People We Help | Nancy

Situation: When Nancy returned home after 20 years, she never thought she would be in danger of losing the South St. Louis City home where she grew up. However, a bout with mercury poisoning and multiple infections left Nancy disabled and unable to work.

With her finances cut in half and living on social security, Nancy began to fall behind on her mortgage. Nancy knew she needed professional help to save her home and the garden that once belonged to her beloved mother.

That’s when Nancy contacted United Way partner agency, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, which then connected her to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, a certified housing agency that is also a United Way partner.


How United Way helped: The Urban League assisted Nancy through its homeownership/foreclosure prevention program. The program provided special housing counselors who worked directly with Nancy’s lender to try to prevent foreclosure.

“Working with lenders can be tough. It can be especially difficult for homeowners,” said Eric Madkins, head of the Urban League’s housing program.

At first, housing counselors tried to get Nancy’s loan modified. However, she did not qualify due to the affordability and other ratio measures of her home.

Next, the Urban League counselors guided Nancy through her options for home retention and liquidation. Even though her home was given a sale date in October, 2010, Nancy was determined to keep her home throughout the entire process and kept it in excellent condition.

The housing counselor eventually advised Nancy to take out a reverse mortgage, which is a loan for a senior citizen that requires no monthly payments. The Urban League’s research showed that Nancy’s home had decent equity and they helped her get in touch with reputable lending partners.

The fate of Nancy’s home came down to the wire; on the day of the sale the investor postponed the home’s sale thanks to the Urban League’s intervention. The postponement was truly a blessing as it gave Nancy enough time to close on her reverse mortgage loan.

Nancy today: Still on a fixed income, the status of Nancy’s home has stabilized and she is still living in her childhood home.

The Urban League continues to be a part of her life. The housing counselors regularly check in with Nancy to see how she is doing as they do with most of the 1,000 homeowners they help in a given year.

About the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis

The mission of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is to empower African Americans and others throughout the region in securing economic self-reliance, social equality and civil rights.

Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has been a United Way partner agency since 1923. In 2012, they received more than $1,200,000 from United Way.

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