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Numerica helps family overcome roadblocks to mobility van

Nov. 15, 2021

Member stories: the Ipock family

Angela and Shane Ipock marvel at their adult son. His spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy requires him to navigate life from a wheelchair. Undaunted, he lived independently for more than a decade.

When a leg injury required him to seek extra help, he decided he was ready for a fresh start closer to his parents. Just one issue: He lived in Southern Illinois, 2,000 miles away from the Ipocks’ Tri-Cities home.

As it turned out, the road home was impeded by a domino of roadblocks. This series of challenges led Angela and Shane to the Gage branch of Numerica Credit Union, hopeful their luck would change.

Securing safe transportation

When their son decided to move home, the Ipocks researched transportation solutions — both for the move and for their son’s new life in the Tri-Cities. They located a mobility van perfectly suited for his needs and set out to finance the purchase.

“Our bank that we’ve been going to for over 20 years was the first place we went,” Shane said.

And it was the first place they encountered the problem. According to the bank, the van was overpriced. In truth, the cost was double what it would take to buy the same van without mobility upgrades. The vehicle the Ipocks needed was equipped with a ramp, special safety fasteners, and an ability to tilt, among other features.

The bank said no.

“They didn’t even try to understand that because of the upgrades it needed and the special equipment put into this van — of course it’s going to be more money,” Shane said.

Next, the Ipocks tried a lender they had used to finance a previous loan. Again, the answer was no. A third attempt brought them to a financial institution recommended by the van’s seller. Still no dice.

By the time Angela and Shane pulled into Numerica’s Gage branch in Kennewick, they were low on hope and short on time. They needed to be setting out on the three-day road trip to Illinois. That’s when they met the person they refer to as their “godsend” — Assistant Branch Manager Karen Garcia Solis.

“In less than 24 hours, we were driving the van to Illinois to pick up our son,” Shane recalled. “Best thing ever.”

The Numerica difference

It was a typically full day at the branch. Even so, Karen was moved by the Ipocks’ plight.

“We’re always crazy busy, but it doesn’t mean we’re not going to take the time to help these members,” she said.

Working in partnership with Branch Manager Codi Couchman, Karen immediately identified the problem. To get the loan approved, they needed to locate more accurate comparables. The team went to work. It took some digging, but they found mobility vehicles of comparable value, validating the price tag. Working in tandem with Numerica’s local underwriters, the case for the loan was made.

Karen said she was almost as excited to deliver the good news to the Ipocks as they were to get the loan.

“You just can’t beat that feeling,” she said.

For Angela and Shane, the difference was easy to identify.

“Karen listened to us when we explained our situation to her,” Angela said. “We mattered. We were people. It wasn’t just a business transaction. Karen actually cared about our situation and how important it was for us to bring our son home.”

Shane agreed: “Numerica treated us like human beings, like people instead of just a number or a bank account.”

On the road with the Ipocks

These days, the van is in constant use. In addition to medical appointments, the Ipocks’ son hopes the van will help him find and travel to a job. He’s even joking about boosting the bass in the speaker system.

Indeed, the van has barely idled since that maiden voyage to Southern Illinois. A couple hours after closing the loan, the Ipocks were packed and pointed out of town. But before leaving Kennewick, Angela and Shane prioritized a quick detour into a certain parking lot on Gage Boulevard.

Karen spotted them through the branch window and raced outside. As the Ipocks showed her the van’s ramp and special upgrades, they presented her with a bamboo plant.

“We just wanted to thank her,” Angela said. “She’s a part of our family. She’s not just somebody who helped us get a car. She holds a very special place in our hearts, as well as Numerica.”

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