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  • 5 min read

It is that time of year when someone will suggest in song that there is no place like home for the holidays.

Someone else will promise that they will be home for Christmas.

Depending on your cable provide or streaming service, you can hear Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ proclaim that there is no place like it.

It is central to our culture that a home is far more than just shelter. It is that place we decorate based on time of year and faith. It is a place we can make redolent of holiday meals. We can paint its walls whatever color we like.

It is where we may raise our children or care for elderly parents. It is that place from which we cannot be made unwelcome.

It may simply be that place where we are allowed to have a dog.

It is a thousand different things to all of us and in the past couple of years tens of thousands of Americans felt their homes threatened by a dangerous virus. What we think of as home is not just a matter of romance but of finance.

The universal economic shock brought on by Covid-19 threatened home ownership in ways that were dire, immediate and completely unexpected. For many it meant that they might not be able to make the next month’s mortgage payment.

Clearly, help was needed if these people were to stay in their homes. Help arrived in the form of forbearance programs initiated by the federal government, other programs by state governments, charitable organizations and, importantly, lenders.

In decades past we took out mortgages for 20 or 30 years, made fixed monthly payments and celebrated at an end date by burning a mortgage document in the fireplace.

Much has changed since then. We move more often. We refinance and borrow against home equity. Our loans are sold to other institutions. A mortgage is not the simple thing to service that it once was but no normal experience could prepare us for the pandemic.

At Cenlar, our response to this crisis is part of what we do – caring for homeowners no matter what.
Throughout this period, we continued and enhanced our commitment to technology. We hired and trained new employees. We established new teams specifically devoted to forbearance and other loan workout issues. We worked diligently with homeowners and lenders to keep families in place.

We will continue to do so because we know that the absence of disease or the end of forbearance programs does not mean that many mortgages are no longer in jeopardy.  The notion of home and the holidays reminds us of our mission and strengthens our resolve.

We know what the word home means to you because we know what the word home means to us.

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