Late last fall, LeeAnna Rocha and her family experienced multiple traumatic acts of vandalism. Vehicle windows were shot at and completely shattered twice while parked in her driveway. On a separate occasion, second story home windows were shot at and shattered as well. To make matters worse, insurance was not able to cover any of the damage; Rocha was forced to use her Christmas savings and could not provide Christmas presents for her children (when co-workers and friends found out, they provided financial assistance so the children would receive presents at the holiday). A short time later, the exterior garage lights were smashed and all incidents were reported to the police.
Rocha felt especially discouraged after the police indicated there was not much they could do with the limited evidence. Unfortunately, many similar incidents in her former neighborhood had frequently been reported. These incidents were a turning point for Rocha. She realized she needed to move out of the home to a safer place, with less risk of crime and vandalism. Rocha did not like to feel helpless and knew there had to be something she could do, and determined to do “whatever it takes” to provide herself and children a safer environment.
From Fear to Opportunity
She spent hours researching land contract and home mortgage options. Rocha said she “miraculously” happened to come across the website for Opportunity Resource Fund's Fresh Opportunity Mortgage Program. She had investigated other loan programs, and was conditionally approved for one loan, but it did not work for her. The proposed loan was at 11% interest, with 40 percent down, for 15 years.
When Rocha came across the Fresh Opportunity Mortgage Program, she realized she just might qualify. She contacted John Helbling, OppFund Loan Officer, in fall 2012. Within months she was approved for a loan and in early March 2013, Rocha and her family moved into her new home. According to Rocha, "the process was very quick and I was treated with dignity and respect.”
A Place to Grow
“We are all so grateful to the OppFund for this new opportunity. The house has more space to meet our needs, and is in a much safer place," says Rocha. Along with her eldest daughter, Rocha is a student at Lansing Community College. She is studying in the field of budgeting and personal finance. In 2011 Rocha discovered Dave Ramsey’s book “Total Money Makeover” and has completed all seven steps. While her new loan is for 30 years, Rocha plans to pay off the mortgage early and continues to use the valuable information she learned in Mr. Ramsey’s book. Rocha stated, “This loan the OppFund provided for me and my family gave us hope and a fresh start.”