Tuesday, April 26, 2011

we're going to stop paying our mortgage

i feel awful. the other week, i was sick to my stomach just THINKING about foreclosing.

on one hand, i need to be free of this house that weighs me down. it's like a fucking anchor in the sea of life, and if i do not cut free from it, it will literally pull me under the waves and laugh as i drown.

this house is killing me.

i can sit here and tell you that i never should have done it. never should have bought it, but none of that matters. doesn't matter what i should have done, or could have done... the point is, i did buy the house. and now i need to unbuy it. that would be cool- an unbuy option. money back guarantee. someone invent that. tomorrow.

anyway.. when i think about being free from this burden (and trust me when i tell you that my shoulders carry the weight of this burden and they are only so strong), it feels good. i am certain that at some point, i will feel immense relief from being out from under this. at some point.

because when i think about NOT paying my mortgage anymore... you know, willingly and knowingly NOT paying my mortgage anymore...well, that makes me want to throw up. it makes me feel horrible. like everything inside me gets twisted up like a fork twisting spaghetti.

i think it's because that's not the kind of person i am. i don't just NOT pay for things. i don't skip on my credit card bills, or car payments, or any payments. i pay for my shit. and i pay it on time. hence the shining gold star credit rating i currently have.. and will soon lose. because i am choosing to save myself, instead of drown.

i think i just want it out there that this decision, no matter how right it is for me, and how much sense it makes financially... has been one of the toughest decisions i've ever had to make. and even though i know that getting out from under this house will be the best thing for our family, the actual process of DOING that (instead of just thinking about it) is so unbelievably hard.

it is one thing to talk about what we should do. it is another to actually start doing it.

you all know that we've tried to work with the bank. apparently having a mortgage that is 61% of our current gross monthly income is perfectly acceptable and not worthy of a loan modification. last week i read more things than i can even understand about short sales, home loan mods, what crooks the banks are, foreclosure, credit scores, etc. it all boils down to the simple fact that the banks make more money foreclosing on your home, than they do working with you to modify your loan, or accomodating a short sale. i know that doesn't seem like it makes any sense, but it's the truth. THE BANKS MAKE MORE MONEY IF THEY FORECLOSE ON YOUR HOME. hence, they don't give a shit if that's exactly what happens to you.

so we've decided that come next month, we will no longer be making our mortgage payments. the thing is, we're making them now- but it's at the cost of our property taxes and home owners insurance. if we were get either of those bills in the next month or so, we'd have NO money to pay them. i'd like to think that once we stop paying, the bank will work with us, but i've read far too many horror stories online to know that it's more than likely, not the case. they make more money if we foreclose, remember?

i don't know what's going to happen, but i'm sure it won't be pretty. this totally sucks.


IzzyMom said...

If they won't work with you then the banks really aren't leaving you any other options. There is no shame in doing what you have to do, J. You tried, you made a good faith effort and they don't care so whatever. Do it and stay there as long as you can. I know losing a pristine credit rating hurts...I'd hate to lose mine so we stay in this house in which we are $60,000 underwater (and growing everyday) but in 7 years your credit will be clean right? The agony you're going through is not worth it. Don't let them take your happiness and self-respect...I assure you your foreclosure is not causing any of those bastards to one second of sleep.

mom2nji said...

I 100% agree with Izzymom. My dad is debating the same thing right now. In Florida at least it is taking YEARS to foreclose. In that time you can save a large chunk of what you would have been paying and buy another house!

PrincessJenn said...

What an awful decision to have to make. But you did try to work with the bank. The fact that the bank doesn't see a mortgage that takes up over 61% of your available income as an issue is beyond disturbing. They're forcing people into these terrible decisions... especially terrible because people WANT to keep paying their mortgage. Ugh.
It's too bad there aren't regulations in place to force banks to work with you.
What about refinancing thru another bank/company and transferring the mortgage? Is that even a possibility where you are?

Alison said...

So what happens now? Do you stay until they force you out? Do you start looking for a place to rent before your credit is ruined? I wish you didn't have to do this. The reality is, we'd be in the same situation if one of us lost our job. We need both incomes to live here---we can totally do it just fine and comfortably with both of us working, but if one of us wasn't? No can do.

Anyway, don't feel bad. You're not the only one facing foreclosure in this day and age!

Table4Five said...

I've been there. We not only stopped paying our mortgage, we filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy too. We worked with a lawyer, and it was the scariest thing we've ever done, but when you are in a situation where you can't make the payments and the bank won't work with you, you have to get out. Ours was in 2001.

If you want to email me or chat on Gmail or on the phone, just let me know. Any time.

SUEB0B said...

I'm sorry it sucks so much. I suppose there is small comfort in knowing that so many other people are in the same boat. You still rock.

Beth said...

What a tough call to make, but not really. At 61% of your income, you're the people they (the amorphous, unidentifiable they) are supposed to be helping. I'm both sad and relieved for you. A friend of mine went through this. It wasn't fun. She didn't enjoy it. But you should see her smile now that she's out the other side. I pray the same weight is lifted from you.

Kimberly said...

SHORT SALE, SHORT SALE, SHORT SALE!!! Seriously. It will hurt your credit WAY less, and for a MUCH shorter period of time, like 2 years instead of 7. Look into it... I can get you hooked up with a realtor if you want... my sister is an agent with Chase and she can refer you to a short-sale specialist where you are. Let me know...
Sorry... it does, it totally sucks. I hated the feeling of willfully not making our mortgage payment anymore. I felt like, we agreed, signed on the dotted line, etc... but sometimes you just have to cut bait and do what's best for your family.
Short sell. Look into it. :)

Nyt said...

What a difficult decision. Here in Illinois, it's taking close to a year for many foreclosures. Since you are current as of right now, I would encourage you to try a different bank for a complete re-fi. If your LTV is upside down, you'll still end up owing, but you'll save your credit score. The next best option is a short sale.

I know you're hurt and angry, but don't believe for a minute that the banks are making a fortune from foreclosing on people. They're not. My dad has been a bank director for years, and I promise you, foreclosures cost. The bank becomes liable for property taxes along with depreciation on a decaying property. Add that to the money you owe along with legal costs and you start to see that it's not quite a winner for the banks... Big banks have more resources to absorb these expenses, but it still costs.

Now for the last of my happy stuff (am I a downer or what?) Here in Illinois, banks are starting to go after "walkers". They're looking to attach wages, investments and income tax refunds. Because it's a new thing, no one really knows if they'll lift these judgments once the property is off their books, but in the mean time, it has the potential to affect more than just a credit score. It may hamper your ability to get another job, and if it extends long enough, it may effect financial aid for college.

All that business stuff aside, you have to do what you have to do to protect your family and your sanity. I wish you and your family the best of luck.

ster said...

nyt... your comment just scared the fuck out of me. not the coming after me part, but the financial aid for college (blake) part.

didn't even think about that.

i'm going to throw up now. lol

ster said...

and thanks everyone- it's freaking AWFUL. i hate everything about it. and the shittiest part? after literally TRYING TO WORK day in and day out with bank of america for OVER an entire year- i'm exhausted and beat. the thought of trying to do MORE, is like.. are you kidding?! this past year was such a hassle. all the paperwork, the headaches, the lies, the different answers each time you spoke to someone on the phone, the not returned emails, the not returned phone calls, the refilling and refilling out of paperwork.. the "oops, your forms have been sitting here for the past 45 days. just sitting here. sorry." ... all of the bullshit.. it wasn't worth it in the end. at all.

so the thought of doing it all again? fuck that. lol i wonder if that's part of their plan. wear people down so they don't want to do anything anymore because they're so worn out from the initial attempts?!

so yes- i guess the plan is to stop paying (we have to., or we will be in A LOT Of financial trouble down the road- not to mention taht my unemployment will run out soon, then we literally will have NO money for this mortgage.. at all) maybe once we default they will be inclined to work with us? don't know.

will definitely look into a short sale. it's just that this house is SO upside down- not worth what we paid for it... by probably 100k.. and if i was house shopping, i wouldn't buy this fucking house, so i find it hard to believe that someone would. but we can try. it's worth it to try.

the american "dream" is no longer a dream, but a nightmare. home ownership is not what it once was. at least not in this state.

Kimberly said...

We are underwater by at least $100K or probably closer to $150K... as most homes in this area are (probably yours, too...) that's exactly the type of home to short-sell. The banks would MUCH rather write off a loss of that amount than have to take ownership of the whole thing in a foreclosure. Get a good agent who specializes in short sale /foreclosure. It's a VERY viable option. :) ((hugs))

Alison said...

Rather than stop paying altogether, why don't you pay what you can? If you can only afford $1000 this month, send it. That's how you're going to get their help. Paying nothing is going to be so bad for your credit in the long run.

Ericka said...

ugh. i'm sorry.

if you end up short selling, make sure to get in writing that you will not owe the difference. i read something about banks waiting YEARS for people to get back on their feet and then hitting them with huge amounts (plus interest).

Grand Pooba said...

Well sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do! Don't get me started on Banks!

P.S. You should come enter my giveaway for a $50 Target GC! It's for a good cause!

I know this won't help you with your mortgage but maybe it could put a little smile on your face?

Beth said...

Been there done that wore the t shirt. Homeownership is not for the timid or faint of heart.
Let it go and move on. They cant repo your pride.

Interesting said...

I read this and thought of you:


"Not always easy or possible to pick up and move where the jobs are. Sometimes you make the best decision you can at the time and can't predict how things will change. Sometimes it's still a good home and worth keeping even if there are problems."

Christina said...

So what happened!??? It's been a few months and i'm online searching for what we need to do.. leaning toward short sale.. but would love to know what happened in your case which is just like ours is now.

Did you stop paying insurance on the house to??? did the insurance company bill you or???

any experience youc an share would be great! Thank you!!

ster said...

christina.. you're right! i'll post an update asap! BUT, we did stop paying. we looked into a short sale, but then decided against it until we REALLY need too go that route. (we want to save money for as long as possible)... definitely DO NOT stop paying your insurance. we are not paying our property taxes. you can always email me for more info- jenn@jennster.com anytime.. would be happy to talk to you! good luck

Justin said...

any update?

ster said...

hi justin- we literally JUST GOT a notice of default in the mail the other day. so i guess we have 90 days until our house goes on auction? i'm not really sure... it sucks though!

Justin said...

we stopped paying in sept. we were a half a percent (0.5%) short of qualifying for HAMP. Provident recently rejected a short sale offer as "net proceeds insufficient to approve". offered 200K on our original 417K of which we still owe 333K. buyer has increased to 220K. keeping our fingers crossed. then received last week around the same time a letter from some debt collector law firm Cooper Castle. we will see. thanks for sharing.