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Real Story of Justice: Olive*, an 85-year-old widow falls behind on her mortgage

Olive*, an 85-year-old widow falls behind on her mortgage


Olive*, an 86-year-old widow, was quickly falling behind on the mortgage payments for her mobile home. Unfortunately, her son, who resided with her as her caregiver, had been hospitalized for several months because of health issues. During this time, several bills went unpaid, including the mortgage. To make matters worse, because Olive’s deceased husband was the only borrower listed on the loan, the lender would not communicate with her about the status of the account or whether she could apply for a loan modification.

Free Legal Assistance

Feeling desperate, Olive reached out to Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) for legal assistance. A CCLA attorney assisted Olive with submitting the necessary documentation to the lender to establish her legal rights to be recognized as a successor by the lender. Once this was completed, the mortgage company communicated with Olive and provided her with the options available to bring the loan current and to apply for a loan modification. The attorney then assisted Olive with completing the loan modification application. This resulted in the mortgage company providing Olive with an affordable trial modification plan, while the lender reviewed her application for a permanent loan modification. The lender required that Olive sign an assumption agreement to complete the permanent loan modification. However, she needed to hire a title company to complete the process and was required to pay $2,500 for the closing costs.

Why It Matters

At the same time, the closing was being scheduled, a tragedy happened. Olive’s son died unexpectedly. Besides being left with the grief of her son’s death, Olive, who only received social security and a small pension, did not have the money to pay for the closing. Fortunately, Olive’s dedicated CCLA Attorney assisted her with researching, applying, and obtaining funds from the Jim Moran Foundation’s Senior Continuum Care Grant and Goodman Jewish Family Service (GJFS). The funds granted were enough to fully cover the closing costs and Olive was finally approved for a permanent loan modification.

Among a sea of despair, Olive was relieved to have had free legal assistance from Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida during such a difficult time in her life. Accessible legal services for the vulnerable and under-represented are critical for the well-being of our communities. For more information about Coast to Coast Legal Aid Service of South Florida (CCLA) or to support our mission through a donation, please visit:

*Names and images have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients

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