Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In which our mort-gauger can kiss my ass and call me Fanny (Mae)

It's a case of "everyone else is doing it, why can't we" to paraphrase the Cranberries in a moment that needs some lightening of the mood.

After phone calls and emails and requests and forms, we have duly submitted the paperwork required for "Loan Modification" of our mortgage.

I am not holding my breath, I assume that the wheels of this industry are going to move very slowly indeed, and it frustrates me no end, let me tell ya.

We have, over the past few years, decided to simplify. We sold investment property, tightened our belts, and got serious about expenses, debt, and frivolous spending. We looked at our ages, and our needs, and our wants, and determined that if we wanted to pay off a mortgage before retirement, we needed to get serious. Seriously serious. Maybe even serious enough for a 15 year mortgage.

No, never mind. Not that serious.

Regardless, when Obama announced the plans for assisting homeowners who had been victims of predatory lending practices, we didn't think that applied to us. We used a reputable mortgage broker, had a loan through a reputable bank, and all should be well and good. But as interest rates dropped, we did want to refinance, and get ourselves a better loan. Lower interest. More principal in each payment.

And when we made inquiries, we started to get suspicious. The broker said our house wasn't worth anywhere close to what we had paid and she had happily arranged financing for. Then she quit.

We called another broker who we had worked with in the past. She's not taking calls, apparently.

We have good credit. We pay our debts. Our scores are fine. Good. Mine is better then I ever thought it would be considering my Adventures in Extreme Grief Spending during my first divorce. And a note to Bob's Discount Furniture and Sprint Long Distance: Talk to the Ex.

So it's not us, it's them. Or so I thought.

But whatever the reason, who ever the responsible party, the fact is this- Our loan sucks, and we are stuck in a tidal wave of applicants while property values drop.

Selling the house would be great, but I am not going to lose money on this - that doesn't make sense.

So we shall sit. And we shall see. I think there are a lot of people in our situation. People who bought normal houses, at market price, and then watched the market fall so that when interest rates dropped and they wanted to re-fi, they couldn't. People who were encouraged to take a 5 year fixed arm, since they weren't planning to be in the house (or the loan) for very long......and then couldn't sell. Or refinance.

Just like becoming a parent, I learned a lot about myself, about the truth, about the story behind the story - once I was IN the story.

Babies are cute in photographs, and fun to cuddle, but their shit stinks and they don't sleep much, and the crying and whining and fussing and teething and snotty noses will drive you to drink.

The white picket fence, and not paying someone else's mortgage by renting is a nice concept, but the lawn needs to be mowed and the roof leaks, and appliances break at inopportune times. Times when it would be nice to be able to call a landlord and ask for a new fridge.

Now is one of those times, the bank is my landlord, and I want a new deal, dammit.

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