ABC13 viewers come to elderly woman's aid

March 16, 2009 3:40:36 PM PDT
There's been an outpouring of support for a southeast Houston family fighting to save their home. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

We first introduced you to Ramona Hernandez on Eyewitness News on Friday. The 85-year-old has lived in her home for 20 years, and is just days away from losing it to foreclosure. But since Friday, generous offers to help have flooded ABC13.

Some of the offers of help are large. Others smaller, but still a big sacrifice for people on limited income. We received nearly 100 emails, plus at least that many phone calls from people wanting to help an elderly mother stay in her house and pay it off.

It is not a large house, but for two decades, it's been the tidy little home in which Hernandez has lived. And last week, she was told she was about to lose it to foreclosure. And that, she said, would kill her.

Mrs. Hernandez's problems are not unique. She lives on Social Security. But when her son became ill with a rare illness called Waggoner's Disease, he could no longer help with monthly notes or bills. Mrs. Hernandez fell months behind on her mortgage. She owed less than $6,000.

But the story of the elderly mother who was about to lose her home moved a lot of viewers, who emailed and called us. If the commitments and pledges are kept, Mrs. Hernandez will keep her home. The note will be paid off.

But realtor Kevin Riles, who buys foreclosed properties, says buyers in similar predicaments should notify their mortgage companies as soon as trouble starts..

"If you communicate, most lenders in this market will try to help work with you; most of them, not all, but most of them," he said. "Otherwise, you either have to sell or try to do what's called a short sell or have angels come in and try to help."

Read the story that ran on Eyewitness News on Friday that led to the outpouring of generosity.

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