Part 3 - Life Changes Forever
Part 4 - The Last Straw Finale
In March, thinking that maybe I should just sell the darn thing, I called my original realtor. Her response to my inquiry was that as much as she wanted to help, she can't sell a condo in my suburb to save her life. Overbuilt with thousands of condos and townhouses, we have been hit hard by the real estate meltdown. Everyday we see another moving van and a new for sale/foreclosure sign goes up. \an exodus of people leaving for areas where the rent hasn't skyrocketed and the cost of basic living isn't as high as it is here.
In April, after reviewing my finances and realizing that I would not be able to afford the current mortgage payments by the end of summer, I started the process for help by applying to the Making Homes Affordable Program. Without going into details that are a whole other column, let's just say that the process did not work as it should have and the due diligence that should have been in process by the bank (mortgage holder) was not in place. After jumping through one too many hoops, I had to enlist the help of a government sponsored financial counseling corporation to run interference -- more than once.
In July, the bank finally informed us they had all the documents they needed and I would hear something by August 20.
As I noticed the first signs of Fall last week, that old familiar feeling of panic set in. For two weeks, I had been hounding the bank without response. Knowing that my bank account was dwindling, I again had the counseling corporation run interference. Time was up and I needed information.
Finally, someone at the bank made a decision. I was denied the program. I do not have a high enough income to qualify. Let me repeat that: They cannot lower my mortgage payments to something I can afford because I do not make enough money to qualify for the program. Wait, isn't that what the program is for?
I can't think anymore about homelessness with my schizophrenic son. For just right now, it is just too much. Tomorrow is another day to burn up the phone lines.
We won our modification. It took almost 3 years from beginning to end. Thinking about the process: over 100 hours on the phone, two consumer groups, one state and one county agency, 3 federal agencies, 11 Bank of America customer assistants, about a thousand tears, many tantrums, countless failed promises and bottles of anti-anxiety meds boggles the mind. In December 2012, tentative approval was given and after a few smaller hoops, final modifications were granted. Hip Hip Hooray.