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Posts tagged with: mortgage

Holding Onto Anger

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Anger

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Budda

We left off last week with what should have been the next to last post about my debt journey.  The final should have been doing the Dave Ramsey Shout that We’re Debt Free.  Yes it was going to take us longer, since I decided to work for myself, but we would have gotten there eventually.  This was a mutual decision by both the wife and I.  We both knew that if I just got another job, that my dream of becoming an entrepreneur would probably never happen.  Plus the added bonus of being at home with my family was an added perk.

Well in March 2013, we started getting phone calls from Wells Fargo.  It started with one, then escalated to around six a day.  All stating one thing, that the mortgage payment has not been paid since September 2012.

Six months!  My wife’s ex, hasn’t paid in six months!  He gave us so many excuses, that we lost track of all the lies he told us.  We didn’t have money for a lawyer and we didn’t know what to do.  We tried to get advice before and our lawyer royally screwed us over.

Back then, she told us the best thing to do was to get an assumption.  Well come to find out the day of our court trial, this assumption would get my wife’s name off the deed, but not the mortgage.  We had to throw the case out, as this wouldn’t have been a good option for us.

In October of 2013, we find out that he is moving out of the house, and he was going to try to short sale it.  If you aren’t keeping track of time, that is One year and one month of not paying the mortgage!  I know people don’t want me calling this guy names and what not, but truly how can you do this?!?  How can you do this when you have a daughter to provide for?

He moved into a house he was renting out to some woman (a woman that was supposedly buying this property from him, and his profits were going to pay on the back payments of the house.)  This house was so tiny, you literally can walk three steps in the living room, and you are out of this room.  How were five people supposed to live in this house?

Later that month, we were served with papers that the house was going into foreclosure.  There was basically nothing we could do, so we decided to let it go.  And right around Christmas, we come to find out that this was all part of this guy’s plan.  He approached us and said he has been in talks with the bank to get a loan modification.

In my opinion, we should have gave him the finger and told him you know what.  But my wife is the kinder of the two of us, she didn’t want our daughter to be living in that tiny house.  So we ended up signing papers for this modification.  He is planning to move back in at the end of this month.  There is a three month trial period starting next month.

I am so sick of all this, it makes me stress to no end.  And we are seeing all the after effects of it all.  While he owns a house, co-owns this house, has 3 vans, two cars, and a RV (all of which were bought during the time he stopped paying on the mortgage.)  I am really at a lost of what to do…


A Sobering Observation

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I found out at noon yesterday that I had to appear in person for a hearing in Brownsville, Texas at 9 am this morning.  A repeat of last week’s trip!  I flew out last night at 6:25, went to Houston, then arrived Harlingen at 9:50.  I just returned after leaving on a noon flight, again going to Houston and landing San Antonio at 6 pm.  I’m not whining really because I know how fortunate I am to have a very good job but I share that because travel in Texas is pretty unique.  Other people in my company cannot get their brain around that much flying and staying in one state.

I sat in the courtroom this morning waiting for my case to be called.  The Judge asked for any uncontested matters to be heard first so I heard an uncontested divorce prove up, some property tax judgments being taken, a friendly suit (which is when a minor receives money and the law required the Judge to approve) and then there was a matter that I had not seen before.  An attorney announced that he was seeking an approval of a structured settlement pay out for a woman who I’d put in her mid 50’s.  She was Spanish speaking only so an interpreter was used.  It seems that this woman had received a settlement for the wrongful death of her son back in 1991.  At that time a structured settlement payment was entered into and certain amounts were guaranteed for a certain period of time.  This obviously increased the value of her settlement because the then present day value of the settlement increased over time as it was invested and payments were structured.  She was asking the court to basically release $85,000 of a settlement that would have been worth $140K.  With that money she needed to pay off her $55,000 mortgage and part of her credit card debt.  That’s right…just part of it.  She was carrying another $50K in credit card debt.

The Judge was obviously moved by the situation.  He took a lot of time to explore her situation and asked to see her many, many credit card statements.  All of her credit cards were at 19% interest and above.  Then he asked her about her mortgage and she testified that the interest is 24%!  That blew all of us away and after a few more questions it became evident that hers was not a traditional mortgage (obviously!) and the Judge opted to stop inquiring as that went beyond the scope of what he was being asked to do at this time.  I’m not sure what that 24% interest rate is about–maybe a contract for sale?  It’s been years since I’ve done any property law so I have no real idea. The Judge sternly cautioned her that if she doesn’t change her spending habits, she will be right back in this mess. Even after “selling” her interest in the settlement she still faces $25K in credit card debt.  He agreed to the pay out and she left the courtroom.

Clearly I have no idea what this woman’s circumstances are but based upon what I did hear and observe I was very sad! I am also disgusted by the creditors that extended her this amount of credit!  Her spending habits and choices certainly come into play but what a tragedy to have to use money from the loss of your child to get you out of debt.  It made me think though of the many parents with their children alive and well that are doing a huge disservice to their kids by being in inexcusable consumer debt.  Just food for thought.

That was my sobering day in court today.


Bill Collectors!

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It won’t come as a surprise to most of you but Steve’s mortgage company is looking for him at my address.  I rejected a certified letter the other day and have returned as “no longer at this address” more than a few regular mail letters.  I don’t know for certain but I surmise that he has followed through on a plan of proposing his renters assume his mortgage.  By the timing of correspondence from the mortgage company I’m guessing that things are following their usual Steve course.  In my opinion, Steve answers to no one you see…not anyone…including his mortgage company.  Boy am I glad I never got my name wrapped up in that black hole!

I am not without fault in the creation of my own debt but (in my opinion) there is one major, fundamental difference between me and Steve: I pay my bills.  I do not avoid payment!  Even if it means I have to call and humble myself to explain my circumstances, I will do that before I will stick my head in the sand and act like nothing is happening.  With time and distance I have concluded that this blog may very well have been a major catalyst for my divorce.  It was much too close to the truth for him.  It was much too candid. It was much too real.  The grief I would encounter when I’d share too much was consistent but, for whatever reason(s), I wasn’t willing to stop and back down.  I envision it like the walls of a room just closing in on him.  My truth was his nightmare and he could not take it anymore.  I am so thankful for that reality.

Thanks for your supportive comments to yesterday’s post.  I am in therapy that is covered by my insurance.  I am reflecting on how I got to this place in my romantic relationships and uncovering some significant core issues.  However, this blog cannot and will not be about my relationships.  Can you imagine the backlash from readers seeking debt reduction info only?!  😉  That part of my life will remain private for my sake, the sake of my children and the sake of any man who may enter my life.  I will only say I am enough of an optimist to dare to say that I do believe in the goodness of humanity and that I do believe in love.  Call me a rose-colored glasses kinda girl.  I refuse to be bitter.  Whatever lies in my future on that front remains to be seen but I will maintain a belief in the positive and not the negative.

As for my vehicle, I guess I don’t see the little 28 mpg Toyota SUV as a luxury vehicle.  Maybe that is my overindulgent side, I don’t know.  It does not have bells and whistles and I am perfectly content with that.  It is a newer vehicle with a very real value on the reliability side.  We’ve had this chat before on the blog.  I am not willing to sacrifice peace of mind for a $3,000 car.  I won’t apologize for that either because I feel very strongly about it.  I am so blessed to have the help I have and I WILL pay it back!

 

 

 


Giving to Charity Debate?

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Last week I talked about giving to charity. My husband and I had set a goal early last year to be more giving and we met our goal. I was surprised at how many readers commented on reasons NOT to give to charity while in debt. Most said they’d rather skip paying interest to the banks, making the banks richer, and reduce their own debt instead.

Respectfully…

I disagree.

Looking at the numbers, taking nothing else into consideration, those readers are correct. Giving to charity delays debt payoffs and does mean you will be paying more in interest overall.

BUT, and it’s a big BUT, there will always be reasons to skip donating to charity.

I’m in debt. I need to pay off debt first.
I should pay off my mortgage. I could use that money headed to charity to reduce my mortgage and save interest.
I need to fully fund my emergency fund.
I need to save for my child’s college.
I need to save cash for my car.
I need to…

you get it.

If everyone believed in being debt free before donating to charity… only the rich would donate.

And, do you stick by those same beliefs for everything? Do you never go out to dinner? Do you never buy clothes unless absolutely necessary? Do you never waste a single dime while paying off debt?

I highly doubt it.

I don’t see giving to charity as an exercise solely for the charity. It’s an exercise for me. For my heart. For my obsessive frugality.

It keeps me from believing it’s always about ME.

If you still insist that giving money should never be done, then I encourage you to spend your time. Charities would love an extra set of hands… and it’s free.

So what is the consensus? Give money to charity while in debt? Or don’t?


Save Money by Staying at Home?

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The question has come up a few times about staying at home with my son rather than working and paying for daycare. There are books about the true costs of working rather than staying at home and admittedly, they are high. Daycare, work clothes, gasoline, car maintenance – they all add up. Anyone who files an online tax return knows that there are lots of deductions that can be taken for work-related expenses but still, they aren’t always enough. So why don’t I stay home?

Our mortgage is more than 50% of our income.

My husband and I make nearly the same salary. The math is pretty easy on that one.

Would I stay home if we lived in an apartment? Unlikely. We wouldn’t have daycare expenses, but we’d have to squeeze out rent and healthcare from our current budget and it’s tight as is.

Once we finish paying off debt, we’re looking at two options: 1 – Hubby finds better employment or 2 – We move out of state.

Being debt free has always been so far in the future, we never had to think too seriously on either front. Now that we’re two months away, we are starting to consider both options. Once we save up our 3 – 6 months of expenses, we’ll make the leap.


B of A Strikes YOU this time…

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It’s bad enough that B of A has a nasty reputation with mortgages, now they are earning an all new rotten reputation with non-mortgage customers by adding a $5 debit card charge. These charges were created to make up for the federal regulations placed on banks earlier in the year.

Bank of America’s stock dropped after this announcement.

Heck the 3 month overall shot of their stock looks pretty bad.

I’m not a B of A customer… but if I were, I wouldn’t be for long.

Read a good article about it here: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/bac


Bad Decisions?

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After my not so nice request to my employer to please stop contacting me while on maternity leave, I experienced a wonderful time of peace and quiet.

That didn’t last long.

On Wednesday, the calls, e-mails, and texting started again.

Maternity leave is great, but keeping my job is important – especially since I use my paycheck to pay my mortgage and pay down debt.

Sure, I understand that they can’t legally fire me for turning off my phone while on disability, but I’m a bit concerned about what will happen AFTER I return to work. You can bet my employer will remember I ignored calls.

All day Wednesday, as the calls came one after the other and I pressed the ‘ignore’ button on my phone, I told myself I deserved just one more day of quiet. I’d get to them on Thursday.

Thursday morning, I woke up to more voicemails and decided…

I’m not going to return any more calls while out on leave.

Bad decision financially? Maybe.

But I only get to spend a few precious moments with my newborn son – and I’m going to enjoy every single one.


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