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Cemetery in Foreclosure

The funeral industry is usually recession proof. After all, as Arvin Starrett, spokesman for the National Funeral Directors Association, said "The honest-to-goodness truth of the matter is that everybody does die."

So it goes to show how bad the current economic situation has become: a cemetery on Highway 86 in Imperial, California, is in foreclosure!

Annika Mengisen of Freakonomics Blog has the answer to the question I'm sure you're all thinking of: will the ..., um, occupants be evicted? Link


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Actually, the "organization" that ran the place absconded with the trust money years ago - this really does not have anything to do with the current financial mess. The cemetery has been effectively abandoned for a long time, and has been taken care of by people (mainly one old guy) volunteering to do the maintenance. The water was finally shut off to most of the area and it has turned into a dust bowl. The legal matters are finally being sorted out, but speaking from experience with this very cemetery, if you want to remove your loved one to a better location, you cannot, and you cannot have anyone buried in the four empty plots you own since all the records went missing. Anyone want to buy some very cheap Imperial Valley land?
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Anybody else reminded of the Amityville Horror?

@Gail Pink: "Well, a cemetary does have a limited amount of land. Maybe it’s “full” and they have no new plots to sell?"

In most cases the cost of a cemetery plot includes a portion that is supposed to go to a long-term maintenance fund that's supposed to keep it afloat; it's not like the Social Security system that depends on more people coming into the system to take care of those that are already in. Most cemetery organizations do a good job of maintaining their finances so that things like this don't happen, but there are exceptions... It shouldn't matter if a cemetery runs out of space and can't sell any more plots; the organization has sold each plot with the promise that the plot will be cared for in perpetuity.
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