Community steps up to help man and his 7 younger siblings stop foreclosure on their childhood home

A struggling family of eight siblings is at risk of losing their childhood home if they can’t stop foreclosure.

Raul Acosta (26), the eldest of the group, has been working hard for eight years to provide for his seven younger siblings, aged 3-16.

Raul was 18 when Perla, their mother, fell ill. The mother of Raul was unable to care for the family and so Raul had no choice but to grow up quickly and look after his siblings.

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Perla died eventually, and her boyfriend, and father of the seven siblings, followed three years later.

Raul did the best he could to keep his family together, but unfortunately, no one in his family was willing to adopt the seven children.

“I was hoping somebody in the family would take that over and handle the responsibilities,” Raul admitted. “I had other plans myself, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and I took on the responsibility.”

The Acosta siblings playing a board game in their living room
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Children’s Legal Services sought the help of attorney Sandra Creta, who offered pro-bono services to the family, so the Acostas could stay together.

With her help, Raul became his siblings’ legal guardian and conservator.

“I wasn’t going to let them go into foster care, get separated. I did what I had to do to keep them all together. They’re good kids,” he said.

Creta said she was “so impressed” with Raul’s maturity when she first met him. At first, Creta was hesitant about giving guardianship to seven children under 21 years old, but she soon felt that all her worries vanished when she met Raul.

“The fact that he had already been packing lunches, braiding hair, changing diapers, using his money from his job at Burger King to fix up the house for years,” she said. “He was already the dad to the little ones.”

Raul Acosta sitting on the couch of their home
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Raul struggled to make ends meet, but he was able raise his siblings and to pay the bills as a driver for tow trucks. However, his work hours were cut during the pandemic and he fell behind in his mortgage payments.

In December, he also lost state welfare benefits such as food, cash assistance, and Medicaid.

Raul must now pay $13,728.40 in its entirety by May 6, otherwise he and his siblings may become homeless.

Attorney Creta and her colleagues Andrea Gutierrez, and Danielle Graham, stepped up to help the family.

Creta contacted the Association of Sole Practitioners and Small Firms of Arizona to ask for help in getting the mortgage loan, which is still under Perla’s name, transferred to Raul’s name.

“He didn’t ask for help, but there was no way I was letting this family lose their home,” the attorney said.

The Acosta siblings
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Raul said they’re also hoping to save up to have their house fixed, as there are plenty of areas in the home that need work.

“It’s not the prettiest, but it’s a roof over our head,” he said.

Andrea also set up a GoFundMe account for her siblings to help them raise the funds needed to prevent foreclosure. As of writing, the fund had raised nearly $135K towards its $40K goal.

Raul and his siblings can keep the home they grew up in!

Andrea shared the plans for the funds in a GoFundMe update.

The Acosta siblings at the beach
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They will first pay the arrearage in order to save the house from being foreclosed. Raul will also use part of the money to purchase food and other necessities for his family.

They’re also checking which parts of the home need repairs and will focus on that. Any remaining funds will be used for the kids’ benefit.

Andrea stated that Raul wanted to be contacted by many people so he opened a P.O. The following address was included in the box:

Raul Acosta PO Box 5723 Glendale, AZ 85301

Raul says that the children have all the clothing they need.

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