Voices of AmeriCorps – Blake Hamilton “Moments of Success & Moments of Grief”

[This post is part of a blog series highlighting the viewpoints of AmeriCorps Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Corps members serving at different foreclosure host sites around Michigan. Click here for information about the program.]

Moments of Success & Moments of Grief

When I first started at Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services (KNHS) I was given some brief idea of what to expect while serving in the Foreclosure Prevention of Department of Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services. This has been a unique and engaging experience for me in the respect of dealing with the members of the public seeking aid in desperate situations of their lives.

Working with the public in helping them remain in their homes has been a noble and wanted feat for me to accomplish. I was not prepared for the level of anxiety and aggravation that was presented from the clients. Many have called in tears of confusion and pleas of anger for the situation. It remains difficult to not want to give more solace to the people that wish to obtain our services. The most that I can do is try and adhere to the facts that I have learned in relation to foreclosure and give them reasons to not simply let the household default to the full extent to process of foreclosure.

One of the hardest moments that I witnessed was at the end of an attorney acting as the debt collector in the mediation for a client. There was hopeful promise for being able to receive a modification to the loan that would allow them to keep their home and afford the monthly payments. The mediation process lasted for the full hour that was scheduled. When the client came out of the conference room, they were in tears that almost caused them to collapse in sorrow. It was an intake packet that I looked at and processed. It stung when they came out bawling from the news.

The same week of the mediation with the attorneys, two loan modifications that had little chance of success were accepted by the mortgage lender. The counselors and several staff members were surprised by this information and enthused.

I was taught that even with the moments of hardships that are prone to occur, there are still successes that can be found. Those moments where the best outcome possible does occur gives meaning to the task that is given. It makes me feel good to be a part of the foreclosure department of KNHS. Knowing that in some way I am helping to keep a community together is a well expressed motivator for me.