Friday, August 13, 2010

The Fall from Grace

I was shocked at how quickly I went from being sort of in a "protected" status to receiving the autodialer "pay or die" calls. I spoke to the bank' s Escalation department on Wednesday. They told me they'd work with me if I paid $9,000. I told them I couldn't do it and they said, You realize this will cancel the Loan Mod process? Yes. Send me to foreclosure. The next morning at 8:04 a.m., the autodialer calls from Collections started.

I actually received a loan modification via Fedex on December 31, 2009. I signed it and returned it immediately and made my first payment as agreed on February 1, 2010.

Unfortunately -- for me or the bank, I'm not sure which -- made an error and sent me a loan modification that had not been approved by the investor, Freddie Mac. More unfortunately -- this time for the bank and for a boatload of other homeowners -- the batch that got "approved" included at least some of the 9,000 other people who were in that batch.

I learned this from the Executive Office of the President of the Bank only after a very long and difficult series of phone calls.

It seemed like a good thing, to get the Executive Office of the President involved. I felt like it was divine inspiration that one day, I googled on foreclosure blogs and found the number of how to contact the President of the Bank. They had clearly done something unconscionable, to dangle the prize in front of me and then to yank it away, and they knew it was their mistake. But even they kept dropping the ball, they had no real power to resolve my situation, and they often didn't do what they said they would do. But having someone I thought was "in power" gave me hope for the last six months.

You know, it's possible that the Lord's intent was merely to assure me that every avenue had been covered... and to give me time to get a few more things in order, especially my faith. My faith in the month before this happened grew in monumental ways, helping me to be stronger and better able to deal with this. I also had a miraculous change in a chronic pain condition where I've been almost pain-free for two months. I had time to research my options. Those things all make a difference.

Nevertheless, this stuff is not easy to go through -- Bad things do happen to good people. It was a pretty deep hole I dropped into on Wednesday, when I hung up the phone after talking to the bank. I'd had an abysmal day at the office, anyway, and had spent two hours after work listening to an extremely troubled employee on the team. My spirits were very, very low.

But I'd known this day was possible, even likely, and even though the bank has done inexplicable and immoral things, the fact is, I'm seriously behind on my mortgage and money is the bottom line.

So I went home, got on my knees, and asked the Lord to forgive me and to give me the courage and the strength to bear up under the burden. I went to bed early, slept fitfully, and the next day, put one foot in front of the other and carried on.

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