JULY 18: Housing Crisis Not Over as Foreclosure Looms Over Senior Citizen Sandra Sergent
LEESBURG, Va./EWORLDWIRE/July 14, 2016 ---
Few people know Sandra Sergent, but she is "everyone’s next door neighbor," someone who has dedicated her entire life to helping others.
Sergent like many others believed the housing crisis was over because the "For Sale" signs in her neighborhood are people really selling their home, rather than the result of a short sale or foreclosure. She believed this until she discovered firsthand that it's not the case for her.
Sergent's home is scheduled for foreclosure on July 18, 2016, in Loudoun County, Va.
Those who met Sergent during her 31 years at Verizon understood that her vacations over the years to Panama, her home country, were not a time of leisure. Sergent pursued her passion to help others with vigor by ensuring the most vulnerable - the poorest of poor children in Panama - have uniforms for school and at least one meal a day. What she initiated to cover the Christmas holiday has grown into a full-time ministry. In 2010, the program she started in Panama 10 years earlier was going strong. Sergent worked full-time but always planned how to help knock down generational walls of poverty. The program was feeding nearly a hundred children daily and providing school uniforms. Local Virginia churches were actively involved, raising funds, and church members traveled to Panama to help. Pastors became advisors and provided oversight for the program.
Helping others through a crisis has been her mission.
Now she faces a crisis of her own.
At age 61, after having worked all her life 10 years on one job and 31 on the other, Sergent was thinking about retiring but it was not possible then. A consummate planner, she did not envision that a year later she would be laid off from her job at Verizon.
Over the years, Sergent has become the crisis manager, the person everyone came to for help. Now she found herself in an unforeseeable quandary. The loss of income not only impacted her philanthropic works in Panama but her personal expenses, too. Her primary worry was how she could maintain her mortgage to keep a home for her and her family on social security and rental income. Before being laid off, she had never missed a mortgage payment on the two houses she previously owned in N.J., and the two in Virginia, including the one she is about to lose to foreclosure.
Sergent has journeyed down a path involving a never-ending hassle with a big bank, and countering summons and legal notices. Sergent recalls friends encouraging her to apply for a loan modification. She did but was denied over and over again. Seven times Bank of America denied her the dignity of staying in her home. The bank stated she owed too much money on the home and was not eligible for a modification. She reached out to government agencies and organizations which made grandiose promises of securing a modification, and six years later - at 68 - she has nothing to show for her efforts.
After all these years, Sergent thoughtfully considers all the children who have been fed, all the mothers that thanked her for helping to feed and clothe their children, and all the prayers prayed for others. She knows that worrying does not help. She is expecting a miracle. Her great faith in God has not waned, and her resolve is evident.
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