Compassion or business - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by SusanL.–FL on June 01, 2000 at 11:29:25:


Compassion or business - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on June 01, 2000 at 10:08:08:

I would like opinions from others as to what they would do in this situation. I received a call from the daughter of the occupant of a property originally sold on contract April of 1998. I knew the husband had split shortly after they had moved in. They have been 30 days late several times but have always made up the payments. The daughter related that the mother has breast cancer and would be taking chemotherapy. She has not made the May payment and would be out of work for about 3 months.

While I would try to get them some sort of financial help,what if she can not go back to work when she expects to. I can do the letters to cancel the contract and start an eviction up to filing in court the FE&D and possession bond(6 days in Texas). I don’t really want a vacant house 300 miles away nor an underlying mortgage payment that I have to make. Should it make a difference if the income makes a difference in your lifestyle? Should it be business without compassion? What would you do?

Re: Compassion or business - Posted by V.P.(TX)

Posted by V.P.(TX) on June 01, 2000 at 20:00:28:

Bud,I’m sure you are aware there are public assistance programs available for situations such as this.

Mostly,I just wanted to say I admire your asking that type of question and believe you got two class act answers from J.Piper and Scott.

Lesson to be learned here for all.Best to you and the ladies.

Re: Compassion or business - Posted by ScottE

Posted by ScottE on June 01, 2000 at 15:33:43:


I applaud your willingness to help these ladies while their lives take on some very challenging times.

However, it seems like despite the latest problem (diagnosis of breast CA), they were having trouble making ends meet on several occasions. Now, they will be playing catch-up with not only you, but likely with other creditors. It would not be unusual to find yourself on the creditor end of a bankruptcy in the near future.

Jim’s story sounds like the way to go. Maybe sitting down with them and helping them find a housing solution to their inevitable future financial challenges that would better serve them until they got back on their feet. If you helped them find a more affordable housing arrangement and released them from their contract without recourse you would be decreasing their stress level and that could help in her treatment and healing process.


Re: Compassion or business - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on June 01, 2000 at 11:46:21:

I had a property one time that I had under contract. It was occupied on a month to month agreement by a very nice, 60 year old lady. My goal with the property was to resell as quickly as possible?.and I had the right by contract to show the property prior to close.

During the period I had the property under contract, the tenant was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I think this lady completely deserved my full compassion? would any other member of the human race. But at the same time, I decided that extending my compassion should not be at my own financial detriment. So what I did was to have a long talk with her. I listened carefully to her story as she told it, which was complete with all the events of her life leading up to the diagnosis. As I recall now our conversation took a good half a day…with mainly her talking.

In the end I told her that I would bend over backwards to help her in any way I could, to include finding a suitable NEW place to live. I did that. Later, when she actually had the operation, I visited her in the hospital. Her operation turned out successfully, and she was excited over the new place that we found for her.

I thought that part of the key in our situation was the fact that I ?showed up?, and was willing to be truthful with her. I felt that she was equally truthful with me. I don?t think the idea of compassion has to include putting yourself into a hole. I think compassion can come from the heart?.and I believe people will see that it does (if it truly does). I think that you can help in ways that are open to you. I think good business is done with compassion?.but compassion can take many forms, not all of which have to lead to your own financial detriment. As unfortunate as it is, the events are the events of this lady?s life?.they are there for this lady to deal with. Her issues are not yours. I see your function as one of seeking solutions that are helpful to her, but not detrimental to you. To me that would be the proper level of care and compassion.

I would trust yourself and your ability to come up with an idea that works for BOTH of you. As an example, if it doesn’t create a problem to lose the income for a few months, perhaps you could make a temporary arrangment if the paid an amount equal to the underlying mortgage payment. I would want to see all the family member pitching in though, not just me, if I went that direction.


Re: Compassion or business - Posted by Scott SC

Posted by Scott SC on June 01, 2000 at 10:26:04:


Face it, people are always going to have bad things happen to them. It’s a fact of life. However, letting an unfortunate family stay free in your home puts you and them in an ackward situation and makes it a personal deal instead of a business deal. DON’T make it personal.
Help them out the best you can by referring them to people who can find them more affordable housing, give her an easy way out of the contract, but don’t float the bill.
She is at a point in her life where she needs to depend on family and close friends, not you.
Believe me banks foreclose on misfortunate people all the time with ZERO compassion. You can show her compassion AND keep it within the business scope by helping her in other ways, but don’t float the bill.

Good story, Jim (and a lesson to be learned from it!) nt. - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on June 01, 2000 at 15:18:49: