Expectant family turns to public to fight foreclosure

January 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Recent talks about who is to blame for the nation's housing crisis have been little comfort to thousands of people across the Bay Area who have suffered through foreclosure or are struggling to stay in their homes.

One family in San Carlos is taking an unusual step to keep their house.

"We have this hard deadline, January 19. That's the date the house goes on to auction," Steve Doss said.

The house has been home for more than three years to the Doss family, Steve, Mandie and their five kids. A sixth child is on the way, due just about the same time their foreclosed home on a San Carlos hill is due to hit the auction block.

"My time to deliver is about two days before the sale date on this house," Mandie told ABC7. "So, that would put me coming home to no home."

Their story is like thousands of others facing foreclosure in the Bay Area. Steve, a computer engineer, lost his job when the start-up company he was working for went bankrupt. They fell behind on their loan payments.

"We kept falling more and more behind," he recalled, "A month behind, then two months behind."

Then, he lost a second computer job in November. Now, the Dosses are seven months and $41,000 late on their loan. It was a New Year's surprise when 18 notices about their house being put up for auction all arrived on the same day.

Real estate and mortgage broker Jesse Gutierrez says federal foreclosure programs may not help because of the sheer size of the Dosses' original loan, $1.3 million. There is a cap and the Dosses do not qualify.

"I would say 80, 90 percent of the help that's out there is under $729,000. That's the criteria that was put together by the Obama administration," Gutierrez said.

Now, the Dosses are hoping others, even strangers, will help chip in and save their home.

"It bothers me that I have to do this, but I don't know what else to do at this point," Steve said.

He set up a website complete with a Paypal link for people to make donations.

"This is our home," Mandie said. "We have everything ready for the baby to come home to."

NOTE: Since this story was written, the Doss family has decided to no longer accept donations. The family says it has refunded all donations and is instead attempting a short sale.