Sunday, March 4

Fear of Falling

And elderly, disabled woman, racked by pain in her ailing body and her youngest, 17 year old, daughter ran away from their small Jaffa home last Thursday night.
The family moved to Israel from far away Kazakhstan several years ago. The mother, an accountant by training, provided for her girls, working as a store manager and sales woman.
She was convinced into buying a home, understanding she would be providing long term financial security for her daughters and herself. The apartment seller hid serious defects in the flat which he sold to her for a price way above its true market value.
In spite of that, the mother managed to pay the monthly mortgage payments and lived with her children of what was left of her salary after the mortgage payment. All that changed after she became seriously ill. She was fired from her job and started to live on her social security payment for the disabled and the child allowances. Her monthly income dropped to a little more than 2000 NIS from which she has to pay a monthly mortgage return of 2000 NIS . The logical thing would be to sell the flat, but she bought it for a price far above the market value and even if she manages to sell it (which is problematic, as it is in a very bad condition) she would still be left with big debts. Moreover, as she used to be a house owenr, she would not be given rent subsidy nor public housing and from 2000 NIS a month, one cannot rent a house in the central area of Israel, where her daughters live. She needs to be close as she needs their help. She doesn't speak Hebrew and is disabled.

So her youngest daughter dropped out of school to provide for the family: food, electricity, water. The 17 year old girl holds two jobs: as a house cleaner and in a launderette.
The mother missed a few mortgage payments and what started of as a small debt to the bank is quickly growing into a monster.
The bank started legal procedures against her, unwilling to make another mortgage agreement with her.
Every few weeks there is a knock on the door and a few gorillas, supported by one or two police men, come to the house to repossess more things.
The home is almost empty. Even the refrigerator and cooker have been taken away (i believe this is in fact illegal). All they have, are the beds they sleep on. And a TV donated by a friend, which has receipts stuck on it, to prove it doesn't not belong to the family, so it will not be taken away.
The 17 year old girl is seriously considering going into prostitution: "she can make far more money that way", so she said.

Last Thursday the girl and her mother ran away from their home. The mother may be arrested any minute because of her debts. They can no longer live with the fear of that knock on the door. They are desperate. They asked for money to go to a relative, as they couldn't afford the public transport fare.
The mother has an appointment with the legal aid services. But the burocratic procedures move very slowly.
And banks are very powerful.

Jaffa, 2007


ee said...

That story is devastating, but the worst part is:
the 17 year old girl is seriously considering going into prostitution: "she can make far more money that way"
OMG! Does she know what she's gonna get herself into??

Anonymous said...

יהודית, אם את מכירה את הגברת
יעצי לה לעבור לגור בהתנחלויות.
שם איש לא יעיז להוציא אותה מהבית
ומחירי הדיור מאוד נמוכים