Thursday, November 5, 2015

SpringFour Wins 2015 Empowerment Award-SpringFour CEO Rochelle Nawrocki-Gorey Shares her Award Remarks

SpringFour is proud to be the recipient of the 2015 Empowerment Award last month.   President, CEO, and co-founder Rochelle Nawrocki-Gorey accepted the award, delivered a word of thanks and shared a vision about what is next for SpringFour. 

Click here to read more about the 2015 Empowerment Award. 

Click here to read more about the Award and its sponsor, Promontory. 


From Rochelle Nawrocki-Gorey: 

Thank you. We are extremely honored to be here tonight and grateful to be receiving the 2nd Annual Empowerment Award. 

We are especially honored to be receiving the Award from the Promontory Group-a group that is committed to financial innovation and the promotion of responsible lending products.  Thank you Gene and the Promontory team for making this central to the work that you do here. 

When we started SpringFour back in 2005 we knew it was important to connect homeowners to local services when they were behind on their mortgage.  Our research also told us that banks and loan servicers were looking for ways to connect their borrowers to local help. 

We understood that when a person could not pay their mortgage, there was a reason. Something was happening in their financial life that made paying that bill impossible. We also knew that for many of those situations, solutions existed. 

Non-profits and government agencies exist to help with utility bills, legal assistance, childcare, food expenses and more. But those in trouble didn’t know about them. 

And loan servicers operating national call centers could not be the experts in each community where they serviced loans.

We set about to change that and we built SpringFour. 

Today, with our partners, we make over 1.5 million referrals each year.   We have over 9,000 resources in 175 cities around the country.   We offer help in 26 different service categories.

Just today, at 5 pm. we had made over 3,600 referrals for consumers in need. This month we are on track to make over 100,000 referrals. 

But we want to do more.

First, Let me share with you the power behind a referral and how a simple technology solution is creating significant financial savings for American families.  

Making these referrals means that a veteran waiting on disability benefits will continue to have a home AND be able to buy groceries to feed his family. Because prior to a referral from SpringFour, this family did not know how they were going to be able to pay for both. 

It means that an elderly woman with limited income who was spending $500 on prescription costs now pays only $200 a month. That’s a $300 per month savings. 

And as we expand into connecting consumers with innovative and responsible financial products, it means that a family no longer is using high priced check cashing services to access their own money. They have connected with a more appropriate financial product and are saving almost $100 per month. 

On average, consumers save $250 per month with SpringFour referrals.

The amount of savings that we are helping people obtain is significant. More than 50 percent of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency expense and 40 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. 

With SpringFour referrals, we are transforming consumers’ financial outlook. Money saved can be allocated toward retirement, college savings or paying down student loan debt.  Or it can be used to meet mortgage payments that before were unaffordable.

We are excited to announce that because of this Award, we will be able to build out LifeKit and expand into new markets like student loan servicing and consumer banking. LifeKit is a new mobile app that will allow us to extend our relationship with any consumer no matter where they are at financially. 

LifeKit will provide consumers with connections to innovative and appropriate financial products, tools and services. Through this mobile technology, we look forward to reaching many more consumers.

I also want to extend my thanks and appreciation to a few amazing people that without their support, dedication and hard work, SpringFour would not have received this Award. 

I’d like to thank Larry Gorey, my husband for giving me the encouragement and support to turn an idea into a company. 

I’d like to thank Dean Caldwell Tautges who started as a SpringFour’s 1st customer when he was Director of Counseling at the Homeownership Preservation Foundation and has since become a valuable partner and co-worker at SpringFour. Dean keeps everything moving and turns ideas into reality.

Thank you to Jon Roketenetz, who has been with us since day one, he’s the mastermind behind the technology that is at the core of everything we do. 

I’d also like to thank you subscribers, banks both large and small, loan servicers, non profit housing counseling agencies, veterans organizations and employee assistance programs. These forward thinking companies have committed to helping their customers not only because it’s the right thing to do but they know it’s also good for business.

Our work is far from over but with this Award, we are looking forward to working with you to help even more consumers become financially healthy because it’s in all of our best interest to do so. 

Thank you. 
















Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bringing Financial Health to Life

Today, we are excited to announce our new name.   MortgageKeeper is now known as SpringFour.

Why the name change?

When we started our company, we were intent on connecting homeowners who were behind on their mortgage and the companies servicing their loans with a technology solution that could efficiently and easily direct them to local resources that could help address the reason behind their delinquency. No one was doing this. Yet, we knew that hundreds of resources and helping organizations existed and were ready to help, so we built MortgageKeeper.

5.5 million referrals later and 9,000 resources in 175 cities, millions of families have been counseled and received referrals with our technology solution. Yet, we want to do more, help more. We’ve come to realize that our applications have a broader reach than homeowners and the mortgage industry, and so we are spreading our wings and entering new markets.

The name change reflects an exciting time of increased visibility in the financial technology sector, new products, and an expanded vision for the organization.

As we enter our next decade of service, our mission to help consumers find and receive the help they need for financial health remains the same. We will continue to offer innovative products and tools and expand our reach so that even more consumers receive assistance. We will do so under the new name, SpringFour.

At SpringFour, we will continue to be your trusted source for resources that allow consumers to achieve their goals-whether it’s sustaining homeownership, paying off student debt faster, weathering unemployment, finding affordable housing or health care, caring for an elderly parent, opening a savings account, or just spending less every month.

What’s not changing? Our vision to provide companies with technology solutions that allow them to help consumers work through financial challenges and secure financial health, along with our commitment to provide responsive, professional service to your organization.  We will soon look a little different, but the 9,000 resources and functionality you’ve come to trust and use daily remains the same.

We have some exciting plans for the months ahead, including the launch of our mobile app, LifeKit.

Thank you for your partnership – together let’s bring financial health to life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Code of Support Foundation Latest Organization to Start Using MKDesktop

Today, we announced that the Code of Support Foundation (COSF) will now use our MKDesktop application to help connect veterans and military families with local support. We have all seen the news and know that veterans face an increasingly difficult time when they return home. Just last month, COSF shared with us a story about a National Guard member that was experiencing health problems and was unable to work. His wife called seeking help because she was faced with the difficult situation of choosing between paying the mortgage payment and feeding her family. With MKDesktop, COSF was able to identify food assistance for this family and they were able to make their mortgage.

This is a win-win for all of us. At MK, we've developed the technology and the data that can help veterans and the organizations that assist them. Real resources that can deliver much needed services like help with utility bills, food and prescription drug costs and employment resources can be delivered quickly to Code of Support clients. This helps boosts the efficiency of COSF staff and allows them to provide truly comprehensive services to their constituents, many whom are seeking help for complex issues. We hope that by working together we can help create positive outcomes for our veterans and their family members.

You can read more about the partnership in the press release here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Numbers Don't Lie

6,000 referrals were made in the month of March by one of MortgageKeeper’s newest subscribers, HomeFree-USA. Based in Maryland, HomeFree-USA is a National HUD Intermediary and its 60+ affiliate counseling agencies are participating in a sponsorship agreement between MK and Wells Fargo to provide counseling agencies with access to MKDesktop.

When HomeFree-USA first started using MKDesktop late last year, their utilization rate was typical of a new subscriber. But, they wanted to do better for their counselors and for their clients. HomeFree-USA understands that in order better serve their clients, counselors need to provide quality, up-to-date resources that can help address the cash flow challenges that their clients face.

So HomeFree-USA stepped it up. They sponsored a contest for their counselors to encourage them to use the MKDesktop solution as part of their daily workflow.

It worked. One month later, referrals were five times higher. That’s 6,000 referrals given to consumers for such household needs such as utility and prescription drug assistance, employment resources, down payment assistance, home repairs, and more.

“Clearly the needs of our clients are being met with MKDesktop, but it also makes our job easier and allows us to serve people better. That makes our counselors happy,” said Marcia Griffin, CEO at HomeFree-USA.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Success Story with MKDesktop: Case Study #3

We hope you are inspired by the following story of a family who received help through MortgageKeeper and is now back on the path to financial sustainability.

Established in 2005, MortgageKeeper helps consumers locate local services to assist them with daily financial challenges. With over 7,000 resources in all 50 states, MK makes over 1 million referrals per year. Consumers need to know where to turn to find help from reputable organizations and MK provides the tools to do so. From help with paying utility bills, student loan debt, food assistance, prescription drug costs, and employment resources, MK’s easy to use applications are making a difference in consumer’s lives.


THE CASE STUDY

THE CHALLENGE
Illinois parents raising four children are behind on countless bills, including their mortgage.

THE SITUATION
“John and Susan” were victims of the recession. John was forced into early retirement and Susan’s job was furloughed due to a government shutdown. With sporadic work and eight months delinquent on their mortgage, the “Smith” family had exhausted their savings and the phone rang constantly from companies seeking payment on unpaid bills. They also received scam offers to “help” reinstate their mortgage.

Humiliated and helpless, John searched “nonprofit, HUD-certified counseling agencies” and
subsequently reached Beatriz Becerra, a nonprofit foreclosure counselor at Clearpoint Consumer
Counseling Services in California.

Beatriz, who works with clients in hardship throughout the U.S. on a daily basis, first told John to be wary of foreclosure rescue scams and “consultants” that promise to “save your home” for an upfront fee.

The Belleville, IL, family began a loan modification process with their lender, but did not receive a loan workout or other type of financial assistance.

HOW MK DESKTOP HELPED
After a thorough counseling session, Beatriz provided the Smith family with referrals from MK Desktop, including food assistance, heating and utility assistance, prescription drug assistance, home repair assistance, employment services and legal services.

With MK Desktop’s well-vetted referrals, the Smith family also received income tax assistance and senior services. But perhaps the greatest help for the Smith family was being able to access the Hardest Hit Fund, which pays a portion of a borrower’s mortgage while unemployed or substantially underemployed. Skeptical at first, John was able to bring his loan current through the assistance of the Hardest Hit Fund.


Beatriz said, “I would not be able to do my job without MK Desktop referrals. These helpful community resources give my clients some consolation that they are not alone in their hardship. Reputable help is out there to save homes and change lives.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Success Story with MKDesktop: Case Study #2

We hope you are inspired by the following story of a family who received help through MortgageKeeper and is now back on the path to financial sustainability.

Established in 2005, MortgageKeeper helps consumers locate local services to assist them with daily financial challenges. With over 7,000 resources in all 50 states, MK makes over 1 million referrals per year. Consumers need to know where to turn to find help from reputable organizations and MK provides the tools to do so. From help with paying utility bills, student loan debt, food assistance, prescription drug costs, and employment resources, MK’s easy to use applications are making a difference in consumer’s lives.


THE CASE STUDY

THE CHALLENGE
A retired widow caring for her disabled 35-year-old son faces a harsh reality. Should she pay for heat, purchase medicine, buy food or pay the mortgage?

THE SITUATION
“Jennifer”, a Elberton, GA, homeowner for 10 years, is on a fixed income and facing mounting debt due to a $400 electric bill, high food prices and $250 monthly medication costs for her and her son. When she reaches Jula Pereira, a counselor with the nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco, she is crying and feeling lost and alone.

Counselor Jula calmly assesses Jennifer’s situation and reassures her that help may be available – not only to save her home, but to also help with life’s necessities.

Jennifer is skeptical but calls several of the resources her counselor recommends, figuring she has nothing else to lose.

HOW MK DESKTOP HELPED
MK Desktop’s data put Jennifer in touch with utilities assistance and access to a discount drug program that is saving her substantially on monthly prescriptions. Additionally, she now receives
resources from a local food bank to supplement her $72-a-month food stamp allowance.

Jennifer also connected with Georgia’s Homesafe Program to explore eligibility for mortgage
reinstatement assistance and Hardest Hit Funds.

Much to Jennifer’s surprise, by accessing local nonprofit resources in Northeast Georgia, she reduced her expenses by more than $400 monthly, and is eligible for a loan workout with her lender. Now, instead of fear and uncertainty, she sees possibilities – thanks to foreclosure intervention counseling and MK resources.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Success Story with MKDesktop: Case Study #1



We hope you are inspired by the following story of a family who received help through MortgageKeeper and is now back on the path to financial sustainability.

Established in 2005, MortgageKeeper helps consumers locate local services to assist them with daily financial challenges. With over 7,000 resources in all 50 states, MK makes over 1 million referrals per year. Consumers need to know where to turn to find help from reputable organizations and MK provides the tools to do so. From help with paying utility bills, student loan debt, food assistance, prescription drug costs, and employment resources, MK’s easyto use applications are making a difference in consumer’s lives.


THE CASE STUDY

THE CHALLENGE
A hard working single mom loses her health and her job. She is two months behind on her mortgage payments. She wonders: will I lose my home too?

THE SITUATION
“Maria” called a free foreclosure counseling hotline, Money Management International, for assistance.  Counselor Cindy Lightfoot did a thorough assessment of her client’s credit, budget and expenses, which included a delinquent mortgage and costly medications.

Extremely nervous about her mounting debt, Maria was smoking more to ease her anxiety and said she felt hopeless and helpless. She was convinced she and her family would be evicted from their home of 28 years in Cleveland, MS.

HOW MK DESKTOP HELPED
Using MK’s data, counselor Cindy found client Maria several local resources in Bolivar County,
including food assistance and help paying her heating and utility bills. A local agency also made
necessary repairs to her home, including a new roof and replacing faulty wiring.

Using the money savings tips and referrals provided by MK, Maria is also receiving medical assistance for her entire family, has located money-savings discounts on prescription medications, and stopped smoking as well.

Once four months behind on her mortgage, Maria’s modification is secured. She praises Cindy for working tirelessly with her lender to secure her a loan modification, reducing her monthly mortgage payments from $333 to $208 a month. 

“My counselor and all the referrals have changed my life, and given me and my family a safe place to call home,” said Maria. “I am forever grateful.”