Today's Letter from the Editor closes with this scenario:
The plant I worked at for the last 10 plus years suddenly closed down last November. Since I am over 50, no prospective employers will even grant an interview much less hire me . . . we may be homeless in a few months' time . . .
This came from a Manatee resident in response to the Bradenton Herald's series exploring the foreclosure crisis gripping our community and many others across the nation. He has depleted everything and missed a mortgage payment. Will the lender work with him and his wife to try and prevent another foreclosure? How about all the others? Can our legislators at the state and federal levels help stem the bleeding? What else can be done?
These are questions we'll be addressing in the weeks ahead as we further explore the devastating toll of foreclosures in our community.
As I recapped in the column, our reporters found the final tally for 2007 came to 2,528 foreclosures in Manatee County. In the first quarter this year, that number was already approaching 1,200. In this online foreclosure package, we have built an interactive database with these numbers, and tracked where they have hit hardest in Manatee neighborhoods. But the real stories are told in the videos and words of those trapped in this nightmare. We'll continue to add to this package as you help us find solutions.