I am smiling so wide right now because of BB&T Bank. I know – “smiling” and “bank” don’t usually appear in the same sentence, but today is the day it happened to me. I just want to write a public note of thanks to a company that has helped to save the life of someone I love and care about. Thank you BB&T. Read on for the scoop...
I have a relative who has fallen on extremely hard times. Extremely hard. Lost a job he had for 20 years, fell into alcoholism, nearly died, got a job, lost it again in 2007 and hasn’t been able to find work. A little over a month ago, he lost one of the only things he felt he had left in the world, a beloved pet, that died suddenly. To make a very long story short – my cousin gave up, crushed up the medication he had left and drank a bottle of Bacardi 151 and a few six packs. He prepared a spot on his living room floor to lie down and die with a plastic bag for his head and some duct tape to seal the deal. He just wanted to go to sleep. Or did he? We will never really know. Luckily, he made a bunch of phone calls that night and was saved. I persuaded him to let me check him into the hospital and he received incredible care despite the fact that he has no income or insurance. That’s another diary in itself. The resources we have been able to find have been pretty amazing.
However - life goes on out here in the real world while he’s been receiving treatment. Bills keep coming to his mailbox, turn-off notices for utilities; court summonses for traffic stuff, and pretty much every ugly piece of paperwork you can think of that can be delivered by the US mail shows up daily. The family is selling his car and some belongings and struggling to pay for everything.
Enter the mortgage company – BB&T Bank - who sent a basic form letter reaching out to say they knew he was struggling and wanted to help. Amazingly...a real person’s name appeared at the bottom of the letter and that very same real person answered the phone when I called and began to explain my cousin’s tale of despair.
I won’t go into all the details, but will just say that BB&T and their incredibly professional “troubled asset” representative came up with a forbearance agreement that will allow us to make a payment of less than half of the mortgage amount for 3 months, followed by an agreement to push the balance owed on these “short” payments onto the back of the loan. It is something that has made it possible for our family to save my cousin’s house so that he will actually have a place to come home to when he is released from treatment on Monday. He is doing really well by the way. We've located medical care and have work lined up for him to begin when he gets home. He has a real chance to recover, but it really would not have been possible without the help of BB&T. I can't imagine picking him up from the hospital and having to tell him his house was gone.
So – I just want to say that sometimes if you ask – you get help. I wouldn’t have thought I would get it from the country’s sixth largest bank (I think that's their rank CORRECTION looks like Forbes says they are 13th), but I did. And not only did I get help in terms of dollars and cents, I also got compassion, understanding and a human on the other end of the phone who took the time to listen and figure out a way to help. The whole thing was turned around in a few days and that included getting the official agreement in the mail to be signed and sent back.
But that’s not the end. Today – and this is why I’m writing this diary, I received a call from the BB&T rep saying he had suspended the bad credit reporting during this time of forbearance so my cousin did not continue to suffer additional damage to his credit. He said “I just wanted you to know that I took this extra step until your family can get past this situation.” I consider it to be an act of grace on the part of this rep and of BB&T as an organization. They seem to truly understand that people are trying to save their homes and have a process in place to make it happen. When there are so many horror stories about people trying to get help from banks, I just wanted to share this. I hope the information is helpful to others who may find themselves in a similar predicament. BB&T made a difference and helped to save someone’s life. I will be forever grateful.