Legal Aid’s Consumer Unit has been working to protect homeowners and consumers in DC for more than a decade, with foreclosure prevention a significant part of our practice.

Alvonette Grimes was on the verge of losing her home when she came to Legal Aid. Years earlier Ms. Grimes suffered a debilitating car accident which left her temporarily unable to work. As happens far too frequently after a medical hardship of this type, Ms. Grimes fell behind on her mortgage payments. Upon returning to work, Ms. Grimes knew she could get back on track with her mortgage – she simply needed a plan. However, the mortgage company denied her multiple applications and appeals for a loan modification. The mortgage company was difficult to work with and insisted on detailed, virtually inexplicable, profit and loss statements in order to review her for home retention options.

One day, when Ms. Grimes was on the phone with the mortgage company, a process server knocked on her door and threw an envelope in her face. She had been served with a court summons for the foreclosure of her home. Ms. Grimes was overwhelmed. But she didn’t give up. That’s when Ms. Grimes found Legal Aid.

Together, Ms. Grimes and Legal Aid Consumer Unit Senior Staff Attorney Shirley Horng worked to submit yet another loan modification application. With a lawyer by her side, Ms. Grimes’s payment plan was approved. With a clear path for moving forward, Ms. Grimes successfully modified her mortgage. Today, three years after she first fell behind, Ms. Grimes is not only stably housed; she’s making long hope-for renovations to her home.