Housing News

Losing a Home

Another truly sad story.

Who’s responsible for this financial mess? People are putting the blame to avaricious Wall Street, and to borrowers with a proclivity for irresponsible choices. In fact, many believe that had it not been for borrowers who sought and trusted their lenders’ tempting loan offers, there wouldn’t be any market downturn. So when they hear stories of foreclosure because of default on a hybrid loan, people take no pity and shake their heads

Then there are stories like this recent article by The Republican Herald . Thomas Leskowsky, 70, of Minersville is surrendering his house to bank after defaulting on almost $44,000 of his mortgage. The report adds, “… Leskowsky said, ‘Where we’re gonna go, we don’t know.’ Thomas and his wife, Phyllis, 65, who were profiled in two previous Republican-Herald articles, managed to avoid a sheriff’s sale on the property by catching up on late property taxes. They were not so lucky with their Tower City property, which Phyllis brought in from a previous marriage. That home, which also has a $39,000 mortgage, goes up for a sheriff’s sale on Dec. 18, Leskowsky said.
In 2007, Leskowsky was still working full-time and keeping up with his bills. He even had a new truck. Then his health began declining, interfering with his ability to work steadily. On two occasions this year alone, he’s suffered strokes and been left voiceless for weeks.”

Now this could happen to anybody, and it’s a sad fact that no law can protect people like Leskowsky from losing their homes because they’ve fallen ill. Forced sale, or a foreclosure, is the result of financial hardship from sickness. An alternative measure could be filing Chapter 13 where owners can repay their mortgage for a period of three to five years to avoid foreclosure. Those 62 years old and above can also apply for a reverse mortgage though the home must satisfy enough equity requirements.

So the next time you get to hear someone lament over his foreclosed home, don’t always conclude that they took out a very ambitious mortgage. In some cases, there are circumstances that he couldn’t do anything about.

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