Foreclosure

August 17, 1012 – I have been so hyped about moving but it seems like I am in “hurry up and wait” mode. Time just seems to drag on and on and I feel like I am living in limbo.

With less than two weeks before my move, the A/C has stopped working! Its the middle of August in Georgia!!! Are you kidding me? Seriously?!!!

A close friend of the family came out to the house to diagnose the issue. Guess what? It’s the compressor and the recommendation is to replace the entire unit. I scoffed at the idea. Why would I shell out close to $3,000 on an A/C unit for this house?

You’re right, I wouldn’t. Instead, I took my happy hind parts right to Wal-Mart and purchased a fan to place in the bedroom window. Between it and the oscillating fan I already have, I should be able to survive a couple of weeks. I will just live in my bedroom.

Only a few days into living with no A/C, I come home to find a locksmith in my driveway. As I am pulling into the garage, I stop to ask him what the hell was he doing. In broken English, he asked if this was 5721 Blank-Blank Drive to which I replied, “Yes, it is.” Long story short – The house sold during the foreclosure sale on the courthouse steps on 8/7 and this guy was here to change the locks. He proceeded to ask if I wanted to speak with his boss on the phone and I told him hell no with a rather indignant tone. (This would haunt me hours later.)

Can you say PANIC?!! Freaked the f**k out?!! Especially after receiving misinformation from a friend, who previously worked in the mortgage industry, that the sheriff might show up at the front door the next morning to put me out. Even knowing in my heart of heart that this couldn’t be legal, I panicked.

My plans were in place to move but that was not scheduled for another two weeks. How in the world would I, could I, get my things out by morning? I spent the next several hours on the phone with family lining up contingency plans. I paced the floors in the hot ass hallway of that house for hours – worried. When I finally got in bed, I sat there rocking and literally wringing my hands – panic stricken. Why didn’t I talk to the guy’s boss on the phone? This is the price of indignant pride Chocl8t!!!!

As I sat there I had a lucid moment when I decided to turn on my laptop and go to Google. Having been a landlord before, I was vaguely familiar with Georgia eviction laws as they related to landlord/tenants but how that applied to mortgage foreclosures was foreign to me.

After some digging and researching the internet in the wee house of the morning, I found out that when a home is foreclosed, the individual owner becomes a tenant and the mortgage company, or property buyer, becomes the landlord. The landlord must abide by and follow Georgia laws and follow the eviction process. Considering the fact that I had not been served with an eviction notice, the sheriff would not be knocking on my door in the next few hours. That at least allowed me to sleep for about three hours.

I was on the phone by 9:00 am making calls to the attorney’s office that handled the foreclosure. As it turned out, a property management company purchased the house. It took several calls but I was able to reach the point of contact, Mr. Goldstein, located here in the Atlanta area. After explaining to him what happened the night before, he apologized profusely stating he had information the property was vacant. Oh yeah, the locksmith had already drilled out the lock on the back door!

I informed Mr. Goldstein of my plans to move but not before he asked if I wanted to stay and rent the place. Apparently, this is the new trend in the metro Atlanta area. Investment companies and property management companies are buying foreclosed properties and renting the homes, in many instances, to the previous owner. Experts point to this as one reason for the recent up-tick in home prices here in Atlanta. It has its pros and cons. You can read about it HERE.

Although the crisis was averted I changed my moved date to 7 days earlier. Lucky for me the tenants at the new place moved sooner than expected and had it clean and ready to move in!

Yeah…time to get the hell out of Dodge!!

The decision to walk away proved easier than finding another place to live where this foreclosure would not be an issue.

It all started with me firing my real estate agent, Mona B, of 2 1/2 years. I should have cut ties with her last winter when she pushed me off on her “assistant” so she could cater to one of her investment clients. To call the assistant inept is a compliment. We will call her “Kay” simply because I can’t remember her real name.

Kay was tasked with removing the lockbox from my front door because the heat between the glass storm door and the metal front door caused it to malfunction. We agreed on a day and time that she was to come to the house. I made it perfectly clear that I would not be available until after noon so we settled on 12:30 pm. So why did she call me at 10:00 am to inform me she was on her way to my house?

Kay: This is Kay. I’m on my way to your house to remove the lockbox.
Me: Uhm, No. You’re not on you way to my house. I’m not at home. Didn’t we agree on 12:30?
Kay: Well I got out of church early. How long do you thin you’ll be because I’m just 20 minutes away.
Me: I won’t be back until 12:30.
Kay: Oh.
*Long pause. Deafening silence*
Me: Okay. See you then.
*I hang up*

There were several other “incidents” with Kay that left my blood boiling. I could never reach her boss, Mona B, on the phone. I would leave messages and she would have Kay call me back. Frustrating and infuriating to say the least.

When I finally spoke to Mona B she admitted putting, not only me but other clients also, on the back burner to attend to her investment client who was spending a crap load of money. Even though she apologized, I should have fired her then, but I didn’t.

It took for this to happen again that I cut all ties with her. The second incident is just as bizarre and left me feeling like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

I met an agent on one of my previous visits to see a rental property. Kristy gave me her card and said if there was anything I needed to call and she would help. Well, I called and explained my situation. (House in foreclosure, employed, need a rental.) She basically called me a “disgruntled” homeowner, let it be known that agents make little to no money on rentals, and she could send me a few listings but that was about it.

Well, alrighty then. Her honesty hit me between the eyes like a brick. Ol’ bitch.

But as fate, or luck, would have it, I met another R/E agent who was more than happy to help me find a new place to call home. We met when I called to inquire about a property listed by the broker who employed him. It took me and Jimmy B about 2 1/2 weeks to find the perfect spot in Midtown. But not before I was turned down and turned away by two other prospective landlords.

I was upfront abut my situation, the impending foreclosure, because I thought it better they knew going in and before pulling my credit. After providing all of my personal and financial information, which included pay stubs, one landlord wanted to know why I take “married” deductions but stated I was “single” on the rental application. How did he think that was any of his business or how it related to me paying rent was beyond my understanding. My application was denied.

The other property management company for another property would not even take my rental application after I disclosed the foreclosure. As common as foreclosures are these days and the staggering number of people in similar situation to mine, this left me stupefied…not to mention discouraged.

However, all was not lost. The listing agent of my new place welcomed my application knowing the situation. Her words to me, “Their loss is my gain.”

Midtown, here I come!! My commute will be cut in half! HALF EDDIE!! From 50 miles and 1 hour 15 minutes (on a good day, which is rare in Atlanta traffic) to 26 miles and 40 minutes!!!

I am beyond excited nor can I wait to move!!!

August 6, 2012 – In less than a month, I will move out of the house I’ve called home for the last 11 years and 2 months. It has been he longest I’ve lived in one place my entire life.

When I purchased my home in June 2001, cable lines had not yet been buried, the subdivision was very diverse, and seeing deer in the yard wasn’t a rare occasion. With the fast paced development between 2001 and 2008, all of that changed. My home sits on nearly a half acre with three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, dining room, and family room with an unfinished basement and a HUGE garage. It was more house than I needed out in B.F.E., East Bumblefuck, but it was what I could afford at the time.

I took my time and decorated it with warm colors and comfortable furniture. I installed every blind, window treatment and painted the walls. Truthfully, every painting project, with one exception, was done after a painful break-up – there were only two but I managed to cover a lot of walls while working through the sadness.

The first five years I had the best looking yard in the subdivision. I spent a lot of time caring for and nurturing my lawn and garden. I loved every minute of it!

I have hosted a few memorable parties with close friends and family as well as providing a few of them with a place to live during their periods of life transitions.

Several years ago I realized my commute had greatly diminished my quality of life. Driving 100+ miles roundtrip every day meant I spent approximately 15-18 hours a week in my car – that’s a part-time job!! I was tired and frustrated. So I put the house on the market in 2010 – the timing could not have been worse.

The real estate agent I enlisted to sell my home assured me she ad the experience and skills needed to get it sold, even in a soft market. Foolishly, I believed her and here I sit 2 1/2 years later.

Like millions of other homeowners in the US, my home’s value was hit hard when the economy tanked in 2008. My small subdivision of 24 homes has seen its fair share of foreclosures subsequently causing a 45-50% loss in home values. After having my home on the market for 2+ years, in March I made the business decision to walk away – to let it go into foreclosure.

This was not an easy decision and one I came to after the bank refused to agree to a short sale since I wasn’t faced with a financial hardship (i.e. job loss). A loan modification wasn’t a viable option because most come with clauses that you have to remain in the house for at least 5 years.

Now I begin the next chapter of my life. At a time when most my age would be content, I am downsizing and purging. Purging more than just material possessions, but that is another topic for a different day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Is this what it has come to? Americans are in such dire financial straits and emotional distress they feel the only option is suicide? 

These are a few questions that came to mind when I read the story of a 90 year old woman who shot herself in the chest when the bank attempted to foreclose on her home.

Countrywide Home Loans filed for foreclosure last year, and Polk’s home was sold to Fannie Mae at a sheriff’s auction in June. Deputies were to escort Polk from her home Wednesday when gunshots were heard inside.

Addie Polk remained in Akron General Medical Center and was expected to recover from chest wounds suffered last week.

She became the home’s sole owner in 1995 when her husband died, then took out a mortgage loan in 1997 and refinanced several times, court and property records show. [SOURCE]

Fannie Mae has since forgiven the debt stating it was best thing to do given the circumstances. This lady probably had no business refinancing her home in the first place. The golden years of her life ideally should have been spent debt free. Although the reported stories do not go into detail I think it might be safe to assume she did it out of necessity to pay for prescriptions, medical care or monthly expenses.

This is a sad state of affairs our elderly find themselves in and it has become more common in recent years.

I fear the worst is yet to come.