Sunday, September 18, 2011
When we found out about Joshua's heart, we knew that we were going to be in trouble when it came to finances. We knew we were probably going to lose everything including our house and our cars. We looked into bankruptcy, but without losing our home and cars, it was not something that would work for us.
We were drowning in debt from years of unemployment and underemployment. I had (and still have) school loans that carried a principal balance that makes me sick to my stomach. We owed way too much on our cars, and we had massive credit card debt- living off of a credit card when we had no income was necessary, but really REALLY stupid! (notice the past tense verb usage! we have worked hard and gotten all of our debt paid off except for school loans!!! we no longer have ANY credit cards, and if we can't pay cash for something, we don't buy! imagine that!!!)
We also owed way more on our house than what it was worth.
Trying to be proactive, we decided that it was time to give up the house. We didn't want to foreclose, so we chose the short sale option. (selling the house for less than we owe.) A short sale would allow us to live in our house without making payments until we had an offer. It was a welcomed relief to be able to put that $700 a month that we were paying on our mortgage to other monthly expenses.
After close to a year, we finally recieved an offer on the house. It was a fair offer and we were extremely grateful to be out from under the house. However, after an inspection, the buyers decided to withdraw their offer due to structural issues with the house.
After the offer fell through, we decided that we could no longer afford to continue to live in that house. Our utilities were running between $500-$800/month and we couldn't afford to continue to maintain the house (the house was built in 1869...enough said!). The utility room started flooding, the side garage door no longer closed, the furnace/air conditioning unit were on it's very last leg.
We decided to contact the bank and ask for consideration for a deed in lieu of foreclosure. That was the next best thing compared to a short sale. The bank agreed, and we were told the house would be off our hands in the next 45-60 days.
During that time, we turned in all required documents and looked for a place to rent. We were relieved that we would no longer have to carry the burden of that house any longer.
Little did we know what a nightmare it would become.
Our mortgage company doesn't know up from down and left from right. We called weekly to check on the progress of the deed and every time we called, they told us something different. They lost our paperwork multiple times causing us to have to fax over 100 pages of documents to them over 8 times. They took us out of the deed in lieu program, put us on loan modification to keep the house, then back into regular foreclosure, then back into short sale, then back into loan modification, then back into the deed program. They told us that our house had to be listed for sale in one breath, then told us that the house couldn't be on the market in the next. They closed our case multiple times, adding an extra 45-60 days for the entire process to start over.
It was a NIGHTMARE!
We finally reached a point of complete helplessness and defeat because they were so incompetent. We decided that we were just going to give up and go into full foreclosure- just to be done with the stupid thing. We really didn't want to go that route, but we had done everything possible to work something out and the bank just couldn't get it's act together. We had been fighting them for almost 2 years and were no closer to getting rid of the house than when we were making payments!
Well, just last week, we were told to try to put our house back on the market as a short sale. We were given a listing price by the bank and were told to try and get a cash offer. Defeated, we agreed to try ONE MORE TIME. We put the house up on the market last Monday and our Realtor called last night with a cash offer in hand!
What a relief. The house is being sold as is- no inspection. They get what they get. The couple buying the house understands that and still wants it! The price they are paying is almost insulting, but we are extremely thankful to just be done.
Our next step is to wait for bank approval of the offer, and then hopefully close on the house before Luke arrives sometime in November!
Last week, I had reached complete surrender. I was defeated, frustrated, and angry. Again, I had to cry out to God and place this entire situation in His hands. There was nothing more we could do. I was done fighting. Shane was done fighting. We were ready to take the hit of a full foreclosure and deal with the consequences.
In those moments of crying out, God reassured me that things would be ok. I didn't know how they would be, but I felt that wave of peace that only He can provide. Within less than 2 days, we had an offer.
This house has been our very last financial burden (other than school loans.) We have been anxious to get on with our lives and be done with that house. Once again, it took me crying out to God in desperation for me to fully trust that He was going to provide. I wonder if I'll ever learn!!!