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Woman commits suicide, asks family to use life insurance money to avoid foreclosure

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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:19 PM
Original message
Woman commits suicide, asks family to use life insurance money to avoid foreclosure
http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/07/...

The housing crunch has caused anguish and anxiety for million of Americans. For Carlene Balderrama, a 53-year-old wife and mother, the pressure was apparently too much to bear.

Police say that Balderrama shot herself Tuesday afternoon 90 minutes before her foreclosed home on Duffy Drive was scheduled to be sold at auction. Chief Raymond O'Berg said that Balderrama faxed a letter to her mortgage company at 2:30 p.m., telling them that "by the time they foreclosed on the house today she'd be dead."

The mortgage company notified police, who found her body at 3:30 p.m. The auction had been scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Balderrama used her husband's high-powered rifle, O'Berg said.

She left a note for her family saying they should "take the insurance money and pay for the house," O'Berg said.

Neighbors on this forested side street said Balderrama had lived in the two-story, brown-shingled, raised ranch for about four years with her husband, John, who is a plumber, and their 24-year-old son.


:cry:

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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. Goddam.
:(

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. The really sad part is that the bank had reneged on the foreclosure but she didn't know it.
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 01:22 PM by Breeze54
:(

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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. ? Where did you read that?
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. It was reported on the news.... here....
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 01:32 PM by Breeze54
snip--> http://www.enterprisenews.com/homepage/x2043514723/Poli...

OBerg also said he had been told that Balderrama had asked the mortgage company for an extension
and been granted one, but he couldnt explain why interested buyers showed up at the property

expecting an auction while Balderramas body was still inside.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. Buyers may not have heard that the sale was cancelled, if in fact it was
That's an interesting twist.
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BlueManDude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:12 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. the sale was only cancelled after she killed herself.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #27
36. That is in doubt - See link in reply #9
I can't find any evidence of the sale in public records either.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Hadn't heard that
Makes this that much more heartbreaking :cry:
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masmdu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. Insurance wont pay out for suicides....sad
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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Usually only in the first couple of years of the policy.
All are different of course.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Only in the first couple of years following the taking out of the policy.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Some do.
Mine did 2 years after taking it out.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Wow. Where exactly are you posting from?
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Well, it's OHIOchick.
Posting from hell itself, perhaps?

:D :silly:
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
33. I work for a life ins brokerage. After 2 years they will pay out even for suicide
Under 2 years they investigate the death and make sure everything was correct.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #4
32. After 2 years they will.
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MANative Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. What's even more sad/ironic about this is that
most life insurance specifically excludes paying out when the insured commits suicide. (My knowledge of this comes from 7 years as a life insurance sales agent.) Very, very sad.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
35. That is not my experience- I've worked for this brokerage for 5 years now
After 2 years of coverage they will even cover suicide. Every company I have worked with has been that way.
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. How sad and what an utterly damning indictment of a system that places profits above humans
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. "COVERAGE DENIED. SUICIDE EXCLUSION."
Good Lord, if you're going to commit suicide for the life insurance, don't leave a note and don't make it an obvious suicide.

Tragic.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #11
34. If the policy was more then 2 years old they will still pay
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. Most do pay for suicides after two years.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. This sort of desperation is becoming more common
Talking with a guy who knows a group of independent truckers who roll together throughout the US on their jobs. The price of diesel is really eating into the pockets of these people, forcing many to the brink of existence, and in some cases over. One day a couple of months ago this group was rolling along when one of them starts talking about how bad the situation is for all of them, for himself, for his family. He mentioned how at this point he was worth more to his family dead than alive. About that time the other truckers rolling with him saw his rig start drifting off the highway, on past the shoulder, and head on into the concrete pillars of an overpass.

The rest of the guys got together right then and decided not to mention this radio conversation to the authorities in order that his wife and family get the insurance money. As far as the insurance people know, this driver simply fell asleep at the wheel.

Times are getting tough out there, people are getting desperate, and sadly we're going to see more and more of this sort of thing go down.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. My god, what a horrible story
:cry:
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. Another tragic legacy of this irresponsible administration.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
16. 3 points or so.
We now know that the average human life is worth about 3 points on a mortgage. Had they readjusted to a lower rate, they still could have made money, and she'd probably still be alive. Default resolution. Lenders will never learn.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
17. Why is this not on the greatest page??
K&R
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crimsonblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
19. I bet the insurance company voids the policy
because she killed herself. tragic ending...
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DailyGrind51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
21. When I hear a story like this, I want to ship all these bankers to Gitmo
and go all Robespierre on their asses! These bankers are making millions while their banks are going down the toilet!

"Wachovia Corp. said today it plans to pay new chief executive Robert Steel an annual salary of $1.1 million, plus bonuses and other incentives that could total $38.1 million.

In a regulatory filing, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said it will award Steel the annual salary, a bonus ranging from zero to $12 million, and a $15 million target long-term incentive award.

Wachovia said Steel will also receive a one-time restricted stock grant valued at $10 million on July 15.

"That's nothing,'' said Tony Plath, an associate professor of finance at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. "You pay him whatever you have to in order to save the bank at this point.''

Wall Street wasn't so sure, sending the bank's shares down 88 cents, or 6.6 percent, to $13.41 in morning trading.

An RBC Capital Markets analyst slashed his share price target on Wachovia Corp. Thursday, predicting shares will remain pressured until at least 2009 and casting doubt on whether its new CEO was up for the challenges ahead.

Gerard Cassidy lowered his target to $13 from $20, implying he expects shares to decline 9 percent from Wednesday's close of $14.29.

Cassidy predicted in a note to investors that Wachovia, under Steel, will "incur a significant charge to 'clean up' its problems once and for all, eliminate its dividend and raise additional capital.''

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080710/...
:mad:
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Only a very small number of people make money off a failing bank
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 06:07 PM by slackmaster
Those few make a lot, but most "bankers", including managers, are working people who lose their jobs when a financial institution fails.

I've been there.
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
25. This woman was disturbed. To think your family would be "better" with a house
but without her is indicative, to me, of mental distress. I realize foreclosure is stressful, but not enough to make a mentally healthy person to take a lead shot.

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silverojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. No, she wasn't "disturbed"!
She was simply (she thought) keeping a roof over her family's heads in the only way she knew how. Obviously, she didn't realize that a suicide could void the insurance policy.

When people are desperate for a large sum of money, which they need for their family, you'd be surprised at what they'll do to obtain it. (See the trucker's story, above.) She knew her family would grieve, of course, but she felt that at least they'd have a home. And she probably also felt it was her fault for keeping this terrible secret for so long, that she couldn't face her family, either.

What a sad, sad story.
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. 'the only way she knew how'? Compared to moving to a trailer park?
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 08:00 AM by RadiationTherapy
Going on welfare? Moving to the woods to live as roving peasants? Compared to ANYTHING that involves LIVING?

She was mentally ill. That is my official Frist-ian diagnosis.
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geek_sabre Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #26
39. if not 'disturbed,' then
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 01:49 PM by delaware97
a few tacos short of a combination plate. There has to be something else going on here. She had one (adult) child, and lived (presumably) only with her husband in this recently purchased, and relatively large house. When she realized they could no longer afford to live there, it would make more sense to give up the house for something that they can afford, or even move into a condo or something more affordable until the economy improves. Instead, she resorts to secrecy and suicide, and leaves behind a husband and son who have to live with what she has done (very likely not in this house). She must have been hiding something else (credit card debt, perhaps?)

Someone who commits suicide "because of foreclosure," probably had many other mental health issues. Someone who hadn't considered suicide before wouldn't have jumped to this solution. This may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but it certainly wasn't the cause.

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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. Exactly....
I think that the mortgage crisis is awful, and people need to go to jail for their greedy actions, but they are not responsible for her taking her life. It wasn't necessary, and it seems like such a tragically horrible thing.


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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
28. I just took a deep breath
in order to think what to say.

Her situation was tragic.

However, she did NOT need to commit suicide, and it makes me truly angry that she did so. Her family won't be thankful to her for taking her life. I'm sure they'd much rather be without a freaking house.


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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
31. Wow- I work for a mortgage life insurance brokerage in MA
This story breaks my heart.

I'm going to go check records to make sure she isn't one of our clients.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. I hope she wasn't
:hug:
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easttexaslefty Donating Member (740 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
37. Financial pressures can lead to depression
depression can lead to suicide
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geek_sabre Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
40. Boston Herald story sheds more light on this
Apparently, the husband had filed for bankruptcy three times since 2004 (they bought the house in 2002), and faced foreclosure before.

http://tinyurl.co.uk/c9jq

The husband of a Taunton woman who police say shot herself after faxing a suicide note to the company foreclosing on her home had a troubled financial history, including three recent bankruptcy attempts and an earlier foreclosure filing, the Herald has learned.


Court filings show that John Balderrama had a history of financial problems. Three times since 2004, he sought protection from his creditors by filing for bankruptcy, according to court records. When the court dismissed his third bankruptcy filing in 2006, Balderrama was still $45,000 in debt.


I'm sorry she killed herself, but 3 bankruptcy filings in 4 years? The fact that the husband was filing for bankruptcy had to have been a clue that the finances weren't in order. I can't bring myself to blame the mortgage company for this situation.
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