Thursday, March 18, 2010

So if we bought a house we couldn't afford, you could help us?

My husband, David, came home yesterday, and informed me that the help we thought our mortgage company would give us, the help we so desperately need in order to keep our family in our home, would not be coming. When he was laid off for 6 LONG months, we were paralized with fear. When you lose your income, it is like having the floor fall out from beneath you. Literally. We were afraid we would lose our home because we were unable to support our family, and pay our bills, on unemployment. Impossible. When we were first looking at homes, back in 2002, we went to a real estate agency, which, conveniently enough, had an in-house bank, right there, in the office, to assist you in your mortgage needs. Great, right? We thought it was. The guy in the suit, behind the counter, with the giant logo above him, looked very official, and professional. Our credit was a bit shaky. David had a previous marriage, and some of his ex-wifes' credit card use was still showing up on his (ugh! a whole other nightmare story), and I had some student loan debt. We really didn't think we would qualify for a mortgage. Oddly enough, we did.Actually...strangely. And we were told, we could start looking for homes that cost more than $300,000.00. WOW!!
We decided to be responsible for once in our lives. I was pregnant withour first child, and felt a divine responsibility to stay home and care for her, and stop working. We knew it would be terribly hard to live on one salary, but we were determined to do it. We bought a home for $120,000.00. We don' t use credit cards, and we really do not have too much debt. We clip coupons, live on a budget, don't go out to eat, don't take see where I'm going with this. We have a checking account. No savings. We live paycheck to paycheck. Hand to mouth. No nest egg, no 6 month emergency plan. I could point to every piece of furniture in our home, and major appliance, and tell you how it was aqcuired, who gave it to us, what garage sale it was bought from. The couch in my living room was the couch in my home growing up. I laid on that thing with chicken pox...eeeew...anyway, we chose this life, in order to have me home with our children. I am not complaining, but making a point that when the one income goes away,the word devestating does not begin to cover the situation. We didn't want to lose our home, so instead of NOT paying the mortgage, we took the amazing offer of assistance, from my father-in-law. He knew my husband would become gainfully employed soon, and did not want us to be on the street. He paid our mortgage on time, each and every month, for all six of them. He helped us in a way, that we will never be able to thank him enough, or re-pay him for that matter. Not now at least.
The point of all of this, is that the entire time we had no income, my husband kept calling, and calling the mortgage company, and kept begging for help, telling them he was out of work. THey kept saying that there was nothing they could do, because the mortgage was current. The mortgage company actually told us in order to get help, STOP PAYING THE MORTGAGE!!!! We listened, and they came calling right away. We finally had their ear. They offered us help through Obama's program, and we were elated. My husband got a job, with the goverment!! Double elation!!! 
Now, even though my man is employed, with the goverment, no less...he had to take a HUGE pay cut. We were just getting by before. Now...scraping by. We have had to help feed our kids with food stamps. I had been cleaning houses for extra money, but in this economy, the cleaning lady is the first to go. Our mortgage company just informed us, that there is really nothing they can do for us. We don't qualify for the program. My husband makes too much. How they came up with that, I will never know. We qualify for food stamps, but not help with lowering our mortgage payment???It is nuts. And the kicker in this whole thing??? They told my husband that if we had more debt, and owned a home that we couldn't afford, maybe around the price of the original numbers we were given, when we decided to not listen to the bank, and borrow far less, yeah, those numbers, we would be able to be helped. So, being responsible and not borrowing more than what we can afford, has actuall hurt us. I am so glad my husband knocked on doors last winter, during his unemployment, and asked people to vote for Obama, because we were hopeful that our family, and our home could be preserved.
No money in the bank, $65.00 left on my food stamp card. Pay day is tomorrow. In one hand, out the other. The hamster wheel that my family cannot seem to jump off from.

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