Army Veteran Saves Her Home

Tekuila is an Army Veteran, a mother of a Navy Sailor, and a Lawndale homeowner of 15 years. Between 2013 and 2017, however, she was laid off three times, all while putting her son through college and taking care of her elderly mother.

Last September, Tekuila went to a law group to modify her VA loan after she fell behind on her mortgage. “They tried to force me into a modification that was more than my original mortgage payment,” and on top of that, “they denied my file for bankruptcy and my creditors were coming after me.” Soon after, her bank began to foreclose on her home. With attorney fees piling up and no help on a reasonable mortgage payment, she told the law office to stop the modification process. That’s when a friend from church told her about the Northwest Side Housing Center. “From there, I applied for the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund,” Tekuila said. “I came to the NWSHC in January and Norma became my point of contact with my application.” She continued, “I got way further with Norma in just three months than I did with this law office since September.”

As Tekuila reflected on her experience, she said, “Any adjuster can push paper, check boxes, and make sure they get their paycheck, but it’s the follow-through that’s so important and let’s people know you care. And that’s what Norma does, and that’s what I appreciate. She even called me on a Saturday to tell me I was approved for HHF.”

“When I began this whole process, I didn’t think I was going to get any help,” Tekuila said. “But now, my mortgage has been brought current and will be covered for a full year. I can rebuild my retirement savings, and when my son comes home from the Navy he won’t have to worry about our home.”

Laura Slabaugh