Foreclosure Prevention Collaborative- Guest Blogger, Doug Horst

Doug HorstThanksgiving – a time of giving thanks for the many good things in our lives, time to be away from work an extra day or two, time to be with family/friends and of course, the start of the biggest eating season of the year. 🙂



But for some people this year, struggling financially, potentially facing the loss of their house to foreclosure, the season doesn’t feel much like one of thanksgiving.  However, if you or someone you know are in the midst of this struggle, there is hope.

“Joe and Jane” were struggling.  Joe had medical issues and was no longer able to work.  Jane was working two jobs to make ends meet.  Joe finally was approved for disability, but the income was not as much as the job had been.  In addition, this young couple was expecting their first child, Jane now had to leave her 2nd job, and money continued to be tight. 

In the financial chaos prior to Joe receiving disability, the couple had fallen behind on their mortgage.  With disability, though it was tight, they could afford the mortgage, but had no funds pay the amount they were behind.  They finally called 2-1-1, the “emergency” phone number for United Way.  The 211 representative referred them to Gateway, a partner agency, who helped the couple work with their lender to create new, affordable payment arrangements so they didn’t lose the house.  Now they can safely, and more excitedly, look forward to the newborn that will soon be joining their family.

Even if not facing an immediate foreclosure, but perhaps on the brink of falling behind, there are things one can do to prevent the loss of a home.  Most importantly, be proactive and stay in contact with the lender.  Secondly, find any ways possible to reduce expenses and/or find extra income to try to maintain the mortgage payment.  Third, if you or someone you know need financial assistance / guidance this holiday season, call 2-1-1 (or 1-888-421-1266) and let United Way and its partner agencies help make this season a time of thanksgiving, celebration and hope.

Doug Horst

Program Director, Gateway Financial Freedom


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