Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some Good News

It's about time.

-The house closing is official.  In the mail the other day, we received a notice from our mortgage company.  We've probably gotten a full tree's worth of mail from them in the last year, always listing everything we owe.  Se when we opened it, we weren't expecting anything new.  But surprisingly, it was nearly blank.  The only thing of importance that it said was, "Loan paid in full."  Can I tell you what a relief those words bring?!

-Our minivan is getting fixed as I write this.  After some haggling with the driver that hit us, we finally got him to turn in the paperwork needed for his insurance to allow any work to be done.  It took a full month and a half.  One month after the accident, they let us go get a quote for exterior damages from one of their garages, but wouldn't allow the work to get done until blame was determined (until his paperwork was turned in).  When we took it in to get it fixed the other day, the mechanic initially said that there's a good chance the insurance wouldn't pay for any interior work to be done because it's too hard to determine whether or not the damage was due to the accident or due to negligence.  So we were worried that we'd have to pay for repairs out-of-pocket.  BUT, today they let us know that they have determined that there are some interior damages, and it can be proved that they were caused by the accident (bent frame).  So now the insurance will pay.  And our car should be done by Friday.  Finally.

-Spencer had surgery to remove him ear tubes this morning.  All went well, and he's recovering nicely.  Nothing went wrong.  Is it sad that I'm surprised by that?!

Here's to hoping our good news streak continues...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

At Least We Avoided Foreclosure

I've had a lot of questions over the last year and a half asking about our situation with the sale of our New Jersey home.  I've avoided answering many of them, or have just given very vague answers, mostly because the situation was so uncertain and because I just didn't want to talk about it.

Now that it's over, though, I can explain what happened.  You may not want to know.

Here's an approximate timeline:

~May 12, 2011--House is officially put on the market.
~May-August 2011--many, many, many, many showings, a few offers, but all fell through
~mid-August 2011--decided to list our house as a short sale, hoping to have it off our hands quicker.  We stopped making payments on our home because we were moving to Chicago and couldn't afford to make rent payments and mortgage payments.
~mid-Sept 2011--we received an offer from our realtor who wanted to buy it for his daughter
     -collected documents and submitted them to the lender
     -informed that more documents were required
     -collected, filled out, and submitted additional documents
     -our lender required an appraisal BPO (Broker Price Opinion)
     -all documents sent over to our bank's short sale department for decision
     -offer was rejected; no negotiation because the offer was too low
~our buyer increased his offer, resubmitted to lender
     -package transferred to short sale department for review and decision
     -offer rejected; no negotiation because the offer was too low
~we called the bank to find out what minimum net offer could at least be considered, and then informed buyer.  The buyer thought about it...decided to offer minimum to get net.
     -offer submitted to lender
     -BPO older than 90 days...had to wait 3-5 weeks for new appraisal

By this point it is mid-January, 2012.

~appraisal completed.  Package submitted to short sale dept
     -no response for about 2 weeks
     -we called and found out they had rejected the offer but not told anyone.  Appraisal had gone up $25K while market tanked
~Submitted documents to challenge appraisal
     -3-4 weeks of regular nagging
     -appraisal revised
     -documents 6 months old--needed a whole new set of documents
~Prepared new documents and resubmitted
     -informed about additional required documents (is this sounding familiar yet?!)
     -prepared and submitted new docs
     -informed about yet even more required documents
     -more prepared and submitted
     -found out that a signed tax return was required instead of a copy of our e-file
     -signed and submitted
     -lender not comfortable with modified appraisal.  New BPO ordered
     -package transferred to short sale dept
     -offer rejected...short by $1600
~Offer increased and re-submitted.
~August 2012-offer accepted but lender stipulated that the house must close by August 29
~August 18, 2012--had our final required documents signed and notarized, sent to lawyer in NJ so that buyer could sign and notarize before closing
~August 29, 2012--found out that the documents were lost in the mail.  Had to have documents re-notarized and overnighted.

But we were still able to close.

It was, by far, one of the most annoying and frustrating things we've ever had to deal with in our lives.  Evan spent hours and hours on the phone, haggling and being haggled.

BUT, it's off our hands and our credit can finally start to recover.  We didn't have to foreclose.  AND, we didn't have to pay any money at closing or pay any realtor/lawyer fees like we would have if we had sold it last summer before we decided to go the short sale route.

Needless to say, a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders.  And I think we've learned a great lesson in patience.

(Ironically, we never took any final pictures of the home in its completed, show-ready state.  Maybe that's a good thing.  But I would've posted them here now, if we had them.)