Thursday, May 20, 2010

Loan Modification = NO!

For the past 14 months Jeff has been spending hours each day working on getting a loan modificaiton through our mortgage holder, Chase. For months, all they did was ask us to submit stacks of paperwork and resubmit those same stacks and we did everything they asked. Twice they told us we "failed" the hardship test - the first time because we had severance money from Jeff's old job, and now, today, we find out it's because Jeff has a 401K. This whole modification thing is a joke and it doesn't exist. I finally wrote to our Governor, both Senators, both Representatives and Jeff penned a letter to the White House. Senator Patty Murray filed a complaint on our behalf to Chase, who left a message with the name of a contact person whom Jeff called. He finally admitted that we did not qualify because of the 401K and Jeff asked why in the hell no one told us this 14 months ago? Over a year wasted, hoping each month to see some relief and we're back to square one.

Representative Jay Inslee wrote a letter and gave us some resources to contact. I called a HUD counselor who is sending me a packet of info to fill out, then a counselor will call us to see what our options are. At this point, our only hope is to refinance through a HUD program for Freddie Mac loans, but that MIGHT take our mortgage down a few hundred a month. That won't be enough. I'm afraid we're out of options and I'm scared what that means.

I do not want to lose our house. I know a house is just a structure but this is the only "home" I've really ever had. I've never lived anywhere this long, we lucked out on neighbors, we live in a wonderful community, and we're happy with the schools. To find all of that elsewhere will be impossible. Not to mention uprooting our kids. Hayley has only one more year of high school left and Hannah has a tight group of friends she would miss terribly. Arlie and Harrison are younger but they, too, are attached to this place, which has been their stability through divorce, remarriage, and a new family. To just leave it all would be horrible.

But what if we have no choice? And is it worth it? We spend 60% of our income just to keep a roof over our heads. That cuts into all other expenses. I don't even go to the grocery store that much anymore and it's showing in the cupboards! Is it really worth it to struggle like this to keep a wooden structure? If we move, we will still have each other, our family, which is stronger and more important than anything else. But still........the friendships, the neighbor bonds, the whole community changes even if you just move up the street! Our backyard that opens to the playground, the beautiful greenbelt and trees we wake up to every day, the fact that everyone has their own room here and we still have an office......all those things will change!

We couldn't buy a house, because we won't have any equity in this house. Not to mention we will either have to do a short sale or walk away, both of which will ruin our credit. So, we'd be renters again. And our choices would be so limited. The kids would likely have to share rooms and who knows what kind of yard we'd have? Even today when I was perusing rentals, I realized most of them won't take dogs! Will we have to give them up too?

It just seems like things are really crashing down as we go about our daily lives. Obviously something big has to happen, but what? I wish we could just walk away from it all and start over. I wish I never allowed this to happen in the first place. I should have fought Doug to keep the house free and clear in the divorce, or just sold it and moved on with Jeff. Paying Doug his equity is what got us here in the first place and now we're dealing with a pay cut (Jeff's job), reduction in hours (my job) and less child support. There's just no way we can keep going on like this. Something's gotta give...........

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