Saving Their Home
Sue and Lyell are a working couple who had a modest “rent to own” lease option agreement on their home. They had an unblemished history of paying their mortgage/rent in-full and on-time. In 2011, Sue was diagnosed with a chronic health condition and was off of work for several months. During this time, Lyell was laid off. With no money coming in, they dipped into their savings to continue to pay their landlord. Then they both breathed a sigh of relief when Sue was able to return to work, and Lyell was rehired.
However, less than six weeks later, Lyell was hit by a car and injured after he’d stopped to give aid to a friend who had been injured in a motorcycle accident. Again, Lyell was unable to work, and without insurance, bills began to mount. For the first time ever, Lyell and Sue found themselves short on their rent/mortgage payment, and within days the property owner petitioned the court to take over the property and force Sue and Lyell to forfeit the equity they had built up in the property.
However, through Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Assistance Program, Lyell and Sue were referred to a local private attorney experienced in bankruptcy law. He was able to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on the couple’s behalf, which did not erase their debt, but did give them time to renegotiate with their lenders, and – most importantly – stay in their home.
Today, Sue and Lyell are both working, still maintaining their home, and are getting back on track financially.