This is one in a series of articles
examining foreclosure in the September issue. See
It isn't easy to get an appointment with Dora Dulinski.
A foreclosure consultant with the Community Service Council of
Will County, Dulinski is personally haggling with banks to keep 300
Romeoville-area families in their homes.
Latecia Memeti is one of them.
Memeti, a cottage manager at a facility for displaced children
in LaGrange, has seen first-hand what losing a home does to
"One minute they're with their parents and the next minute
they're here," she says. "They're so sad, so lost. I couldn't bear
to think of something like that happening to my kids."
Memeti and her two children, Alit, 9, and Alisa, 17, lived in
three-room quarters at the facility when she first started working
there. When they moved to a four-bedroom split-level in Romeoville,
they believed they were getting the piece of the good life they'd
always dreamed about.
They bought the house in the spring of 2006 on an adjustable
rate mortgage. The $1,700 monthly payment seemed "do-able," she
says, for her and her husband, Ruzhdi, who owns a janitorial
"We were first-time homeowners. We had no knowledge beyond what
the real estate investor told us," she says.
Spotlight on Foreclosure
Money problems began to mount last summer when checks from a man
she did day care for began bouncing. Check bouncing is contagious
and pretty soon the couple was bouncing checks all over the western
Then the monthly house payment bumped up to $2,000. Their
credit, which they had been using liberally, was shot. "At the same
time, we were using credit cards like crazy to try to keep up," she
In January, when the mortgage ballooned to $2,600 a month,
Latecia and Ruzhdi could see their house of cards was about to
"It seemed tragic to us to tell the kids, 'We can have all
this,' and then take it away," Latecia Memeti says.
That's when she went to see Dulinski. "We're just trying to
concentrate on keeping our heads on our own pillow at night,"
Memeti remembers telling her kids.
Which they did. The Memetis' is a
foreclosure story with a happy ending. They reached a settlement
with their bank that lowered their interest and put their payments
at about $1,500 per month. The family is filing bankruptcy under
the weight of all the credit card debt.
"I'm not a person to give up," she
says. "It was such a blessing to us."
Through the ordeal, Memeti thinks her kids have learned
something about the changing nature of material things.
"I want other people to know there is help out there and to go
and find it," she says. "That is the important thing."
Robyn Monaghan is a mother and long-time journalist.
See more of Robyn's stories here.
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