Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dear President Obama...

Last week President Obama announced his new Housing Plan. A plan! Could it help us?! I immediately read everything I could find about the plan and contacted our lender to express our interest in determining whether or not we are candidates. Countrywide said that they didn't have any information and wouldn't have any until March 4th. They said that they couldn't 'stall' the foreclosure until then because it might turn out that we're not candidates for said plan. So I was very nice and just expressed interest and our commitment to doing whatever we can to either keep the house or get a short sale together. I reiterated everything I always do each time I speak to the bank... state what happened, that we were never late with payments before Bob got laid off, that we've been in communication since the beginning, that we want to stay in our house, that we've requested their assistance in a mortgage workout and were turned down, that the house has been on the market for six months, that we're responsible people and want to be responsible for our debt and that the last thing we want is to lose the house to foreclosure.

After I hung up, Bob and I decided that we would contact the White House and on Monday morning (because why not?) and we would call the Corporate Offices of Countrywide to learn more about their position on the Housing Plan and state our commitment for the record.

When I sat down at my computer today to read the updates on, I didn't expect to send an 'off the cuff' letter to our President, but I did. Here's what I sent:

Dear President Obama:

I am writing you as a homeowner who is at risk of losing her dream home in Los Angeles, CA and I have questions about your housing plan. My husband and I bought this house two and a half years ago. We put 20% down and immediately started to build our dream home. We renovated our kitchen and yard to create a place where we could start to have children. This is where we planned to raise them.

On July 10, 2008 my husband lost his job and we lost our family income. Almost all of our savings went into the house and we were immediately in dire straights. We put our house on the market exactly 28 days after he lost his job as we quickly realized we didn't have enough to keep up with our mortgage. We both scrambled to find jobs. I am a playwright and hadn't brought in any money in five years. We both found new employment in October. By then we had sold off all of our stock, we sold some furniture, borrowed money from family and were denied any assistance from the bank. Our first mortgage is through Countrywide and our second is through National City. We requested assistance through a mortgage workout plan with Countrywide but were denied as our loan was not subprime and was not on an arm but a 30-year-fixed. While pursuing all angles to find a way to keep the house, we also went above and beyond to market it. From creating a blog about the house to submitting pictures to design websites. We drew interest, but no offers.

When we received our "Letter of Intent to Accelerate" from the bank we were too far under water to pay the required lump sum to clear our debt- back payments and late fees. We are presently 'in foreclosure' with Countrywide without a sale date. We are in the process of pursuing a Short Sale as we have had no offers on the house after reducing the price to the original sale price. If your plan can help us to stay in our dream home, we would be so relieved. The day it was announced, I called Countrywide and was told that they couldn't stall our foreclosure because they didn't have enough information. I am writing to beg assistance. We live our lives on a foundation of integrity and are committed to restoring our financial integrity. We are both now employed, albeit bringing in 60% less than before. My husband is very happy in his new job and sees a bright future for himself with a lot of room to grow. I am working two jobs right now to do my part and continuing to write in whatever time I can find. We don't see ourselves as victims. We are committed to being responsible. We don't want to sell the house as a short sale, but without assistance it seems to be the only way. Before this happened, we were never late with a mortgage payment. We shared our home with our friends. It became a place of gathering. That's what we wanted. And since we have fallen on hard times, our friends, neighbors and family have rallied around us. No one wants to see us go. We're in a lovely neighborhood in Los Angeles that saw nothing but growth for many years. We don't want to bring down home values in our neighborhood as a result of a short sale or a foreclosure. We have been in communication with the banks from the very beginning. We are committed to finding a way to stay here and be responsible for our debt. We just cannot do it without help. It seems to me, from everything I have read about the plan, that we are the perfect candidates. How do we express this to our lender? How do we encourage them to work with us? We are afraid that the bank will set a sale date on our house any minute. If your plan can't help us, who can it help?

I not only voted for you, Mr. President, but I also drove to Nevada and went door to door in Las Vegas canvassing on your behalf. Before my husband lost his job, we donated to your campaign. Not a lot, but something. We are so happy and proud that you are our President. And we believe in you. We hope that you can help us through this challenging time and together we can start the turn around this country needs. Sometimes it is very hard to stay positive, but just knowing that you are trying to find a way to help people like us, makes a difference.

Thank you for your time. Thank you for your stand for this great nation.
I look forward to a response (from someone.)
Thank you.

Happiness "In Foreclosure"

It has been a while since our first post on this blog. We've been on quite the roller coaster ride. To bottom line it, our house is 'in foreclosure without a sale date' and we're trying to avoid that at all costs. It's terribly confronting and stress inducing. It's confusing and scary and frustrating...

Are we still happy? Yes. Happiness, to me, isn't a static state of mind. It isn't earned. It is a choice. We choose to be happy in spite of all of this. We choose to see it as a learning opportunity. I read a quote by a rabbi the other day comparing this challenging time to the nature of muscle tissue. When muscle tissue is broken down, it then can get stronger. We are being 'broken down' in order to grow stronger.

We know that we are not victims, no one is doing anything to us, we are where we are by the choices we made. Did we anticipate having our income cut by 60% at the same time as the housing crash? No. While we were investing lots of time and money into our remodel did we foresee all of the equity in our house disappearing? Of course not! But sitting around lamenting the way things are will certainly not help. What will? Taking action.

It's not easy. It just is.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...