Thank you for your prayers, friends!
After the call from the bank this morning, I called my dad in Las Vegas, who sold real estate and invested in rentals for many years. He lost everything twice, in the prior two recessions. He knows a thing or two about foreclosures, to say the least.
The facts are:
- Paying partial payments means nothing to the bank. They'll take every penny they can get--meaning they'll pocket your partial payments, but still move forward with foreclosure. Partial payments also won't get any fees waived or stopped. Penalties can get very high, and without paying them, your mortgage holder won't put you in good standing, even if you start making your full mortgage payment again. They'll proceed with foreclosure for these unpaid penalties.
- It is better for the homeowner to stop paying the mortgage so that some money will be reserved for moving expenses and for renting a house or apartment should the home ultimately be lost. Continuing to pay--if you're really in trouble--is a gamble. Wait and pay it all at once if you think you will have a sufficient resource in the future.
- It takes one year, usually, before you are actually evicted.
- My cousin in California--a custom landscaping businessman with a nice house and large mortgage--starting going broke over a year ago. The bank wouldn't work with him because the recession got so bad where he lived, that he didn't make enough money to qualify for a workout agreement. He didn't lose hope however, and started making partial payments when he could no longer make full payments. Business never picked up, and despite being talented in many handyman areas, (including building houses) he couldn't make enough money to make ends meet.
He just moved to Ohio a month ago, to reside with his parents, a year after foreclosure status started. He is in his early fifties and married. They walked away from the house before they were evicted. He lost all his partial payment money. He couldn't sell the house because it had lost too much value.
After my dad explained all that to me, I decided we had to borrow the $2000 dollars we needed to become current--from my family, since husband's father never responded. Like many homeowners, we hadn't fully understood how it all worked. All pride aside, the kids needed us to take this step before the penalties and fees became unmanageable. Now that husband has the second part-time job, we can make full payments again. My mother and step-dad are taking the money out of savings to help us, and we will pay them back in February with tax-credit money.
All in all, I am relieved, even though borrowing money is one of the worst things I can think of--especially from my family, who are not Christians. It seems like (to them) that God isn't answering prayers--that he is not providing. Or at least I wonder if this is what they think. They don't actually have any faith in God, but I'm sure they must reevaluate that, as most non-Christians do, when life throws different things at them.
It's so hard to understand His plan, isn't it? Some matters are so complicated it's hard to see how he is gloried through it all.
Somehow, I hope all this leads to saving faith for my parents. I sure don't see how, but I trust Him with the details.
Here is an update on Daisy, the cancer patient about whom I previously linked here.