Repeat Business

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Senior’s Home Saved by Her “Go To” Pro Bono Attorney

John Donahue

Senior Lucille took out a reverse mortgage against her home and fell behind on the homeowner’s insurance, breaching the loan agreement. Facing foreclosure, Lucille reached out to her “go to” pro bono attorney, John Donahue.

Lucille and John have quite the history together. She is John’s longest-standing CVLS client. He first helped her receive survivor’s benefits from the Veteran’s Administration in 1996. Since then, he has worked with her on everything from debit card issues, lost auto title, life insurance, and even unwanted magazine subscriptions.

In this case, Lucille had found a free housing counselor on her own and applied for a grant through the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s (IHDA) Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) Program. However, the counselor thought HHF was not available for Lucille’s specific issue and would not submit the application.

CVLS knew the program was available and got IHDA to clarify the issue. John coordinated with Lucille throughout the process, explaining the full impact of the HHF application. With CVLS’ expertise and John’s guidance, Lucille’s grant application was submitted and approved, bringing the loan current.

A few weeks later, John sent this kind e-mail to everyone involved:

“I know you work on cases like [Lucille’s] all the time, but I can’t tell you how much all your help has meant to her. As with so many low-income seniors, she is always afraid; afraid for her safety, afraid that she’ll lose her home, afraid of just about everything. But today she sounded better than she has in a very long time. So, thanks for everything you have done for Lucille and for everything you do every day for so many people like her.”