Juha, 35, a father of two, put his property up for sale and became homeless. Now he explains how he arrived at his tough decision.
The taxi driver’s salary was again not what it should have been.
The rent for March and April was already in arrears and the same was going to happen for the month of May.
Juha, 35, of Lappeenranta was forced into foreclosure due to mounting debt burden.
The difficult situation was aggravated by the fact that the car also had to be repaired in order to pass the inspection. Juha paid as much as he could for the repairs, but did not receive the stamp.
– I asked for mercy from both the bailiff and the social welfare office. Neither of them thought I needed a car, Juha is sad.
In his own opinion, he will need it. Without a car, it’s also difficult to meet his own children, whom he could have previously taken on Father’s Weekend. Not having a car also affects the relationship, as his current girlfriend lives twenty kilometers away.
Faced with tight space, Juha came up with a radical solution: He gave up his apartment, took over the final accounting and sent out 14 job applications in hopes of better pay.
– As a taxi driver, my monthly income was around 850–1,100 Euros per month. After foreclosure, 803 euros remained in the final account, and the rent would be 609 euros. Premature termination of the apartment would still be a breach of contract for 590 euros, he lists.
– I thought it was still a better solution than being evicted.
After liquidating the apartment, Juha put all her possessions up for sale.
– The less storage space I need, the better. This week the bed, sofa, washing machine, coffee maker and kitchen table were abandoned.
This week the bed, sofa, washing machine, coffee maker and kitchen table were abandoned.
Before the start of the sale, Juha had 11 cents in his account.
– In the past, when I was short of money, I sold my property. Juha says, a few days back I used TV to buy food and cigarettes too.
With the house finished, Juha is able to pay off her debts when the money isn’t spent on rent.
Although Juha will soon be officially homeless, he’s not going to be living in paradise. The man has agreed that he can stay temporarily at the house of both his friends and girlfriend. He has already agreed to spend father’s weekend with his girlfriend at his girlfriend’s place.
The most important thing is that my own difficult situation does not affect the children. Children always come first, and they should have a carefree and safe childhood.
The most important thing is that my own difficult situation will not affect the children. Children always come first, and they should have a carefree and safe childhood.
The 14 job applications have already generated both one-time emergency assistance at the local laundromat and temporary seasonal work for five months in the city.
Although the hourly wage is not very high, I get paid more than a taxi driver, Juha is happy.
However, in order to go to work, Juha had to buy a new car for 2,000 euros. The money was borrowed by an acquaintance, which Juha promised to repay the acquaintance 500 euros in equal installments with his first earnings.
Juha has been battling foreclosure and debt for years. The downward spiral started years ago with online casino playing and the shift from Imatra to Mikkeli.
– In connection with the move, I was unemployed for a while and fixed the situation with a flexible loan while my credit information was still in order. It wouldn’t have been worth it, as I ended up with flexible loans that were too high for my income level, and I didn’t have the money to pay the monthly instalments, recalls Juha.
At the moment, there are 7,000 euros in withdrawals. Besides those, he has personal loans: 1,100 Euros to the mother of his second child, 1,200 Euros to an acquaintance, 2,500 Euros to a friend, 2,100 Euros new car loan to another friend, 500 Euros to an acquaintance from summer tire shops, 500 euro debt from past, currently movable car, more than 600 euro in arrears of pre-apartment rent, 900 euro in arrears of old rent, including breach of contract, a total of 2,417 euros in rent from March to May, 600 in an old Euros from a motorcycle card and a phone bill of 500 Euros, which is probably already on its way to foreclosure.
– And on top of that, there is a loan of 750 euros to a former best friend, with whom the relationship broke up because of these debts, Juha tells.
The total amount of the loan will be 20,000 Euros.
Juha describes his current situation as “a little bit of crossfire from every direction”:
– For years there has been a constant lack of money, and I have been quite despondent over my fortune. I’ve had help from the church and hired help sometimes, but it’s been artificial respiration. Problems remain, he says, and he doesn’t try to shirk responsibility:
– The culprit can be found in the mirror.
The problems remain. The culprit can be found in the mirror.
Over the years, Juha has worked in many different jobs from security guard to industrial. While living in Mikkeli, he occasionally worked three jobs to pay off his debts.
– During the day I was a security guard, in the evening I went to work at a brewery, and on weekends I was a porter. It began to get tired, and suddenly it occurred to me why I am driving myself into the barrel when there is nothing left in my hands.
According to Juha, many companies are shying away from standing on their feet because of the loan amount and the financial situation not starting to settle even after hard work. The situation has also tested mental health.
During the day I was a security guard, in the evening I went to work at a brewery and on weekends I was a porter. He began to get tired and suddenly it occurred to me why I was driving myself into the pipe when there was nothing left in my hands.
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– Last summer’s summer work, I was on sick leave due to depression, because I was already thinking about how to kill myself at the morning coffee table.
Around Christmas, Juha had a complete collapse and had to undergo psychiatric treatment due to suicidal intentions.
– then I felt that there was no way out of this situation. Tax refunds are eligible for garnishment every year, and wages are garnished as if the individual had no bills other than rent and electricity. When I have been at this place all the time, I have not been able to manage even basic bills, says Juha.
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The economic situation has also cast a shadow on human relations. Being straight can be stressful, especially for loved ones. During the coming summer, Juha plans to pay off as many of his loved ones’ debts as possible.
I can’t get back a lost friendship. Of course, it makes me feel bad, but I’ve calmed down a bit about it, admits Juha.
Asking friends for loans has also been embarrassing. Juha says that he wants to show his fans that he can take care of his money.
I don’t want to be the person who is told that when you lend to someone, you will never get it back. This is a personal task for me. I will take care of them.
I don’t want to be the person who is told that when you lend to someone, you will never get it back.
As a father, I also regret that I haven’t been able to give my kids the kind of memorable experiences that require money.
– Fortunately, the kids are always happy because of my company, going out together and the fact that we occasionally go to the pool or barbecues on the porch.
Although the children are not very demanding, Juha has a bad conscience. She wants to save money for her children and buy clothes for them from places other than flea markets.
Sometimes you worry that if something happens to the children, will you be able to afford the doctor or medicine in such a situation. Juha hopes that for the sake of the children, I want a self-sustaining and stable economy that can withstand the additional expenditure.
On children’s weekends, Juha tries to invest in food in a different way than when he was single.
– I only cook with the kids. When I’m alone, I’ve eaten two meat pies or a pack of sausages a day. I am not able to afford it to eat healthy.
Juha has tried to keep money out of her new relationship.
– I didn’t tell about my financial situation in the very beginning, because I was ashamed and I was afraid that the whole relationship would fall apart. When I explained, my female friend was understanding and took an interest in the reason for my debt.
A female friend told Juha that she feels that money is not everything.
– We are very happy together. He is amazingly encouraging and helps in every way he can, which Juha greatly admires.
He admits that even borrowing money from female friends had become a habit when the taxi driver’s salary was not enough. But the new relationship also inspires Juha to get a handle on his debt.
– We have thought about living together, but it requires that I have a job. That there is an income level with which I can contribute to rent and other expenses even after foreclosure.
At the moment, the situation is still far from what Juha wants to reach. As of now, more and more unpaid bills have moved into foreclosure at a steady pace.
Maybe by the end of the year the situation will have stabilized so that we can move in with our girlfriend, Juha hopes.
Juha’s name has been changed to protect her and her children’s privacy.