NewsLocal NewsLakeshoreOttawa


Single mom, 3 kids left homeless after basement collapses

Coopersville house foundation gives out after rain
Basement collapses
Posted at 4:43 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 18:18:17-05

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. — A family is starting the new year homeless after part of their house caved in.

At 6 a.m. on Dec 30, Tammi Bingley and her kids woke up to a loud noise and felt shaking.

“They’re you know, screaming, ‘Mom! Mom! Something just happened!’" Bingley said. "So we went to investigate, thinking a tree or something fell.”

Bingley walked outside to find that the front wall of her basement caved in. She could smell fuel oil and immediately got everyone out of the house and called 9-1-1.

Bingley said it wasn't long before she was given a notice by township officials that her house, where she's lived for 20 years, was too unsafe to live in.

It's not just Bingley and her three children who are without a home. Bingley recently took in a family of three who fell on hard times. Were it not for her kindness, they would have been homeless.

The day of the collapse, a representative from State Farm came to the house to evaluate the damage.

“That claims person was here for approximately 10 minutes or so," Bingley said. "She took a couple pictures of the outside as Board Up was working and she went into the basement, took a couple pictures there, didn’t really ask anything.”

Just when Bingley thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.

“She called me yet that same day, just a few hours later and said, ‘We’re sorry. It’s not covered,'" Bingley said. "And I said, ‘How can this not be covered?’ And she said, 'Well it’s considered earth movement.’ And I said, ‘Well how do you know it’s earth movement by just taking a few pictures?’”

Paying for the repairs on her own isn't an option for Bingley, who is a single mother. When the wall fell, it destroyed her furnace, water heater, water softener, sump pump and air conditioner.

collapsed basement 1120
Tammi Bingley woke up at 6 a.m. on Dec. 30 to find her basement wall collapsed.

“I was angry, very mad. I can’t even believe for one second that you live in a place for almost 20 years and they won’t cover something as catastrophic as this," Bingley said.

On Wednesday, FOX 17 reached out to State Farm for comment. A representative issued the following statement:

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are going to look into this further and will be in touch with our customer.”

The representative wasn't able to provide more information because much of the staff is out of the office for New Year's Day.

Currently, Bingley doesn't know how much it will cost to fix her house and replace those critical appliances.

“I don’t even know where to start down here to be honest with you," Bingley said. "What do you do?"

A close friend of Bingley's set up a GoFundMe page to help her with expenses.