Local News

Community Helps Family Save Home from Foreclosure

Posted February 27, 2007

— Terry Martin was exhausted but happy on Tuesday. People continued arriving at his Cumberland County home to offer gifts of cash, and he received call after call from people wanting to help.

Martin said he’s overwhelmed, but in a good way. A day earlier, Martin thought he would lose the house after falling more than $7,000 behind in his mortgage payments.

His son Lawrence, who turns 9 next month, was mauled by a dog at his babysitter's house on Jan. 18, 2006. Terry Martin and his wife Jamie said they still have about $12,000 in outstanding medical expenses.

But people heard about his family's plight, and they responded.

Ann Locklear is a real-estate agent who got in touch with the family. Now, a Fayetteville church is sending a cashier's check to the mortgage lender to wipe out the $7,000 debt.

"Sometimes we go through trials, and we don't know why at that time,” Locklear said. “But when you can turn around and help someone straighten out a situation, it really, really makes you feel good."

Also, a company that has chosen to remain anonymous has agreed to pay the Martins' mortgage bills for the next year.

Support has come not only from cash contributions and mortgage payments, but from a man who wanted to buy the family groceries at the neighborhood Food Lion. David Dawkins of Stedman said it was the least he could do for the family.

"I have three kids of my own, and I would just hope that if something like this ever happened to one of my kids and left us in that kind of financial strain, that somebody would step up and help out,” Dawkins said.

Lawrence and Jamie Martin piled up on groceries together. The Martins said the community's generosity has eased their strain.

"I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” Terry Martin said. “If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have a chance."

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  • collecter Feb 28, 2007

    Knowledge Street: You hit the nail on the head, (by the way nice to have them off your street huh) if half the people reading this understood what this family is all about then they would stop payment on their checks and the money orders. Do some research people, they are not telling the truth here, their life is always about a hand out. They have made an art of it and what a shame that the child was bitten, BUT it gave them a new way to get money. They were WAY behind long before he was bitten. Only after no one he knew him would give them the 3 grand they called the newspaper and it turned into 7 grand....hmmm

  • collecter Feb 28, 2007

    Everyone not knowing the facts is a problem indead.

  • Rocknhorse Feb 28, 2007

    Like I said, I don't know all the details in this case. I know someone who was attacked by a dog when she was young and she was not allowed to touch the settlement until she reached a certain age, neither were her parents. I just know that until you have experienced something like this, you can't truly understand the effect it can take on your life.

    My reaction to this story is more about those people who helped. I still say it's heartening to see that some people are willing to help their fellow man so unselfishly.

  • paddie Feb 28, 2007

    Rockinhorse, from what I understand they had it set up into a trust. They didn't have to do that and they SHOULDN'T have done it. In my opinion they aren't using the money how it was intended but rather they are sitting on it until he turns 18 and in the meantime.....well there's always charity.

  • Rocknhorse Feb 28, 2007

    But is that settlement tied up in a trust until the child turns 18? I'm not saying I know the details in this situation, but I have been injured (by a drunk driver) and I can tell you that the process is very slow! Perhaps this family is taking advantage, or maybe not. I don't know. Without knowing, I'm sure not going to be quick to assume the worst of them. I do think it's great to see how a community jumped in to help someone. Whether or not they deserve it, it does say a lot to the credit and character of those willing to help.

  • paddie Feb 28, 2007

    Rockinhorse. That doesn't apply here. The family already has recieved a $40,000 settlement.

  • Rocknhorse Feb 28, 2007

    When things happen that cause injury and fault is determined, yes, there is typically some monetary compensation. However, often times, that compensation covers medical expenses only and it comes years after the actual event. If you've ever been injured through someone else's negligence, you know that medical is not the only expense you incur. Also, while you are waiting (years) for the court to determine if you are due any money from the injury, you are still having to pay your regular bills plus the medical and misc. expenses that result from the injury. Hospitals and doctors don't want to, nor have to, wait until you settle your claim. They want their money upfront. Trust me, I know from personal experience. Devastating injuries do set you back. Sure, you might get reimbursed and if you are lucky, the "guilty" party has enough insurance to cover your costs. But if they don't, you are s.o.l.

  • paddie Feb 28, 2007

    Kaecee I understand exactly what you are saying. I personally liked the poster who said we should give no questions asked ever. A fool and their money are soon parted.

  • kaecee Feb 28, 2007

    Again, Not being insensitive, but just being realistic. I feel that this family used this story to get help because in something that fault is determined, normally medical expenses are part of the settlement. If something looks questionable, 9 times out of 10, there is something funny. We drive past people off the highways and expressways daily that are dirty and missing one leg holding signs saying, "please help" and folks drive right past them. Then a family says, "Hey, we about to lose our house, son getting $40,000 in 10 years" and everyone runs to their rescue. The son will have more money in 10 years than most of you will have in that time frame. I don't know the family but basically my moral is the next time I fall into financial hardships, let me call on WRAL and the good folks of NC to pay my rent, car note, and groceries for a year. See what I am getting at?

  • Heard Enough Feb 28, 2007

    I seriously doubt that there are any medical bills owed by this family. The insurance settlement, because of the minor involved, would have had to be court approved and no judge would approve a settlement without all of the medical bills being paid. As far as the family using any of the monies held in trust for the minor, that money is not available until the minor turns at least 18. I would bet that the mother was compensated for her time out of work in the settlement of the parent's claim. I doubt we have been told all of the facts.