Daily Video

February 17, 2009

Family Copes With Loss of House

With America experiencing one of the most serious economic downturns in recent history, families across the country are coping with the financial crisis first-hand. The Balli family live in California where one in 25 homes faces foreclosure. All around the state, people must leave their houses because they cannot afford to pay their mortgages. After Joe Balli lost his job, the family could no longer pay their monthly mortgage, and had to sell most of their personal possessions to fit into a mobile home where they will live until the situation improves. In this report, California’s local station KCET talks to the Balli family about the real costs of the financial crisis.


“On the door jamb in the pantry, we started marking the kids’ height. And every couple of months, we progressively just marked and dated them. I mean, it goes back all the way to ’01 and all the way up to ’08 of last year. There’s one thing I could take out of that house would be that door jamb. Our kids grew in this house, so it’s tough.” — Joe Balli, homeowner “The length of time it takes to get the property approved by the bank or the first mortgage-holder is generally three to five months. And we’ll lose the buyer and the property values continue to decline in that three to five months, which is a lifetime in this market.” — James Festini, realtor “A home is where we’re at, where the four of us are, my wife and my two boys, where my family can come over, Erin’s family can come over, and celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, holidays, birthdays. That’s a home. What we let go was a house. The home, I could take all those memories with us.” — Joe Balli, homeowner

Warm Up Questions

1. What is wrong with the economy right now?

2. How can a bad economy affect families?

Discussion Questions

1. How does this video make you feel about the economy and its effect on families?

2. What would you say to your friend if his or her family was going through the same thing?

3. Who can you talk to if you are feeling sad or scared about the economy? What can you, your class or your community do to help people most affected by the crisis?

Additional Resources

Read the transcript

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