chancery-court-update

Part 1 – The Pre-Court Portion of the Blog Post

The saga of our maybe-foreclosure continues….

Yesterday, Mr. Brickie went downtown and basically dropped in on the legal aid department from Partners In Community Building (they also have a Facebook Page). Luckily, the receptionist was out and the door was answered by the amazing lady-lawyer we talked to the first time we had to file something with the court. (You can read about our first encounter with the young, smart lady lawyer on this post down to the section that says the Helper and the Lawyer.)

She told us we were on the right track and that the thing to do today was to ask for more time to file a response. I thought – all this time – we were filing an answer to the motion they filed last time. I was dead wrong. Even with Google and the plethora of law resources all over the Internet, I was wrong. Thankfully, we asked the lady lawyer and she told us we were going to ask for time to file a response. Considering the lady lawyer remembered our situation exactly when Mr. Brickie saw her again, I am holding out hope the judge recognizes Mr. Brickie as well. Considering the judge thought Mr. Brickie was a lawyer last time he was there (because he’s the only one who bothered to wear a suit and call the judge Your Honor) I think the judge will remember him and that will work in our favor, because the judge knows we are doing our best to follow the process exactly how it is supposed to go.

It helps that we have a new specialist at Citimortgage and they are starting the hardship program all over again. So we have a bunch of documents that need to get into their system by June 4th so they can process everything and decide if they are going to give us a refinance or whatever they call it when they just redo your mortgage. Of course, when they redo it they’re going to add in about $40k in lawyer expenses (the last time I checked) so we would essentially be paying a lot more for the privilege of staying in the same home. It’s a bit confusing. It would be a lot more confusing if I was emotionally invested in this house and was completely blinded to the raw numbers and how that looks.

All this would have such a different look about it if Mr. Brickie were, you know, working. The season starting late is driving us both a little batty. It’s scary and difficult to have faith no matter how much we know there is no reason to despair. It would even look better at court if he just had a few paycheck stubs to throw out there instead of a record of odd jobs and unemployment.

I’ll know later what the overall outcome was at court. His appointment is for 8:45am so he will probably get an early start and be out pretty quickly. Last time he had an 11am court time and he was out pretty quick, too. They schedule people as best they can at Chancery Court, but there are so many foreclosures happening that when we come up with our files and proper etiquette and a plan for what we are doing next, it’s just easier for the judge to give us another court date in 30 days (which, inevitably turns into 90 days because the court is so backed up). That extra three months will give us time to have an appointment with legal aid and have them look over the affidavit I’m sure is a lie from the Citimortgage side. It will give us time to find the proof that they blocked our chance for getting an FHA streamline loan before we ever missed our first payment. It will give us time to print all the emails and show the deceit and lies that were told to us over and over.

We may subpoena the Citimortgage phone records for gems like the call where the guy told me the wrong numbers and then told me he was reading someone else’s numbers and then gave me my numbers which were way more awful. Then I asked him if I could get that in writing to look it over and he promised I would get everything in writing. Of course I did not and when I asked him about it he said we got in writing what we were supposed to get and would not be getting anything else.

I’m not sure how these things help. I really don’t. The only two options I know of are:

  1. Keep the home after getting a loan modification.
  2. Leave the home and start fresh with none of this monkey on our back.

In the beginning I really wanted to just get a loan payment we could afford (we could afford the original loan amount of $975 but over the course of 10 years with a fixed rate loan we were paying $1275 a month. I could never figure out how that happened even calculating escrow. There was also this $75 fee we had every single month. They never explained what it was for and told me it would never go away. I’ve been frustrated for a long time but you just put that to the back of your mind and pay the bill. It’s our house. We paid the bill.

Until we couldn’t.

Now I just have to wait until he gets back from court so I can finish this post with what happened. This is like the pre-court think-aloud portion of the post. There is still a whole post-court part of this I’ll update when he gets home. In the meantime I’m going to go work on another post. The Insurance Bill That Ate My Family. Feel free to read that one when you’re done here if you haven’t.

Part 2 – The Post-Court Portion of the Blog Post

Ooooh…well first of all the big bad lawyer from last time wasn’t there. We were up against the guy with his name on the door the last two court dates and today there was some Junior Attorney instead who didn’t seem to know what was going on.

His 8:45am appointment got him in fourth or fifth to see the judge. First off the judge noticed we didn’t have the head of the legal firm anymore. He totally noticed we were now dealing with a Junior Associate or whatever.

I wish I knew what that meant. It seems like it has to mean something, but maybe it just means the big guy was busy with some other case. *shrug*

They accepted our request for more time to file a response!

The judge wanted to do a straight 30-days until the next court date but Junior Attorney was all, “Your Honor, I can only come in on Fridays.” LOL! So it got pushed out. But the last two times it was supposed to be 30 days exactly it wasn’t so who knows how long it will be until our next “has to be on a Friday” court date happens!

Now the more sketchy not-quite-good but absolutely-not-bad news. We have to file our response by June 10th. If they have a brief reply the mortgage company has until June 24th. Our next court date is 7/11 (Feeling lucky? LOL) The thing is, the last time we were given 30 days, it turned into 90 for the next court date. So that July date might turn into August, September, or October. I’m not sure. We never know the actual next court date until we receive notice in the mail. So we are kind of back to being in limbo like before we got the court date for this meeting.

I know. I repeated myself there. I’m trying to let it all sink into my brain so I can understand what our next best steps are.

So now we have to get the stuff Citimortgage wants to them by June 4th and the stuff has to be filed downtown at the courthouse by June 10th. Plus Mr. Brickie is expecting a call to go in to work any day now.

Things are about to get hectic around here.

The last mortgage payment we made was in August of 2013. We were told to skip three payments so we could apply for the loan modification. It was the worst advice we ever took. So in three months we will have our year-long anniversary of no mortgage payments. It’s still possible to stay here, we just have to file all that paperwork we filed before all over again so they have up to date records of everything.

Mr. Brickie ran into the opposing council in the case and they talked for a bit. The opposing council Jr. Lawyer said to Mr. Brickie that the mortgage company doesn’t tell them anything so they keep showing up and just finding out as they go along. He told Mr. Brickie to email over what we email to the mortgage company because if we are in the middle of negotiations for a modification they aren’t able to proceed with the foreclosure stuff because of that dual-tracking law. So we might be able to go to court less as this goes along.

That would be nice.

Of course as it is right now, we don’t qualify under that dual-tracking law because it’s taken so long to get to this point. But the fact that they started sooner than 120 days might cause some problems. I mean, I don’t know what the outcome of all these problems is…do we just get more time? Is it more court dates? Is it more delays?

It’s confusing.

Unfortunately, if we don’t have paychecks from Mr. Brickie working, the only modification they’re going to offer us is the one where we modify our living arrangements and get out of this house because they don’t care about our savings account. They only care about the income. Not that we would have any savings to show after the next couple days. We have to completely drain it.

So we are still on a tightrope and the best thing I can say about it is either way we have a plan.

You know how I am about planning, though, did you expect I wouldn’t have plans? LOL

But my drained savings account (or, technically, my about-to-be-drained savings account) is for tomorrow’s blog post. Something came up and while we have the money for it, it’s a huge gouge in our finances. (Oh, hey, if you don’t want to miss that story you can put in your email address and hit submit over there on the right and you’ll get my posts right in your email so the next chapter of the story comes right to you!)

Other bad news. My computer totally died yesterday but turning on the air conditioning saved her. I guess she just needs perfect weather conditions to work. I’ve crashed a few times today already but as long as the air is cool she starts back up eventually.

I really need a new computer. Someone needs to set up a GoFundMe for my birthday or something so everyone I know can kick in a few bucks and I can have a computer that works and is reliable. I know it’s a pipe dream – especially because there are so many people with those GoFundMe accounts that are homeless or hungry or doing so much worse than I am – but you know the pipe dreams keep me entertained, and that’s something. 🙂

chicken-border-bottom

10 Comments on Mr. Brickie Goes to Chancery Court (May 2014)

  1. Hang on. They don’t want your house, but some dork in the collections department has to justify his job and call you. It will be a different dork every time and he/she will have lost all your paperwork and you will have to fax it all again and they will tell you different stuff every time. At some point, someone will tell you it is all in order and will be finished in a couple days and you can begin making lower payments. That is a lie of the Devil. I don’t object if you begin to make lower payments, but then the dorks will call when it doesn’t go through and try to tell you that you are behind nd now they are going to add ‘late fees’ to your account. It is kind of fun to greet the caller cheerfully and tell them that you really needed someone to talk to today and then mess with their heads.

    The people hardly every quality for ‘loan adjustment’ or whatever and it is a real mess. This didn’t happen to me, but to someone close. They finally got to the point where they made upt the 1.5 payments they were behind when the difference was added up between the lower payments that were not true and the actual payments. I don’t know if they paid the fees or not. At one time, they were refusing to do it.

    When we had a home foreclosed, we were invisible and mostly unemployed for 3 yrs after the last filing. We lived there; found a job, moved and the last week we were getting things out of the house, a real estate agent friend (small town) called and said she had been directed to list the property and change the locks, so did I need anything out of the place. We were sheltered during a really tough time and I’m grateful. And glad to have moved on.

    • “That is a lie of the Devil.” <-- I could not have said it better myself. You really nailed it with this. I know they don't want my house. I'm deciding if *I* want my house. It's just all up in limbo but as long as we're filling out the paperwork and we are submitting the forms and we are telling THEIR lawyers about it they can't pursue anything. It's a stalemate. I think. Well, we will see. I'm just trying to either get things refinanced so I can have normal mortgage payments and go back to doing what we did the first ten years we lived here or get things stalemated long enough I can save a sizeable nest egg and move in style and comfort. For me, it's a win-win. I love that you had a realtor friend. That's so cool. We have a public notice system so if I ever find a note taped to my door it's an official ninety day eviction notice. I can do anything in three months, so I'm not really stressed about it. Much. Okay, a little, but I'm working on it. 🙂

  2. I wish I had some advice, my friend! I think you guys are doing the right thing, though. And like you, I take comfort in knowing there’s time before we *have* to get out. (I used to think it was instantaneous, like the Sheriff would knock on my door and drag me out of my house, lol.)

    There’s no denying it’s nerve-wracking and confusing, though. We just got more court papers two weeks ago. We were a little freaked out because they included legal fees of nearly $4,000 and we thought we had to pay them (it was worded that way). The bankruptcy protects us from that, apparently, but I had a sleepless night before we got it figured out!

    If you ever find yourself in the Bloomingdale/Carol Stream/Glendale Heights area, give me a holler — we can have some coffee and commiserate about all this house stuff. 😉

    • I think that sounds like a really cool idea. I don’t know where any of those places are but how much more than an hour can they possibly be, right? The part where the lawyer for the mortgage company suggested we send them the stuff so they wouldn’t make unnecessary court dates sounded too good to be true. Now I’m wondering if I posted that part. It was weird. But then, this whole thing is weird, my therapist today told me what a blessing it was that we will have so much time to rebuild our finances. I’m pretty sure I’m not going back. You, me, and the gum tree can say we’re blessed all we want, but therapists are supposed to be more professional and less…blessy…LOL

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