Two NEW Families Keep Their Homes
It was music to the ears of the hardworking Juarez and Carmona families to hear they would be able to stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. The families were nominated by New Economics for Women (NEW) and selected by the i.am angel foundation to each receive $25,000 to catch up on their house payments. Then with their mortgages current, they were able to qualify for permanent loan modifications --- lowering their monthly house payments for good!
Refugio Juarez works six days a week as a cook. His wife Gloria takes care of her disabled brother as well as her grandchildren, enabling her daughter and son-in-law to hold jobs and contribute to the household. After being scammed by several unscrupulous organizations claiming to offer loan modification assistance, it was understandable that Mrs. Juarez was not initially trusting or eager to work with NEW. She was nevertheless persuaded to give NEW a try when she learned that as a nonprofit agency, NEW did not charge for its services. NEW was able to postpone the sale of the Juarez home while negotiating a loan modification. Ultimately, NEW was successful in helping the Juarez family lower their interest rate from 6.4% to 4.6%, resulting in a $183 a month reduction in their mortgage payments.
The Carmonas fell behind in their house payments after the tragic death of one of their daughters and a granddaughter. Construction worker Jesus Carmona, his wife Martha, their daughter, and their nephew all worked and pitched in to sustain the household but they still had trouble making their mortgage payments. Before approaching NEW for assistance, the Carmona family had tried three times to obtain a loan modification, but were repeatedly denied. NEW was able to postpone the sale of the Carmona home while making arrangements for a new loan. The Carmonas’ perseverance paid off. NEW was able to help them get their loan extended to 40 years and their interest rate lowered from 5% to 3%, cutting their monthly mortgage payment almost in half!
Donations from the i.am.angel foundation were instrumental in preventing these NEW families from losing their homes. Will I. am, front man of the Grammy award winning music group The Black Eyed Peas, started i.am home, a program of the i.am angel foundation, because of his personal commitment to helping people keep their homes. Before he became known as will.i.am, William Adams grew up in the Estrada Courts housing projects in Boyle Heights. He explained his motivation simply, “The reason why I started i.am home is because I come from poverty. I survived and came out of it because you guys support my music. My dream was to one day buy a house for my mom and take care of my family. And now that I have achieved that goal I can’t forget what it was like living on the verge. Helping out families in need, now that I am able to take care of my family, is a personal venture. Something I feel I need to do.”
The Juarez and Carmona families had an opportunity to meet their celebrity benefactor at a special i.am angel foundation event. On February, 4, 2012, in Hollywood, California, will.i.am treated guests to an evening of performance and inspiration as they celebrated the transformation of communities.