George “Pop” Durfee and Joyce Barlow were married in May 1957. They moved into a house on Atlantic Avenue. They lived the simple life of a fisherman’s family, raising four kids in that house. George was a lobsterman in Boothbay Harbor, as were his father and his grandfather.
Fast forward 65 years later. They lost their son at 26 years old, and Joyce lost her husband 22 years ago. My brother, Lawrence, a lobsterman like his father, has worked extremely hard to pay the mortgage on that house on Atlantic Avenue to keep our 87-year-old mother in her home. All she wanted was to stay in that home until she passed away.
Housing prices soared in Joyce’s neighborhood, and unfortunately, there was blood in the water around Boothbay Harbor. The mortgage company and law firm “money sharks” could smell it. So they went after the house and left an 87-year-old woman with a 48-hour eviction notice one day before Mother’s Day!
Today, Joyce Durfee is out of her house of 65 years and has only memories. Her tear-soaked face shows the pain of what has been done to her. The mortgage company’s perfectly timed eviction has ruined the rest of her life. The ironic part of this tragedy is that the mortgage company timed the eviction without allowing her to apply for a part of the 50-million-dollar Maine Home Assistance Fund. by serving her eviction papers on a holiday weekend! They wanted to do so for a long time.
Is this happening to other older adults or anyone else in this state? Could this happen to you too? Think before you answer this. There are lawyers, mortgage companies, and banks out there who are planning this money-making scheme. No one is safe.
I hope that this story will have a happy conclusion for my mother. However, evidence shows that older people evicted from their homes give up their will to live. Only time will tell, as this is a true American Tragedy.