Bank Gives Woman Her House: Good Heart or Good PR

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I read an article the other day that touched my heart and made me a believer in the kindness of people and big business. But when I really thought about it, I began to wonder if this kindness was from a good heart or just good PR for the bank.

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I’m going to share the story with you and let you decide for yourself. Of course the story will be paraphrased, but you can comment and let me know if you think I’m too cynical or if the bank is really showing a caring side that people seldom see.

This story is centered around a woman named Lisa Anderson who lives in Austell, Georgia with her two twin daughters, who were born with cerebral palsy. Lisa is the sole supporter of her family, and works really hard to take care of herself and her daughters.

Bank Gives Woman Her House: Good Heart or Good PR, SeekytFor years she worked as an administrative assistant for a chemical company, but like so many people, she feared losing her job one day. while she was employed, Lisa saved enough money to make a down payment on a small home for her family.

She said it wasn’t fancy, but it was theirs and she and the girls were extremely happy with their home. Especially after work was done to make it accessible for the twin’s wheelchairs. During this time things were wonderful for Lisa and the girls.

They established a routine of playing country music, watching the Food Network and cooking. Lisa was happy because even though her girls could never live on their own, in their home they were independent and could move around from room-to-room as they pleased.

But as it happens sometimes, things don’t always go smoothly. Lisa started hearing rumors that the company was going to have a lay-off, but even with the bad news of being told that she was one of the one’s being laid-off after 25 years of service, she still told herself that everything was going to be be alright.

Lisa, like many of us who have been laid-off, started sending resumes out to different companies, but it got to the point that her severance and unemployment pay had run out, and she still had no job. So she did the only thing that she thought could improve her chances at employment, she took an online college course that completely wiped out her 401K.

I’m sure a lot of you have been here and experienced this. When it rains it pours? Well the bills were piling up and then the roof began leaking. Lisa said that even if she wanted to sell the house, she owed more than it was worth. Then a friend called and told her the newspaper had a notice about the bank auctioning off her house!

Lisa didn’t know what to do. She prayed that she could qualify for public housing, and that they had places that were wheelchair accessible for the girls. But the mayor heard about her problem and told her that the town of 6,581 people would help.

After telling the mayor that she and the girls were losing their home entirely, he told her that he would see what could be done. Well the town raised $30,000 for Lisa, but her mortgage was $100,000. The mayor said that maybe she could buy the house from the bank for $30,000.

So he and his staff helped Lisa put together all the paper work she would need and sent it to the bank, along with a prayer and a picture of her and the girls in their wheelchairs. The mayor had also included a note that read…

‘I’m writing on behalf of one of our citizens. a good mom – a mom of twins in wheelchairs – has nowhere to go.’

Apparently someone at JP Morgan Chase showed the letter and picture to someone, who showed it to someone else. About a month later Lisa received a phone call from Chase. The representative told her they were not going to let her or the mayor buy the house. Needless to say she was devastated, but she couldn’t understand why the person seemed to be smiling while telling her this!

That is when the representative told her that the bank was going to give her the house, free and clear! Lisa was speechless, happy and excited. All she could say was, ‘Thank you!’

The bank said that, ‘Sometimes exceptional problems call for exceptional solutions.’ So what do you think? Was this bank showing heart, or was this a clear example of using someone else’s misfortune to gain good PR for themselves? Let me know.

Resource: Woman’s World Magazine, September 4, 2014, Page 20
Author: Andrea Florczak

Image By iosphere

Image 2 By Sira Anamwong

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Bank Gives Woman Her House: Good Heart or Good PR, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.