Twin brothers, 84, who fled occupied Europe and served in Vietnam forced out of home for failing to pay mortgage.
There’s a litany of things wrong with this story.
1. where’s the family?
2. how did a bank allow them to get this loan?
3. should we be responsible for their lack of financial management skills?
Clifford and Gary Koekoek moved from their native Netherlands after the Second World War to California and found work in Hollywood.
But after taking out a loan that cost them their house, the brothers are facing the prospect of living on the streets.
‘Right now, I’m broke. Sometimes we don’t eat,’ Clifford told Fox40.
In 2007, the brothers – who are Vietnam War veterans – wanted to fix the roof on the house they bought from their mother in Orangevale, California.
They say it’s been in the family since 1984.
‘We took a loan thinking that we had a conventional loan,’ Gary told Fox40.
But, in fact, it was an adjustable rate loan, meaning their payments got higher over time.
Eventually, the Koekoeks were unable to afford making payments and the bank foreclosed. They had to resort to sleeping in their car.
The brothers say they now spend most of their time just walking. Both log many hours at the Sacramento Public Library in Orangevale. Gary mostly pores over deed records, trying to find a way to get their house back.
Family friend Aaron Hoemer set up a GoFundMe page to try and help the pair, who have no surviving local family, find permanent housing.
So far, $2,765 has been raised out of a $5,000 goal.
‘It’s easy to walk by and not look at their situation but if you stop and talk to somebody, everybody has a story,’ said Hoerner.
The two say they find the situation overwhelming and have described their current predicament to be ‘like hell’.
‘It’s a lot of stress. I’d rather go back to the war and get shot at than this crap,’ said Clifford.