A 53-year-old mother and wife committed suicide in Taunton, Mass. soon after faxing a letter to her mortgage company saying by the time they foreclosed on her house later that day, she would be dead. After the mortgage company received the fax around 2:30 p.m., they called police, who found Carlene Balderrama’s body at 3:30 p.m.
Police said she used her husband’s high-powered rifle to deliver the fatal wound. The auction on Balderrama’s brown-shingled raised ranch house was set to begin at 5 p.m., and police said interested buyers arrived at the home while Balderrama’s body was still inside. Police also said a suicide note was found next to Balderrama instructing her husband John and 24-year-old son to “take the [life] insurance money and pay for the house.” One of John’s co-workers said Balderrama handled all the bills and her husband was unaware of the foreclosure.
Each morning, I listen to the news and inevitably there is a story about the mortgage crisis, but very rarely do these stories feature the people directly affected it. This story definitely puts the crisis in perspective for me. And I have to say I’m disgusted. I think our country is in a sad state when a mother and wife feels it necessary to take her life in order to keep her family in their home. I know the mortgage crisis is on the minds and tongues of countless politicians, but something more needs to be done, fast. [Associated Press]