My Housing Crisis

 

The saga continues…   but let us first recap.

 

Back in May we received word that the owner of our home was foreclosed upon and that we were now tenants of Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac   (not sure which, as both were referenced).

We were made an offer.   Surrender the keys for cash, or agree to stay on under a month-to-month rental agreement until such time as the house is sold and new ownership takes over.

This was May-ish of 2010.   (We actually had known since November 2009 the foreclosure was coming.)   We opted to remain on under a month-to-month.   So begins the evaluation of the property.   They can’t legally rent to us unless the house is in a rentable condition.    What that really translates too in our circumstances is whether or not the house is up to applicable building codes to be occupiable in the first place.

So the real estate guy shows up and does his inspection.    Two separate electricians come by to do their bids (the electrical does need to be brought up to date to legally allow the house to be rented… is our understanding of the situation though albeit an unconfirmed one).

Time passes and we’re left in this waiting pattern.    Its indicated to us once the evaluation is all said and done we will likely result in a lower per-month rent due to market conditions.

Well in September another letter is supposed to be sent to us, though we don’t get it until about Mid-October…    this one gives us the same offer as the one we had in May, just with the dates updated.     Cash for keys, or stay on under a month-to-month.

We figured it was a mistake, given how they had totally dropped the ball the first time (prompting the second electrician to come by for his bid) and it was just a paper-work mixup.   Nevertheless we call to find out… only to be told the person we need to talk to isn’t available but they’ll take a message and have them call us.

A month later, we’ve still not been able to get in touch with the person we need to talk too.

Last Friday, I hear some noise on my porch and swing open the door to find… an eviction notice taped to it.    If we’re bona fide tenants we now have until mid-February to vacate.

What about the cash for keys?   What about our month-to-month renting?   What’s going on?!

So we call them to find out.   Actually get put through to someone this time.   She claims ignorance about the previous calling and need to return phone calls to us.

She claims to not understand why our second letter in this still listed the month-to-month option.   

Apparently the house is not eligible to be rented… We were told there was a cap they had on the amount they were willing to spend to keep the place in a ready-to-rent state.    Our guess is that the electrical situation comes out over that cap.    They’re not very forthcoming with the details…

We find this out only last Friday… a week before the new set of deadlines on this cash-for-keys offer.

“Wouldn’t you have called to find out what was going on?” she asks…    “Um, yeah, as I just explained we called the day we received the letter.   We reached out to you at the earliest possible moment and have been waiting for one of you to call us back ever since.”

“Well what do you want me to do?”

“Treat me with fairness.”     (Duh!)

Well apparently the cash-for-keys offer has now been extended out until 12/19, at a reduced rate.

Not quite fair-treatment, but better than nothing I guess.       In this country, experience shows, its considered fair treatment if you totally fail to do your job.

The level of incompetence this law firm has demonstrated is astonishing.    I sure wouldn’t want them representing my interests.  They can’t even document something as simple as phone calls and who needs a return call placed.

They’re all to aware of when they send you correspondence, but apparently have no clue what is actually in that correspondence   (the second cash-for-keys/month-to-month offer which apparently should not have included the month-to-month offer)

Yeah.  I’d name names, but we know how people handle being called out on their crap… and I don’t need to be harassed by a law-firm who would prefer I not share my honest experience with their firm, lest it encourage you to seek representation elsewhere.

 

The thing that really upsets me about it is not that I’ve had to have this experience.   Having to move isn’t all that big a deal… we knew it was a possibility and have prepared ourselves mentally for it for a year now…

No, what upsets me… what makes me downright sad… is the house itself.     There are only two people on this earth who seem to care about it… the people living there now and being forced to abandon it.

Abandon it!   The very thought.    Gabe has lived there some nine years now, through at least three owners.    He’s put so much work into the place, its astonishing.    Everyone always comments on what a nice pad we have.    He turned a badly neglected house into a warm and inviting home.

But it needs some work that is beyond our fiscal means… and has no real owner.    Now the caretakers are being told to vacate.    The house will sit, empty, as does half the houses in my neighborhood.    It needs weatherizing to prevent a mold/mildew incursion.   It won’t be done and we won’t be able to live there to defend it against such incursion.     By the end of this winter the house will be in some serious decay.    This will just reduce its value further, and make it more expensive to actually do anything with once it does find a buyer.

The damning thing about it… the ‘owners,’  Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, want Uncle Sam to bail them out some more.    Yet they have assets (I’m living in one) that they could be collecting some money on… but are declining to do so  (because my rent now has to go to someone else).      They’d rather let the asset sit vacant, be vandalized, and literally rot instead.      The value of that asset has decreased under their watch.

Why should we give them any more of our tax dollars?    

I tell ya, the whole situation gives me a first-hand accounting of just how piss-poor a job they are doing managing their assets.   Its no wonder their business is failing and needs taxpayer support to prop it up.

Shame the law firms they employ do a piss-poor job themselves.

2 Replies to “My Housing Crisis”

  1. I can imagine the torment of what you’re going through. It’s also a shame that you can’t find the financial means to buy the house outright, especially since you both have put a lot of work into the house! There is SOOOOOO much property which is bank-owned right now simply because the banks couldn’t even FATHOM taking a small loss on principal to make a majority of it back in future cash flows. Also the fact that they refuse to extend loan terms. Seems to me that it makes financial sense to offer the house to people like yourselves at a below-market rate in order to gain near-full returns as opposed to having the homes degenerate over 6 months and having to sell it for….. the same reduced price they could have unloaded it for 6 months ago….

    I guess I just don’t know the systems as well as these brilliant CEO’s of the companies. I thought making money was the bank’s business, not owning property…. I must be wrong.

    1. Yeah… it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me either.

      There are some compelling reasons on why it is a house to avoid buying… though if it came up for auction i’d be interested in it… lets just say there are hidden costs of ownership that would make paying full market price a bad idea.

      Oh well, if anyone knows of affordable rental properties that are dog-friendly… hit me up.

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