Dear President Obama, and Citimortgage,
The Holiday season has arrived. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon decorating my home. I had Charlotte and Molly here. We played Christmas music. "Charlie Brown Christmas" actually. It is our favorite. We hung ornaments on our little tree in the kitchen. We put one up there every year. It is our "bird tree". Through the years, we have collected bird ornaments, here and there. My husband David, loves birds. From bald eagles, to hummingbirds. He has a love for them. He has a love for their ability to fly.
I even baked cookies yesterday. I tried to create a day for Charlotte and Molly that was magical. Olivia was off on a play date, and I wanted to make the day special for Charlotte. Molly, being so little, just thought each sparkling item coming out of assorted boxes was wonderful. She giggled all day. Yet, all afternoon, I was not enjoying what we were doing. I should have been, but I was angry. I had shaky hands, and heart palpitations. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry.
David had called me, and told me that the cost of living raise he was going to be getting in the new year, would not be coming. President Obama had announced a two year freeze on raises for civilian federal employees. The raise would have been a 1.4 % increase. That's it. 1.4%. But to us, it was a lot, and we were happy about it. The President went on to say that federal employees should make this sacrifice.
With all due respect President Obama, my family has sacrificed. We have been for quite some time now. My husband David was one of the first people to jump out of a C-17 airplane. He was a test jumper for the U.S. Army. He was a squad Sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division. He earned the NATO Service Medal Award while stationed in Turkey. He is a brilliantly smart man, with a Masters Degree.
He worked in Land Surveying for almost 10 years after he got out of the military. The industry he worked in was completely driven by the buying and selling of houses. Thanks to the mortgage companies wreaking havoc on the real estate industry, and the market drying up, so did my husband's ability to work. He was unemployed for almost 8 months, and the only way he was lucky enough to get a job, was because I wrote a letter to our local newspaper about him, and they wrote a story about him.
During his unemployment, you know what he did all those cold, stressful days? He walked around neighborhoods, and knocked on doors, and asked people to vote for you, Mr. President. He and I both really believed that we would be helped by you. We really thought that you got it. That you would make things better. That we would save our home, and the mortgage company would assist us in doing so. We thought that all of the men and women that we personally knew out of work, would get jobs. We thought that you were going to help us remain whole.
I cried. I laid in bed, pregnant with my little baby girl Molly, and watched you the night you won the election. I wept, tears streaming down my face uncontrollably, and David and I held each other, because we thought everything was going to be OK.
It isn't OK. It could not be worse for us. Citimortgage, in the beginning, offered us help. David's new federal job paid him far less than his previous job. They said they would help us, and enroll us in the "making homes affordable" program. They mailed us a letter, and told us that if we paid the three month "trial period" payment, they would close on the reduced mortgage and interest rate after we did so. Three months came and went. We paid, faithfully, this new reduced, affordable rate. We could pay it, because we could afford it. After paying for almost 9 months, and still not closing, we kept calling Citimortgage, asking when we could expect to close.
Citimortgage reneged. After all the months of making timely payments, they sent us paper work for a mortgage payment that was almost $100.00 dollars more than the payment we were making, before David lost his job. The help we thought we were getting, would not be coming. It was over. My home is now in foreclosure. Citimortgage will not help us. They were there, in rescue boats, throwing life rafts out to my family, and just as our finger tips grasped them, they yanked them away. They looked us all in the eye, and turned their boats around.
I am watching my family disintegrate. We have medical bills, and unpaid taxes. We have never lived above our means. We are cash only people. If we don't have the money, we don't get it. And I am not talking about luxuries. I am talking about necessities. We cannot afford to buy our girls Christmas presents let alone afford to keep food in the refrigerator at times.
Sacrifice? How much more are we supposed to?I kept choking back tears yesterday, as I put up Christmas decorations, because I don't know where we will be next year. I don't know if we will have a home. I don't know if our bird tree will still be part of Christmas for us. I don't know if I will have anything. And yet, a silly 1.4 % cost of living raise is now not coming. My President, the one David asked countless people to vote for, door to door, is asking us to sacrifice more. I have to watch the government bail out banks, and read about Christmas bonuses being handed out to the employees of these very companies, that are poised to throw my family out into the street. The very same companies that caused my husband to lose his job in the first place. They are double and triple dipping in my family's life, and they won't help us.
Sacrifice? How much more? I am but one, person. A mother, and a wife. I am powerless. I have a keyboard. All I can do is write, and pray someone will hear me. I pray that someone will hear all of the countless families that are dying out here.
Citimortgage doesn't care about my beautiful family. I don't think you do either, President Obama.
We are tired of sacrificing.
I am beginning to believe that the American dream, for many of us, is out of reach.