Nancy Schaefer and spouse were under financial stress

The Northeast Georgian, a local weekly, reports that former state senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband Bruce were having serious financial problems.

On March 26, Bruce Schaefer shot his sleeping wife, and then turned the gun on himself, according to law enforcement authorities.

Reports the newspaper:

At 9:06 a.m. Wednesday, March 31, hours before the Schaefers’ funeral in Toccoa, The Northeast Georgian received a legal advertisement of notice of sale under power to secure debt by Nancy S. Schaefer. That legal advertisement notice states the original principal amount was $755,000.

The home is scheduled to be sold “at a public outcry for cash to the highest bidder before the courthouse door of Habersham County” during legal hours of sale on the first Tuesday of May (May 4).

The 4,700-square-foot house, located at 458 Yates Circle, Clarkesville, is located within the private, gated golf course community known as The Orchard near Turnerville.

The home is valued at $629,000, according to the Habersham County Tax Assessors’ Office.

Comments on this post have been closed, thanks to a few who are unfamiliar with the rules of civilized speech.

But this note came in from a reader who asked that his name not be used:

The Schaefer tragedy points to a huge gaping hole in the system for helping those with credit problems keep their homes.

I obviously do not want to be identified in print, but my home situation is very similar to that of the Schaefers. At a time when I was earning > $350,000 per year, I spent $625,000 building a home and borrowed $485,000, an equity balance of $140,000, or 22%, and my payments were 12% of my gross earnings. Then the perfect storm hit- lost my earnings (I was a real estate consultant) and the house was appraised at $505,000, $120,000 below cost..

I can’t afford this home and I have been declined for a modification 4 times; first for inadequate earnings, then, when I got new work and my wife found a job, for failure to pass something called a NPV test. I have new work and the mother of my 5 children has gone to work outside the home full-time for the first time ever.

We can afford a reasonably modified mortgage, but have no chance to catch up on the past due amount or to pay the current payment. I would LOVE to downsize, but the damage to my credit is now such that I couldn’t get a mortgage on a $150,000 or a $200,000 home, well within my ability to pay. So I continue to battle my mortgage company because if I lose this house I have no home.

Is there a HAMP provision for this? Not a chance. The government talks about trying to keep homeowners in their homes but I know of few if any homeowners who have been modified. It is apparently a charade.

I would hopefully never reach the point of despair that the Schaefers reach but there should have been an escape route for them; unfortunately, I don’t know what it would have been. A real tragedy.

It’s rough out there, people.

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8 comments Add your comment

Charles Weaver

April 5th, 2010
1:24 pm

A few days ago I was remarking to friends that in all my 75 years I had never seen so many outright
dummies in Congress, and so few with any common sense whatsoever. Your Congressman, Hank
Johnson, proves it.


April 5th, 2010
1:25 pm

What a sad story. No amount of money is worth ending the life of your spouse or yourself.


April 5th, 2010
1:28 pm

Charles, take your non sequitur comments elsewhere.

Karl Marx

April 5th, 2010
1:32 pm

It’s a tragic permanent solution to a temporary problem. My prayers are with the family.

Pride and Prejudice

April 5th, 2010
1:33 pm

Didn’t I tell you all that no one has any money any more.


April 5th, 2010
1:38 pm

How sad……..So many people are one layoff or under gun of such financial pressure and all the government has done is re-arm the banks to come after people in foreclosure. The banks should have been foreclosed. It makes no sense to prop up the banks with the tax payers IOUs or money to turn around and use them against the taxpayers. what is congress focused on ?? Healthcare……How truly sad that these people died this way. It is a shame that government can’t give hope instead.


April 5th, 2010
1:38 pm

Charles is right about Congress being made up of idiots, but there was no need to connect it to this sad story.


April 5th, 2010
1:42 pm

The 4,700-square-foot house in a private, gated golf course community.

This was such a tragic story.

Downsizing from that big gorilla of mortgage debt probably could have saved them.

You can love your house and all, but you shouldn’t want to die for it.

It’s amazing what people think they need……………