and banks refusing to throw them a lifeline, the Milroys lost hope.

“We just got lose,” Tom said.

Their home of six years was on the brink of foreclosure until February, when they found SNAP. The agency was able to put the Milroys foreclosure on hold. How, SNAP is armed with $3 million with which they hope to help 500 local families save their homes in the next five years – including the Milroys.

“We'll negotiate what we can afford based upon our income,” Tom said.

Now that you know a little more about the Milroys, they have a little advice for you.

“Don't be embarrassed, you know, don't, we were kind of embarrassed... to go tell our story,” Jaclyn said.

“There's hope!” Tom chimed in.

If you're struggling to make your mortgage payment, SNAP says don't wait or put off seeking help. Their foreclosure program is open to homeowners of all income levels and is completely free. The number to call is 509-456-7106.