Tag: mortgage

The Neverending Closing #NaBloPoMo

I have the theme song for The Neverending Story stuck in my head now.

Mortgage Guy™ emailed today and those two pesky accounts are still listing Mr. Brickie as an authorized user even though I took him off those accounts at the end of August.

In case I haven’t said, Mortgage Guy™ said that the letters the companies gave me stating he had been removed were not good enough because “things can be altered” so we had to wait for them to not show up on the credit report anymore.

Now I’m over here and I know beyond knowing that I was removed as someone’s authorized user when I was 15 and that card STILL showed on my credit report when I was 21 and so I never thought it was possible all these cards would somehow magically disappear from his report.

I have probably also mentioned that the amount it would cost to pay off the two cards in question is the same amount we have in the bank right now set aside for closing. We only have enough to close or pay off the cards, not both.

Today, though, he’s saying we just have to pay off the smaller of the two cards and now my ears perk up because yes that sounds like something we might be able to do. I email back and verify we might be able to do that fairly soon because he’s coming back into town and it sounds like he’s going to start working right away as long as it’s really just the one card we need to pay off.

He says it will take too long to pay it off and wait for the credit report to update so we can pay it off at closing and now I’m like WHAT?! we never knew that was an option or this could have been done a month ago. Now I email him back and I’m like, “Hey there, so we just need to have $9700 in cash for closing then or whatever $8k + that one card’s balance equal? Okay then, I’ll talk to Mr. Brickie when he gets out of meetings tonight and we will see if we can find a way to make that happen and I’ll let you know how soon it will be.”

He just emailed back that my math is correct and now I have to somehow come up with $9700 to close on this place.

Right now, in all accounts including THE CHILDREN’S accounts because I’m trash and will borrow money from my children. (Hey, they live here too and I will pay them back. You haven’t seen a refractory paycheck yet I don’t think. Yeah, we can pay them back right quick.)

Checking: $6795.94
Kids’ Savings: $1142.35

So we’ve been floating with $7938.29 (I just paid the NIPSCO bill so that’s why there’s a hair less than $8k) and now we have to make $9700 happen. (Technically that card has a balance of $1871.56 so we actually have to prove we have $9871.56 to close.)

I may tear all the hairs out of my head in ten seconds.

If we can get him back on a night shift he’ll make a hair more than that in a week for take home but that doesn’t include paying bills.

I really want to walk away but I don’t think that’s the right choice. If we couldn’t afford the place I would walk away and not feel an ounce of pain over it, really, I am over having some deep desire to own a house and I am totally over giving a shit what anyone thinks of my rent/own situation in life. I don’t need to own a house to feel fulfilled or secure.

But we’re here and the price is right and we can afford it fairly easily once we get past the closing stuff and I have given it to the universe and the mortgage company haven’t pulled out of the deal so I guess we’re staying. We just have to find two thousand dollars. Or conjure it. Or borrow it.

I’ll talk to Mr. Brickie once he’s done today and figure out our next steps.

My hair tearing moment has passed. It’s only a house. This is only a process. None of it means anything in the long run. We will either close or we won’t. We will come up with the money or we won’t. Either way is fine and in ten years we’ll look back and know in our hearts whichever way it went was really for the best because that’s what humans do and I am deeply and totally human.

No matter what my kids might tell you.

Mortgage Update and Figuring Out the Future #TooLongTitle #NightShiftChronicles

Sometimes I wish I could start blogging over from the beginning and do it all right from the start.

It would be so much easier than figuring out how to go back and fix things. The questions I find myself wondering on are beginner level. I mean…should I even still be using WordPress?

For whatever reason, I cannot get to a place of being rested. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I can’t get to a good place. Last night Mr. Brickie only worked 2.5 hours because a furnace wasn’t cool enough and even with him being home puttering around all night my sleep was fragmented and of poor quality.

I wonder how long he’ll be working nights. I don’t like it at all. I am, however, willing to put up with it. As long as he’s working, that’s what matters. He just texted and is back to 12-hour shifts at least until the end of this week. Great for the bank account, less so for our emotional well-being. But you do what you have to do, right? I’m grateful he was given this opportunity and I’m grateful I am in a position where I can pick up the slack for the rest of the family.

Mortgage Update

I cannot tell you how happy I am not emotionally connected to this place. If I was, this would be an emotional roller coaster. We’re down to one thing needing to happen (a thing Mr. Brickie & I have no control over) and I think my mortgage guy asked me for fraudulent documents today. He was low key about it so I’m not super offended or anything but yeah, no thank you. If I don’t qualify for a mortgage then …. don’t give me one. I mean, I know the problem is our debt to income ratio because they’re going back far enough his five months off work with a busted wrist are included so his income is skewing low. If they deny us, I can pay off credit card debt and apply again in six months.

Part of me thinks he doesn’t like that we aren’t panting and huffing and freaking out about the whole thing. Maybe if we were puffing and hanting it would make the process go more quickly. I don’t know how mortgages and underwriting works so everything I have is a guess. I wonder what credentials you need to be a mortgage underwriter. It feels like something I’d be good at. I wonder how awful it would be to do the job for a couple years to gain an understanding of how it works. (Yes, I hate not knowing how things work enough I’d consider doing a job to learn.) Maybe there’s an online class at one of the free sites online where I could get the basics down. I’ll have to check later.

The seller isn’t going out of town after all, so whenever the information goes through electronically that will trigger the closing and we’ll have keys in three days.

Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being

A few months ago I came across a lovely group online that was doing this cool journaling exercise. For forty days the leader of the group would ask questions and the participants would write their daily affirmations and then answer the question of the day. I found it very helpful. I did two of these forty day rounds. The first one we had to pick something we wanted more of in life and I chose peace. My head felt like static all the time and I needed some clarity and quiet.

Forty days later my mind is so much more quiet. It worked beautifully. I still find myself doodling, “I create peace” when I’m writing to do lists or taking down notes. That’s my little affirmation. I came up with another one when we were focusing on intuition. I really hope the person who ran these goes back to running them. I think she should charge for them because she did more for me in 80 days (two rounds of the session) than I’ve gotten from years of on and off therapy. It won’t cure you if you have something real ailing you, but I’ve learned some great coping mechanisms that I’d never found in self-improvement books or textbooks. (It’s possible I was reading all the wrong stuff, though, who knows!)

I’ve decided to pick a word for 2019 to help focus. The beginning of a five-year plan has the least amount of stuff to do and tends to be a little….boring. A lot of doing the right thing, paying down the credit cards, paying ahead on the mortgage. Lots of not super fun things that take discipline but not a lot of time. In between budgeting and paying those things down and parenting and wifing I’ll have some time on my hands. If I have a focus word, I am more likely to think of it in those moments where I have a few moments and keep myself on the track I’d like to be on instead of spending too much time on social media!

It could take a year to fix up and focus all my social media as well as re-categorize and clean up the design of the blog but I’m not sure I want to devote a whole year to that.

Baby Steps Toward A Hobby

I’m going to sign up for Life Book 2019 through Willowing Arts and get my artistic groove on a bit next year.  (That is not an affiliate link.)

It seems to me I’ve spent a long time now fighting and clawing and scraping and saving the family from emergency after emergency. I’ve come up with so many solutions to so many problems. Now that we are in a more stable place I have to learn how to live without the constant fight or flight input. Calming my mind was a great start but I need something a little more active and meditative and art seems like a good place to start. Plus it’s just a little over a hundred dollars (after the 20% off discount for buying before December) for the WHOLE YEAR of lessons. Most art classes online are way more expensive and I’m nowhere near being able to spend a whole bunch of money on a hobby for myself. This class is a lovely baby step.

I’m grateful to even be able to consider a baby step like this Life Book course. Very grateful.

Back to the Word of the Year

I’m a little nervous about picking a word for the whole year, because I always have terrible luck with things like this. The first song I hear after the new year ball drops is always awful. It’s been Love Shack for two out of the last five years. Ugh.

Maybe I’m afraid to commit to a word or focus at all. I’m scared that committing to a word that isn’t budget or finance based will somehow jinx me back into a place full of stress and financial emergencies one after another.

To heck with it. My word for 2019 is CREATE

Even if it’s doodles. Even if it’s not pretty. Even if it’s black and white without a lick of color. Even if it’s embarrassing. Even if it looks nothing like what I hoped it would.

Budgeting Update

I have used YNAB (You Need A Budget) for about three years, now. It’s really helpful for knowing where your money is going. I was never great at coming up with categories, though. (Sidenote: I seem to have a problem with categorizing things in general. The blog. The budget. Huh. I should meditate on that or something.) Since we started the application process, however, everything has been on hold and I’ve avoided the budget like the plague. There is money in the checking account and I can’t spend it just in case we get the notice closing is in three days.

So I’m over here paying the minimums on all the credit cards and paying the bills the day before they’re due just to keep the daily balance as high as possible.

The mortgage guy is after us because although I’ve removed Mr. Brickie as an authorized user off all the credit cards, there are two still reporting to the credit bureaus. I could almost pay those cards off with the money in the checking account, but then I won’t have the money for closing. It’s a Catch-22 that only time will fix. Either the credit card companies will report that Mr. Brickie is off the cards and we can close or we will manage to save enough money I can pay off those two cards and we can close. Or it takes too long and they cancel the application. Or it takes too long and the seller pulls out. Or it takes too long and the interest rate skyrockets and WE walk away from the deal.

There are many possible outcomes but none of them involve action or planning by us.

So we wait.

I remember when I decided I’d never get emotional about a dwelling again. We were in Chicago visiting the pro bono lawyers that could possibly help us keep the house in Illinois we ended up foreclosing on. A lovely, young lawyer explained what we would have to do and how much money it would cost to fight to keep the house. It was an extensive amount of both time and money. I asked the lawyer, “Why would anyone do all that instead of just walking away?” The lawyer replied, “People have generations of memories in these houses. They’ll do anything to keep it.”

I had this moment where I was reminded I’m not like other people. I don’t get attached to things the way other people do. I mean, there are a few things I haven’t thrown away but I keep them in a bin on a shelf in the basement. Things are things. A house is sticks and bricks and nothing I ever want to be in love with. A house cannot love you back. I’m not giving one ounce of my energy or worry to the process of buying another one.

The only reason I was emotional at all about moving out of the house in Illinois it was worry for the children. Then I realized I didn’t want them to be attached to a pile of sticks and bricks, either, and the best way to do that was to find joy in moving. It was creative re-framing, for sure, but it is not wrong. I want my kids to prioritize people over things. Experiences over stuff. Not to the extreme that I do, but enough to get weird looks from people now and then would be a good gauge they’re doing it right.

Trains, Courthouses, and Exhaustion Beyond Coffee


This morning we took the little one and hopped the train and went downtown.

We really had no idea what we were in for.

Armed with a messenger bag full of tax returns, paperwork, and electronics for the preschooler (that, seriously, you know she never touched, right?) we trekked off on our train adventure.

Lucky for us, most of the rush hour passengers are gone by the time we got there for our 8:11am train. We were able to score seats across from each other and the little one sat on our laps – trading off whenever she got a little bored – during the journey. I knew we were keeping her indoor voice going strong when people leaving the train stopped to tell me how adorable she was. She ate it up and always said, “Thank you.” which made them melt.

She’s going to be dangerous, this one.

We got off the train at Millennium Station and decided we were going to try and get to our destination via the Pedway, so we wouldn’t have to spend extra money on a taxi.

Since we aren’t moles, we totally got turned around and walked for like five blocks underground before starting to get freaked out and feeling like maybe we’d never see daylight again. We saw a staircase that said Washington Street and were like, “Sunlight! Yea! It can’t be worse out there than it is down here!”  Also, I might have been having a problem with my very friendly daughter talking to every single homeless person underground. I didn’t stop her because they’re human and deserving of interaction because it has to be hard being invisible while hundreds of people swarm by. It still made me mildly uncomfortable, though, in the same way it would if she were talking to pretty much anyone else in the Pedway. She just happened to engage with the people who were sitting (more on her level) talking to the crowd (she’s really responsive) or playing music (because that’s pretty cool). Basically, she was interacting with the most social people in the city and while I wasn’t about to stop her we had an appointment and I couldn’t let her get sucked into a half hour conversation with anyone.

The Helper and the Lawyer

The first place we went was to Legal Aid across from the Daley Center. They were super nice and we went upstairs and filled out some forms and were introduced to a very nice lady (who shall remain nameless for privacy purposes) who collected and scanned all the documents we brought while telling us her life story. Okay, not her life story.

She told us about her condo. She lived at her condo for 17 years and then she lost her job. After she fell for a couple scams and finally got help, she ended up with a new 30-year mortgage and a payment that was higher than before. So after 17 years, she has made less than no headway. She decided she wanted to work for a company that made sure that didn’t happen to other people.

I’m not sure why, but this did not leave me feeling either inspired or hopeful. It left me sad. We filled out many more forms, found out that we were supposed to bring in 2012 W-2 forms but everything else was scanned and accounted for.

Our next stop was to talk to the lawyer.

She was in her twenties if she was a day. I mean, this girl was young. Not only was she young but she was at Legal Aid (that means pro bono) wearing some of the most expensive clothing I have ever seen. Cream colored cable knit sweater, black tights, and gold ballet flats. She was business causal in a way that I have only seen in catalogs. She was also very direct and on point.

She walked us through what happened up until we got there, what will happen next, and gave us a timeline.

She said two things that caught me off guard:

1. She flat out asked me what I wanted. When I asked her to be a little more specific, she said, “I want to know if your goal is to stay in your home or stay in your home as long as possible until you are foreclosed on.” Oh! “I can tell you that?” Yep. So I told her I was on the fence. Staying would be easier but I’m not going to be in a situation where I pay more just for the privilege of not having to move.

2. She told me if the car was sold outright for less than it was worth, the mortgage company could legally come after me for the difference. I asked, “I thought with FHA that didn’t happen.” She said it did. Mr. Brickie asked, “Isn’t that what mortgage insurance is for?” She said, “I don’t know how mortgage insurance works, I’m trying to inform you of your rights and responsibilities.

So I was confused because every resource and every lawyer and even people who ask questions on the Dave Ramsey show hear that if you have an FHA loan, no one comes after you for the difference.

She handed me a piece of paper to take over to the Daley Center and submit at the clerk’s office.

I asked if I could ask her one little question. Her mouth said yes but dang if her eyes said no. I ignored the eyes and asked, “Has anyone ever chosen to keep their home for a reason that was not emotional? Is it ever a better decision financially – from what you have seen – to fight for and keep the house?”

It took ten minutes but she finally got to the point and said, “No. The reasons are always emotional. Well, that and your credit rating but even with that your credit rating is hurt almost as much by a short sale or a deed-in-lieu than a full-on foreclosure.”

Well, crap.

To the Daley Center


Yes, he IS looking at you. In case you were wondering. That’s our famous Daley Center Picasso. Or, “The Horsey” to pretty much any kid on earth.

On our way in Mr. Brickie has a minor meltdown because it’s a courthouse in Chicago and we have cell phones and headphones and the LeapPad and he’s thinking we’re never getting past security. I completely ignore him because I’m too practical to engage in that kind of paranoid, right? I walk up to the nearest security person (police officer?) and ask if cell phones and everything else will be a problem getting through security. I even showed her my FitBit (I’m pretty sure she’s going to buy one now, you are very welcome Fitbit company) to make sure it’s not going to make me look suspicious.

Everything was fine and we sailed through security.

The lawyer gave us a sheet with floors and room numbers so we knew right where to go. The first place was on the 28th floor and we now know that DD freaks out on elevators. The More you Know™ right? We turned in our fee waiver and the judge signed it. We took the whole shebang down to the filing room and got everything turned in.

Next Steps

We got back to the train station with a little less than a half hour until our 1:30pm train left. DD ate the cake pop I bought her at some Starbucks along the way. I’m not usually a food reward kind of mom, but she was as perfect as a four year old could possibly be all day. Polite, engaging, friendly … if she had wanted a pony instead of a cake pop I might have tried to make it happen. I was so proud of her.

We have another copy of the answer to the foreclosure and I just have to mail it to the  law office handling the foreclosure for our mortgage company.

If we don’t choose to keep the house, that piece of paper is going to give us an extra 4-6 months of being in the house on top of what we already have. If we do choose to keep the house, it lets us become more financially solvent so we can pay mortgage payments. A complete win-win.

You might be wondering why I haven’t already mailed that piece of paper since I’ve been on the ball this whole time. Funny story…I sat down after I got home and immediately fell asleep. Not a quick nap, either. I woke up with my mouth hanging open with drool all over the place. I was exhausted!

I wanted to update you first, so I wrote this as soon as I woke up. After I hit “Publish” I’m going to fill out an envelope and go mail that letter to the lawyer.

Tomorrow? The follow up phone call with NACA. We have two companies we are going to use to get us through this mess. That’s two better than zero, for sure.

Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the emails, comments, posts, and notes with warm wishes. Knowing I’m not all alone in the world makes this so much easier to deal with.

Really….thank you.