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Penhorwood condo update

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of zsanya zsanya 3 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #21791
    Avatar of cingi2i
    cingi2i
    Member

    FORT MCMURRAY – It has been six months since the evacuation, and the Bakers have completely drained their savings.

    Victims of Fort McMurray’s Penhorwood condominium disaster, Dushan and Aruna are working overtime and on the side, scrambling and clawing their way back from a frightening financial precipice.

    They have spent hours pleading with bankers, working with realtors and brokers, trying to make the best of bad options.

    They have moved twice, packing and unpacking, living out of boxes and sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

    Worst, their future hangs on the outcome a complicated multimillion dollar lawsuit that could take years to resolve. If they lose, they will go bankrupt.

    But there is one, brilliant bright spot in their story, one happy fact that makes them feel grateful and very lucky: They have their baby back.

    “It makes it harder, but it makes it easier,” Dushan says, laughing as his feisty daughter, Kimaya, climbs up his legs, lap and shoulders, nuzzling and giggling.

    “She was very easy going,” Aruna says of the baby’s return to Fort McMurray from Montreal, where she was living with her grandparents while the couple got back on their feet after the evacuation.

    “It warms my heart to have her here.”

    The Bakers and more than 300 others were evacuated from the Penhorwood Place condominiums shortly after midnight on March 11.

    The evacuation was triggered by an engineer’s report that raised questions about whether the seven-year-old condos were safe to live in.

    The report was generated as part of a $4.1 million lawsuit the condo board filed in 2007 claiming the buildings were improperly built. The list of allegations is long: Failed roofs, water leaks, wiring mistakes and a cracked foundation, along with poor stucco, falling fences and dangerous in-floor heating.

    Statements of defence from more than 20 defendants deny any wrongdoing.

    Penhorwood Place condo board spokeswoman Christine Burton said the situation for owners is increasingly precarious as many have exhausted their savings and are contemplating bankruptcy.

    “The trick now is to stay afloat until the case is resolved,” she said. “Nobody has gone bankrupt yet, but we got a couple of people who are really, really close.”

    In September, owners will vote to decide what to do with the property, Burton said. They have three options: repair the condominiums, rebuild them, or sell the land for what it is worth.

    “Either way, we are asking people to put themselves at risk,” Burton says.

    Meanwhile, the lawsuit is moving forward, with examinations for discovery slated to finish in November.

    Then, all the evidence will be on the table and lawyers can begin talking about a possible settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial. The estimated cost: $8 million in lawyers fees alone.

    “There are still no answers as to what is going on,” evacuee Tammi Connor said. “The worst is past, it’s not as chaotic as it was, but we are still waiting and waiting for something to happen.”

    Tammi and her husband, John, have moved out of the hotel they were living in and rented a townhouse. Like the Bakers, they are struggling to make ends meet and their savings are nearly gone.

    “We are just living paycheque-to-paycheque, we are no further ahead,” she said. “This is not where we wanted to be at this age. But life goes on. You have to live.”

    Dushan and Aruna Baker try not to think about their predicament.

    They cashed out their RRSPs and emergency savings to pay off their $50,000 in car and consumer debt, all so they could get a second mortgage on a duplex.

    This way, if they go bankrupt, they will still have a home to raise their daughter in. But the financial strain is so great that Dushan has started a carpet-cleaning businesses in addition to his full-time job, and Aruna may renew her efforts to sell her handmade baby jewelry after hours.

    “When the fire in Slave Lake happened, I found myself wishing that had happened to us,” Dushan says. “When I hear about the millions the government is spending, and the insurance money the victims are getting … I feel bad saying this, but I wish that was us.”

    Most of the time, though, the couple tries hard to focus on the incredible help they have received from friends and family, and the things that are going right.

    “Kimaya is back, and the blessings keep coming,” Aruna says. “We are patient people.”

    kkleiss@edmontonjournal.com

    twitter.com/ablegreporter
    © Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

    #43961
    Avatar of dingo_dave
    dingo_dave
    Member

    The mac is a cruel mistress.

    #43963
    Avatar of saidta
    saidta
    Member

    Hi there, so you know i’m in the same boat. I’ve exhausted all my savings, RRSP’s.Now, I’m selling my stocks. I’m contemplating on Bankruptcy as well but will I be able to keep my RRSP’s that are locked in? Will my leased vehicle will be taken away. If anyone is reading this and has some knowledge of anything like this situation. Please provide us some information. Serious inquires only, I don’t want a run around. We’ve been through enough. Thank You.

    #43965
    Avatar of zsanya
    zsanya
    Member

    Try asking professionals . It might be better than asking random strangers :)

    Good luck.

    #43967
    Avatar of dingo_dave
    dingo_dave
    Member

    http://www.hoyes.com/bankruptcy-reform-rrsp.htm

    RRSP’s, regardless of there status, are sheltered in bankruptcy. However, anything that you contributed to your RRSP in the 12 months before bankruptcy, is not sheltered (to prevent abuse).

    I was kind of surprised to read that the couple in article cashed out their RRSP account, when they soon might be forced into bankruptcy.

    #43969
    Avatar of Viktimize
    Viktimize
    Member

    [quote:40397e0289="saidta"]Hi there, so you know i’m in the same boat. I’ve exhausted all my savings, RRSP’s.Now, I’m selling my stocks. I’m contemplating on Bankruptcy as well but will I be able to keep my RRSP’s that are locked in? Will my leased vehicle will be taken away. If anyone is reading this and has some knowledge of anything like this situation. Please provide us some information. Serious inquires only, I don’t want a run around. We’ve been through enough. Thank You.[/quote:40397e0289]

    So call a bankruptcy advisor and talk to them. You can’t just claim bankruptcy as most people think, you have to speak to one of these advisors first. They look at your situation and decide if it is the right decision or not. But they will have all the answers that you need.

    #43971
    Avatar of zsanya
    zsanya
    Member

    [quote:cd28cd8e79="Viktimize"][quote:cd28cd8e79="saidta"]Hi there, so you know i’m in the same boat. I’ve exhausted all my savings, RRSP’s.Now, I’m selling my stocks. I’m contemplating on Bankruptcy as well but will I be able to keep my RRSP’s that are locked in? Will my leased vehicle will be taken away. If anyone is reading this and has some knowledge of anything like this situation. Please provide us some information. Serious inquires only, I don’t want a run around. We’ve been through enough. Thank You.[/quote:cd28cd8e79]

    So call a bankruptcy advisor and talk to them. You can’t just claim bankruptcy as most people think, you have to speak to one of these advisors first. They look at your situation and decide if it is the right decision or not. But they will have all the answers that you need.[/quote:cd28cd8e79]

    This reminnded me of Michael Scott ( of “the office”) running around yelling “I declare BANKRUPTCY!!!!” .

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