Economic Impacts: One NH Family Faces Forclosure Auction ~ How they are dealing with it.

NH Lifestyle Articles                                              

White Mountain Manna from Heaven

Will the Urlrich Family Endure the Storm?

by Dan Crawford

When Moses lead the Old Testament Israelites through the desert God fed them "Manna" daily. Remembering that struggle and God's deliverance, Judith and Bob Urlrich selected the name Mountain View Manna for their bakery outlets in Tilton and Plymouth.

The Urlrich's, are a Christian couple, in thought and action. For years they owned and operated the Mountain View Family Campground. "We've been in the area for 32 years. When we started the camp, we decided that young families needed a safe place to enjoy with their children that was affordable," says Judith Urlrich. "We helped homeless and needy families find a fun, quiet place to enjoy the outdoors in New Hampton. A place without drugs, no booze. We still see some of our campers now and again." The years rolled by, and the Urlrich's closed the camp.

In 1994, the couple found lucrative and exciting work transporting vehicles. "We worked for two different transport agencies, and what a wild time it was!" says Judith Urlrich. "It wasn't just cars: We delivered brand new motorhomes from the manufacturer's plant to the dealerships, or brought new fleet trucks to rental agencies." The jobs were steady, the work interesting and the income source seemed endless. "Like most everyone else, we found ourselves, well, stuck when the economy dropped."

Discouraged, yet not defeated, the Urlrich's took their savings and built a large log home on a 62 acre spread in Ashland. "In order to help make the mortgage, I started baking bread in my basement. Lots and lots of bread." Judith began creating 50 loaves of bread each day in her home, and her bread became popular. In 2010 she found a vacant storefront in Winnisquam area near Tilton, and later, opened a second location in Plymouth.

Her stores also provided a retail venue for other local artists, bakers and craftspeople. "We sell gluten-free bread from Berry Delicious, a local bakery that offers something we don't. We have portraits painted by a local artist, local maple syrup, and a man who makes the greatest Greek sweaters." says Judith Urlrich. "Another thing we sell are wooden bowls made by the members of church in the area. They are new to this country, but they use their crafts as a way to make money." The profits from sales are returned to the artisans.

As the Urlrich's worked hard to make their business grow and expand, the financial challenges began to multiply. The answer would have been to sell their home and property, and start again on a smaller scale. About this time in 2011, their home on 62 acres was reassessed in value, dropping from $1.1 million to $480,000. The strain of financial burdens, the tensions of managing a small business were compounded by pressures mounting from financial institutions. Just like Moses and his people in the desert, there seemed to be no relief.

"When the economy first went bust, the government bailed out the banks for $8.5 billion. What they should have done, and trust me, I've done the math, is given every homeowner enough to start over, forgive the debt, and let the banks worry instead of the people" says Judith Urlrich. She relates the tale of a friend whose home was valued at $189,000 dollars that was foreclosed, and sold to the highest bidder at an auction for $57,000. "The banks could cut interest rates in half, and let people live and get through this. Instead, the banks bury the people."

Although not an answer to all of her problems, the Urlrich's got some satisfaction, at least, by responding to an ad in a local newspaper. The State of New Hampshire Attorney General's office brought five banks into public scrutiny for their inept practices and shoddy stewardship in the real estate industry. As the Union Leader reported on September 17, 2012: New Hampshire was among 49 states that signed an agreement with the five largest banks in the country, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, and GMAC/Ally, to settle claims involving their mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.(

The Urlrich's have reached out to their friends and neighbors for help, with Judith organizing a fund-raising bike marathon, hoping the benefits would allow her to keep her home. After completed 172 mile of her 200-mile trek, she fell and injured her shoulder, the very same one she uses every day to kneed bread dough. She keeps on going. "I am going to finish those last 28 miles on the bike." The Urlrich's do not shy away from adversity.

Their home is scheduled for public auction on November 14, 2012.

If you would like to help, you can sponsor Judith Urlrich in her bike marathon, shop in the stores in Tilton or Plymouth, or donate cash directly to:

Bob & Judy Urlrich
PO Box 57
Ashland, NH 03217
(603) 968-7042

(Publisher's Note: I purchased a mini-loaf of the Cinnamon Raisin bread on Friday. It was so good, it didn't even make it back to the car! YUM!)


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