Michael Benthin Is Headed to DC To Keep His Promise To His Family

Home Defender Michael Benthin will be heading to DC during our May 19th-23 Week of Action to fight for his home. He has also posted a petition to Bank of America Ceo Brian Moynihan asking for a fair loan modification instead of eviction. Support Michael’s Fight.

Here is Michael's Story:

When my fiancé and I first met it was love at first sight. We started dating, and haven’t left each others’ side since. A couple years into our relationship we had our son. I promised him and his mother that they would never have to worry. I would always be there to provide for and take care of them.

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A short while later, we decided that we were growing out of our apartment and bought our first home. This home. At the time, it was a deal for the neighborhood it was in, but it was in need of a lot of updating. Nothing fancy, just a cozy three bedroom ranch with a nice backyard. It was perfect for our family. Just 18 short months, many thousands of dollars, and hours of time put into updating the house, the economy crashed. Home values went down, and the mortgage on our perfect fixer-upper was now underwater. Not long after that, the company that I worked for started to feel the crash. First my hours were cut, and then I was told that the economy and lack of customers were forcing them to lay off employees including me.

Like many in Michigan, we were hit hard by the economic crisis, and have yet to pull out lives and finances out. Soon, we started to fall behind on our mortgage payments. Bank of America representatives called to try and find out why we were falling behind, and I explained our situation. I gave them all my income and expense information, and had hope as they claimed I was being reviewed for a modification. Weeks went by and then months as we waited to hear back. There were dozens of phone calls in both directions. Each Bank of America representative I spoke to gave me a different piece of advice or information. I was told by one rep to miss 5 months of payments on my mortgage, only to be told later by another one that to reinstate my loan, I needed to pay the equivalent of 5 payments at once. They suggested I get a roommate to add to my income, which I did, only to be told I still didn’t meet the criteria.

For 2 years the bank told us that a short sale wasn’t an option because it was too close to the sale date. The only option they gave us was foreclosure. They say we have to be out of our home by the 25th of this month. The foreclosure process began in January 2010, and after many sale dates set and cancelled, our home was actually sold in June of 2012. The bank never notified us of the sale, and we didn’t find out about it until the bank’s attorney sent us a letter that the 6 month window to protest the sale had ended. We now have 10 days left until we are officially homeless. We haven’t been able to find a suitable apartment or rent a property to move to, and are still bewildered by how little regard was given to us through this process.

We are a hard working family, always willing to go above and beyond to try and help others, yet Bank of America didn’t seem to see a need to try and work out any agreement with us. Please sign our petition. We are only asking the bank to rescind the foreclosure and come to the negotiating table for a real attempt to work this out. If you can spare a few minutes of your time, please call and email these people right away:

Tell Bank of America to stop the eviction of the Benthin family. Tell the bank to work out an equitable solution, including a principal reduction and a low interest rate, that allows the Benthins to stay in their home. They may ask you for details of the loan, which are below:

Benthin home address: 6520 Oakland Dr. Portage MI 49024
Loan number: 196712047

Stop eviction proceedings against us and work out a deal. All we have ever asked through this entire ordeal is for Bank of America to offer us a chance to negotiate a real modification and allow us to stay in our home.


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