EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - A local couple is crediting Congressman Jared Polis with helping save their house from Bank of America and foreclosure.
Polis wrote a letter to Bank of America saying he and his staff would be keeping an eye on Jon and Heather Blaine's foreclosure case. The Blaines say they had been trying to work with Bank of America for six months, constantly being told their case was in review.
They say their loan modification came through at the 11th hour only because Polis became involved.
"Honestly, the only reason we got our modification is because of Congressman Jared Polis," Heather wrote. "After so many months of trying to make progress on our modification with no results, my husband, out of pure desperation, wrote letters to all our representatives, including Congressman Polis."
They all replied, Heather said.
"One of them told us to pack because we were going to lose our house, but Jared Polis sent a letter to Bank of America, basically stating that he was going to keep an eye on what was happening," Heather wrote. "We had our modification within one week."
Bank of America received more than $104.5 billion in various forms of federal bailout money, according to figures compiled from the Federal Reserve, the United States Treasury, FDIC, the Congressional Budget Office and the White House.
Polis did not wave a magic wand, his staff said, and he didn't do anything for the Blaines that they don't do for all their constituents in Colorado's 2nd Congressional District.
More often, Polis and his staff help constituents wade through red tape and deal with federal agencies. If it's a federal agency case, they can intervene directly, staff members said.
Sometimes, though, they'll write a letter to someone like Bank of America saying he and his staff were keeping an eye on them.
"Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes that's enough," said Lara Cottingham, Polis's press secretary. "It's great that this worked out."
They can help, but you still have to do most of your own work. The Blaines are like everyone else trying to get their home loan modified. They worked the phones constantly and provided mountains of documents, over and over, Heather said.
A well-placed letter from a United States congressman is another tool at your disposal, and you shouldn't wait too long to use it.
"People sometimes wait until the last minute to call us. We can still help, but that might not leave enough time," Cottingham said.
They don't guarantee they can help you; they guarantee they'll try, his staff said.
"I hope the congressman's office doesn't get flooded with letters, but if that is the only way to get a response out of the large banks, then so be it," Heather said.