BIA Members in the Community

BIA Members Reverse a Family’s (Mis)Fortunes
Daniel & Cecilia Mendiola were in danger of losing their home last Fall when they had a balloon payment of $26,000 coming due and they could not get in touch with a US-based representative for Owcen (their loan servicer). Their home, a gift to them from Cecilia’s parents, had fallen into major disrepair. For Cecilia, caring for her disabled husband and her 87-year-old mother at home, the stress of losing the home over-shadowed everything. She felt like she couldn’t eat, breathe or sleep.

As Ceclia shares, “Owcen wouldn’t work with me, there was never enough money. I would call and they would answer from different countries. I’d be on hold for over hour to try and connect with someone in the US. They would threaten foreclosure and wouldn’t accept any payment. Owcen wanted to take the home.”

She was dismayed that the VA would not help her husband who is a disabled war veteran. Not knowing where else to turn she called a counseling service who put her in touch with BIA Member Ed Frankel from Security 1 Lending. Ed was able to tailor a reverse mortgage for the Mendiolas that provided the funds needed to bring the home into code compliance and qualify for FHA funding. But, beyond the dollars and cents, Ed transformed the entire situation for this family. As the Mendiola’s daughter, Michelle, marvels “Ed came into the situation and it changed everything.”

At Ed’s encouragement, Michelle visited the Building Industry Association’s online member directory and started calling contractors. The Mendiolas needed to find someone willing to take on this project and do the work on the home before getting paid. She didn’t have to go very far down her list! Her first call was to David Millar of Millar Construction. After Millar visited the home, Michelle knew they wanted to work with David.

The roof was falling and the back end of the house—the exterior envelope—was completely damaged. “This is the first time I had ever worked on a project where a reverse mortgage was involved,” said David. “My guys loved working on project. Cecilia would bring out soup, cookies, tea during the work. Fed them constantly!”

David is no stranger to giving back, this past December he sold Christmas trees and gave 100% of the money raised to HopeLift, an organization providing solutions for homelessness in our area. “I just knew it was going to turn out okay.”

Cecilia Mendiola is grateful for these BIA Members with big hearts. “Ed Frankel was by our side every step of the way during this process. He explained everything we needed to know about the reverse mortgage in detail. He called every week to check in.” She credits Ed and David with saving her home. Her anxiety? Gone for the first time since May. In its place, a warm and safe home…and lots of thankfulness.