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“I need to finish my home for my family.” — David Brown

This is not a typical genealogy post for me since it is not history…yet.  My brother and his family are in a pickle and in need of assistance in the form of a lender, donations, or referral to assistance and always prayers.

On September 2, 2015 only 9 months after our mother’s accidental death, my brother’s house burned down.  In spring 2016 my brother & his wife learned they were expecting their third child; their second child was stillborn and this pregnancy was high risk.  By early summer the construction on their replacement home had started but soon stopped when a lien was placed on the property due to a contractor failing to pay a supplier.  David has tried to find a lender to no avail as of yet.  One year and 5 days after their home burned down, my brother and sister-in-law were blessed with the birth of a healthy daughter on September 7, 2016.  They brought her to their temporary home that insurance will cover only until September 2, 2017.  David continues to struggle to find a way to proceed with completing their house and has reached out to news stations and started a gofundme campaign in an effort to find help they desperately need.

On October 17, 2016 KFOR, a local news station, wrote an article Metro family endures a mountain of misfortune after visiting with my brother, David Brown, about his family’s situation in trying to rebuild their home after it burned down.  Teaser video on KFOR Facebook page October 17, 2016 at 2:57pm An Oklahoma family living in limbo after devastating fire. 1

The news article originally had a video with it but that is no longer there.  Below is the text from the news article.  The house that burned was 2,476 square foot and the house they are trying to build is 2,595 square foot.  Using the insurance money, they paid off the existing mortgage and there is still recoverable depreciation left to collect but only if the house is complete by September 2, 2017.  The only nefarious actions were by the concrete contractor who they are suing but who is protected by Oklahoma construction laws.

MUSTANG, Okla. – David Brown has big plans for his 2,600 square foot house. He started building his dream home last year, after fire consumed the previous property and everything inside. “It’s a horrible experience to lose your house to a fire,” Brown said.

But, it has gone from bad to worse for the Mustang family of four. A contractor failed to pay the concrete supplier, and a lien was placed on the property. Brown coughed up almost 13 grand to clear the lien.But, by then, the lender backed out. “The framer was scheduled to be here, but I had to call and tell him no, because we had this catastrophe,” Brown told us. And, the Browns can’t find another lender to take over. “They say the reason is they won’t be able to get title insurance since we’ve already started,” Brown said. There is one option: to get that loan, according to Brown. “It’s been suggested we can tear it down and start over. That would literally be like putting $109,000 in the fireplace just to watch it burn. We didn’t take that course.” The Browns still need about $190,000 to complete their home.

They pray a lender will help a family who has already endured an avalanche of misfortune. “Give me a call. I want to talk. I need to finish my home for my family,” Brown pleaded.

They are currently living in a small trailer on the property and started a GoFundMe campaign to assist with the building expenses. 2

In my brother’s words on the Brown Fire Recovery Fund site:

On September 2nd 2015 our house burned down. We have insurance that is covering part of the cost to rebuild, and we’ve begun rebuilding. Where things went bad is when one of the contractors didn’t pay for the materials he used and got a lien filed on our property before our construction loan was funded. The bank decided not to fund the loan for fear that we couldn’t get title insurance, which is ridiculous because each of the contractors have been paid in full, and have provided full complete waivers.  We have been to 7 different lenders since them, and they all say they can’t do a construction loan after construction has started. We have spent about $109,000 so far to rebuild our home, and our options are to tear it down and start over with a construction loan, or figure out a way to finish building it with cash.

After our house burned down we had to accept help from friends, family, and neighbors, which was very difficult for Jennifer, Aaron, and myself. We are each very independent, and while we are all willing to do things to help others, accepting help was just not easy for us. And now we find ourselves back in the same place of needing help for something that seems impossible, and relying on our family,  friends,  and neighbors for it. Which gets us to now, October 2016 is the 7th month we’ve been trying to get a construction loan to finish building our home since the lien was filed, and the 10th since we started rebuilding. Our insurance policy times out 2 years after the claim was initiated, so if we can’t finish building our new home by September 2017 we will forfeit the recoverable depreciation which totals about $69,000.

All of these problems are because a contractor didn’t pay his bills, and I told the bank about it. It’s unbelievable that construction law dictates that we can not sue for punitive damage when the result of this contractors actions cost us the ability to get a construction loan and finish building our home.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to those who finds it in their heart to help us. We would greatly appreciate if you would share our story with everyone you know, and likewise ask them to share it as well. —Brown Fire Recovery Fund 3


  1. KFOR-TV (2016, October 16).  An Oklahoma family living in limbo after devastating fire.  [Facebook update] Retrieved October 23, 2016, from https://www.facebook.com/kfor4/videos/10154089578116636/?pnref=story
  2. West, L. (2016, October 16). Metro family endures a mountain of misfortune. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://kfor.com/2016/10/17/metro-family-endures-a-mountain-of-misfortune/
  3. Brown, D. (2016, October 14). Brown Family Fire Recovery Fund. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from https://www.gofundme.com/Brownfamilyrecover