Ana Mejia Romero dreamed of settling down with her family – her husband, five-year-old daughter, and elderly mother – and owning a little home. In 2007, after working for years, often seven days a week, that dream became a reality when she finally bought her own house.
Like many homebuyers during this time — particularly low-income people of color — Ms. Meija Romero was targeted by a subprime mortgage lender and, unbeknownst to her, the two mortgage loans she received had predatory features. Ms. Mejia Romero made her payments on time for a number of years, but then fell behind. Not only did her mortgage payments increase substantially, up to $5,000 per month, but after the birth of her daughter, Ms. Mejia Romero’s income shrank while she cared for her newborn.
Ms. Mejia Romero’s dream was quickly becoming a nightmare as she faced foreclosure. After her first lawyer failed to show up at her court date, Ms. Mejia Romero met Consumer Law Unit staff attorney Jenny Joseph through Legal Aid’s courthouse project. With Jenny’s help, Ms. Mejia Romero not only avoided foreclosure, but obtained a loan modification that enabled her to bring her mortgage current and make affordable monthly payments going forward.