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    How do we help her???

    We have a woman who comes into the crisis center about every 2 weeks for help. We give her material items (some food, shampoo, new shoes) but wish we could do more. We don't have a cash fund. Any ideas?

    Here is her background. She is widowed. About 17 years ago she and her husband refinanced their farm to buy some farming equipment. The farm has been in her family for over 150years. She has 2 years left on the mortgage at $1500 a month. Her husband died 9 years ago. She has been ok because she was getting social security due to her minor daughter (his daughter). Now the daughter is older and that has stopped and she is afraid she is going to loose her farm. b The daughter has left home and is in college on scholarships in another state. She has no other family--parents are deceased and she was an only child. Her husbands father is alive, but a ward of the state in a nursing home with no assets.

    She is 46 years old and has heart trouble, but does not qualify for disability. She can not find a second job and her current job rotates her hours each week which doesn't help her any in finding a second job. She lives 1 mile outside of a town of 290 people. She carpools to work 36 miles away. Her employer does not offer overtime.

    Her income is $2000 a month. ($500 week)

    Mortgage is $1500 a month (includes taxes and insurance)
    credit card bills total $300 a month
    auto insurance $70 a month
    water $17 a month (minimum bill that her town has)
    electric $25 a month (minimum bill her electric co has)
    food, gasoline, medicines---nothing left

    She burns firewood for heat and cooking--her wood was given to her free. She has no phone, but during the winter we gave her a prepaid cell phone--she returned it to us with about 80% of the minutes still on it. She has no TV, no internet, and burns 2 lightbulbs in her home to keep her electric at the $25 mark.

    She has not charged on these credit cards in years--this is debt from when her husband was alive for some of his medical expenses. He only had $25000 in life insurance and it is gone.

    Also, she can not read--we are working on that-teaching her weekly but she was determined to be learning disabled in school and did not get help. Actually we think she acutally has dislexia, and has responded well to treatment that a volunteer is working with her on.

    Her car is a clunker. We see nothing to downsize on. She has tried to advertise for a roommate or rent rooms out, but her town has nothing to attract anyone to it. She has some chickens (about 8) and uses their eggs as food and she fishes her ponds for food. We gave her some plants and seeds for her garden.

    Oh--she also uses a cane--had polio as a child and has a limp.

    She really has nothing of value to sell. To loose the farm that her great great grandparents had would crush her.

    No one will refinance her due to her low credit scores as some months she has not been able to pay the credit cards.

    Her daughter tries to send her some money once in awhile, but it isn't much.

    Any ideas? I will see her again on Friday most likely.

    #2
    Stop paying the credit cards, her credit score is already in the tank. If it is a matter of honor, then she can pick them up again when she pays off the farm in two years, she will then have and extra ~$1000 or so to settle those debts.

    Comment


      #3
      The mortgage company won't re-fi? There was suppose to be help for those with low income and high mortgage, maybe check with FHA on that (you can probably get some info online). The land and house still has value that they should consider and with the mortgage only having 2 yrs left.....she should have equity in it even though her credit is low. Are you sure she can't get a re-fi....or has she just SAID she can't, sometimes people just assume they can't and don't apply for it.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by asmom View Post
        Stop paying the credit cards, her credit score is already in the tank. If it is a matter of honor, then she can pick them up again when she pays off the farm in two years, she will then have and extra ~$1000 or so to settle those debts.
        One of the credit card companies already took her to court and won. $125 a month is court ordered. The other 2 are threatening to take her. Also the interest keeps adding on. She was told last year by an attorney (free consolation) that the new laws for the credit card companies are not in her favor. The interest and late fees have already trippled the orginal amount due.

        How do you get them to back off ??

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by wnlbutterfly View Post
          The mortgage company won't re-fi? There was suppose to be help for those with low income and high mortgage, maybe check with FHA on that (you can probably get some info online). The land and house still has value that they should consider and with the mortgage only having 2 yrs left.....she should have equity in it even though her credit is low. Are you sure she can't get a re-fi....or has she just SAID she can't, sometimes people just assume they can't and don't apply for it.
          Last week one of our volunteers (who is a retired banker) took her into the bank she used to work at. They used one of the conference rooms and called everywhere and did several apps. All were rejected. Her credit score is in the low 400's and the court judgement for the credit card debt and also the fact that in December she was put into forclosure doesn't help. Her daughter (who is 19) was able to send her some money but she still has that on her credit. The money she sent her was actually supposed to be for school books from an award from college...

          Comment


            #6
            Could she do a reverse mortgage? In the end it would mean that the farm would no longer be in the family, but is anyone actually farming it?

            Is she earning money by renting out the land for farming?

            Would she consider selling the farm and then using the proceeds to pay off all the debts and then move to something more manageable in town?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Daylily View Post
              Could she do a reverse mortgage? In the end it would mean that the farm would no longer be in the family
              Actually, that's a very good idea. Doing a reverse mortgage doesn't necessarily mean the family would lose the property. She could just borrow enough to cover her until the mortgage is paid off, or enough to pay off the credit cards.

              The other question is if the daughter even wants the farm.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                What is the cons of losing the farm other than sadness? Would she feel better without any debt?
                LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                Comment


                  #9
                  The woman is only 46. I doubt if she could get a reverse mortgage because of her young age. Are reverse mortgages offered below age 62? Also, this is farmland plus house. I've never heard of a bank buying farmland through a reverse mortgage.

                  This is a sad situation. I'll keep trying to think of any possibilities.
                  "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                  "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would have her talk to her mortgage company. She needs to plead her case with them, tell them that she is about to default. If she goes over the income situation I'm sure they will see how dire their position is. They may be able to recast the loan to a longer term to lower her payment. This would not be a refi so she may have more luck. Have her call the lender immediately!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Can she file for bankruptcy? Here in Canada you keep your primary residence if you file, not sure about the US rules? I feel for her.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sad to say, but if the farm is already in foreclosure, her credit score is so low, and she has CC judgments, she can't read, and is living a subsistence life, it's already too late. Looking ahead, finding her an affordable place to live so she doesn't become homeless, too is probably the best you can do for her.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I'm not clear about something. She owns and lives on a farm but it sounds like her job/income does not come from the farm. Is that correct? If so, what purpose does this farm serve if not generating any income for her?
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            land is an asset. part of it could be sold to save the rest. or it could rented to a neighboring farm. or lease to a utility, so they could make a wind farm.

                            can she drop the car entirely to get rid of insurance? could she pay the other carpool person gas money for a ride and does she have another way to get around to do her errands?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Could she sell part of the land for enough to pay off the CC?

                              Could she find a private loan to pay off the CC to reduce the interest?

                              How much is the CC loan and mortgage?

                              Does she have to have a car? without it, no gas, and no insurance?

                              Could she pick up any babysitting work? Or sewing? even on a barter system it might help a smidgen? What does she do with her free time anyway? Not that I don't feel for her, just saying if you could fill it with anything that makes even a buck or two it would help her. volunteer at the home to pass out food, keeps her house from needing electricity or air/heat, plus a free lunch I presume. Not to mention the self esteem boost she would get by helping others....

                              How much longer till the mortgage is paid off?

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