Friday, September 12, 2014

But This is America

I learned earlier this week that our immigrant neighbors are about to lose their home, because the person they trusted with their payments has not been honest with them.

Reza came to America 25 years ago after escaping from prison in Iran.  He was a well-known sportscaster and he said some things that the government did not appreciate.  He was imprisoned and possibly going to be executed.  Somehow he escaped with three bullet holes and made it to safety.

Eventually he came to Utah and began working on getting his wife, Mehri here.  He bought a home in our neighborhood about 15 years ago.  He had no credit.  So a friend agreed to help him out. The house would be in the friend's name and Reza would make the payments to him.

Reza paid $10,000 down and made monthly payments.  About five years ago Reza and Mehri decided to sell the house so they could move to a condo as they could no longer manage the yard. They asked to have the home put in their names so that they could sell.

The friend informed them that he had borrowed against the house, and also taken out bankruptcy. They couldn't have the home put in their name so they stayed and continued making payments.

Now they have discovered that no payments have been made for two years and the house is being foreclosed on.  The bank will not negotiate with them because the house is not in their name.

They are no longer able to work, because of their age and health problems. A grandson lives with them and helps support them.  If he can he will buy the home, but he will need a significant down payment, and only if the bank will negotiate.

Mehri is frightened of the future and Reza is despondant.  "But this is America" he keeps repeating.

Yesterday a donation account  was set up at Mountain America.  The account number is 9919851. Anyone can donate over the phone and if they ask, the bank will waive the processing fee.  The phone number is 801-572-5401.  You can also donate in person at any Mountain America.

There is more.  Last night I saw an ambulance on my street and followed it to Reza's door.  Reza had choked on some food and was not breathing.  His heart had stopped.  He was taken to the hospital and is in a coma.  It doesn't look good.

I am afraid the donation fund may be needed to help pay for a funeral.

There is more.  A year ago Mehri had thyroid surgery.  Her recovery was problematic.  Eventually she discovered that the surgeon had nicked her vocal chord.  Her speech has been altered.  Her breathing has been affected.  She needs corrective surgery, but is frightened of losing her voice entirely.

The surgeon did not take responsibility for his error and in fact hid it from her.

There is more:  Two different lawyers have been hired to help them try to keep their home.  Both have given up without much effort.  A third lawyer is now involved.  They don't know if he will be more effective or not.  I don't know how much money has changed hands.

Could you find it in your heart to make a donation to help Reza and Mehri save their home.  If only Mehri is left she will need help even more to carry on alone.  Her Grandson is going to school and working full time.  He can only do so much.

But this is America.

Linda Garner
Sandy, Ut

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