Methuss

Desperate Times, Desperate People

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This article published on MSN is about the stresses economic downturns can have on people. I'm sticking it here to remind people that we are here to help in what ways we can. If you find yourself walking the path they describe in this article, remember that it is just stuff...don't do anything foolish.

By Karen Aho

On the morning she realized her husband and son would learn the family was losing their house, Carlene Balderrama, 53, faxed a note to the mortgage company, then went to the basement and shot herself.

"I hope you're more compassionate with my husband than you were with me," she wrote in a suicide note left for the company.

It is a dramatic picture of the worst that financial stress can wring. As home foreclosures and unemployment mount, so do their companion tales of fraud, robbery, arson and even murder. And though suicides remain rare, evidence that financial stress is erupting in rash, often illegal behavior isn't difficult to find.

full story here: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/YourCreditRating/desperate-times-desperate-people.aspx

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It is hearbreaking that some people take their financial worries and make it a measure of self worth. Separating the "business self" from the "personal self" is difficult, but necessary in order to make it through tough financial times. We all have realized at one time or another that some financial move we made was a wrong solution; but to make a desperate situation worse through suicide or arson or robbery is tragic.

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Very sad indeed. To think this poor woman had come to believe that her house was what she was all about.

The problem with society as a whole is that we tend to "become" where we live, what we drive, and wear.

Also noticed the reference to fraud in that article, and

in reading complaints on the insurance industry the last few weeks, because I am also an unhappy insurance receipient (paid us about 1/3 of professional estimates to repair) over the hurricane mess. I've read about people being accused of doing such things as setting fires in their own homes, being accused of not really losing as much as they say in a robbery, etc.

Anyway, in hard times, it's easy to go over the edge I suppose.

z

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OK we need to be compassionate for people who are mentally ill but why is so much compassion given to people who were comfortable facing being less comfortable vs the poor who have struggled their whole life possibly?

It's amazing that someone needing to go from a owning a home to an apt is seen in bad circumstances but the poor who can't even maintain rent in an apt aren't given 1/100th as much compassion from the public.

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Good point Debtmama. But I think the compassion comes from how it feels to be that desparate. When someone does something so drastic, we can empathize with their pain. With the general, low income, we (society) feel that the person just needs to get more education or something to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They have some hope. They are not desparate.

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Try being lumped in with your general run-of-the-mill welfare recipients. I get treated just the same as they do but my circumstances are far from the same as theirs.

If I didn't have to depend on some services because of my daughter, trust me, I'd be working my @$$ off. I'm considered so low income that I'm 125% BELOW the poverty rate in my county.

Sure, I get food stamps. But I work just like everyone else. I'm limited to what I can do. Most people know my situation on here.

Before I had her, I worked full time and contributed to society. I paid my taxes. When I was pregnant with her, I had planned on returning back to work. I had no clue that I would not be able to do that.

I consider myself to be a very resourceful person. If I look hard enough, I can find programs that most people wouldn't even know about. I managed to get my house through the US Government at a 1% interest rate. I'm just barely holding onto my house now because the down side was that no one told me that my property and school taxes would skyrocket and that my ability to continue paying my mortgage would be increasingly difficult.

Okay, I've gotta shut up now.... I do NOT want to be seen or looked upon as some sort of charity case or pathetic person that people will feel sorry for.

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Hi Zfire,

I read your post where you said you were unhappy with the payment on an insurance claim resulting from hurricane damage. I have a good deal of background on this from being an insurance agent in Florida, and spent a great deal of time adjusting storm claims on an emergency basis when FL was hit with 8 hurricanes in 15 months. Look for what is called a Public Adjuster, or hire an attorney to represent you against the insurance company. These claims are almost always won by the policyholder when they are fought, either through mediation or legal process. Don't take what they paid you lying down, their settlement offer can be rejected (even if you cashed the first payment, its not final), and you can win with further action.

PM me if you need referrals in your state. Please note I am not posting this information for any direct or indirect business purpose, as I no longer do this kind of work.

Good luck!

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Desperate times, desperate people indeed! This is going to be a regular thing for a while. Why don't the folks that caused the economic mess off themselves, instead of the " "little guy"?

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,496025,00.html

Sheriff: Ohio Man Claiming Financial Trouble Killed Family, Then Himself

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ADVERTISEMENT

BELLE VALLEY, Ohio —

A man who told a sheriff's dispatcher he had money problems strangled his wife and 11-year-old son, then shot and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

Theodore Bayly, 39, called the dispatcher around 2 a.m., saying he had already killed his family and was going to take care of himself, Noble County Sheriff Landon Smith said.

Bayly told the dispatcher in a seven-minute call that he was having financial problems and "couldn't afford it anymore," Smith said. He told the dispatcher where to find the bodies and then hung up.

Authorities found Bayly's body on an embankment about 35 feet from the family's mobile home near Belle Valley, about 75 miles east of Columbus. He had a shotgun wound to the head, Smith said.

Bayly's wife, Janice Bayly, 40, was found inside the home, and their son, Colton, was in the back seat of a vehicle, Smith said.

The boy appeared to have been placed in the car after being killed, Smith said. A coroner determined the mother and son had been strangled, and Smith told the Columbus Dispatch that an electrical cord had been used.

He said he didn't have details about the family's financial situation.

Smith told the Zanesville Times Recorder that sheriff's deputies had never before been called to the home. "No 911 calls, no domestic violence calls," he said. "Nothing."

Neighbors Dale and Betty Hedge said Bayly had been a self-employed roofer.

"They were a nice young couple," Betty Hedge said. "We're in shock, just like everybody else."

Janice Bayly had worked as a programs services assistant at the Noble County Senior Citizens Center in Caldwell since 1996. The center recently reduced her hours because of general cutbacks, said Michelle Hollins, the center's senior program director.

Theodore Bayly occasionally came by center and was always respectful and polite, Hollins said.

"This is a shock to all of us," Hollins said. "I did not see this coming at all."

Authorities across the country have expressed concern in recent months that the nation's financial woes could turn violent, because suicides historically increase in times of economic hardship.

In Akron, a 90-year-old widow shot herself in the chest in October as authorities arrived to evict her. She survived the shooting.

Last month, a man fatally shot his wife, five young children and himself in their suburban Los Angeles home after the couple were fired from hospital jobs, police said.

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Very sad indeed. To think this poor woman had come to believe that her house was what she was all about.

The problem with society as a whole is that we tend to "become" where we live, what we drive, and wear.

Also noticed the reference to fraud in that article, and

in reading complaints on the insurance industry the last few weeks, because I am also an unhappy insurance receipient (paid us about 1/3 of professional estimates to repair) over the hurricane mess. I've read about people being accused of doing such things as setting fires in their own homes, being accused of not really losing as much as they say in a robbery, etc.

Anyway, in hard times, it's easy to go over the edge I suppose.

z

Believe me when I say that I feel your pain. I'm STILL fighting with my insurance company over my roof almost 6 months after Ike. So far I've had 3 roofing companies and an independent adjuster tell me I need a new roof due to the Hurricane. I've even hired a structural engineer to come out and he agrees. This is even one of the engineering companies that does roof inspections for Texas Windstorm. I have lifted shingles everywhere.

The insurance company gave me enough money to replace one small ridge where a tree fell on the house and to replace a few missing shingles. Their stance is that as long as it sheds water, then it's functional. I guess I am going to have to sue them to get them to pay up!

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I guess there is nothing I can add.:cry:

updated 2:36 p.m. EDT, Tue March 31, 2009

Homeowner who shot herself amid eviction dies

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Addie Polk, 91, became symbol of American foreclosure crisis

Polk remembered as quiet, reserved woman who was fiercely independent

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich mentioned her on Senate floor during bailout debate

Next Article in U.S. »

By Craig Johnson

Special to CNN

(CNN) -- Addie Polk, who became the national face of the foreclosure crisis last fall when she shot herself during an eviction, was a quiet woman who never asked for help.

Polk, 91, who was a deaconess at her church, was remembered by friends and churchgoers for her stateliness.

Fannie Mae foreclosed on the Akron, Ohio, home of Addie Polk, 91, after acquiring the mortgage in 2007.

"She had runner's legs," said Joyce Smith, a longtime family friend of Polk's and fellow member of Antioch Baptist Church. "They were well-shaped, well-shaped calves, and she still wore her heels and didn't stumble," Smith said.

"I used to ask her, 'Did you used to run?' She'd say 'I would run from trouble, that's about it,'" Smith said. "We always laughed at that."

But Polk didn't run from the troubling eviction notices that were placed time and time again on her door in Akron, Ohio.

She kept her business to herself.

"She wasn't a really vocal person," Smith said. "She'd communicate, but you never knew what was going on. If it was anything negative you didn't know; if it was positive you didn't know. She was just quiet about her personal life."

Polk, made news last fall when she shot herself during an eviction, died Monday at the Arbors at Fairlawn nursing home near Akron. She was 91.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's office, when contacted Tuesday by CNN, said the cause of death has not been released but it was not related to the shooting.

"We're going to forgive whatever outstanding balance she had on the loan," Faith said. "Given the circumstances, we think it's appropriate."

In 2004, Polk took out a 30-year, 6.375 percent mortgage for $45,620 with a Countrywide Home Loan office in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The same day, she also took out an $11,380 line of credit.

Over the next couple of years, Polk missed payments on the 101-year-old home that she and her late husband purchased in 1970. In 2007, the mortgage was in the hands of Fannie Mae, which soon filed for foreclosure.

Akron Sheriff's Deputy Donald Fatheree, in a telephone interview with CNN on Tuesday, said he'd personally been to Polk's door about six times to deliver eviction notices. "Never did reach her, but always left notes," Fatheree said.

As part of the eviction process, authorities left writs of possession -- legal terms that informed the occupier of eviction -- on the front door of homes. Fatheree said each time he'd return the notes would be gone, and he'd leave another.

Polk's two self-inflicted gunshots to the chest were heard around the United States as the lifelong homemaker became a symbol for struggling U.S. homeowners burdened down by debt and unrelenting mortgage companies.

News of Polk's plight was so pervasive that U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, evoked her name on the House floor during debate over the Wall Street bailout just days after the shooting.

"This bill does nothing for the Addie Polks of the world," Kucinich said. "This bill fails to address the fact that millions of homeowners are facing foreclosure, are facing the loss of their home. This bill will take care of Wall Street, and the market may go up for a few days, but democracy is going downhill."

Sommerville Funeral Services in Akron will handle arrangements for Polk. E-mail to a friend

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We had someone post something in the collections forum about considering suicide. It's crazy.

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I wish people wouldn't try to associate a handful of suicides and stupid acts with the foreclosure mess. These people are mentally ill. Any major event could have triggered it. And the fact is the vast majority of people who off themselves or go postal are not in foreclosure and do not have financial problems. Are we now going to go back and look at financial records for Timothy McVeigh and other crackpots and attribute their acts to financial stress?

It is very sad. But it is very opportunistic for the media to use an unfortunate act by a mentally ill person to prove a point.

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That's really disheartening that how a debt stress could ruin the families. I think in such a situation one needs to find the ways to repay and try to clear the situation to the creditors instead of doing foolish things.

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It is dilemma or third world countries where there is only person to earn and take care of whole family consisting of 10 to 14 people. In such conditions what can be expected.

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Try being lumped in with your general run-of-the-mill welfare recipients. I get treated just the same as they do but my circumstances are far from the same as theirs.

If I didn't have to depend on some services because of my daughter, trust me, I'd be working my @$$ off. I'm considered so low income that I'm 125% BELOW the poverty rate in my county.

Sure, I get food stamps. But I work just like everyone else. I'm limited to what I can do. Most people know my situation on here.

Before I had her, I worked full time and contributed to society. I paid my taxes. When I was pregnant with her, I had planned on returning back to work. I had no clue that I would not be able to do that.

I consider myself to be a very resourceful person. If I look hard enough, I can find programs that most people wouldn't even know about. I managed to get my house through the US Government at a 1% interest rate. I'm just barely holding onto my house now because the down side was that no one told me that my property and school taxes would skyrocket and that my ability to continue paying my mortgage would be increasingly difficult.

Okay, I've gotta shut up now.... I do NOT want to be seen or looked upon as some sort of charity case or pathetic person that people will feel sorry for.

Never...

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I wish people wouldn't try to associate a handful of suicides and stupid acts with the foreclosure mess. These people are mentally ill. Any major event could have triggered it. And the fact is the vast majority of people who off themselves or go postal are not in foreclosure and do not have financial problems. Are we now going to go back and look at financial records for Timothy McVeigh and other crackpots and attribute their acts to financial stress?

It is very sad. But it is very opportunistic for the media to use an unfortunate act by a mentally ill person to prove a point.

I don't want to argue, but, consider: a 91 year old woman losing her home? Who was she? What were the circumstances? Why did she take out a mortgage, credit? A little understanding, compassion, might be in order.... Good people can be driven to do desperate things.

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Most of us are here for the same reason. We have or had credit problems. Many of us clearly did not plan for times like these. In my case, my son and I decided to buy some rental homes right at the top of the bubble. (timing is everything)

The leading entry in this thread illustrates how bad the stress CAN be. Since this is my second brush with financial ruin, I have thicker skin than a lot of people in the same boat. We all know it seems like the end of the world. We are conditioned to feel that way. We are like a bunch of sheep when it comes to thinking for ourselves. Banks run this country, and have done a wonderful job of "conditioning" us.

They spend a few years telling us to invest in the stock market, bonds, small caps, Forex, whatever. Because all things financial are cyclical, the bottom usually falls out, leaving us "grasshoppers" holding the proverbial bag. We are nudged, guided, led by the hand to do things that might not work for us, and then our hand is chopped off. For some people, (most people?) this is catastrophic. As in the lead entry... Others can let it roll off their back.

This morning I had a collector call and try to "rough me up" verbally. At first, as a "conditioned" sheep, I listened to what he was saying. Then, it struck me, that I don't have to listen to crap like that. I said to him: "I will tell your boss about this"! He said: "this call is being monitored". He resumed his veiled threats. I said: "listen to THIS! My feet are hanging over the edge right now. If you push me ANY harder, I WILL file bankruptcy". He got amazingly cooperative after that, and we actually agreed that I needed help. I was referred to "remediation". She was forceful, but helpful...

Do NOT be afraid to stick up for your rights. Just because you are having financial troubles, (like most of the country) does not make you a criminal. Please be easy on yourself during these times. You have plenty of company. Good luck!

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That's really disheartening that how a debt stress could ruin the life and families. I think being in such a situation, one needs to find the ways to repay and try to clear the situation to the creditors instead of doing foolish things that will add more stress.

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Hopelessness can drive people over the edge easier than people like to think. Whenever someone commits suicide, others are quick to say they're 'just mentally ill'. That is totally false. It is the lie that is told to keep people from feeling any guilt over their own contributions to the situation. Yes, people can save someone from suicide by being supportive. Yes, people can push another over that edge really easily by verbal abuse. When a someone commits suicide for any reason, the survivors are told they couldn't have done anything, because frankly, it's too late now and the survivors have to go on. It is harder to do that with guilt on their conscience. If there was no hope of saving someone, then we wouldn't bother funding and publicizing suicide prevention hotlines. After all, what good would someone on a phone do if it was all just unpreventable 'illness'.

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There is now talk of spiking municipal water supplies with Prozac or lithium on the theory that it will help reduce depression and suicide. We've sunk that low.

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There is now talk of spiking municipal water supplies with Prozac or lithium on the theory that it will help reduce depression and suicide. We've sunk that low.

Are you kidding?

Those are just a craze. They don't do much for many people.

What I'm surprised at is that there isn't more turning against the antagonizers instead of oneself. If she'd thrown her life away that way instead it would at least have done others some good. This way she just hurts those who loved her.

Why aren't our attorney generals filing charges against the attorneys who file fake papers, signers who sign fake affidavits, banks who produce fake statements, and the executives in charge who are benefitting financially? Why aren't the feds filing charges of treason and penalizing accordingly? These people are selling our country out $5000-$10000 at a time with false or inflated lawsuits and we're all sinking. The whole batch of them should be taken out of circulation.

Edited by rippedoff

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Don't be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. Even the king milks the land for his own profit! - Ecclesiastes 5:8-9

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Thank you to the Administrators for allowing me to participate - From 1996 to 2006 I was the co founder and VP of Credit Advocate Counseling Corp in NYC. We were the only public 501c3, licensed by NYS Banking, independent agency to have ever achieved COA Accreditation that was eligible for membership in the NFCC. We Declined! Although this would have solidified our funding for years to come, at that time the NFCC had just started removing itself from active board duty with many of the biggest unsecured sub-prime lenders in the business and moved into an advisory capacity. I have caught the governing bodies of the "non profit" sector in direct violation of the very policies and procedures they dictate for licensing, and have other tales that would make anyone disgusted.

I do not want to rehash the past. I do however, want to discuss the future. In 1999-2000, I taught a class at the learning Annex in NYC on resolving credit and debt problems. I told my students at that time there would be a severe consequence to all the democratization of credit and sub-prime mortgages. At that time, I mentioned that in the next 10 yrs, the stock market would plummet to 7, and this would result in a recession of epic proportion. I was wrong. - The market went to 6.

I am now highly concerned about the denial of the American about the severity of the current debt crisis. As a true insider to the credit and debt industry, I learned that the federal government and the macro finance of central banks is congruent in many ways to personal/individual finance. It is my contention, that western civilization i.e THE USA, has 50 yrs left. Our enemy is not, terrorism, nuclear war, an exotic disease or the cessation of photosynthesis. It's us. Our way of thinking. The paradox of of trying to create a system of govermet that promotes free market as well as democracy.

What are people thinking?? I'm at a loss. My girlfriend has two children that I love to death. Suddenly, I find myself caring. HELP!! Jim Steele

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