Frank Monte is the owner of Centurion, a marketing firm in Florida. Frank Monte currently has his sights set on becoming a lawyer. But up until now, he has spent many years in marketing.
He also started a real estate company just as the housing market was collapsing, but turned that into a positive by creating a company called Homeowner Answers, LLC. That company represented homeowners on the verge of losing their homes to lenders. His strategy was to hire negotiators who tried to work out deals where homeowner debt would be forgiven, and the company had a lot of success.
“Sometimes the lenders wouldn’t go quietly into the night,” he says, “so I had to step up our game. I was able to find attorneys that would help my clients pro bono, and ultimately shift the tide back on our side and gain a better leveraging position.” Major lenders had taken hundreds of millions of dollars through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). “Instead of helping homeowners underwater, they did everything they could to try and leverage the homeowner for everything they had to their names.”
Most of those homeowners were struggling even before the housing crisis, he says, and he found it gut-wrenching to watch. “Homeowner Answers LLC gave the underdog a voice, and a fighting chance.”
Eventually Homeowner Answers LLC ran its course, as the environment that created it stabilised. Frank Monte of Centurion intends to continue fighting for the underdog once he has become a licensed attorney.