Category Archives: foreclosure

Focus 52: "Frame"

Frame.

I had a bunch of ideas for this word of the week but nothing really came to fruition.  With midterms going on, I was sort of pressed for time.  The way I wanted to use “frame” wasn’t in the cards…but then, my husband, my biggest source of inspiration said “Why not a door frame?”

And I thought, why not, indeed?

So, welcome to the front door of my home.  If you had any clue or have been reading my blog for some time, you would know why this particular door frame means so much to me and my family.  A year ago, we were being thrown out of our original home due to foreclosure.  Nothing we did, mind you, just victims of circumstance.

You can read the story surrounding it here at “This Old House”, a post I made a year ago. 

This picture, taken one night when we first moved into our new home, means a lot to me.  It was the symbol of a new beginning.  This front door has seen the entry of my grandchildren.  It has been the gateway to many parties, a lot of laughs and of course, a few tears.  But, this new home has also been the source of safety…a place where I now know I will never be asked to leave ever again.  I will never have to come home to see chains on the front door.  I will never have a process server come up to me and say “Sorry, Ma’am, but this house is being seized by the bank.”  I will never have to call my husband in California ever again and say, “baby, they lost the house on us.  We’re homeless as of next week.  What are we going to do?”

It will never, ever, happen again.

So, while this might not be the home where my first granddaughter came home to, or learned to walk in.  While this may not be the house that my husband and I dreamed of buying once upon a time, it is better than what we had, because it is safe.  It’s in a fantastic neighborhood, surrounded by a cop, an ex-marine and a private detective.  It has a much bigger backyard where my grandbabies can run around in.  It is a stones throw from my sons school bus stop.  It is beautiful, spacious with vaulted ceilings and a large, bright and welcoming kitchen.  There is a step down living room with cherry wood floors with an amazing warmth to it.  The bedrooms are large and expansive.  There are windows everywhere, not like our past home which was dark and dreary.  But most of all, it is inviting.  It envelopes all who pass through it like a secure hug.  Surely, it is not the house itself that make a home, but rather, the love contained within.  But this home that we have made fits us like a glove.

Coming home one night, I noticed how it glowed, like a beacon in the dark…welcoming us in and assuring us that we will never go back to where we were a year ago ever again.  It is where new memories are being made, where happiness and love abound and where all who enter through that front door frame are friends.  People I trust.  People I love.  People who embrace me and whom I embrace in return.

It is our home.  And, should you ever be in the neighborhood, it is your home as well.

Drop in.  Any time.  The door is wide open.

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes…

How do you measure a year?

The song would suggest you measure in sunsets.  Perhaps daylights?  Cups of coffee? 

I would have to go with their ultimate conclusion of love.  And there has been a lot of that in my life.  Never more than there has been this past year.  2008 saw me falter.  2009 saw me climb.  2010 will be the year that I surfaced from under the drowning pool I was swirling around in for the past two years.  It is the first year that I rose up and gasped for air.  The first time I can recall my head being above the surface.  It marked the birth of my second grandchild in January.  My 10th Valentines Day with my husband in February.  It saw the reuniting of myself with many old friends and my letting go of some who should have never had the privilege of even speaking my name.  It marked my triumphant return to school on a career path that will both help me, heal me as well as allow me to share my special gifts with the world. 

There were amazing trips:  Israel.  California.  New York. 

There was the foreclosure fiasco of 2009 that led to the final goodbye to our home in March, 2010.  Our new home is far more beautiful, far more homey and has none of the haunting horrible memories that plagued our old home.  Nothing was more terrifying than not knowing if today would be the day you pulled up to your house to find chains pulling the front doors closed.  Though it was through no fault of our own, it was still a cringe-worthy way of living. 

May of 2010 marked one full year of sobriety.  An accomplishment that back in 2008 wasn’t even in the cards for me and in 2009 seemed like it would be an unattainable goal.  I am still on that path. 

August was my 44th birthday and sometime in September, I chose to forgive myself for a lot of things I had done wrong.  I gave myself that as a gift.  I am sincerely looking forward to my 45th birthday, as I have always considered that number to be the mark of “halfway through” my life.  Only halfway there.  I’m still a baby.  I still have so much more to do. 

October of 2010 saw me have to confront the very real prospect of not having full control over the things that happen in my childrens’ world.  It was the first time I had to protect either of them from bullies and it was entirely too terrifying in light of all the suicide induced bullying incidents that it coincided with during that month. 

November.  Sweet November.  November would bring my parents, Esther and Harold, back into town.  It would be the month of the Turkey.  It would be final exams, final projects, final papers.  It would also be the last and final time my blog would ever be so uninspiring.  My friend in love, Janice, would turn my plain Jane blog into a bucketful of beautiful, where a princess would be happy to flounce around in once more.  Since she changed it, I have begun writing again.  That is always a beautiful thing. 

Then, finally…December.  I hate the holidays.  If you’ve read me for any length of time, you would know that.  But somehow, this year was a little different.  This year, there was hope in the air.  Laughter in my home.  And, to sound entirely too cheesy, perhaps a song in my heart.  My grandson celebrated his first Christmas/Hannukah.  My kids are happy.  Healthy.  My marriage is good.  So, so so so so good.  We went on our yearly anniversary cruise.  11 years together, 8 of them married…both taking place in December.  It’s a special time for the hotband and I.  A time of reflection.  A time to bond.  A time to kick back in the sand of some tropical island, look over at one another and realize…we made it.

Wow.  We made it.

Through tears.  Through pain.  Through strife.  Through uncertainty.  All the while, never letting go of each other’s hands.  Together…we survived it all, weathered the storms and sailed away on seas of contentment and joy.  We made it, my love.  We truly made it.  And look at all we have to show for it. 

Sitting perched on the precipice of a new year, I can’t help but reflect and can’t help but rejoice.  More than anything, I can’t wait to see what else the future brings.  So, yeah…it begs the question:

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes…how do you measure a year?

In love.  Definitely, in love.  

The Needy vs. The Greedy

In the past few days alone, I have come across some amazing stories on the internet. Really ground roots kind of stuff. It all started when a person put a tip cup on their page asking for readers to pay for a luxury item. Anyone who has been reading me…or many other people for that matter, know where I stand on the issue.

However, something really amazing has come out of it. Something bigger.

In the past few days, I have been getting some incredible emails. People who I do not know, or are mutual blog friend with someone else that I know, emailing me to tell me about their financial burdens and troubles. Are they asking me for handouts? Absolutely not. What they are asking for is a sympathetic ear. They relate to the fact that my husband and I just lost our home to foreclosure. They understand what it is like to have to go out of town just to get a decent job. My husband flies every, single week to California to his job because Florida wages are for shit. I am running into people who have sick kids. REALLY sick kids, who require chemo treatments on a daily basis and need financial help. I have come across a blogger who started a letter writing campaign for a friend of his who was in a terrible, debilitating accident.

My eyes are really opening back up where the blog world is concerned and it took a big slap in the face to get my reality check paid in full.

What a great thing we have going here. What a deep connection we all share with one another. The ability to share your pain with a stranger can be the most liberating moment of your life. To free yourself of the burden and say “Hell, yeah. I totally relate to that”, is so freeing.

I absolutely encourage those emails to my inbox. I love reading them. I love responding to them. I love that I can reach out and share a cyber hug with someone and let them feel understood. No, I can’t afford to give away money to friends for luxury items. I simply can’t. But, what I can do is offer you my ear, my shoulder and perhaps a piece of wisdom or humor you can walk away with.

I take a little away from each and every one of you. Over the years, I have been blessed with having a great group of people around me. Supportive above and beyond the call of duty. And, while I have been housecleaning, I have also found some new friends who I am looking forward to getting to know a lot better.

There’s always room in my life for another good person. Even the questionable ones. Far be it for me to judge.

Why the HOLY HELL am I paying this guy?

My therapist said I was an angry person.

Really? No shit there.

I often wonder why I go to therapy. I mean, right now, it’s against my will. It’s part of my drug program requirement. Have to go to group drug counseling 5 days a week. Have to go to individual therapy. Have to go to at least one NA meeting a week. So, being as dutifully diligent as I am, I’m going.

However, I really don’t see the need to have a therapist tell me something that I have known for the past 42 years of my life.

I AM an angry person by nature. I have a lot to be angry about. Sure, I have a lot of great things in my life too. I am not discounting any of that. But, I have had a hair-trigger since…well, as long as I can remember. He said that it started out with my father leaving my mother when I was just a few years old. I really don’t think that’s it. Actually, I was kind of happy when he left. He was an emotionally abusive dick. He used to get off on making my mother cry. He punched holes in walls all the time when he was pissed off. When he announced that he was leaving (finally) I remember feeling thrilled. At seven years old, I knew this would be the start of a new life. No more walking on eggshells around this douchebag that I called a father. And, I do mean “father” in the loosest term possible. He wasn’t a father to my brother and I. Every birthday card I have from him is signed in my mothers handwriting. She was always compensating for him. And, while I knew this, I never let on to my mother. It made her feel good thinking she was doing something right by us.

As years went by, I was able to figure out for myself what a supreme reigning asshole he was. Eventually, my mother started agreeing with that theory and held nothing back. She told me every wonderful detail about the way he treated her. Too much for a nine year old to process, but I got the gist of it.

I thought I had buried all of that when we buried him. I was 19 when he died. I don’t even remember crying. I basically just mourned the loss the way I had since I was little. He was never around anyway, so I didn’t see much difference after he died.

But now, I have this therapist telling me that my “unprocessed” feelings about my father is what makes me so mad all the time. Hm. Could it be that I am just angry because of circumstances that piss me off? Can’t a person be legitmately angry without it having stem from an unreconciled past?

He told me that I don’t “get it”. And he’s right. I don’t. When I feel enraged about something (see post below), I feel the anger is legtimate and sometimes, even appropriate. He said the fact that I wanted to get on a plane to Utah and slaughter the woman who put our house into foreclosure is not a healthy response.

Well, duh. It’s not like I was going to do it. I just FELT that way at the moment. Surely I have some right to be angry about it.

So, I am doing my time in therapy like a good little angry addict. But, sometimes I really wonder what he intends on teaching me that I haven’t already learned.

This should be enlightening, if nothing else.

What the fuck is WRONG with people???

We’ve been living in the same house for nearly 3 years. We have a beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 bath house. A large great room and an equally large dining room with a spacious kitchen. It’s on a large piece of corner property in very close proximity to my sons school.

I love my home. Loved it from the moment I saw it.

How we came to live here was really incredible. We were living in a substantially smaller house with a landlord who was an absolute monster. Hotband and I were kicking around the idea of moving out for awhile, but never had the funds to do so. One day, my husband was speaking to a friend of his who had recently moved from my hometown to Utah. He was griping that his house in our town was still vacant and how hard it was for him to manage two mortgages. Kidding around, my husband suggested that we move into his old house and pay the rent there…equivalent to what his mortgage payment was.

Imagine our surprise when he LOVED this idea! So, we moved into his home. Everyone is now happy. We have this enormous house in a great neighborhood. We are actually friends with our landlord! The mortgage is reasonable and we drew up papers to rent the house with the intent to eventually buy it from them.

Ideal situation. Worked beautifully…until today.

I get a knock on my front door. A young guy, maybe in his twenties, hands me some paperwork and informs me that my house, my beautiful home…is being foreclosed upon.

What? I mean…WHAT???

Apparently, my husbands “friend” went through a nasty divorce with his wife. Why? Because “friend” is a crack addict and she threw him out. Since the house is in HIS name, Mrs. Crack Addict happily took our rent checks and never mailed them into the mortgage company to further fuck with Mr. Crack Addict. Now, his credit is shot…which is what she wanted, and in the interim, we have gotten fucked as well. All our payments for the past six months have gone to whatever the fuck she used them for. She never told us that HE was now the owner of the home, so of course, we dutifully continued making our payment to her as we have every month for nearly three years.

Everyone has advised us NOT to make any more payments to Mrs. Crack Addict. That’s obvious. Surely I am not going to support her with OUR money. So, I am setting up an escrow account with an attorney come Monday to make our rent payments to. You know, so we are showing good faith.

Who we are showing this “good faith” to, however, is unbeknownst to me.

I have twenty days to let the bank know what our intentions are with regard to the house. Do we intend to buy it or are we moving?

Well, shit. If I had known that I was going to have to buy this house outright from the bank, I would have stopped paying that rent a long time ago and parlayed it into our own mortgage. We aren’t financially in a position to put a large downpayment on the house.

“Don’t worry,” people have said. “It takes anywhere from six months to a year for a foreclosure to go through. You can live there rent free in the meantime.”

Right. Sound advice coming from a bunch of morons. I am so sick of listening to everyone try to find a silver lining in this mess.

We were not prepared for this. Caught us completely off guard. Blind sided us. I wrote the following message to Mr. Crack Addict on Facebook:

You’re a real piece of work, (Insert Crack Addicts Name Here).

When exactly were you going to let us know that you were letting the house fall into foreclosure? We are going to be evicted out of here by the bank. We pay our rent religiously every month. Where has it been going, because it sure as hell hasn’t made it to the bank.

We have CHILDREN, (Insert name here). A family to take care of. How could you be so insensitive to another family who has only supported you and your ex wife in friendship and kindness? Tell me, how do you sleep at night???

CP.

I know it isn’t going to mean shit to him, but it made me feel better writing it. Moreover, I didn’t use the words “douchebag”, “asshat”, “cocksucker” or “crackhead ball sucking dickwad”.

I am proud of that.

Anyway, Mr. Crack Addict got my message on Facebook and called the hotband.

“Dude, I am SO sorry. I had nothing to do with this. This was all Mrs. Crack Addict. I trusted her to make the mortgage payments even though the house was in my name. I’ll do whatever I can to make sure you guys get to stay in the house.”

Really, fuckhead? Like what? Get us a mortgage? Find us a nice fat downpayment hiding under a rock? Really. What the hell do you think you are going to do for us at this point in time.

My husband convinced him to write us a “recommendation” letter for the bank, stating that we have been good tenants and have always paid our rent on time for the past three years. Yes, thank you for that. That and a piece of toilet paper will wipe my fat ass.

Douchebag.

I am so glad there are NO PILLS in this house right now…because MAN, would I love to do some and just go away for awhile. This is the time I miss doing drugs the most…when shit like this comes up. Instead, I have to put myself into “pitbull” mode and just start barking up every tree and see what comes down. I am really trying NOT to freak out. My mother is a real estate agent and knows the ins and outs of a short sale on foreclosure homes. My father is a mortgage banker and is going to do what he can to get us in a more eligable ready position to take on a mortgage. It’s going to be a bitch because I am not working. We can’t count any income from me at all. However, I have good credit. My husband on the other hand makes an excellent salary…but his credit sucks ass. And it’s not as if the banks are handing out loans with this shitty economy. Short of me sucking some banker dick, I don’t see how we are going to pull this off.

I am hoping Dad can pull a miracle out of his hat.

I am hitting an NA meeting first thing in the morning. 7am…just to be able to get all this off my chest. I gotta release some of this steam I have building up.

I hope I am never in Utah. I would feel compelled to fuck up some Crack Addict ass.