photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Outstandingly Bad Day

Anyone looking for one of my funny or lyrical, thoughtful or tender posts may as well check out right now. I will say I'm not pissed at god, or politicians, or the tea

You've been warned.

So the people who are supposed to be buying our old house have apparently moved out.

The people we let move in without down payment or deposit because the house did need A LOT of work done on it- work they said they could do because they'd renovated houses before and loved old houses and they could see the potential in this one and planned on this being their last and final home.

So we told them "Just make our payments and we're good- we'll give you 2 years to sell YOUR house and get our names off of this one". Because I've been helped, my family has been helped, during times when we've desperately needed it and on paper really didn't deserve it, but people helped us anyway. They moved in less than a year ago.

At the time, I called our mortgage company to inform them we were no longer going to be living there and the MORTGAGE COMPANY offered to do a modification to make the payments lower for this 2 year period. The buyers said "GREAT- that will give us some leeway to do improvements". Due to some questionable wording on the papers we signed, we found out (too late) that instead of going from $710 to $595, the new payment would be $595 PLUS $330 escrow...every month. We couldn't afford that. They couldn't afford that.

So I started working to make it better.

Because making this move was financially and physically straining on them and they loved the house and because even though the mortgage company admitted that the papers read "vaguely" because NOWHERE ON THE PAPERS DID IT STATE ANYTHING ABOUT THE ESCROW and I had asked seventy-leven times "Does the $595 INCLUDE the escrow?" and was told YES seventy-leven times, I tried my damnedest to make it better FOR THEM.

Every month, EVERY MONTH I'd call the mortgage company trying to get it re-written since it was now falling behind because of the escrow not being paid. (The people were paying the $595 a week or two early every month- like clockwork). The mortgage company said "Why don't you just do a deed in lieu of foreclosure?" and I said "Can the people stay in the house and buy it from YOU then?" and they said "No. The house must be empty".

I didn't WANT to make the people move- didn't want them to have to face that when they loved the house. So I kept working at it.

They gave every excuse in the book for not doing a new modification-
-it was less than 6 months into this modification
-it wasn't delinquent enough to do a new one
-we were TOO delinquent to do a new one
-the house was no longer owner occupied (my favorite since this is the reason THEY OFFERED ME THE MODIFICATION IN THE FIRST PLACE)

Finally, a few weeks ago, the mortgage company agreed to another modification- the new payments are $660 per month INCLUDING the escrow starting Dec. 1.


All I needed was the November rent to pay for the modification by Oct. 31st and we'd be home free.

That's when I got the note from the buyers asking if they could be a week late with this month's payment...for the first time ever.

When I wrote back saying that I NEEDED the payment by the 31st to complete the modification we'd (I'd) been fighting so hard for this entire last year I was met with the sound of crickets. Obviously they weren't "asking", they were "informing".

The old neighbors contacted me to say "There's been a big U-Haul making trips out of the yard several times now and all the dogs are gone and all the yard ornaments are gone".

(Interjecting here to say that up till a few months ago there were always 2 vehicles in the yard. Then there was just one in the yard, and the last month there were none. I didn't make any conclusions since my visits over there consist of two times a month for about 5 minutes each- once to drop off the water bill still in our name and once to pick up the check.)

Ward said "I've got a bad feeling about this".

I said "No- she's working out of town and away from a computer and her mom's been sick- they've never been late and they want the house. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for the U-Haul truck. It'll be fine".

So I didn't pay some of OUR bills and paid for the modification.

Because I didn't want the house to go into foreclosure and have to tell them they'd have to move.

Today was the day I was to pick up the check. They leave it in a little wrought iron mailbox by the front porch.

I stood in an empty front yard in the pouring rain looking at the spot next to the stairs where the mail box used to be.

I called Ward. "So you think it's a bad sign if the mailbox the check is supposed to be in is FUCKING GONE???"

*Silence at the other end of the line* followed by "Shit. I knew it."

The front door was unlocked.

I can't say the house is empty.

I can say that there's no sign of anyone living there. No furniture. No clothes. Nothing in the kitchen (although the sink is there...just not installed anymore).

I can say that the one bathroom is missing a toilet. Missing. A. Toilet.

What there IS is piles of "left-behinds"- yanno, the stuff you just abandon...WHEN YOU MOVE OUT OF A HOUSE.

The door to the living room was closed. Apparently they'd left the dogs to their own devices with the door open to the back yard. The dogs weren't housebroken and the entire wood floor is covered in dog leavings. The only way I know they left the door open is from the BIRD'S NEST ON TOP OF THE CEILING FAN.

You get the picture.

And yes. I have photos of everything.

I called the people *I* didn't pay, who I'd promised would get paid today and told them the story- they said "Wow". I told them I'd pay them on the 15th when I get paid...unless I get fired at the board meeting on Thursday. Not that I'm anticipating that, but it's been that kind of week. (spoiler alert for the next blog entry).

I called the mortgage company and talked to the girl who worked so hard to get us the modification. I told her the story and she said "Wow". I asked about the deed in lieu of foreclosure and we'll be looking into that as soon as I talk to the local bank THIS house is with- they said once we were out from under the other house officially they'd re-write our loan to a fixed rate, but the intent and understanding was that would be via a SALE, not surrender.


It appears as if
-we're out $800 we could not afford to lose- we were prepared to cough up the $200+ difference to do the modification...FOR THEM
-we've got a huge stinking mess to clean up over yonder
-our chances of getting a better loan on this house may be ruined

No good deed goes unpunished.

And you want to hear the really "funny" part?

As I was talking about doing the deed in lieu of foreclosure, there was a little voice in the back of my head saying "But you haven't talked to the buyers yet- maybe they still want the house, maybe they're just...casual housekeepers with a liking of minimalistic furnishings, don't jump to conclusions till you talk to them..."

Good gawd, I'm an idiot.


  1. not an idiot, just a tad too trusting perhaps!

  2. Now I understand the facebook posts. Arrg. How utterly frustrating a situation to be in. I have the same typ eof personality where I will bend over backwards for people and give and give and give. This has bitten us in the butt a couple times as landlords and the reason we got out of the rental business. Of course, once bitten I turned into a bit of a werewolf and tried using whatever information I had on those people so that they got their comeuppance. Do you have information on them that you can take to court or use to make their lives hell? Even an email address you can submit to 100 different porn sites is always fun. lol