Friday, June 15, 2012


as some of you know, my husband and i both lost our jobs and therefore our condo in oregon in september of 2011. although it sounds sad, i'm here to tell you ultimately why it's been great. don't get me wrong, at the time and for months afterward, it hurt like hell and i wanted to get revenge on anyone who had wronged me, but in hindsight, i'm happier than i've been in a long time and i learned a lot about myself. here's the long and the short of it...

first of all, i had to let go of thinking of all that we'd lost: our jobs, our community of friends and neighbors, the roof over our heads and probably the hardest of them all, the life savings we had put in as a down payment on the condo. $50,000. yeah, ouch! it was a lovely condo, but it was much too big for just the two of us. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths spread out over 3 floors, way more than we needed. when we purchased it, we bought that large thinking it would be good for resale, well, we know how that turned out. so, here we were, no jobs, no savings, huge student loans from putting my husband through school and feeling like we'd hit bottom. thankfully, we have amazing family who welcomed us back into california and their homes.

we took up residence in a room in my in-laws house for 6 months. we were going from 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths with a garage and a lovely view off our balcony, to one room and a shared bathroom, but, we were thankful to have it. those 6 months were hard, losing our independence, visiting our stuff periodically in storage just to remember we actually had a life at some point, and all the while still paying $275.00/month for HOA fees and $30.00/month for condo insurance.

we had opted to just walk away from the condo thinking that trying to even short sell would take too long, we needed to get back to california to get our life going again, we didn't have time to waste. we started the deed-in-lieu of foreclosure process with bank of america because we left the condo in pristine condition and the quicker we could get out from under it, the quicker we'd be free of paying those ongoing monthly fees. we had gotten to the point of getting an appraisal and bofa sold the loan to someone called green tree. oh God, now we had to start all over. all the back taxes, bank statements, monthly bills, letters begging them to just take the damn thing back from us was all for naught. it felt like getting kicked in the stomach all over again.

so, what can you do? we started all over again... this time we got a couple more months into it and i get a call from fannie mae saying that all the work i had done this second time was again for naught, that i should actually be dealing directly with them. are you kidding me? we're trying to give you a condo, people. it's clean, it's beautiful, it's got stainless steel appliances and laminate floors and you're going to get back at least what we owe, if not more. why must you drag it out and torture us like this?

so, i started all the paperwork for the 3rd time and waited, and called, and waited. shortly after i sent in the 3rd set of paperwork, green tree called and wondered why fannie mae was involved. now, i was dealing with 2 companies who were not communicating with each other, yet each of them said i had to deal with them. i almost gave up, i really did. i almost didn't send in anymore HOA checks and just waited for them to garnish my wages for the rest of my life. i did call the insurance company to see if i could at least lower that. the man on the other end was really nice and had a whole story about how his sister was going through the same thing so he was going to get my payments down to $18.00/month, but encouraged me not to cancel it just in case a pipe burst or something inside the condo because, of course, it had happened to one of his clients before. i fell for it. the next bill i got was for the same amount as before i called and talked to this nice man who really cared about me and my situation, yeah right. so, i called back telling them the whole story again. this time they were going to look into it and have someone call me back to get it straightened out. i never got a call, instead i got a letter saying that they could no longer insure the condo because there was no one living in it. on the plus side, i didn't have to pay them anymore, but on the negative side, i had to have insurance for the deed-in-lieu to be processed, otherwise, they were going to make us pay through their selected insurance company for much more than we were paying. damned if you do...

in the meantime, the house next to my folks was finally being taken back by the bank. the neighbors had lived there for over 2 years without making a payment, however, they had bought new cars and gone on trips and lots of fun stuff. when the bank finally did take it back, they did it through a program called cash for keys where the bank said, if you leave the home in resalable condition, we'll pay all your moving fees, the fees to set up your utilities, first and last on your new apartment, etc. wow. cool. we were leaving our place in re-salable condition, i didn't see why we wouldn't get the same deal. i talked to fannie mae about it and they said to bring it up once the dee-in-lieu was complete. so, we waited and we called and we waited...

that brings us to the end of february when we got a letter saying that we had been approved for the deed-in-lieu. praise God. it was all coming to a close. there were, however, conditions. we had to be up to date on our HOAs and on our property taxes. thankfully, we had ben paying those damn HOA fees all along so we didn't have to worry about that, but we did, in order for them to take back this beautiful condo from us, have to send them a check for almost $2,000 for back property taxes. ok, well, here was my chance to ask about the cash for keys program. how could they say no? we were fine upstanding citizens that went about everything the right way. wrong. when i asked, the lady on the line was surprised and asked how i had even heard of this program. i told her i knew some people that did it and that the fannie mae people had told me to ask for it. she put me on hold and came back on the line to tell me, nope, if you leave your home willingly they won't give you crap. if they have to force you out, they will pay you. screwed again. so the moral of the story here was if you do everything the right way you get wronged? wow. i was flabbergasted. at that point a weaker person would have decided to go the low road... i however, maintained. at least this nightmare was over and we could start to rebuild.

by the end of march things were improving. my husband was now working and we decided it was time to find an apartment. we found a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in a beautiful park-like complex 1 mile from the beach. getting 3 bedrooms of stuff into a 1 bedroom apartment has been a challenge, but it has been so worth it. we have our kitties back (they were staying about 70 miles away with my folks cause my in-laws are allergic) we have better neighbors than we ever had in the condo and we have a trailhead at the end of our street that leads into the wetlands. i've learned a few things about myself through all of this. 1. family is everything, without them who knows where we'd be. 2. less is more, i have all the things that really matter, my husband and our cats, the rest is really just stuff. 3. even when times were tough and i felt we were being treated wrongly, we were still able to keep our integrity and that's important. life may not be fair, but at the end of the day you have to look yourself in the mirror. be proud of who you are regardless of how you've been treated.


  1. Wow, I had no idea how much run around you were getting! I'm so glad it's over and that things are starting to settle. When you get a chance (and hopefully when we unpack some) we'd love to get together and have a few drinks and just hang out.

    Love you and miss you lots.

  2. I love your ending. Amen!
    I'm sorry you had to go through all this, but I also believe in karma. You conducted yourselves in the proper manner. The universe will respond in kind.

    1. thank you! i'm so excited you have a blog! i'm going to go read it <3