Disabled woman faces foreclosure - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Disabled woman faces foreclosure

By Chuck Weber email

FT. PIERCE, FL (WFLX)-A disabled woman finds herself fighting to save the Ft. Pierce home she and her adult son have lived in for 24 years. Bonnie Bigger and son Jason got their foreclosure notice earlier this week.

"Almost cried," said Bigger, describing opening the notice. "What are we going to do now, you know?"

Bigger says she retired several years ago, but had trouble keeping her new jobs and ended up depleting her savings. "All we've been doing is trying to catch up," said Bigger.

Last month Bigger says she started receiving Social Security disability checks. But it was too late. Between her own lack of a job and her son's work hours being cut, the Bigger's had fallen behind on the mortgage.

"I never thought this would happen in 100 years," exclaimed a frustrated Bigger. "My life has just gone from bad to worse. I hope I'm at the bottom and things are going to go up from now."

Hoping to improve her prospects, on Friday Bigger and her son attended a foreclosure seminar at St. Lucie County commission chambers. A panel of judges and lawyers gave of their time to answer the questions of homeowners like Bigger.

"It says it the paperwork I received, you have 20 days to send a letter," said Bigger. "Well I didn't know what to say in the letter. So I asked the judge. He said to explain why you're behind."

Circuit Judge Shields McManus also advised writing to ask for mediation, and sending a copy of every correspondence to the clerk's office, for inclusion in the case file.

Also a topic at the foreclosure seminar: the new mediation requirement. It won't help Bigger because she already has her notice. But starting March 13 in Treasure Coast counties, an order from the Chief Judge mandates mediation for owner-occupied homes receiving foreclosure notices.

"We quite frankly have no idea how the lending institutions are going to react to mediation," said Circuit Judge Burton Conner, who attended the seminar. "They're not used to being involved in mediation. But we do think what's critically important both for the lender and homeowner is to have some opportunity to sit down and see, can we work out an arrangement that work for everybody."

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