The announced National Mortgage Relief will help many Americans struggling to save homes from foreclosure, but for many of us who lost homes to foreclosure and short sales, this relief is too little to late. While certain Americans will be compensated a small amount, people such as me, will remain forgotten, credit destroyed and the frustration of trial and failure for help in retaining our homes.
My home was neither fancy nor huge, but a modest 1300 square feet in a new development outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. My home was the only home I owned and at fifty years old I was excited to have my own driveway and address. I had plans and dreams for my little piece of heaven until my job suddenly ended in August, 2007 and my finances went spiralling downward.
I worked with a realtor to try and immediately sell my home, a painful but realistic economic decision. Unfortunately, at this same moment the real estate market took that dreadful downward swing and with new houses offered at prices lower than my original price paid, no one was interested. My realtor quit after six months of trying without success to sell the house.
In December I exhausted my savings and knew with unemployment money, living in the house was no longer an option. Although I had contacted both Aurora Loan Services and Washington Mutual, I got a constant run around of either they never received my papers or I was denied. I called and spoke with an army of people, many sympathetic but in the end still had no relief.
My first foreclosure notice was frightening and painful. After many years of working I felt a complete failure unable to pay my mortgage. I moved back to Texas because the stress of worrying about a sheriff suddenly appearing and putting me out in the street was making me ill. In 2008, my monies owed continued to increase as late payment fees etc were added. Another realtor contacted me with the proposal for a short sale when my attempts to do something to save my home failed. She had a buyer who would buy the house leaving me perhaps eight thousand in the rear.
I contacted both Aurora and Washington Mutual about this buyer who was already prequalified under a special homeowner program but we had a two month deadline. Well, Washington Mutual worked with us, but Aurora stalled, lost the paperwork several times until finally I had to send the paperwork registered and the loan fell through because Aurora was not diligent in a timely response.
During this time I talked to many people at Aurora about help, options or any advice, but they did NOTHING to help me. A second sudden short sale came up, but now the monies owed increased substantially. Now I am out thousands and thousands of dollars and property values have depressed across the area. Again this sale fell through and I became despondent.
A miracle third short sale came up and the paperwork trail for the realtor and me was a horrible nightmare that God knows the realtor was a true trooper here. We sent, resent, faxed, refaxed documents to Aurora and finally at the eleventh hour the short sale went through. Was I relieved,no. I was angry and frustrated because of ALL the damage to myself and my credit. Anyway, from the short sale, I am not totally clear about one point. They satisfied their total loan which was 120 thousand dollars, and ALL their costs except for approximately 8 thousand sent to me on a 1099 form. I also read that because this was a short sale, Aurora could go to the federal government and be reimbursed for monies lost as well.
Washington Mutual now owned by Chase was not so lucky. They took 5 thousand to allow the sale to take place. The rest of that loan is in limbo because they never had me sign anything to say I would be responsible for the remainder of the loan and said it was for payment on the second loan. However, I checked with Chase and found this loan is still active and growing as payments so I have no idea what to do with this but feel this whole situation has been part of my long term unemployed nightmare.
I will never own a home again because of this financial and unemployment fiasco. So much for my American dream, but I am happy for those people who can hold onto their American dreams and homes. I hope this is but one small positive step for Americans who are battered and weary from the financial nightmare of foreclosures, unemployment and failed government policies and actions.