One dollar house gets foreclosed; 101-year-old granny gets evicted
Homes across America thought safe from foreclosure are going back to the banks as more and more people are finding out that they're not as safe and sound as they once thought. As bills add up and Americans become unable to make payments, banks are becoming quick to step in and swipe houses from those that are even one payment late.
Such was the case recently with Linda Hatchel and her 1895 Victorian home outside of Chicago. She purchased the house when it was up for demolition for a single dollar over 20 years ago, but spent $50,000 alone on moving it a distance of only 1.5 miles. She gutted the home and restored it herself, eventually taking out a second mortgage to pay for her renovations. She’s been able to make her payments ever since, but a bout with cancer has left her with medical bills coming before housing payments. Now after failing to make her final payment, the banks are bugging her to pay up.
"I had one year left on my mortgage, and it would have been paid off,” she tells an NBC affiliate from Chicago. "I wanted to live here for as long as possible," she says, so Hatchel managed to empty out the countless antiques from the home to make that final payment. More than 20 years after buying the house for the price of a few games of Pac Man, Hatchel found herself jobless thanks to a banking job gone bad and a diagnosis with cancer. Now as she scrounges for change in an attempt to make her payments, the one-dollar house of a lifetime might be going back to the demolition block.
Only a few hundred miles away in Detroit, Texana Hollis, age 101, was evicted from her home this week. In Hollis’ case, she actually owned her home and had managed to make all of her payments after spending nearly 60 years in the house. In 2003, however, her son asked her to sign it over to a reverse-mortgage company for $32,000 to help with home repairs, but now that the centenarian is unable to make ends meet, the bank has kicked her to the curb. On Monday night, Hollis found herself homeless and in need of help, only to be admitted into an emergency room for severe anxiety and disorientation.
Are investments as safe as Americans think they are? For Hatchel, a one-dollar purchase is leaving her pawning off her possessions decades later and Hollis now finds herself homeless at age 101. Just as Americans aren’t able to make ends meets during dire times, the banks are begging as well and it looks like they are ready to step up and kick a few to the curb if it means more money for them in the long run.