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December 08, 2008


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This is why you should always take the cash equivalent when you win a prize. That would have been an interesting episode, a lot of thumb twirling.

There is not enough info in the story to really tell what happened. It seems to be a combination of bad luck and bad choices. Despite a few high profile foreclosures, the default rate for EHM houses does not appear to be any higher than the country at large. Something like 10% of mortgages are in foreclosure or default right now.

A big lump of cash doesn't always work either.

Note the preferred solution - sue to get the rest of the jackpot. If he just had the rest of that jackpot, everything would be fine right?

That's so sad. Although, it doesn't seem like they are much worse off than they were before, right? Many of the homes they makeover had severe structural issues and things of that nature. It's like trading one problem for another I guess.

Hard to get the full picture from the article, but it looks as though the only increased cost was the property taxes of $1k per year. They did refinance the property a few times. Perhaps they pulled out some cash on the equity or rolled in costs that drove the debt higher. With the medical costs, those would have been incurred with or without the house.

If that article is accurate, it sounds like they borrowed money against the house because they had to--because their insurance (when they had it) couldn't cover their son's medical costs, especially during the period when the husband was laid off. Don't anyone kid yourself--this could happen to any of you. And it sounds like it could have happened to them regardless of whether they had the home makeover.

I agree with the poster above. This is the first of the EHM foreclosures for whom I feel a lot of sympathy. She's deaf and the son is autistic...there's not much opportunity for her to go to work while her husband's industry is in crisis, and earn anywhere near the same level.

Just another example as to why it is important to have an emergency fund built up, so that you can deal with job loss and medical issues, without having to go into foreclosure.

The woman (through an interpreter) was interviewed on a local radio station this morning and she stated that they did have to re-finance because of the increased medical bills. I think they had an adjustable rate mortgage even before the show, and ABC apparently doesn't pay off the existing mortgage, so chances are this would have happened anyways even without the 'new' house.

The sad part is that Lance is autistic and blind. Since his parents are deaf, they wouldn't know when he would 'escape' and be roaming the neighborhood. The new house featured a visual security system that would allow the deaf parents to know that he was venturing where he shouldn't. Plus, with Lance being blind, he has to adjust to things being laid out and placed in a certain way. When they said that it was "Lance's house" it is the honest truth here.

This is sad.

Finally i've seen a comment from someone else that knows this family very well. I worked with this family for a year and a half. Particularily with their two sons Donnie and Nathan through my company. I must say that the parents DO NOT DESERVE this house, but the boys do. Mom calls off work all the time becuase she wants to stay home with dad who doesn't even want to work. 13 jobs in one year. They almost lost their house twice because they couldn't pay the 1,ooo dollar taxes on it. They waste moms paycheck on eating out for 3 days, dvds, video games, and action figures for the boys and have nothing left over to pay bills or buy food with. They have never maintained anything they've received, in at least suitable condition and have immense numbers of stray animals comming in to the house infesting it with fleas, disease, and waste that they seem to always "forget" to clean up. Heck, they can't even afford to buy dog or cat food for the animals they so "graciously" take in and have been known to feed them pancakes, that being the only food they had. Mom and Dad are ungreatful people, always complaining, even about those that have given them help. Extreme Makeover Home Edition, SHAME ON YOU, you should have really taken a better look at these people you build homes for. This home won't even make it 3 months until it's damaged, tore up, and unkept let alone next year when they have to pay taxes on the property. And for all of you that say they deserve this, rethink your statement. The children DESERVE this, not the parents, but you had better believe in this case, the parents will be the only ones benefiting from thisfamily problems

Without a proper financial education, or some kind of experience and knowledge of how to budget, pay taxes, maintain a property, etc - I'd venture to guess that most of the families who are recipients of the EHM initially see it as a wonderful, life changing gift. However, if they lack the business savvy to deal with the business side of the makeover, will the families truly be better of after the makeover? It might not make for good television, but perhaps EHM could pair with some financial, investment, or business strategists to help the families who are selected transition successfully after the show.

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