Thursday, March 11, 2010

My worst week ever! From foreclosure to finding an angel

This has been one of the worst weeks ever! Lemme explain a bit. We have been having some major cash flow issues. Yeah, that's what I'll call it. I was laid off from my prior position in management almost 2 years ago. I had just gotten my real estate license to make extra money when I was let go and so I decided it was divine intervention or "something" that was telling me to really dive into real estate. Just as I was getting in, the market was crashing. We called it "shifting". For me it was crashing and burning. I didn't really know anyone and it was so much harder for me to convert clients because I am not a natural extrovert. I'm also somewhat blunt, slightly crass, and I don't lie. Not even a little bit. If I was selling you pet rocks for a dollar, I might venture into embellishing the sale, but when you're dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on the single most stressful and largest credit purchase you will ever make... nope, can't do it. If you can't afford to buy, I'll tell you to wait. Anyway, I digress. Let's just say it's been a really crappy year in real estate for me. Apparently, people want to be lied to through a sweet smile.
Allen is a locksmith. So he works for himself as well. During a large portion of last year, he was also working at a machine shop in town so we could have some kind of a regular paycheck, since neither of our businesses were cutting the mustard yet. Holy cow, that shop was a total dump! He would come home angry almost every single day. If it rained outside, he would have to dodge the rain in the shop because the roof leaked so severely. I told him it was a liability for the roof to be like that. Anyway, so we have been having a really rough year financially. Allen actually paid $1,500 to a bankruptcy lawyer to file bankruptcy and was told that he could and everything would be just fine. We ended up losing that money and the attorney still hasn't ever returned his documents and eventually told him that he wasn't eligible to file for bankruptcy. I don't remember the reasoning.
The house went into foreclosure and I put it up on the market. I was able to stop the foreclosure and put everything into a short-sale. Meaning that the mortgage company takes a shortage of the owed amount on the house and we make no money, but also owe no more money towards the mortgage. So once I found a buyer, I negotiated everything with the bank. We were able to agree on everything and were set to close this Monday. That was three days ago. Last Friday, I got a call asking about closing instructions on a second mortgage. Imagine my surprise. I realized there was a second mortgage, but it was all through the same bank. I thought that when I had negotiated the original deal, I had negotiated both mortgages. I was wrong. And it gets better... While I'm looking into this second mortgage issue, I am informed that there are two liens on the property totally around $10,000. We can't afford to make the payment on the house, let alone buy groceries. How the hell am I supposed to find ten grand?
So there I was, having a full blown anxiety attack. We were already moving to a crappy trailer an hour away (which isn't so crappy now, we've cleaned it up quite a bit). The closing coordinator at my brokers office that handles and guides me through most of this stuff informed me that she was leaving town until Tuesday. Supposed to be closing on Monday, she's gone til Tuesday. Ack! The banks are all closed on weekends and I have to come up with a lot of money before Monday and try to iron out the second mortgage on Monday morning. So we moved all our worldly possessions over the weekend and finally got everything out of the house and over to the trailer at 8pm. Allen had talked to his dad about borrowing the money to close on the house. We are so not thrilled about borrowing money since this is how we got into trouble in the first place. But he allowed us to borrow the money. One catch. We have to drive nearly to Kansas City, MO before we are supposed to close on Monday morning. So we get in the van, go to the gas station down the road and get some snacks and drinks and start driving in shifts to Missouri. We finally got there around 1am. We stayed for a little while, had some pizza and visited and then got back in the van and started heading back. We stopped off around 3am and picked up some Monster Energy drinks. If you have never had one of those, beware! They are tasty but they made me have to pee excessively. We got back to the trailer by 7am. Just in time to change clothes, get some coffee and head back to the old house because we still had a trash run to make before doing a final walk-through with the buyer.
At this point, I've been up for 27 hours straight. I called my closer at the title company, the same closer that I forgot to mention had just had some major drama at her old title company and had to leave and took all of her files with her. When that happened, I didn't know what was going on, but I knew to trust her. And that trust was proven to have been placed well this week. So I called her and I went over to her office and together we brainstormed how to handle the mess we were dealing with. Let me just stop right here to say that this woman is the greatest thing that has happened to Allen and I in over a year! When everyone else was telling me that I should be questioning my relationship with Allen, or just telling me to leave him completely to deal with this mess alone or just telling me that this will never close, it's hopeless, there's nothing you can do or just basically, "it sucks to be you." She not only helped me, she encouraged me when I was at my absolute lowest point, when I was overwhelmed and lost and didn't know where to turn, she was there. We still have had to use the money borrowed from his dad but she has helped us negotiate the second mortgage and fit it and the two judgements into the ten grand we had to borrow so that we could close.
I know we still have a lot to do to fix the financial damage that we have created, but to find someone that was so willing to help us figure it out instead of turning us away hopeless and afraid, this woman is our savior this week.

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