Mortgage borrowers across the U.S. have been scrambling to figure out how to keep banks from taking their home due to foreclosure because of the lack of income needed from a job to continue making monthly payments to their financial institution.
Many people will do just about anything to keep and stay in their home.
Critical times hard to deal with are here and for many people, it doesn’t seem like there is nothing to be hopeful about when it comes to not having a job and losing their home.
“Up to half of mortgage delinquencies are due to job loss,” said Steven Alonso, executive vice president and head of the Consumer Bank, Fifth Third Bancorp.
Fifth Third Bancorp, headquartered in Cincinnati, OH teamed up with NextJobs, a nationwide reemployment solutions company to offer an industry-first program that gives unemployed mortgage borrowers job search assistance, including one-on-one dedicated coaching, weekly webinars and online job search software, fully paid for by Fifth Third Bank.
“With NextJob, we immediately recognized an opportunity to go the extra mile to assist our customers. This is specific, one-on-one training that helps people identify their transferable skills and re-gain the financial stability of a new job,” Alonso said.
The pilot program began in 2012 and start working with unemployed Fifth Third customers who were in serious risk of default on their mortgages. On average, the individuals had been out of work for 22 months. In the pilot program, nearly 40% were fully employed after six months and, as a result, the pilot was expanded.
“If it hadn't been for their work helping me, I probably would still be unemployed,” said one successful participant in the pilot program, now working in the insurance industry. “They gave me such hope and empowered me in ways I never would have used on my own. My self-esteem was very low when I first started working with NextJob, and they were able to make me see that there was a position out there for me if I only believed in myself again and used the tools of NextJob to help me.”
Another participant said, “I was in the first group of people in the program offered by Fifth Third Bank and I have to say that I feel so fortunate to have been a part of the program. I learned so much and got so much out of the program. I really hope the program continues so it can help others like me. The knowledge one gains from the program is immeasurable.”
Fifth Third Bank signed a multi-year contract with NextJob to move the program out of pilot phase and incorporate it into the way the Company does business.
“Fifth Third Bank has demonstrated an inspiring level of customer commitment,” said John Courtney, CEO of NextJob. “The company understood that neither party benefits from a foreclosure. Job loss, followed by the loss of one’s home, is severely damaging to individuals and families. This program is a simple, but big idea and its time has come for the banking industry.”
NextJob’s service features three parts that work cohesively to help borrowers find meaningful employment: one-on-one job coaching, job search software featuring nine modules, and Job Talk, a weekly webinar on a critical job search topic. Together they help Fifth Third borrowers:
- Create an effective resume and cover letter that gets the attention of hiring managers
- Develop and carry out a detailed job search action plan
- Evaluate one’s career direction and identify skills that could transfer to another industry or field
- Discover jobs that are open, but never advertised
- Use the latest and most effective Internet tools and techniques
- Train and prepare for successful interviews
Fifth Third Bank is the first financial institution to offer this type of assistance to mortgage customers.