Federal Way mother of 5 fights to save home

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- A Federal Way mother of five is having to fight for her house, even though her soon-to-be ex-husband agreed she could have it as part of their divorce settlement.

It is what he did next that has the woman facing the possibility of losing her home.

"Pretty much the house is gone," said Pamela Keables.

For more than 50 years, several generations of Keables' family have lived in the home. Keables' grandparents bought it new. Her parents raised her and her siblings here. And now she's raising her five kids in the home.

It's a rough time now that she and her husband are divorcing.

"Not only has this house been in my family for a really long time, but it's been one of the only constants my children have had through this really difficult time," Keables.

She said her husband signed an agreement to give her full ownership, but then he filed for bankruptcy. That changed everything. The federal court stepped in and seized his assets -- Including the house -- and ordered it to be sold to pay off creditors.

"And that was like a huge shock. I had no idea," Keables said.

She hadn't yet told her children when realtor's key box showed up on the door.

"They were in shock," she said. "My two youngest just went to their rooms and sobbed."

She has 7-year-old twins, a 9-year-old daughter and two boys, ages 11 and 13.

"And my oldest three got very upset," she said.

Keables said she wants to keep making payments and still owes $265,000. But the bankruptcy court trustee and realtor have it listed at $209,950. She believes that's an effort to get it to sell quickly because they'll get commissions for the sale even though it's under value.

The bank will get only a portion of its original mortgage back and Keables will be left with nothing.

"I don't know when the house is going to be sold or how quick that process may be," she said.

A bankruptcy attorney told the Problem Solvers that even if someone were to make an offer on the house, Keables can petition the bankruptcy court to deny the sale since there's no real equity in the home and it's her primary residence.