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

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8971
    JPY
    USD
    110.16
    GBP
    USD
    0.6811
    CAD
    USD
    1.3106
    INR
    USD
    67.378

    Rates may not be current.