Thursday, May 21, 2009


A life-changing post... this is all happening in real time.

That's what the envelope said in all caps:


I'm sitting here just writing a blog post about how we're so tired of showing the house after 9 months of jumping at every potential buyer's request to see our home and how we've decided to not show the house anymore since we already have 3 offers and how nice it will be for us to have a little privacy back for now... when something happens.

There's a knock at the door. A Realtor and his client. We were expecting them. Then the dog freaks out. Barking like crazy. At what? The mail carrier who arrives practically on the heels of the agent and potential buyer.

Bob picks up the dog as he's growling at the mail carrier.

"Steph, can you sign for something?" he asks, dog in arms. I quickly say hello and welcome the Realtor/Buyer and sign for the 5 (5!) certified letters from ReconTrust.

This is not good. ReconTrust (or RCT) is the company contracted by Countrywide to handle the foreclosure of our house. The last time we had received anything from them was on February 16th when they sent us- via certified mail- our notice of Foreclosure without a Sale Date. Again, 5 copies of the same letter.

I sign for the 5 letters, a sinking feeling growing in the pit of my stomach, and walk back into the house with a plastered-on smile.

"You have such a beautiful home," says the Realtor.

"I love the views," says his client.

"Thank you," I reply. "Would you like me to show you the downstairs room? Can I answer any questions..." I feel like a broken record. We've done this hundreds of times now. It feels like.

They breeze through the house and ask us about the offers.

"Yes," I say, "We have three. We just got a third today."

"And have any been accepted yet," asks the Realtor.

"Not yet," I say. But almost, I think.

They leave. Seemingly interested.... but, honestly, I don't even care right now. I care about the offer that is almost accepted. I care about these 5 certified letters from ReconTrust sitting unopened on my desk. I care about them because I know. I know what they're going to say.

And I'm right.


They have set a date. A date has been set. We are now in foreclosure with a date.

Notice is hereby given that RECONTRUST COMPANY, N.A. blah blah blah will sell on 06/09/2009 at 10:30 AM, at the West side of the Los Angeles County Courthouse blah blah blah at public auction, to the highest bidder for cash or check as described below, payable in full at time of sale, all right, title and interest conveyed to and now held by it under.... blah blah blah blah

Here's what Bob just figured out. February 16th, 2009 our house went into foreclosure without a sale date. June 6, 2009 is exactly 3 months and 3 weeks from February 16th. By law, they have to wait at least 3 months and 3 weeks. They are foreclosing at the earliest possible date. This, I have to say, is a surprise.

Why is it a surprise? Because in our attempt to modify our loan with Countrywide we were told by the Office of the President not to worry because they are so far behind that the likelihood of them actually setting a date in 3 months and 3 weeks was so slim. It could even be six months away. We wanted to believe that. So we did.

But that's not the only reason we're surprised. The short sale has been approved by both Countrywide and National City. Why would Countrywide approve a short sale and foreclose instead? At this very moment, Countrywide is considering two offers on our house. We just got a third offer today that we'll be submitting to them for consideration. Three different parties are trying to buy our house at this very moment. Why would they set a foreclosure date in the face of all of this? Well, perhaps it's a case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing.

That's one explanation. Another is this. We were supposed to close on the first short sale offer (the one that fell through) on May 19th (3 days ago) but didn't. Because, as we've written here, that fell apart. The letter from ReconTrust is dated May 20th. Perhaps they decided to move on this rather than wait for another deal to come together. I don't know.

This is what I know: we have 3 offers. 2 are already at the bank under consideration. The people who submitted these offers really want our house. Our Realtor is telling us not to worry. That the short sale will come together and this date of foreclosure will all be moot. None of it will matter. I want to believe this.

Another thing I know: it will all work out. I don't know how. I just know. In the meantime, we will do everything we have to do to make sure this short sale comes together. Foreclosures don't benefit anyone.

June 9th (the auction date), by the way, is 10 days after our 6 year wedding anniversary.


Anonymous said...

I am in the same situation. Change the date and location; the story is the same. My bank is Indymac... taken over the Feds last year, you'd think that the Obama plans would be put to work through them. Not a chance.
It turns out that when the banks appeared to work with us, it was during the times that the Home affordability legislation was in flux... they were buying time to guard their own interests. Now that the dust has settled on the Help for Homeowners, they are free to act in their best interest. ANd their best interest is to foreclose, rather than short sale or modify loans. In the end, it appears that it was the FDIC "protections" that sunk us: FDIC protections guard the lender, not the homeowner. It turns out that, under FDIC protections, when the loans default and the property is worth less than owed, the loan is classified as a "toxic asset", and the banks were protected against loss: they have no reason to modify the loans. They lose money to short sale or modify loans. In fact, by foreclosing, it frees the funds to be used in more secure, higher-yield investments. In fact, it is to their advantage to add outstanding fees and interest into the outstanding loand amount to ensure that the property does not receive a bid at the trustee sale, thereby enduring their FDIC protections. And the government wonders why we cringe whenever they show up to "help".
Like many others, I bought into the program hook, line, and sinker. I spent many months hoping for a loan modification for relief... Once I'm moved into my new rental home, I'll have financial relief... Now I only have to find relief from the emotions of losing our home.

Anonymous said...

i just got that letter in the mail. my auction date is july 2nd, three days before my birthday! i paid 1k to a real estate agent to start the modification and several months later, now they're gone and do not pickup their phones. I have never wished anyone bad, however, i hope this bank burn in hell! Best of luck to all those beautiful family in this situation.

Anonymous said...

We were in a very similar boat in 2010. Our home was our family home. We have three children, a dog and were living the American Dream! Then the union contract fell through, the city went in debt and my husband was in a line of work that nearly every person thinks volunteers can fill. There were no raises, no overtime, no GEK transports, no rank increases. There were however furloughs and cutbacks. Our mortgage lender had based our loan on the pay-grade offered by the union. We were sinking quickly after five years in our home. We contacted BOA, no problem they said on getting a loan mod. Never heard back. Did however get a pre-forcloser letter in the mail. We never got the loan mod, were told to rent out one of our two bedrooms or perhaps your wife should look into getting employment. So very kind of them. We fought tooth and nail, secured a short sale and were awarded a hardship approval. It takes time. Nobody will even consider loaning you a penny towards anything for three years. We were lied to by BOA that we had to be behind three payments and that at any time we caught up they were stop approving us for the short sale. That how they get you. We sent in partial payments only to have them send them back to us. All in all, it was our fault for having so much invested into what was going to be and not for what we had available. $20,000 is what we put down on that home and five years of $1700 a month for them to turn around and sell it for $80000 less than what we purchased it for. My heart broke, but we have moved on. Been renting for three years now. Some day we may purchase again. I just don't know.

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