How I lost my home
This is my true story as to how I lost my home located 3 houses from Lake Erie because I filed bankruptcy. My home was completely paid for.
- Home off Lake Erie
- My son’s homecoming from the Persian Gulf
- I trusted my former boss to handle the case
- The hateful and assuming bankruptcy Referee
- How ironic
Home off Lake Erie
I owned a house in Madison, Ohio 20 years ago that was only three houses from Lake Erie. As I write this my heart still breaks. I so vividly remember the sound of the waves rushing against the shore while I worked in the kitchen. I also can remember the smell of the Lake and the quietness of the winters out there. I used to jog along the lake in the evening after work. In the morning I would walk down to the lake, sit on the bench and have my morning coffee. I could walk my dog at midnight and no one would bother me. I used to fish off Lake Erie with my children and go canoeing and swimming off the beach.
My son’s homecoming from the Persian Gulf
After my oldest son, Allen, got home from serving his country in the Persian Gulf, he moved in with me. He needed a job and a vehicle so we both went to the local dealership in Madison, Ohio. The dealer talked us into buying a Ford Bronco because Allen could use it for hauling his tools for brick laying jobs. Allen had no credit so I co signed. However, Allen, who was fresh out of the Navy, found it harder to get a job that he had anticipated.
His best friend asked him to move with him to Arizona because masonry jobs out there were a sure thing. The truck barely made it to Arizona and the job market was not what they thought it would be so I started taking over the car payments. My son decided to come back to Ohio, but his truck did not make it! He had to leave the Bronco in Flagstaff Arizona. Later I found out from the local lawyer that this dealership, which is now out of business, had a reputation for selling lemons. In retrospect I should have come to that lawyer with my bankruptcy instead of the lawyer who I trusted and previously worked for.
I trusted my former boss to handle the case
I was having trouble keeping up with the car payments so I filed bankruptcy after being urged by a friend who said that I would not lose my home. My lawyer who was also my former boss promised that I would not lose my home. However, just to be on the safe side I deeded my home into my 2nd son’s name. I then filed bankruptcy. When it was time to attend the hearing, my lawyer felt that there would be no problem with the case so he did not attend. Instead he sent a clerk to attend with me.
The hateful and assuming bankruptcy Referee
We were totally caught off guard and the bankruptcy referee was very unpleasant and assuming. He acted like I was just being an overindulgent mother protecting her son and told me that he would take my house that by the way was completely paid for.
I sat in my chair dumbfounded. I could not believe my ears. I was totally numb and vowed never to trust anyone again. I truly felt my life was over. The house that I worked so hard to get paid off was going to be taken from me.
To this day I still feel that the referee just plain hated women or had some type of personal grudge against mother’s who love their sons. I never coddled my son, in fact, it was because my son wanted to help our family financially that he joined the Navy before he even graduated high school. To this day Allen says that the Navy helped him grow up and that while in the Persian Golf he learned to rely on God more than ever. While in the Navy there were many dangerous situations in which Allen felt God’s presence.
I am so proud of the man Allen is today! He is no longer laying brick due to a shoulder injury but is now a practical nurse. He loves his new job and says that mostly he loves helping people.
Another thing that is quite ironic is that the bankruptcy referee took so much time with all the paperwork that by the time my house was sold, it did not pay for the Bronco. All that money went to legal fees. Allen was still being harassed to pay for the Bronco, even after my house was sold.
I got the inspiration to finally write about this heartbreaking turn of events from Mark Golden Brown who wrote “Consumer Help for Car buyers in Alberta.” However, there is an organization (AMVIC) that will help people who buy lemons like I did.
I own the copyright to all pictures in this article.