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Posts tagged with: paperwork

I’ve been sold…

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Over the last few weeks, I received 38 calls from Bank of America representatives. Sometimes, they would call up to three times a day. Annoyed with their constant “we lost your paperwork” and “you make too much money for program A but if you submit new paperwork for program B…”, I started ignoring their calls.

I am not an idiot and I don’t have 40 hours each week to gather paperwork for them to lose.

About a week ago, the calls stopped. They stopped leaving messages. They stopped requesting any information. It didn’t make sense. Why did they give up so suddenly? Did they finally get the hint?

Today, I received a letter from the Bank of New York Mellon…

The new owner of my home loan.

Sadly, I know absolutely nothing about the Bank of New York Mellon. What do I know? That I am no longer a B of A customer.

It’s hard to do cartwheels at 29 weeks pregnant but…

I’m going to give it a try.


Harassed by HAMP?

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Bank of America left a flurry of voicemail messages over the weekend.

*Beep* Rebekah, this is Bank of America calling about the HAMP program…
*Beep* Hi, this is Bank of America. We’re calling about the paperwork…
*Beep* Rebekah, please return our call at 877…

If Bank of America were an ex-boyfriend, I’d have a restraining order by now.

On Saturday, after the third phone call, I finally picked up.

“Hello Rebekah. This is Carol from Bank of America. I’d like to walk you through the application package we mailed to you last week. Have you had a chance to complete it and mail it to us?”

‘Carol’ kept me on the phone for nearly 30 minutes explaining what I had to do to get approved for the program. I find it incredibly odd that two years after my first application, they are ‘coming to my rescue’.

Did they come to my rescue when I lost my job? Did they help when I had to take a job making more than 30% less? How about when my husband lost his job and our mortgage payment was 115% of our income?

Not a peep.

The came to ‘save’ me now…two years later. Two years of not one late payment despite everything.

To add insult to injury, I received another copy of the package yesterday as a ‘back-up copy’ in case the first copy didn’t get to me.

I don’t understand why B of A is suddenly taking an interest in me – and only after I got my head above water.

I didn’t think it was possible to lose more respect for Bank of America.

Turns out…

It is.

Is Bank of America saving me? Or am I saving them?


B of A Responds…

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I called Bank of America about yesterday’s Fed-Ex package. I half expected them to say, ‘Nope. That’s a scam. We would never voluntarily help homeowners!’ but instead, the customer service rep described the letterhead, the contents, and said, ‘if that’s what you’re staring at, that’s from us.’

I thanked him for his time and started to fill out the mile high stack of paperwork. I made a mistake, tried to use a white out pen, and it exploded all over my hands, my clothes, and my desk.

Despite rushing to the sink to clean my hands, my fingers stuck together in the white goopy mess. I wasn’t able to disconnect my middle fingers until my husband came home from school and used some industrial strength glue remover to wash the mess.

If this is a sign of things to come, it’s going to be a very long weekend of paperwork.


Paying bills non-conventionally?

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I received the credit card/vet payment bill today for Hutch’s hospitalization (He’s doing WONDERFUL by the way. I went running with him last night and it was awesome!!)

$1781.00

I lost my breath.

But hey, according to the paperwork, if I make minimum payments…I can be paid off in 13 years. It annoys me that this credit card company hopes my debt may outlive my dog.

As I stared at the bill, I was annoyed with myself. Dave Ramsey encourages people to live outside the box rather than have a natural reaction to accrue more debt.

I didn’t think outside the box. I threw in the towel – and quickly at that.

The fact is, there will ALWAYS be a reason to jump back into debt. Car repairs, hospital bills, home repairs… VET BILLS.

I know it’s only a two month hiccup but I can’t help but wonder if I had offered to scrub dog poop, would have let me?

I’m working on changing the way I think. I’m slow – but I’m getting there.

What I really wonder is…

What is the strangest way you have paid a bill?

Have you cleaned your dentist’s home? Have you cooked for your mechanic? Have you babysat for your plumber?

My husband installed an exhaust fan for a 6 pack of beer so trust me – I know you folks are out there.


Let’s talk about life insurance…

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I’ve never looked in to life insurance before but I’m at the point in my life that an unexpected death could ruin the finances of those I love. After a few months of nagging from my husband, I finally made the call to our agent.

If you haven’t searched for life insurance before, here’s a quickie…

My insurance agent now knows more about me than my husband. Yup, it can be that personal.

They asked questions about medications, smoking habits, age, height, and weight. When I answered the weight question, my agent replied, ‘According to our system, you are 13 pounds underweight.’

‘I’ll buy it!’ I shouted.

Hmm. Perhaps computer generated flattery isn’t the best reason to purchase insurance…but I won’t judge you if you consider it part of the equation.

Once we sign the paperwork later this week, our agent will send a nurse to our home to ensure the accuracy of the information submitted and to run tests on cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. While my blood pressure has always run very low, I’ve never had my cholesterol or blood sugar measured. I guess this means I will be eating spinach and blueberries while running for the next 5 days.

Things you should consider before getting life insurance:

1. Have a goal – it will help you figure out how much you need. Know what you want to fund with your insurance proceeds. Do you want to pay off your mortgage? Fund your kid’s college? Provide income replacement for your spouse?
2. Buy it sooner rather than later. Life insurance makes significant jumps in five year blocks. If you are about to hit 30, 35, 40, 45, etc, get it before you do.

3. Research the type of insurance you need. My husband and I settled on Term life insurance with a fixed premium for 30 years. It’s cheap, especially for those in good health, and will provide the peace of mind we need while we are trying to reduce debt.

4. Quit smoking. You should quit smoking for lots of reasons, but smokers pay exceptionally high premiums.


Ways to get by while on unemployment…

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My budget was already threadbare but living with 50% less salary and on unemployment benefits has forced us to find ways to somehow reduce more.

First, we cut our dental and vision insurance. This is something that can easily be re-instated but the $25 a month can help me now.

Second, I cancelled all my appointments health related or otherwise. None of my appointments were an emergency and I requested that my doctor renew my prescriptions without the annual check-up since the last 6 years have been clear of any problems. These appointments and tests run in the neighborhood of $500.

Third, I called my cable company to cancel our cable, reduce our internet speed, and reduce our phone service. I explained our situation and was surprised when they offered reduced internet costs, reduced phone costs, and added free services and free channels for a 12 month period. I would tell you how much I’m paying – but I’m afraid they’ll figure out they made a huge mistake and ‘correct’ the discount… or fire the guy who gave it to me. I would have cut out the internet and phone entirely but my husband needs internet for school purposes and job searching late at night when he gets home (free internet at the library is closed) and I’m uncomfortable without a home phone for emergencies.

Fourth, I contacted my student loan company for a deferment.

Fifth, my husband and I contacted friends and family and let them know we’d be available for odd jobs. Since unemployment doesn’t start for nearly a month after a job loss, my husband has done everything from pulling weeds to insulating walls. I have been helping a company with paperwork at night after work. We use this money for groceries and for the important bills like electric and water. At no time should you feel you are ‘too good’ for any type of job.

Sixth, we cut off all our subscriptions and memberships. If you’re like us, you may not even remember you have some of them since they are automatically billed to your credit card and you may not look at each item on your online statement. Some examples: gym memberships, club memberships, magazine and newspaper subscriptions (some automatically renew unless you cancel). Savings – $50 a month.

Seventh, we’ve been using more public transportation. It takes twice as long to get somewhere, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s far from fun, but it saves $50-$75 a month.

It’s not a lot, but each item buys us a little more time.


Weighing in on the Cash for Clunkers…

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I promised myself I’d never talk about politics. Political topics are a surefire way to create chaos.

But…

All I have been hearing about for the last week on every news station in San Diego is the Cash for Clunkers program and about angry car dealers who have decided to cut off the program early. Dealers have found themselves swimming in paperwork and unable to get timely reimbursement for the Clunkers (most dealers in this area have been reimbursed for less than 25% according to the reports). The Clunkers program was expected to last until November but quickly ran out of money in the first few days. More money was added to the pot, but it was used faster than expected as well.

And of course…

The local news stations have tied this topic to the heated healthcare reform debate. The ‘failure’ of this program has caused people to worry about governmental competence when it comes to their health.

What do you think?