Sunday, August 31, 2014

Shalefield Stories: "I will not be quiet anymore."

Michelle Beegle: PA farmer, nurse, grandmother
Clearville, Bedford County, PA
We’ve lived on our land since 1983. It was given to our generation by my father-in-law. I loved it here. It was quiet. If you saw more than one car all day something was going on. We could sit on
our porch and be out in the yard, and only hear birds singing all the time. We never worried about what we were drinking or breathing. Our three children were born and raised here. Back then everyone got along with their neighbors. Everyone is family. We keep an eye out for everyone. You could count on people. Now there’s a division between people.

In 2014 we applied for a second mortgage. We wanted to update the furnace, the bathroom, and put in a pool for the grandchildren and my husband, Robert. The water therapy is good for him. He suffers from severe back pain and neuropathy that was caused when a tree fell on him in January of 1988. We applied for a $15,000 loan. Our credit was excellent and our home had recently been appraised at $125,000. We didn’t expect a problem. Our home and our credit is all we have.
Robert doesn’t believe in credit cards. “If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it,” he always says. We had previously taken out a loan on the house to help pay for our youngest daughter to go to nursing
school. We’ve never missed a payment on the house and we paid off our last car loan early. We went straight to Hometown Bank of Pennsylvania. We have banked with them for the last 10 years. We filled out the paperwork and were initially approved. A few days later, Carol at the bank called us. She explained that the attorney had looked at the loan and it was too big of a risk for them. She said that since the water well was contaminated, the property wasn’t even worth the $33,000 we
still owed on it. They said it was worth nothing. We tried three other banks, but the result was the same. At first they would approve us but as soon as they saw the tax assessment said “contaminated well” they turned us down.

Read the full article here.

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