Oil Industry Challenges Fuel Foreclosures

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After family deaths, two mortgages, and over 350,000 layoffs in the global oil industry, one West Texas homeowner anguished over the fate of his beloved family home. Days before Thanksgiving, he was laid off from his job at a Houston oil company. He sought relief from banks and lenders, but was repeatedly faced with rejection. "When I sent payments to these lenders, they would send them back, telling me they needed more," he explained. "Lenders would ask for $6,000 when I only had $378 to give them."

His quaint blue ranch was once a family haven. Aunts, uncles, and relatives of all kinds would come and go, staying for various durations but always finding a welcoming shelter beneath its roof. He hoped the home could become a residence for nieces and nephews attending a nearby college. But when his aunt and uncle passed away, the homeowner could no longer afford to keep the home.

While struggling to maintain a second mortgage, the homeowner lost his job as the global oil industry crashed. "I was fired when oil companies basically got rid of everybody. It was unexpected because I was told my job was good for another year, and then a week later, I was given two week's notice," he said.

A 70% plunge in oil prices spanning only two years led to rampant industry layoffs. Domestic drillers cut costs by cutting jobs. With the rise in unemployment came a rise in foreclosures. In 2015, North Dakota saw a 387 percent increase in foreclosure rates. In Oklahoma, the rate increased by 38 percent, while foreclosures rose 15.7 percent in Texas.

Unemployed with a wife and two daughters to support, the homeowner was unable to pay his mortgage. He contacted the bank for help, but instead of making the loan more affordable, the lender slapped the family with thousands in penalties and fees. "They were unreasonable," he stated. After searching for solutions, the homeowner was still left forsaken. "They wouldn't accept monthly payments, only one large sum."

American Homeowner Preservation purchased the defaulted mortgage at a discount in June, and promptly contacted the homeowner to offer a sustainable solution: AHP agreed that the homeowner could resume his $378 per month payment, plus crafted a viable payment plan on the $9,000 delinquency. "I really appreciate that we are going to keep this house. It's a safety net for our family," said the homeowner.

AHP's ability to assist this family is a result of President Obama's JOBS Act, which was signed in 2012. Regulation A +, a provision of the Act, expands investment possibilities in part by allowing companies to raise money from non-accredited investors. The JOBS Act and Regulation A + intended to support the funding of small businesses, and companies have utilized the act to fund assorted ventures, including beauty products, real estate, aircraft and fuel-efficient vehicles. AHP has raised funds under Regulation A+ to purchase and workout nonperforming mortgages. The ability to accept investments from both accredited and non-accredited investors, coupled with a minimum investment of $100, makes investing viable for a large swath of America's population.

The West Texas homeowner feared his long-time family home would fall into foreclosure. With a new job and modified mortgage, the family now has relief and certainty. "I am very happy at how AHP was able to work with me compared to the other mortgage companies," the homeowner shared.