Engram Lloyd, director of HUD's Philadelphia Homeownership Center, recently received a letter from Tony and Carol Kalinowski who thanks to a good bank - Wells Fargo - and a good program - HUD's 203k acquisition and rehabilitation mortgage - made a dream come true.
"Our son was born premature," the letter read. "We didn't realize how our lives would change. We thought we'd never own a home, always be living in low rent properties in t not so great neighborhoods. No bank would even consider us for a loan. We'd all but given up hope.
"Then one day I was on the Internet searching for other resources. For some reason, one stood out - Wells-Fargo.
"I don't remember much about our first conversation, except that when I hung up I actually felt hopeful, like I had found someone human, not just another robot denying applications.
This is one of "happily ever after stories," Engram Lloyd recently recounted to a group in Philadelphia, a story especially welcome when the national housing market is in turmoil and growing numbers of homeowners face the loss of their homes..
Indeed, Lloyd thinks the Kalinowski's story points to "the bigger role that FHA has to play in today's market." Their story, Lloyd said, suggests that "an FHA loan may still be the best, the safest and most affordable mortgage option. And, best of all, an FHA borrower who hits a bump in the financial road can take advantage of a host of FHA foreclosure programs they won't find any other place. A lot of buyers who went subprime a couple of years ago," he added, "probably wish they'd gone FHA."
"Think of FHA," he concluded, "an old friend, a friend you haven't seen in a long time. Just when you need him, the old friend shows up. As the Kalinowski's attest, FHA is the best old friend a new homebuyer can have."
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