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Monday, January 7, 2013

A fight against cancer,lenders,lawyers,city government/true story

        True story of a resident of Lima, Ohio(in west central Ohio)
         Let me set the scenario. You get caught up in mortgage payments you can't afford and no matter how you try you can't get your head above water. Your mortgage is higher than the value of your home and no matter what the upgrades you've made, your old home that you planned to be a gorgeous Victorian home is still a pile of junk not worth what you had in it.You made the mistake of listening to a lender who valued your home way over going rate and between trying to make the payments and being of retirement age and still working to help with medical payments(you have had a full colostomy) for check ups and tests, You finally realize that something has to go.
          Your wife's mother lives across town and elderly falls and breaks a hip and now needs home care so off you go to live there while still trying to make your payments. Finally, you can no longer do this and the social security you get is still not covering your bills and you seek out advice from an attorney who tells you to file bankruptcy and let the house go. So, you go for it and the bankruptcy goes through and you feel as though a weight has been lifted.You can finally breathe a little.until......
           A medical test shows you have cancer again. Not that the cancer has returned but, you have a bone cancer in your jaw bone and after meeting with the doctors, they have concluded that it needs better examination and you go to OSU cancer hospital and have more tests and they confirm the same that the cancer ed jawbone has to come out.Now they take this out and take a bone from your leg and craft it into a new jaw bone . Weeks and months later they see there is nor cancer either in the bone or the lymph nodes.
okay, that done, now you can relax and now retired, you are now in mid seventies and finally going to get to enjoy your retirement. until....
          You guessed it, there is more cancer, not the bone cancer that you had nor is it the colon cancer back, nor is it the skin cancer you had removed many years ago, this is small cell lung cancer.The same cancer that killed your brother yrs. earlier and after more tests it is confirmed that you have it. You go in and have a direct pick line in and are put through a long and harsh complex series of chemo therapy. Now during these years, you wife's mother passes at age 99 1/2 and you still live there because she still needed around the clock care because of dementia and possible onset of Alzheimer's. Your wife and her siblings talk and it is agreed that you and your wife buy the home for a agreed upon price and with your wifes inheritance and money you have saved, you buy the house and it's yours. No payments and you can now go through all the needed chemo for your cancer.
           Now, you are going through this chemo and all that goes with it, you are in your late seventies and although you have been foreclosed on , you keep getting property tax bills. So when you call the tax dept. they say just overlook it, it will change when the foreclosure is recorded.The property goes to sheriff's auction and that is that but it did not sell. Now along comes the city of Lima and tells you by letter that the home is scheduled for demolition as part of the mayors campaign to rid the city of boarded up homes and eyesores. This doesn't concern you much as you have been told that you no longer own the property. They also advise in the letter your right to appeal this and many homes on the list are appealed and brought to code to avert this action. This of course is not your concern because you can't upgrade a home you don't own any longer. So....
           Now the house comes down and that is that. As was said in the old movie "so let it be written, so let it be done"   Now test after test show that the cancer is shrinking for a while but then it doesn't and your wife has stopped giving you a diet supplement from the health store and the doctor advises to start again and when she does it begins shrinking again enough that you can stop chemo and a final test shows no cancer at all. You can breathe again and enjoy the winter of your life until......
       Wham!!!!!! You get hit with a bill from the city of Lima Ohio for maintenance on your home that they took down along with a bill for the demo itself and it all comes to 10,000.00 and not just a bill but, a complaint filed in court and you have 28 days to answer to it or pay it.So you write the letter in answer to the complaint as advised you by your legal aid lawyer because you can't afford to pay an attorney and medicare does not cover all your medical and then it is set for a hearing. You bring out the foreclosure papers and your attorney talks to city law director Anthony Geiger who says you are liable for it not the lender. The lender agrees to pay 1,000.00 only and mr. Geiger has agreed to take 4,500.00 down and put a lien on the home you are living in which is your wife's family home. He also gives a verbal promise of not foreclosing on the lien. He also does not want payments , but rather, you have a limited time to come up with the balance.
      This is current as of today(january 2013)  and they are pulling their hair out to figure this out. If it were my decision- I would fight this and if I have to pay they would take payments till I died. This man will have his 80th birthday in October and who knows how much more they can take from city or cancers. He has to be the only man or woman I know of that has gotten 4 different cancers and so far has survived them all only to lose his home to the city of Lima Ohio. Think about it, if you go to court it will be in the city with a judge paid by city income. What are your chances? Basically the city is doing this because they say they can and evidently they don't want to take on the lender who did not follow guidelines.
        Recently the city of Lima Ohio had a city councilman retire and suggested they not seat someone in his place instead re draw the wards to only 7 because the city had lost so many residents of late. They also have a commitee trying to figure out how to get people to move there and can't figure why people are moving away. Doesn't seem that difficult to me. Can you figure it out? How do you fight city hall?

Update:

on November 1st the city of Lima, Ohio did a press conference about demolitions in the city and county using a grant established by state senator Mike DeWine in which allen county recieved 530,000.00 for such demolitions to help clean up properties in the county and Lima gets the largest percentage of tear downs at 40 and the rest of the county gets 30 teardowns.  Read the news release here 
and it might be notable that this property as stated by some of the neighbors was not left behind because of the mortgage crises as it was owned by an out of town owner who rented it and when renters left did not take the time to re-invest and left it to the ways of the world to become the blighted property it is. When checked it is owned by a couple in Jamestown Ohio. Now is the city chasing them or are they using the grant money for this teardown.?

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