“They broke every picture we had. We had some stuff stolen. But I guess one thing you find out is that things, just stuff, isn’t quite so important as you thought it was. We’re lucky that we have a lot of friends. We’re in a little one-bedroom place now, but at least we’re all together.”
Foreclosures: Family forced out of home
Their home on Highway 16 was built by O’Neal’s grandfather. It included a small horse farm, with stables.
“It’s been in our family forever,” she said. “No one has ever lived there but our family.”
She inherited the home and three and a half acres from her grandmother in 2003. Her two stepsons and two daughters were raised there.
She said they were all awakened by a siege on Sept. 26.
“The whole thing was a nightmare,” she said. “They took everything.”
Some contractors, accompanied by law enforcement, were hired by the mortgage holder to toss the family and all of their belongings out of the house.
“They were jack-booted thugs, is what they were,” said O’Neal. “I wondered how they could do that, because we had just filed an emergency petition with the court.”
They managed to get their horses off the property before Animal Control could seize them, she said. A mobile home was taken off the property and impounded.
“The whole experience was like something out of World War II,” she said. “They just came in there and started throwing all of our stuff out of the house. They gave us one hour to get the horses out of there, and we loaded them up. But they just took everything out of the home and piled it up.”
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