Foreclosures take toll on mental health

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On a brisk day last fall in Prineville, Ore., Raymond and Deanna Donaca faced the unthinkable: They were losing their home to foreclosure and had days to move out.

For more than two decades, the couple had lived in their three-level house, where the elms outside blazed with yellow shades of fall and their four golden retrievers slept in the yard. The town had always been home, with a lazy river and rolling hills dotted by gnarled juniper trees.

Yet just before lunch on Oct. 23, the Donacas closed all their home's doors except the one to the garage and left their 1981 Cadillac Eldorado running. Toxic fumes filled the home. When sheriff's deputies arrived at about 1 p.m., they found the body of Raymond, 71, on the second floor along with three dead dogs. The body of Deanna, 69, was in an upstairs bedroom, close to another dead retriever.

"It is believed that the Donacas committed suicide after attempts to save their home following a foreclosure notice left them believing they had few options," the Crook County Sheriff's Office said in a report.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market

4 Comments
Posted May 15, 2008 at 6:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

People are under enormous pressures at the moment.  I am put in mind of the farming crisis we had a few years ago in the UK.  Farmers faced with losing their herds were at their wits end and regrettably quite a number took their lives.  One organisation with branches across the country was turned to and was a mainstay of support for those in trouble at that time - the Church.  It looks as if we are going to be called to be active in this current crisis and need to prepare ourselves for that.

May 15, 10:12 am | [comment link]
2. Cennydd wrote:

Unfortunately, turning to Christ and His Church isn’t the entire answer, although it certainly helps. 

Government can help by prohibiting excessive profit-taking in home sales, financing, re-financing, and in investment by people seeking to make a business of buying and selling homes for profit at the expense of those losing their homes and savings to foreclosure.

May 15, 1:33 pm | [comment link]
3. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#2 Cennyd - actually the help the Church and individual congregations were able to provide was more practical: support, both emotionally and physically, debt counselling and in some cases financial; without ties but as Christian witness.

I agree there is in practical terms a limit but we can also make our voices heard for the needs of individuals as opposed to short-sighted and hard-nosed and devestating panic measures by banks.  Sensible lenders have learnt that is is better to allow borrowers the space to re-order their affairs rather than foreclosing, they have learnt that this way everyone achieves a better result.

May 15, 2:00 pm | [comment link]
4. Cennydd wrote:

Agreed!

May 15, 7:17 pm | [comment link]
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