Ocwen Financial Corporation's first-ever "Home for the Holidays" program announced today they have awardedÂ a full year ofÂ mortgage payments, along withÂ with free financial counseling, to a troubled borrower in Chicago, Illinois.
The winner, Elizabeth Barlow, bought her home with her partner, Charles Anderson, ten years ago for $52,000. "After moving five times in one year, we were ready to stay in one place, especially for the sake of the children," Barlow recalled.
At the time, Ms. Barlow was taking care of several foster children as well as raising her two grandchildren. Unfortunately, in 1998, Mr. Anderson passed away, and in 1999, she was diagnosed with cancer - although that did not stop her from taking in yet another granddaughter. This year Ms. Barlow had a recurrence of cancer and is undergoing treatment. She is currently raising four grandchildren including a seven month old granddaughter.
Due to the large increase in her heating bills, Ms. Barlow started falling behind on her mortgage last winter. Ocwen recognized the extraordinary challenges Ms. Barlow faced and chose her as the first recipient of the program.
"Ocwen's goal is to keep families in their homes. We realize the importance of helping the families in our own communities and plan to make 'Home for the Holidays' an annual program," said Opal Comfort, Ocwen's Senior Community Relations Manager.
Ms. Barlow first contacted the Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC) in June 2006. The NWSHC is one of nine NTIC affiliates working with Ocwen to help keep customers in their homes. As the first recipient of Ocwen's "Home for the Holidays" program, Ms. Barlow will start the New Year with a promise of hope and peace of mind that she will keep her home.
Ocwen is one of the largest independent servicers of non-conforming mortgage loans in the United States with headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida. Through its Homeownership Preservation Initiative, Ocwen partners with national and local non-profit organizations to implement programs to prevent foreclosure.
In addition to "Home for the Holidays" program, Ocwen is also a founding sponsor of a national foreclosure prevention program organized by the NeighborWorks Center for Foreclosure Solutions.