Mario Barrerra says, "I would never think it would be me. It's always somebody else." But this time it is Barrerra who is waiting on the Veterans Administration. Barrerra's is not a medical issue, although it was caused by medical issues. The Air Force veteran is facing the very real possibility of losing his home.
Barrerra's troubles began more than two years ago when both his parents suddenly died, 90 days apart. The a short time later his mother-in-law passed. The 56 year old was having such a hard time dealing with the loss, he had to take a leave of absence from his job.
During that time Barrerra's wife talked him into going to the VA for medical treatment. When he did, his problems multiplied exponentially. After an examination doctors at the Audie Murphy hospital told him he had colon cancer, heart disease and he was in stage 4 renal failure. Doctors told him he couldn't go back to work.
Shortly after his diagnosis, Barrerra claims he filed for with the VA for disability. He knew it would take a while so he didn't bothering checking with them for 7 months. After not hearing anything for that long he says he called and was told they couldn't find his records. 4 months later he was told to re-file.
Now 16 months have passed and Barrerra still has not received a dime, or even an answer on if he would get benefits.
He says he was also told by Social Security that they would not make a decision on the application he filed there until they saw his records from the Air Force.
Barrerra and his wife, who suffers from serious heart disease and can't work either, lived the past two years off of their savings. Plus, they say they have sold everything that wasn't nailed down. Now they are out of money and the company which holds the mortgage on their home says it will foreclose march 3rd.
After we spoke with Barrerra, we called the Veterans Administration Regional office in Dallas to see if we could get the finance company to stop the foreclosure proceedings. We also called Green Tree Service, the company which holds Barrera's mortgage to see if they would be willing t work with him.
Green Tree said they couldn't discuss Barrerra's account with us, but would see what could be done. We didn't hear back from them. The VA said they found several Mario Barrerras in their system and after getting the correct files, said it is working to expedite Barrerra's claim.