I have been looking at foreclosures as a way to buy a house at a good price that I will have to fix up. Most of these houses have been almost destroyed by the former owners. The last one I went in had every window and cabinet door broken and the outside water pipe cut. This was a three bedroom house that originally was a two bedroom, the former owners had paid a contractor to add a room to the house. I’m sure it cost them a pretty penny to add that room.
The agent that was showing us the house commented on how the people destroy the houses when they leave them; what she did not know was that my husband and I are also in foreclosure. Do I plan to destroy my home–no–but we do plan to take everything that we put into the home. Let me explain our thinking to you so that maybe you won’t be so quick to judge the next time you see a foreclosure.
Five years ago my husband was told he had a heart condition. He spent five days in the hospital and was put on three different medications. Normally the type of guy that can’t sit still for more then two minutes, he now had no energy to do anything. His job pays him for work that he finishes, so even though he is at work 40 hours per week he only makes what he produces. On average he used to product work of a 50 and 60 hours a week, but after being put on the medications he about half of that.
I called our bank to explain what was going on and that we would not be able to make the payments. I was told that they could not help us until we were three months behind, once that happened then they could modify the mortgage at a lower rate and make the monthly payments lower. Well guess what, that’s not what they did. After sending in paperwork to them then getting served with foreclosure documents, then sending in more paperwork, I was told that I could not get a modification because they did not get my paperwork. At this point we were now a year behind because they would not take the payments unless we sent in all the missing money.
I was then told that if I send them a good faith deposit of $4,200 and all the paperwork then they will start to put together a modification plan. The pool was in need of repair before it started to leak, and the bank told me not to worry, to go ahead and fix the pool because they were not going to take our house. So I got all the paperwork together and sent it with the check for $4,200 and spent another $4,000 on the pool. The next month I paid the temporary monthly payment of $800 only to receive a notice in the mail that we can not get a modification because they did not get my paperwork. To this day I can not understand how they got the check but not the paperwork it was attached to.
After countless court dates and a court ordered mediation that was a big joke, we asked the bank for the reinstatement amount so we could withdraw it from our 401k and just get the mortgage current. They wanted us to give them $60,000 plus still have the mortgage, all on a house that now is worth $99,000. And they’re not giving us any credit for the $5,000 we sent them. All that on a house I owned free and clear before this mortgage.
Because of all of this, they will not get the house plus all the improvements that the money was used for. They get the house; everything else comes with me. And they aren’t getting a house that they will have no problem selling. I hope they are stuck with this house for years, so they have to keep paying taxes and insurance on it. I look at it this way: I am helping them sell my house as much as they helped me keep my house.
So when I walk into a foreclosure sale and see a destroyed house, I imagine the stress and heartache the bank put these people through.