Generations Bank aides family on brink of losing home

Diane Draheim was still in the cardiac unit at Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital recovering from her September 2014 heart transplant, when she and her husband, Kim, learned they were about to lose their home. Despite months of long-distance negotiations with the national financial institution that held their mortgage, they were unable to secure a refinancing deal. A key obstacle was water damage in the unfinished basement of the couple’s house which they could not afford to repair. “Between our mortgage, credit card payment and medical bills, plus loss of Diane’s income, we couldn’t come close to making our payments,” Kim Draheim said. “Our bank required basement repairs, but refused to roll them into the refinance. I was sure we’d lose the house.” Friends rallied around the Draheims, staging two benefits to help keep them current on various payments and boost their spirits, but unfortunately, continued talks with their bank went nowhere. In addition to the Draheims, the residence is also home to Diane’s daughter and granddaughter.Diane served as the executive director of the Seneca County House of Concern, a food and household goods pantry, until her heart condition forced her to go on medical disability leave. While she appreciated the outpouring of support, she felt awkward receiving help, instead of giving it. Kim, who works with youth at a local agency, had similar feelings, but saw the benefits as a way to draw attention to other families facing financial difficulties. A life-long rock and roll musician, Kim was heartened by the music community’s willingness to play at the benefits, joining Kim’s band, The Infrared Radiation Orchestra.The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and Finger Lakes Times both ran news stories about the benefits and the Draheims’ fiscal “Catch-22” situation. The Times October 29, 2014 article caught the attention of Generations Bank senior executives and within hours Jim King, VP of Lending, and Sandra Ferrara, VP of Retail Banking, reached out to the couple, knocking on their front door with an offer to help. Kim Draheim went to the bank the next day and the ball started rolling toward a mortgage resolution. “When he came home from the bank and told me we had options, I felt the layers of worry start peeling away. They were so helpful. They went out of their way to really listen and find a solution,” Diane Draheim said.On February 13, Diane and Kim went to the Seneca Falls office location of Generations Bank and closed on their new mortgage. The bank was able to combine their credit card and medical debt, along with the basement repair costs into their refinance deal. Their monthly payments fell from just over $1,400 a month, to just over $600. “We went from an impossible situation to a tight, but doable financial situation,” Kim Draheim said. “It’s a very emotional thing for me because my dad built that house and put in a lot of personal touches, like the hand-carved black walnut fireplace mantel. Now we can keep all that in our lives.”Menzo Case, president and CEO, Generations Bank, said while the Draheims’ situation has become public through news coverage, it’s the kind of personal service the bank prides itself on providing on a daily basis. “At Generations Bank, we pride ourselves with doing business in a way that positively impacts our communities. Our employees are our customer’s friends and neighbors. We all care deeply about the communities we live in and strive to take treating people the way we want to be treated to the next level,” said Menzo Case, President and CEO.Kim was so impressed by how he and his wife were treated he has referred family and friends to Generations Bank. One is his work colleagues took his advice and is about to close on a new mortgage with Generations.Diane’s recovery is on course and she’s looking forward to an April 18 benefit that will take place at Suzy’s Tavern in Auburn. The couple sees it as a celebration, with Diane healthy enough to be there, and Kim’s band taking the stage. “We’re looking forward to seeing lots of friends and saying ‘Thanks’ to everybody who has supported us through these rough times. Everybody from the bank is invited. It’s going to be a good time,” Kim said.

Also on FingerLakes1.com