What's next now that my home has gone into foreclosure?

by Bill Stephens | In Focus Writer | 10 May 2019 | 5:00 P.M. CT

McHENRY, IL - Over the past six years, I have endured five surgeries and three rounds of chemo. Because of my health issues and being self employed I have lost income over the past six years.

I have lost so much income that my house was foreclosed on a few days ago and I have until the end of July to pack up and get out of my home. Since I became ill and suffered huge financial losses I have asked for help.

My editor has started Go Fund Me pages to help and stories have been written and circulated to all of the Chicago news media outlets. Well, it has been radio silence; no response at all.

I even had a comment from a fellow firefighter I recently worked with who told me he had no idea and thought it might be some kind of joke. So five surgeries and chemo - a joke? Losing my home of 31 years a joke? I’m not laughing.

Well it is no joke! I have to pack up my home of 31 years the home that I raised my two children in and is also the location of my only source of income. My savings has been decimated between legal fees and medical bills.

My income has suffered because of the surgeries and recovery time where I couldn't work. I have lost clients because I was not available when they needed me. What do you do when you are backed into a corner?

The banks have all of these government given tricks up their sleeves to take your home and I have yet to find an advocate that is available to help me in this unfair situation, and now I need to pack up a home and 31 years of memories.

Being a retired volunteer firefighter and currently active fire scene photographer, I had hoped that some people, once hearing about my problems, would step up and help me. Well it hasn’t happened. In fact, when reading articles about illnesses in the service, I have to wonder how much help has been given or even offered.

Volunteers are just that. They are people that care about their community and do it for little or no pay. The worst part of this is no benefits - especially long term heath care. So if you get sick, you suffer the consequences – all of them financial and otherwise.   

All of us in the service are supposed to be family. If we ask for help, our request should not fall on deaf ears. Listening to each other is key and if there is a request for help we must respond. When any first responder active or retired falls through the cracks you need to ask why nobody stepped up to help. I will tell you that they have asked for help. The real question is did you listen?

We are responsible for each other, pay attention, talk with them and listen to understand. The rest of my story is HERE.

Editor's Notes: After a long, drawn out court process, hiring two lawyers, one to represent him in local county court and the other in a federal case and even after having the grant money together that would have taken care of this situation, Bill Stephens is still going to be out on the street if he's not able to find the resources needed to help him pack his home, sell what he doesn't need and then the physical help he needs to move into whatever place he will be able to find. What is happening to this man is wrong! I'd like to know where are all the people that Stephens has helped in the past when they needed assistance? The people that needed bailing out and rescuing from horrible situations, where are they at now? There is a crowd fund page setup to help Stephens. This is going to be a true test of who Stephens' friends truly are. This story is not copyrighted so it can be published and used as many times anywhere it's reasonable to re-publish this story. Please spread the word about this. Thank you.