Not your typical foreclosure

March 16, 2009 3:39:23 PM PDT
When you hear the word foreclosure, you might think of someone who bought a big home without the means to pay it off. Well, that's not the case in a southeast Houston foreclosure. We've heard so much about foreclosures that many of us have probably stopped paying attention, but we met an 85-year-old who is days away from losing her home. She only owes $5,900 and the home would be fully paid off.

Ramona Hernandez has lived in her southeast Houston home for the last 20 years. Next month the house will be sold at foreclosure.

"If I have to leave, I think I am going to die," said Hernandez.

The trouble started more than two years ago when Hernandez's live-in son Gerry got too sick to work. Since then, family and friends have paid medical bills, power bills and even made mortgage payments, but now those helping hands no longer have the ability to pitch in. Hernandez is now six months behind on her mortgage.

"Right now, I don't have anything to pay because my son is sick and I've been buying medicine," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said she's tried to work with her mortgage company, Midland Mortgage, but this week she was told the home will be sold on April 7.

After 20 years of making payments, sometimes late but making them just the same, Hernandez and her family have paid the mortgage down to just $5,900. That's all she owes and the house would be hers, but with meager social security and disability checks coming in, it might as well be $1,000,000.

"There is just no more money and now we are at this point and there is no type of assistance for people in their situation and it doesn't make sense," said family friend Tina Garcia.

Hernandez may not seem like the typical homeowner facing foreclosure, but realtor Kevin Riles who specializes in selling foreclosures said most people lose their homes for two reasons: job losses and medical bills.

"Because we live in a uninsured population, medical bills can really skyrocket if you have a major event, then people get behind because they chose to pay a medical bill instead of their mortgage," said Riles.

I wish this story had a happy ending, but all we can report right now is that the mortgage company says it will review the situation.

Again, the sale date for the home is April 7. The family has until then to come up with the $4,200 they are behind or the $5,900 to pay off the home completely. Otherwise, the house will be sold.

After our story aired, dozens of people have come forward offering to help Mrs. Hernandez. If you would like to help, you can call the family's contact Tina Garcia at 281-830-1100.

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