Our Solid Rock
Our family home was the symbol of unity for all of us. Actually, my dad used to joke that without the family house we would never have been a family because he and mom would have adopted a gypsy lifestyle. We would laugh about it knowing that my father would never do such a thing considering that he was employed, he did his taxes diligently, and he was especially careful when it came to matters concerning his family.
We were very wrong. We really loved our home. Our parents had acquired a place by the sea which was really enchanting and picturesque. I was born and brought up in this place and I had a real attachment with the place. I could not even think of living or surviving in another place. I really loved my family, me and my two siblings. It was all too fitting; until we were hit by the Great Recession of 2008.
I was in my last year of high school when the mortgage crisis hit in 2008. My parents were behind in mortgage payments and the bank had already sent several warning letters of foreclosure. Then when the crisis hit, the bank foreclosed our house and it was sold. I remember the sunny July morning when our apartment was invaded by a group of businessmen. I was at home for the summer holidays when the ‘new owners’ came to size up their new acquisition.
I will always remember my dad’s rash decision to confront the new owners. After the bank foreclosed our house, it gave an auctioneer the job of finding a new buyer. Apparently, the new owners who came to our door that morning had bought the house at an auction. They were in fact genuinely surprised to find us inside the house.
A stupid mistake
After the buyers knocked on our door, my mom let them in as courteously as she could. Just like the rest of us, she did not know anything about a foreclosure notice. The whole secret was riding in my dad’s mind. You see, my dad had been hiding our mortgage debt crisis from the rest of us.
No one in the family knew about the mortgage default except him. When the three gentlemen came to our breakfast table, we were shocked by the news they gave us. Our house had already been sold and we were supposed to have vacated ninety days ago. All these details were hidden from us by our dad. My mom was very infuriated by the news. On the other hand, my father was overwhelmed by guilt and embarrassment and he started insulting the new owners.
The new owners tried to reason with my father but he was very adamant. After the new owners left, we held a family meeting and my father explained everything. Apparently, he had a gambling problem. He had gambled most of the family’s savings and that is why we were having a mortgage problem. He had also messed up his FICO credit score and no bank would lend him money. The issue ended with the loss of our house, a divorce and a crucial lesson for us kids. Never gamble with your home!