Hello all, looking for advice please. DD is 1, she just tested with a lead level of 8. DS is 3, his was 3.3. From what I understand, 10 is considered poisoning, and for a child with exposure to lead, their levels are expected to peak between ages 18-24 months. So it seems like if we stay in our house and don't clean up the lead, DS could officially get lead poisoning. We own our home and have lived here for 7 years. We just had a lead assessment done and the results are grim - the stuff is pretty much everywhere. We could probably contain some of it with painting but the walls in the kitchen and some other areas have crumbling plaster with layers of lead on top of them - crumbling over where we keep dishes, food, etc. We have tried to have this fixed but contractors tell us it is a really dirty job, likely to make the problem worse if they even go in and disturb it more.
So our choice is, risk our daughter's health or risk our credit in possible foreclosure or short sale. Seems like a no brainer, but I really just want advice on simply walking away from a house we are current on, for health issues. We had an evaluation done on the home and it is worth probably about $10,000 less than what we owe on it. We do not have any extra money for repairs or to cover the difference in a sale. We are struggling with money anyway. The house coincidentally is too small for us now and requiring repairs that we can't really afford. We are 4 people living in a 2 bedroom tiny 900 sq ft house and would really love more space - a playroom, maybe? There are some affordable rentals, lower in price and larger in size, that we could move into next month, and just walk away from the house. We are building a pile of evidence regarding the lead exposure to propose to the bank.
Has anyone been through this scenario? I don't know if the bank will consider us as having a hardship and approve a short sale because we are current on payments, although we haven't paid yet for May, and we can theoretically afford the house. We could also theoretically take out a loan for the repairs, although we are drowning in credit card and student loan debt already, and the last thing we want is more debt. In fact, we have about $50,000 in loans currently in deferment, and when we start paying those it will be another $350 per month. Time is of the essence here with either making repairs or moving the children to a safe place.
Any thoughts? Please. Thanks.