The staggering statistics - foreclosures are up 121%. One out of every 171 homes has received a notice of foreclosure. We are in a shocking housing crisis due to shoddy lenders with even shoddier business practices and greedy consumers who wanted more than they could afford. The rest of us can't sell our homes, sell at a huge loss or have seen our property values decline.
I read a sad story today about a woman who committed suicide on the day her home foreclosed. Carlene Balderrama, a 53-year-old wife and mother, shot herself to death in her home, after notifying her mortgage company of her intent and asking that they be more compassionate with her widower husband than they had been with her.
The mortgage company contacted the police who arrived at the house to find her already dead.
Apparently the home was to be auctioned off that day, and by some accounts, potential buyers were beginning to line up.
Balderrama's suicide note to her family asked them to use her insurance money to pay off the house.
I'm not sure what to make of this story. I would think a lot more was going on with this women to cause her suicide. A woman's home may indeed be her castle but to leave a husband and children to pick up the pieces lends credibility to the feeling that she had even bigger problems.
And even if her insurance paid off the home - would her family want to stay in the same home that triggered her suicide?
Home ownership and financial burdens are affecting women more and more. The days of waiting to get married to own a home with a husband are long gone. Women are buying property like never before, in their 20s and 30s, regardless of familial status. Hurray for us. But now we face the same pressures. We too, are losing our homes, losing our homes value or finding that we're desperate for room-mates or second jobs to pay the mortgage.
Who knows what happened with the Balderrama household. They had filed bankruptcy three times in the past half dozen years so they clearly had long-standing financial woes and were not capable of stabilizing themselves from an economic standpoint. Did they buy too much house? Was it greed? Or were they duped into a false sense of security by mortgage companies who saw big interest payouts dangling before them?
Whatever the case, Mrs. Balderrama was unable to cope and saw suicide as her only option. Now her life is over and life as they knew it is permanently over for her family. And all over a house? Probably not. Maybe it was the proverbial straw. Maybe it was a culmination of that and unknown mental health problems that remained undiagnosed and untreated. But she is gone and the house remains.
How has the current housing crisis affected you or your loved ones? Is you outlook on life now different? Have you lost your home or fear you may?
For more on the tragic story of Carlene Balderrama, click here
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