With faith and a new loan, couple hung on to dream

10/30/2007 12:00 AM

10/30/2007 5:48 AM

Henry and Sussana Ontiveros were in big trouble two months ago. Their Modesto home's adjustable-rate mortgage had jumped to 9 percent, boosting their payment to $3,300 a month.

That was about $1,000 a month more than they could afford, and they feared they would lose their house. They repeatedly had tried to refinance but couldn't find an affordable loan.

The couple shared their story in The Bee and affirmed their belief that "God's going to open up a door for us."

Their faith paid off. A new fixed-rate, 6.25 percent loan was approved for them last week, saving their beloved home.

"God saw us through this trying time," Sussana Ontiveros said. "We beat this. We knew in our hearts that we didn't do anything wrong. Simply the timing of this housing market is what hurt us the most, as it has countless other families and homeowners."

She said "some homeowners were indeed misled by the selfish greed of unethical lenders and brokers."

The Ontiveros family was able to refinance through California Mortgage Associates in Modesto. Its owner, Chris Harrigfeld, gets high praise from Sussana Ontiveros.

"He is a very honest, straightforward and, most of all, a very ethical man who will not mislead you or burn you. He is not all about the dollar. He is very involved in his community and truly cares about his clients," she said. "I am a testimony of that."

-- J.N. Sbranti

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