Mary Oliver

Teaser text

Approximately 3.5 million senior homeowners in the U.S. are underwater on their loans and have no home equity.

Mary Oliver sitting on porch steps

Behind Mary Oliver’s warm smile hid stressful burdens. After nearly 50 years, her childhood family home was in jeopardy of being foreclosed.

Mary moved into the home to take on the new responsibility of caring for her sick mother, who passed away a few years later. She inherited the house—and its exorbitant interest rate: in excess of 13%. Through the heartbreak of losing her mother as well as her job of 27 years (due to its closure), Mary refinanced the home’s mortgage. Between the brokerage fees and the lender points from the refinanced mortgage, no funds were disbursed to her and she did not benefit from the refinancing.

All these misfortunes left her in dire straits.

Mary came to Bay Area Legal Services for help and our Senior Advocacy Unit took on her case to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on her behalf. Ultimately, we decreased her principal balance by more than $50,000 and were able to reduce her interest rate by 7%. Mary’s new monthly payment was cut in half to an amount she could now afford.

Thanks to Bay Area Legal Services, Mary was able to remain in the home she grew up in.

The Don M. Stichter Fellow position at Bay Area Legal Services protects low-income seniors facing major legal issues such as foreclosure, unclear home title, construction fraud, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, thus ensuring that our grandparents, neighbors, and friends have access to fairness and justice in the legal system—regardless of income.

Apply for Services

If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.

How do I apply? Am I eligible?