News / Economy

Small US Bank Helps Unemployed Borrowers Find Jobs, Avoid Foreclosure

Small US Bank Helps Unemployed Borrowers Find Jobs, Avoid Foreclosurei
X
Mil Arcega
August 04, 2014 9:29 PM
Home foreclosures have declined in many parts of the United States, but tens of thousands of Americans are still losing their homes every month. But a small Midwest bank is challenging other financial institutions to be part of the solution by teaching their customers the skills to stay employed and reclaim their share of the "American Dream". Mil Arcega has more.

Home foreclosures have declined in many parts of the United States, but tens of thousands of Americans are still losing their homes every month.  It’s all part of the changes brought on by the Great Recession - changes that have hurt average incomes and in some cases made some jobs obsolete.  But a small Midwest bank is challenging other financial institutions to be part of the solution by teaching their customers the skills to stay employed and reclaim their share of the "American Dream".

Since 2007, more than five million American families have lost their homes to foreclosure.

Marketing manager Katrina Holmes almost became one of them.  Just weeks after buying a new home for her family, she lost her job.  With her options running out, Holmes contacted her mortgage lender.  She expected the bank to tell her she had to give up her dream of home ownership.

“Fifth Third Bank could have said to me: 'you got to go.'  And they didn’t.  And that would have been worse but I have not had to deal with worse," said Holmes.

Holmes is just one of the success stories from Fifth Third Bank’s decision this year to use part of its advertising budget to hire a career-coaching firm to help unemployed borrowers.  Holmes landed a job in the health industry - and the bank earned a loyal customer.  Bank spokesperson Larry Magnesen calls that a good  business decision.”

“A foreclosure is a disaster for all concerned.  It’s a tragedy for the family.  It’s not a good thing for the community and in many cases, the bank will lose a substantial amount of money on that process.  So no bank wants to take back a home.  So this is a really great solution for all concerned," said Magnesen.

Randall Jackson faced losing his Chicago home after being unemployed for nine months.  The last thing he expected from his bank - was career coaching.

“I was just absolutely shocked that Fifth Third was offering such a program to me and so I signed up and it turned out to be one of the best things I’d ever done," said Jackson.

Besides helping build effective resumes, the 16-week program relies heavily on one-on-one career guidance.  That's important says NextJob CEO John Courtney, who says unemployment can take a heavy toll on job seekers.

"The first part is to help build their confidence and with their accomplishments-based resume that doesn't just list their work history but goes through all of their accomplishments - they begin to stand up a little straighter, begin to approach the job market with more hope and more confidence to go into an interview and land that job," said Courtney.

While foreclosures have fallen to their lowest level since the financial crisis, each month - some 100 thousand American families face the prospect of losing their homes.  Banks and financial institutions which helped create the conditions that led to the crisis ought to be part of the solution, says Fifth Third Bank's Larry Magnesen.
 
"There's certainly a lot of people who had a hand in creating the crisis and I think we all have to take a hand in fixing the crisis and addressing these issues," he said.

Fifth Third Bank's re-employment program boasts a 40 percent success rate for long-term unemployed clients, compared to the national average of 11 percent.

 

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8140
JPY
USD
118.81
GBP
USD
0.6402
CAD
USD
1.1597
INR
USD
63.066

Rates may not be current.