Tag: chancery court

So Many Words, Then There Were None

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I have a few drafts written.

One is about how throwing out all the food in my pantry – all the things I cook with from the room I spend the most time in – caused a loss of identity that made me feel completely lost in and worthless.

There is another one that’s about the bare minimums a person who likes to bake and cook needs to buy in order to have a functional kitchen.

I wish there were more half-written drafts so I could feel like I was about to be terribly productive. Unfortunately there was a lot of research into hosting and when I have the hundred dollars to spare I’m going to drop it on three months of hosting from WHGeeks. As long as I can figure out which database in my current backend is the one for this blog.

Then the second car that was loaned to us by a very, very kind friend needed to be returned. This creates a problem where I’m not going to be able to get my kids home from activities and I might have to pull them from after school activities. Again. That’s right, we did this to them last year when our second car we purchased from a family member broke down completely. I pulled them from Girls on the Run and Spanish Club. This year I might have to pull them from Choir and Chess Club.

It will break my heart if I can’t take these poor kids to free activities after school. I have considered walking but the viaduct in between my house and the school scares me deeply because it’s pretty unsafe. Plus I can’t figure out how to get a child and a preschooler three miles to pick up a third. It would involve buying bikes, teaching them to ride the bikes, and then safely getting them under a viaduct with low visibility.

So Mr. Brickie has been scouring Craigslist for the last days looking for cars in the $500 price range (It’s what we can come up with on our own, I know it’s not a good number but it’s what we have available) and going to check them out. So far we’ve said no to a broken frame, a missing motor that wasn’t mentioned in the ad, a leaking transmission, and a car that had to be towed home. He has one more to check out in about fifteen minutes. I’m hoping it will go well but I fear it won’t because it’s Craigslist.

It’s a mess.

Today I decided to open a piece of junk mail from a lawyer. Dumb idea, for sure. I figured it might have some publicly available information about the auction date for the house that I did not have access to. It did have a date, but one I could not confirm anywhere else. The date is 10/13/14, so right around the corner and completely panic inducing. I dove right into those panic feelings and kind of wallowed in them for a while. Wondering how fast I would have to pack up my things, where I would store them, where I would stay, where I would get first and last month’s rent. So many questions swirling in my mind. Okay, maybe not swirling so much as slicing and cutting and poking and stabbing. It was much less gentle than poking.

I’m really scared.

Mr. Brickie left a message with the Cook County Sheriff’s office to verify the information. I’m sure this is one of those stories where if I heard that it happened to someone else (10 or so years ago when I was less understanding of bad decisions) I might have judged the person. People who listen to junk mail are stupid, right?

The thing is, when you’re desperate for information and you’re searching for the light of knowledge anywhere sometimes you’re going to find an oncoming train where you think you see a bright beacon of hope. You are going to read something and be completely torn on whether it’s true or not but no one is immune from seriously considering acting on the information.

I’m not going to call the shifty lawyer sending me the fear-mail, but I’m going to use the date as a potential timeline.

Mr. Brickie’s last job ended last Wednesday and he is supposed to be hearing from a guy today about starting tomorrow but so far he’s called the guy once on Friday, once on Saturday, and twice today and hasn’t gotten a firm answer and has mostly gotten voicemail. It’s not looking good for him going to work tomorrow.

On the bright side Little Sister’s birthday party was a hit and everyone had a lot of fun. We went apple picking on Sunday and the girls were well-behaved, happy, and had a wonderful time. I’m so proud of my girls. They are bright and loving and caring. I might have been a good mommy blogger if I felt their stories were mine to tell.

I’m going to go watch a movie with them and try to distract myself long enough that the nausea goes away. Even if I get some relief for a little bit that will be a start.

Foreclosure, Reality, and Emotional Pain

chancery-court-update

I knew we had an appointment in Chancery court on July 11th. I knew we did.

Sort of.

We’ve had previous appointments with the court and they always sent us something in the mail. Mr. Brickie, after the last court date, said, “I’ll just show up at the date they say to. Just in case.”

I am the one who told him to wait for the papers to come in the mail.

I am the one who flicked the first domino and chose this path.

I am the only one to blame.

Chancery court is so far behind in cases (I said) and you shouldn’t have to take a day off work (a day you’re working overtime, I said) to go to a court date that might not even be yours (I said) and get sent home with no pay for the day and no information (the way they do, I said) even if I want just one. more. stay. before they decide forevermore they are going to sell our home at auction (because one more stay would have guaranteed one more full school year, I said) because they have been so good about informing us of our next court date (I cooed into his ear before we slept at night) and he believed me.

I am so rarely wrong, you see. I do my research and I find out the facts and I don’t share untested theories as fact and I don’t rely on “I hope so” and “It’s probably okay” so he had no reason not to believe me.

Really, everyone believes me. I’m a very believable person. I’m right with astonishing accuracy because I hate being wrong. I do not accept mistakes as a natural outcome of the law of numbers. I am better than that (I said) and we will persevere and get through this (I said).

I was mistaken.

I was not just a little bit mistaken. I did not tell my husband to take an umbrella with him on a sunny day. I was mistaken about something wicked important. Our house (which is no longer our house) that I have the papers stating and have to tell Mr. Brickie about when he gets home from work today (his last day as a 40% apprentice.)

The Reality of the Situation

According to the first lawyer we ever talked to (the lovely, young lawyer who paled and stuttered when I asked, “Out of everyone you’ve ever talked to, has it ever been a wise financial decision to fight for the home?”) who told us our time frame from this moment or, rather, the moment from July 11th when the clock (the foreclosure auction sheriff-at-the-front-door clock) starts ticking like something out of only the largest, scariest MC Escher painting.  We have – about – nine months from July 11th to get out of our home. We might have a little extra time but the real clock – the big  TIME TO START OVER Y’ALL clock is now ticking for real and we are no longer living in a state of flux. Or, as I liked to call it, “Our state of grace.”

In nine months(ish) we are going to give birth to a new life. I have a feeling it’s going to physically hurt less than childbirth and emotionally tear my brain in half. Maybe I’m overreacting and it will be an easy move. We’ve been decluttering for a year here and there and plans are in place for what will come with and what will go in storage and lists are made. So the focus of the blog will change slightly and we’ll be talking about getting ready to move.

Same family stories, just stories about a family transitioning to a new place, probably a new school system, and all the things surrounding the move and the finances getting us there.

Even when you prepare for all outcomes (and yes, I mean all outcomes, you should see my charts) it doesn’t make getting hit in the gut any less breathtaking. You can know in your head you’re making the best possible financial decision and feel with every feel in you that you’ve lost this round of the game of life.

My breath is taken.

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Mr. Brickie Goes to Chancery Court (May 2014)

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. 🙂

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Mr. Brickie Goes to Chancery Court (Feb 2014)

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A mildly inebriated Valentine’s Day house update.

I love the idea of Chancery Court. Mostly because it sounds like some kind of thing that landed gentry or uppity English people would be part of as a social thing. “Oh, Bitty, let’s go to Chancery Court!” and Bitty would reply, “Regina! That idea is tops! Let’s do!”

Then there would be gin and jazz, which would make me want to stab my eyes out in normal circumstances, but I’m sure jazz would be ever so much more wonderful if I didn’t have anything to compare it to and I was living in the stone age where people are regularly named Bitty and jazz is this new thing no one has heard before.

Do you FEEL me? 

So Mr. Brickie went into Chancery Court today. This is the very unreliable but almost entirely true account of the situation as it stands now in our lives.

We learned that being in the middle of a short sale does not forestall your eviction. So you’re welcome if you ever need to know that. This tidbit was learned while Mr. Brickie was waiting for his turn with the judge.

When it was Mr. Brickie’s turn the judge – being a smart sort of chap – didn’t try and pronounce our last name and after the third letter Mr. Brickie realized they were going to spell his last name. He stood up and right off the judge mistook him for a lawyer. Which was either great or horrible, no one will ever know.

Then the proceedings began.

Also, today we found out that the lawyer handling the mortgage company on our case was, like, the ONE law firm who pretty much had their shit totally together for everything and was totally on point. Lucky us, right? Other lawyers are making rookie mistakes and scrambling around but the lawyer we are dealing with was all. “Oh, hai, I’ve been here doing the right thing all along.”

Is it wrong to hope the building that law office is housed in burns down to the ground? It’s okay, you can be honest.  

Except when the judge busted him doing NOT the right thing. That part was fun as all get out.

Mr. Brickie, at one point, informed the judge he had filed a motion. The lawyer for Citi said, “Oh no you didn’t!” Mr. Brickie said, “It was filed on the 7th.” The lawyer for Citi said, “Oh no you didn’t! It was filed on the 6th!”

The judge looked at the lawyer from Cit and said, “Uh…you need to read these motions, dawg. You just busted yourself out.”

You know this is all paraphrased, right? I hope so. Lawyers and judges do not talk like that.

So the lawyer said nothing and was all looking like a kid with his hand in the cookie jar.

BUSTED.

Mr. Brickie was all, “Uh huh THAT’S RIGHT” (in his head, you can’t say that to a judge)

They filed a continuance and we get to do this sexy rumba again in a month.

Bur, for now, we are still here with nothing progressing toward foreclosure.

So, there’s that.