Please help save my home

Big update, big change.

My son met with the lawyers and the executor of the estate, and it’s better than we thought.

Here’s the story: because we’ve gone through probate in both Illinois and Minnesota, we can use the Minnesota law to dictate what is to be done with the house. That means I can take over the mortgage without having to pay it off. GREAT NEWS!!

I will still need to buy out my sister’s portions of the house - that comes to $6500 each. And I will have to pay the fees and closing costs. I’m not sure what that will be now, but it will be less than through a regular sale if I’m correct. So, I’m assuming $1,000 and will adjust that as news comes in.

Also, I have another two weeks. This has to be ready to go by the 15th of February (as far as I understand now).


First, it means I only have to raise $14,000. That’s great news! My house payments will still remain $650 per month, which is also very doable.

Also, it means that I have a little more time to raise the money. Two more weeks! I have a lot of faith in humanity and that’s why I’ve donated, volunteered, helped, offered, and assisted in the background of many things in life. I honestly believed that if I worked hard and gave as much as I could of myself, that eventually life would balance out and I would have some kind of reward for doing good.

I’m still working in Korea. Still taking commissions and freelance work. I don’t know if many of you know this, but I work about 45 hours a week at my regular job (30 classroom hours, 15 prep hours), and I also do illustrations, comic art, and volunteer on the side. My son is working, his friend, who is renting out one room in the house, is working.

So, this isn’t someone who is idly sitting around hoping for someone to pay her bills for her. 

This is an emergency situation of a person who has been unable to replenish her savings and financial buffer after the recession hit.

I know times are tough for a lot of people out there, but for me and my family, things have come to the point where I've run out of options.


This is what happened: My mother died of cancer two years ago. The house was actually in her name, although I was making payments and living in it. The will we had was an old one, and didn't even list the house in it. She had drawn up a newer will, but the lawyer had died, and apparently the will was lost in a flood.

But the bottom line was that the house was part of the estate and was not bequeathed to anyone. So, for the past couple of years, we'v been waiting for probate, then trying to figure out what to do about the house. I was going to try to get a mortgage to buy the house, but due to my low income and debt-to-income ratio (plus the fact that that I would have a very small down payment), I was unable to get a loan.

I'm a teacher and artist, but the economy had forced me into retail for several years and I haven't been able to pay bills. So, last May I took a job in Korea. This added another complication to my situation. It's very difficult to take care of things like this from overseas.

Currently, my son, his girlfriend (who is disabled and unable to work), and his best friend are living in the house and taking care of my cats (as well as their own). Our combined income between the three of us is right around $2400 per month. That's barely enough to cover living expenses and student loans.

I really don't have much to offer in terms of rewards, but if you would like a drawing or painting, please just ask. I am an illustrator and comic book artist. Or at least I was before the publishing industry tanked back in '07.  

And even if you're unable to help. I would greatly appreaciate a signal boost!
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Rana Raeuchle 
St. Paul, MN