Thanks to the efforts of this community, we
have raised enough money to keep her out of foreclosure and offer a cushion.
UPDATE: PLUMBING UPDATE (please give it a look if you can). We've run into unforeseen difficulties with the plumbing, so if you feel like lending a helping hand there, it would be much appreciated.
We have removed the donation button, but are letting the existing auctions run
Thank you! This community is simply incredible. Many, many small contributions combined together to a larger whole. We've blessed Vera, who needed our help, and we've blessed each other. Together, we have created a miracle. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again.
Your proud and happy mod,
Winter is only joyful when we have each other. When it gets cold, we crave light and seek out the company of loved ones to get us through this unfriendly season. As you are preparing to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year's, Vera Nazarian and her ailing mother are facing foreclosure.
Vera came to this country as an immigrant from the former USSR, and a refugee from the mid-seventies war in Lebanon. As a young woman fresh out of college, she worked long shifts at multiple jobs in order to support her family. One night, exhausted from work, she rear-ended another car. This is where the hell started. Her auto insurance was worthless--issued by a scam company and non-admitted carrier. The other driver sued, claiming false injuries, while the insurance company, facing a class-action lawsuit, took Vera's insurance premiums and ran off to Trinidad -- literally. Without valid insurance, Vera had to pay large amounts of money she didn't have. She lost her own car and ran up hopeless credit card debt. Finally her lawyer discovered the other driver had a history of filing scam claims and the lawsuit was dismissed. But after 5 years of paying legal fees on top of everything else, it was too late.
I don't know many people who work as hard as Vera. She is the person behind the new independent press Norilana Books, with 213 titles in print. And yet, she's been fighting an uphill battle most of her life because of generational poverty and continuous misfortune.
Because of her debt, Vera could not qualify for a regular home loan even though she had well-paying jobs and otherwise perfect credit. Around 1999--before the housing bubble--she finally qualified for a sub-prime mortgage from Fannie Mae. Vera now had a fixer-upper home, but her misfortunes continued. She was laid off, rehired, laid off again, and had to declare bankruptcy in 2002. Her health deteriorated, and she had to support her aging parents. It was all but impossible to make timely payments.
She started her one-woman business, Norilana Books, in 2006, and due to her hard work, inspiration and dedication, things improved steadily. But then in 2007, Vera's mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and spent most of the year in hospitals. She underwent multiple operations, and spent half a year attached to a portable abdominal vacuum machine that suctioned a wound that refused to heal. Vera cared for her, often 24/7, through chemotherapy, antibiotic injections, and complications, and had to set aside most of her regular work. Meanwhile her ninety-year-old father's health was also failing. He died in February 2008.
Even with the growing business and around-the-clock hard work, the sub-prime mortgage bills kept piling up. Water pipes burst in December 2007, and just last month the sewer main line went critical. The sewer situation is still not corrected and will not be for quite some time.
"This year, and the last, is like a haze nightmare," says Vera. She very rarely leaves the house, since she is caring for her mother, who has survived cancer but needs constant supervision. She applied to the bank for forbearance and received it, but, just as it seemed the worst was over, the October economic meltdown happened.
Vera herself has been getting sicker and sicker from the incredible anxiety and pressure she's under -- in addition to an ongoing internal bleeding problem, she finds it difficult to sit at the computer due to chronic leg muscle pain.
The full treasurer's report on donations is here