An eastern Iowa family sold just about everything they own this week, hoping to catch up on bills. Doug and Ericka Johnston of Anamosa say their monthly mortgage bill almost doubled when they were fined by the lender for missing a few payments. On Wednesday night, the family auctioned off everything from VHS tapes and power tools to some of their children’s belongings.
“If we didn’t sell it, we were going to have to put it into storage. Then, we’d have to come up with the money every month for storage,” Doug Johnston said. Ericka was reduced to tears when the auctioneer sold her mother’s china collection.
“Twenty-one years of Thanksgiving. A lifetime…reduced to nothing but a table,” Ericka said as she hugged a relative. The couple’s two daughters sold many of their valuables too. Ericka says the family is finding comfort in the fact that they still have each other.
“There’s nothing here that is worth more than my children, so it all goes,” she explained. The family raised a little more than $1,000 from the auction. Doug and Ericka say they’re trying to focus on the future, learn from their financial mistakes and start over. They recently moved to Anamosa, but are still trying to sell their old home in Cedar Rapids.