Pittsburgh, PA (PressExposure) May 22, 2009 -- Unless somebody steps in or steps up to help a single mother of seven children, Bank of America plans to evict the family and auction off their home on June 1.
Abandoned by her husband, Christian Yanosko, who walked out on the family while his wife was pregnant with their seventh child and stopped paying the mortgage on the family home at 5005 Thoms Run Road in Oakdale, Pa., Heather Yanosko has struggled to make a happy, loving home for her seven children whose ages range from 1 to 13. Mrs. Yanosko didn't discover that Mr. Yanosko was no longer making payments on the family home until the account was seriously past due and a notice of foreclosure was delivered to her front door.
"I was blindsided by the foreclosure notice," said Mrs. Yanosko. "This is a humble home, but it's our home. If I'd been made aware that there was a problem early on and that Christian was not making payments as he'd agreed to do in our separation agreement, I would have looked for another way to pull together the money to keep the account current. But the bank wouldn't even talk to me because my name wasn't on the loan. They didn't seem to care that my children and I were living in the home and Christian was not."
With the assistance of an attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services and another with the Woman's Shelter of Pittsburgh, Mrs. Yanosko was awarded power of attorney over all things related to the house. At that point, the bank offered to work with her and even sent a package of information to her offering to change the terms of the loan if Mrs. Yanosko could have her name added to the property deed. In March 2009, Mrs. Yanosko's name was added to the deed.
Mrs. Yanosko borrowed money - more than $2,000 - from family and friends only to be rebuffed when she attempted to pay it to the bank. Suddenly, the bank decided it would not accept the reduced sum to bring the account current or change the terms of the loan because the home was no longer the primary residence of Mr. Yanosko, indicating that it did not matter to anyone at the bank that the home is still the primary residence of Mrs. Yansoko and Mr. Yanosko's seven children.
"Being the single mother of seven children, I can't work a full-time job," said Mrs. Yanosko. "I can't make enough money to pay the bills and provide daycare or after-school care for so many children. That's why the courts ordered Christian to pay child support and the mortgage in the first place. And I'm blessed to have supportive friends and family who have been willing to help me through the lean times when Christian doesn't send what he's supposed to, but it's a constant struggle."
Mrs. Yanosko says she has been looking for work that can be done from home or managed around the time in which she needs to be on-hand to care for her children. And she's taken in a roommate to help cover some of the household expenses. But it's not enough to pay Bank of America what they are demanding to bring the account up to date, and the bank's steadfast refusal to work with her to adjust the terms of the loan leaves her family with few options.
"I don't expect Bank of America to let us live here for free, but I have asked them for some understanding and compassion, and their answer is a notice that our home will be sold at auction on June 1. How can it be that this huge, great American company had no problem taking billions of dollars in a taxpayer-funded bailout when it was in need and now has no shame as it prepares to put my children and I out on the street when we're just asking for help to make this right?"
With the sale date just days away, Mrs. Yanosko is making a public plea for help - for somebody to step in and press Bank of America to work with her to preserve her family's home. She has called the offices of Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, Congressman Tim Murphy, and Senators Casey and Specter asking for somebody to intervene and assist her family.
"I'm not looking for a bailout or a handout, just some help making this right," said Mrs. Yanosko. "Politicians stepped in to spend billions of dollars saving companies like Bank of America because they deemed them too big to fail. I've got seven children, and we're about to lose our home; I'd hope our elected leaders would look at my family and decide it's too big to fail, too. We're running out of time and hope."
As June 1 nears, she and her children are praying for a miracle.
Mrs. Yanosko is available for print, radio and television interviews.