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Equity & Help Stories: Katherine

As life goes on, so do the stories of the families that PhilanthroInvestors help through our program, and here is another one that we feel is worth sharing.

In case you haven’t followed our most recent newsletters, we talked about how our program not only helps families finance their dream of owning their own homes, but should their economic situation worsen, it also guides them to find government programs and assists them with payment plans so they return to solvency.

We addressed the successful recovery of a family from their difficulties in our previous post, but what happens when emergencies, late payments, and laws pile up that prevent us from taking action against families who don’t live up to their end of the contract? While the PhilanthroInvestors need the prompt payments of the families every month in order to receive their monthly return, we must also remember that without the PhilanthroInvestor that there would be no financing or houses available to the families that need them.

It is a symbiotic relationship and we need to take care of both.

And this time we would like to show you how it affects those who decide to invest with us and the effective solutions that we carry out, through a story very similar to that of “Mike” and “Susan” that, unfortunately, did not have the same happy outcome.

Who we will call “Katherine” applied and was approved for our program in March, 2021, moving with her mother into one of our houses in Illinois after signing a contract and making her first payment plus $2,000 down.

Immediately in April and May the family had a delay with their monthly payments which generated a debt of $1,650.46 that they paid in June. From that point on, they stopped paying and made no further payments for the remainder of the year. Normally this would have forced us to evict them from the property after three months of default without a payment agreement, applications to government aid programs, and so on.

However, during all this time, laws were in force that prohibited evictions and foreclosures. While this protected families against evictions, it harmed those owners who depended on this income.

Apparently, “Katherine” was not failing due to irresponsibility. Her mother had fallen ill during this time and was in such a delicate state that her care required all of her daughter’s physical and monetary attention and, for a time, we even feared the worst. We helped “Katherine” apply for the catch-up programs, but she did not qualify for any and her debt continued to accrue interest and late fees, reaching $6,414.11 by the month of December.

When the restrictions were lifted in October, the landscape changed and we found it necessary to start the eviction process to protect our PhilanthroInvestor, since after all, we had done what was humanely possible to help “Katherine” find programs that would help her allow them to be up to date with the debt.

The only possibility of remaining within the Equity & Help program would be for her to pay her debt in full and begin to comply as of January, but now she was unemployed.

In April 2022 she made a payment of $3,560.92 thanks to the fact that we got her to apply again to the recommended programs and this time she received state aid, but the amount barely covered her debt up to October 2021. This kept her more than three months behind schedule and she was still unemployed: So in May we decided to initiate the eviction process with her, exonerating her debt and by June 30 we reached an agreement that she would leave the property.

All this played out with the continuous coordination of the PhilanthroInvestor who owned the house and was always aware of the situation. Following this course of action, “Katherine” would not continue accumulating debts and the sale process of the property would be expedited for the next qualified family, shortening the time it takes for the investor to get a return on their capital.

And although our philanthropic mindset has allowed this project to be successful, we cannot act entirely through charity, but responsibility. It is a symbiotic relationship and we need to take care of the interests of both our families and our PhilanthroInvestors.

(The names of our family in Indiana have been changed to respect their privacy)

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