Saturday, January 3, 2009


Hello brave readers.

We haven't had a mom update in a while, because we've been trying to figure some things out. Right now, the situation is this: We don't think we can save mom's house from foreclosure. First of all, the amount past due is overwhelming. None of us sisters have very much money, although we've all been trying really hard to come up with some money making schemes! The mortgage is all messed up. Secondly, with mom's husband out of work and having very little prospects, he's gotten himself really deep into debt. I think he's planning on filing for bankruptcy, in fact. Whatever. We're all trying to distance ourselves from the husband, since he's bad news.

Plus, we go back to the original issue which is that mom needs more care than she's getting. Husband isn't willing to help her, even though he lives with her and is her HUSBAND after all. You all know about us sisters: one lives in NY. We all live quite a distance away, too far away to really show up at the drop of a hat to help when she needs help. But we do try to do our best to take care of her. It's just that it's more than we can handle.

The second idea is to bring mom to live withone of us. We've had to strikeout this idea as well, for various reasons. One, again, is the level of care. We all work full time, and so she'd need care during the day. Even if COPES paid for care during the day, the daughter that she lives with would be giving her care from the time she arrives home from work until the time she leaves for work in the morning. This can be quite exhausting, so we thought we'd have to hire extra care for a few hours a night at least, to keep the daughter from totally burning out. Mom wouldn't be able to live with Katie, who lives in NY, so it would be with me or Kellie. Kellie has a studio apartment--no room for mom, and I have a TINY one bedroom--again, no room for another roommate. So we'd have to move to a larger apartment. The cost of extra care, extra rent, extra food, and all of that is just so far beyond us daughters, that we had to abandon that idea.

So, our new plan is that mom is going to have to live in an adult family home, or a nursing home.

We're all against a nursing home, mom most of all. After her surgeries, she was in nursing homes that were hellholes were horrible, including one that was shut down for neglecting clients after her stay there. We'd prefer an adult family home, where we feel she'd get better one on one care, and she'd be surrounded by a nicer atmosphere that would help her mentally too. I have some hope that if she's in a supportive environment, she might get better and need LESS care.

The problem, of course, is still money.

After spending tons of time researching (and I'm still researching!) I haven't been able to find a single adult family home that has a price tag that mom's COPES award will cover. COPES covers about half of the care cost of an adult family home in Seattle, apparently. It's horrible, really, because COPES will cover ALL of a nursing home's price, even if the nursing home costs more than twice the daily amount of the award she'd get for an adult family home. What's the deal with that? Believe me, when I found this out, I decided I was going to start to write to whoever I can to ask them to change this.

Adult family homes are much cheaper overall, averaging around $150/day, compared to nursing homes which are around $220/day. COPES could pay for all of the costs of an adult family home over a nursing home and save $70/day.

Hello, I say....

Anyway, as a result, we're still trying to help mom.

We'd like to invite you, who spent time reading my small update and rant, to visit our etsy shops. Whatever we make is going to be going into the Mom fund:

Katie's etsy shop, home of the world famous Java Jacket and soon demented hats!
Kerrie's etsy shop, the sweet side, featuring sweetness and wearable art

Kellie doesn't have an etsy shop yet, but she may be available in the Seattle area for Nail Art Parties very soon!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Notes about Foreclosure

Perhaps this information that I’ve found will help someone out there, since OUR dad already knows everything and won’t even try to avoid foreclosure any more. My frustration level with that is quite high, as you all can imagine.

I’m not a lawyer or a financial expert in any way, so this isn’t any kind of professional advice. I’m just an artist who works in a nonprofit by day and who knows how to use Google.

I’m focusing on Washington law, because that’s where we live. Other states may have and probably do have other laws. So Google for yourself. ☺

According to Washington Law Help, a foreclosure can be started when the following has happened:

1. You’ve missed several payments
2. The mortgage holder has filed a court action in King County Superior Court (or in the county in which you live).
3. Part of the court action is that you must be served with a Summons and Complaint.
4. Or, if you have a deed of trust mortgage, the mortgage company can begin foreclosure without going to court. First, they must send you a Notice of Default.
5. Thirty days later, you will get a Notice of Trustee’s Sale and Notice of Foreclosure.
6. The house can not be sold until 190 days after your last payment. A complete foreclosure timeline is here.

There are a number of things that you can do to avoid losing your home, though. It’s not a lost cause. Remember the end of The Brady Bunch Movie? You never know when the perfect opportunity to save the day might come along. Keep your eyes open for metaphorical musical talent contests.

1. Contact the lender and ask, for payment arrangements.

First, talking to the mortgage company can’t hurt, and many times it can help. They don’t really want your house¬—they want their money. Sometimes, they’ll work out a deal with you before you’re too far behind. If you’re temporarily out of work, or are faced with an unexpected emergency, they might agree right there to let you get caught up on your payments over time. Get any agreements you make in writing, and try not to let them stress you out. Creditors have tricks to panic you into promising things that you know you can’t deliver, and then they’ll act surprised when you aren’t able to send them thousands of dollars within a few days. Honesty is the best policy here.

That’s not to say that you have to talk to them if you’re not ready, or if you feel like they are harassing you. A law that a lot of people don’t know about prohibits them from harassing you, calling you many times a day, or threatening you. You could not answer the phone, of course. But you can also tell them to stop calling you, and they have to stop. HUD doesn't recommend doing this, they say to keep communication open. (Whatever you decide to do, make a note of the date and time, and anything else you know—like the name of the person you talked to, whenever you talk to them. In times of stress, memory suffers, and you may need to refer to your notes later.

Some magic words to ask for are: forbearance and/or deferral, which would allow you to make reduced or no payments for a certain amount of time Ask for the Loss Mitigation department when you call.

2. Pay a little extra each month until you’re caught up. They call this Loan Reinstatement. You’ll likely need to agree to be caught up by a certain date.

3. Ask for Loan Modification. They may be willing to change the terms of your loan so you can afford payments, such as stretching out the term of the loan or adjusting the interest rate.

4. Refinance. Call your lender, or talk to other lenders. If you have decent credit, you’ll have them jumping up and down to help you refinance.

5. Deed house back to lender. I’ll be honest and say I don’t understand this idea.

6. Sell house yourself before foreclosure. You can probably get more by selling your house yourself. Have you ever watched late night TV, and seen those commercials about buying foreclosed homes for pennies on the dollar? That could be your house sold for a bargain, and if it doesn’t cover the cost of your outstanding mortgage, you could end up still owing money for a house that you don’t even live in anymore!

7. Make payments any time up until 11 days before the foreclosure sale.

8. You may be able to buy your house back from the sheriff at the foreclosure sale. If you have the money. Or get it back after the foreclosure sale, even.

9. File bankruptcy. You’ll probably still lose your home, though.

10. Get government help. Hopefully there will be more such help soon. (Go Obama!)

There are people out there who will help. It’s OK to ask family and friends, in fact, they may be waiting for you to ask them and let them know what they can do to help you out. Other places to turn:

In King County, call 211 for referrals to organizations that can help.

Solid Ground Home Stability Program 206-461-3200, another place dad refuses to call.

Washington Homeownership Center is a free information and referral service for homebuyers. Call their Homeownership Hotline for assistance: 1-877-894-HOME (4663), alas, assistance is not something our dad will admit to needing.

HUD approved Housing Counseling Agencies, a list that our dad won't look at.

HUD Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure
, a web site that our dad refuses to read.

HOPE NOW is an alliance between HUD approved counseling agents, servicers, investors and other mortgage market participants that provides free foreclosure prevention assistance. 888-995-HOPE (24 hour hotline). Yet another place that of course our dad won't call.

It's amazing that there IS so much help out there. I hope you, gentle readers, never need such help. But if you do, please pick up the phone and ask for help, OK?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

auction for mom - dealing with mom comic zine

Bid by clicking here: dealing with mom comic zine, hand embellished - eBay (item 280278116792 end time Oct-25-08 14:54:34 PDT)

dealing with mom
a comic zine by Kerrie Carbary

Dealing with Mom
is a 24 page hand drawing comic zine all about the adventures of dealing with my mother's health issues, illness and related adventures, including an appearance by the great and powerful Dr. Neurontin, Scott wearing a cape, and an illustration of the plates, saucers, and cups that they wanted to insert in my mom's spine.

5.5 x 8.5 inches, black and white, staple bound and photocopied.

This copy is a one of a kind hand embellished version of dealing with mom. Each page is either hand colored, embellished, or otherwise altered to create a collectible edition of one!

All profits after selling fees will be added to the mom fund. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hello. Our Mom needs help.

Hello! We're starting this blog because our mom needs help, and we don't know where to turn. We are three sisters who are trying to save our disabled, chronically ill mother from a bad situation.

A few years back, our mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Since, she's been undiagnosed, rediagnosed, and now they are saying that she has "Parkinson's-Like Syndrome." Whatever that means! She also has severe spinal problems, and has had a failed spinal fusion which leaves her unable to work, unable to jump up and do the things she's always done, and unable to save herself when life turns against her. She's also been chemically poisoned by pesticides and mercury. So we've been taking care of her as best we can.

One of us lives across the country.
One of us lives in another city.
One of us lives across town.
All of us love our mom very much and want what's best for her.

In the past year, it's become more and more difficult for her to take care of herself and for us to fill in the gaps. Her husband, our dad, doesn't help her, even though they live together. Sometimes she calls from her bed and he either ignores her, or he yells angrily at her. He is dealing with his own issues; he's been unemployed and feels overwhelmed and burnt out. At any rate, he can't be depended on much.

We wish that we could take her out of that situation, but financially, she is dependent on him, and none of us are able to take on the role of taking care of her financially. She wants to stay in her own home, and we've been trying our hardest to keep that a reality for her.

As time has gone on, she's needed more and more care. Caregivers are expensive. As a result, other bills have been neglected.

Mom is now being faced with foreclosure on her home. The caregiving agency is threatening to stop sending caregivers. She needs more care than is available from volunteer sources and from her family.

What should we do?

We're starting this blog to talk about it, and also to use to put our ideas out there for fund raising. We'll be selling things to make some cash to help mom out, and we'll be gathering resources that might be useful to others in similar situations.

Thank you for visiting and considering helping our mom!

The 3 Sisters

Saturday, October 11, 2008

thank you

Thank you to the anonymous poster who let me know about sites to post our story. I've put a link to this blog on:

(I've backdated this post so that the story stays at the top.)