by Char Brooks, Project Healthy Living Coach and Attorney
Elder Law of Michigan is so fortunate to have Attorney Jessica Sanchez as the Housing Services Manager at ELM’s Housing Rights Center of Michigan. As the Housing Services Manager, Ms. Sanchez manages a multi-county Mid-Michigan property tax and mortgage foreclosure prevention initiative, and provides legal advice and counseling services to homeowners and tenants. Along with being licensed by the State Bar of Michigan, Jessica is certified by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the Neighborhood Center for Homeownership Education (NCHEC).
The Housing Rights Center of Michigan’s current focus is on helping homeowners with preventing foreclosure, and helping tenants with a variety of issues. “Working to help homeowners prevent foreclosure, and educating homeowners and tenants about their legal rights is something that really matters to me. I think it’s very important that people understand their rights regarding their home. These issues can happen to anybody-most people are not immune from the risk of losing an income and quickly having problems affording their home.
Jessica started as an attorney at ELM in 2010, helping seniors with a variety of legal issues with ELM’s legal hotline through a program at her law school, The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. During law school, Jessica interned at a litigation civil defense firm in Columbus, Ohio, where she honed her research and writing skills. A Mid-Michigan native, Jessica attended Michigan State University and received her B.A. in sociology. “I’ve always been curious about people, about how people behave in groups, and understanding societal problems.
In her office tacked to a pinboard, Jessica has a quote torn out of an article which reads, “Here’s to the Legal Rebels Who Blaze Their Own Trail” She explains that for her this symbolizes taking on unpopular causes, and finding new ways to advocate for people. We are celebrating her this month because she is so passionate about helping Mid-Michigan residents get the advice and help they need.
Here’s a great story of how Jessica helped a client keep his home.
While at a Town Hall meeting last summer on preventing foreclosure, Jessica met William, an Eaton County resident. William and his mom bought a house many years before and made the mortgage payments together. Unfortunately, William’s mom was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and shortly after, she passed away William became unemployed.
Although it was financially difficult, William used his unemployment compensation to make his mortgage payments. He cycled between getting temporary employment and being laid off, all the while making his mortgage payments. There were only 17 months of payments left on the house before he would own it outright. However, he did not have enough to pay the property taxes, and what he didn’t realize was that he was coming very close to losing his home to tax foreclosure.
William remembered meeting Jessica at the Town Hall the previous summer and decided to call her. Making a long story short, Jessica was his advocate every step of the way. William was approved for Step Forward assistance which helped catch him up with the back-taxes and he was able to stay in his home. He now has a job and is able to keep up with the property taxes and enjoy his home.
Jessica’s persistence, attention to detail, knowledge of the law, and professionalism are second to none. We appreciate her hard work, dedication to the rights of others, and great teamwork.
Thanks Jessica for a job well done!!!