So this is blogging. Huh. I’m a bit rusty typing and all. Hell, I even cut my fingernails. Here I go!….So it’s now tomorrow, that’s how I roll. Needless to say procrastination is just one of my plethora of character flaws. (How may times do you ever get to use the word, plethora, plethora…
See this is what my mind does. Should my blog be about adult add, a stoner’s short term memory?,(Yes, this is also very true. At 49 I discovered that cannibus is truly my friend. cannibus and I have been besties ever since. Now I call her, Mary. More on that later….See!), the economic crisis happening right now, here at “Clark Shadows”?, the whirlwind of creative things that I have saved and boxed neatly, but PROCRASTINATE! every getting really good at: writing, drawing (my daughter is a painter, hello), cooking, dogs (I just figured out that they are truly a fascinating culture of creature….I love our dogs, Rosa and Finn)…I love audio books! I am totally into “‘hey, I’ll go to the store!” because I want to see if Augustus and Call make it across Dead Man’s Walk. Which brings us to my secret, not so secret obsession, cowboy Movies, cowboys, actors who play cowboys Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee, Kevin Costner, SAM ELLIOT – damn!
Hey I married my husband because I fell in love with his ass in 501’s and cowboy boots (with the heel all worn on the outside), his cowboy shirt( little mother a peald snaps), all tight around…”long cool drink a water..”See?) It still gets to me…) OK..audio books was the focus, sorry. It’s like being read a story by a virtual (dare I say it ), plethora of characters, a play in your head, it’s awesome! I listen on the computer, on my cell phone (I buy them for a couple bucks at the local library bookstore…enough. I cook and listen, I clean and listen, sew, knit, file, sort, garden etc.
Back to my plethora of interests: knitting, crocheting, reading, cowboys, country music, corny romantic movies. Gives Steve a chance for a good cry. He’s a crier, that cowboy of mine. Tough on the outside, mush in the middle. He hates watching war movies, he does it for me. That’s how he rolls. (Cute saying..I’ll stop now)
So, as already observe, some one here’s a bit obsessive. So now I’ll wind this down with the most difficult (of my pleth…) of my character flaws – depression. Oh it looks like an innocent word but it carries a very big stick. “BIG BIGGIE!!” More later…I won’t forget, I promise.
I think I need to figure this photo and video bit in the morning or I need to cry.
by Debbie Clark jan20/12
A little back story …
Steve and I have lived in our little home here in Rohnert Park Ca. for 10 years. I work out of our home as a hairstylist, in a studio Steve built for me. I also enjoy the ‘self employed’ benefit of scheduling my time, so that I can be available for our kids to help out with our two baby grand girls. We also have two strapping baseball playing grand boys.
Steve is a lic’d general contractor with a shop and office here at home as well. He also has built several websites; which have been very lucrative. He worked for 20 years in San Francisco as a superintendent for a old-time painting company. In late 2008, the owner of the company died suddenly. The shop closed in February 2009. Since then he has remained very busy working for a number of clients throughout the northern bay area.
We are both 58. Our kids are almost all adults. And doing good on their own. We are proud of them all. We live alone with Rosa and Finn, our dogs. (Check back for pics)
We are both from large families. Our family and friends are part of our home life as well. We host a monthly gathering in our home, either a brunch or dinner, often with over 25 people.
We have been very, very happy here, it is a good warm full life, a home well loved.
The Guts of the Story…
In 2004, we refinanced our house in order to purchase a fixer/*disaster. We miraculously got a fixed 5 %, 30year loan, turning into a variable in 7 years. (Which just meant we had to be sure to refinance again before the 7year deadline to whatever was the best fixed rate at that time.)
!!!!!!!!Ringing any alarms????
To make a really long story short, we made several very poor (*DISASTEROUS!!!) choices, (if you really want the count down I’d be happy to furnish details. For now, I’ll just highlight the top 3 or 40)
Buy 2006, and a $100,000 line of credit later, (Yeah right, our loan agent said, “…just make a couple payments so they know you can! I’ll get you out of it in a couple of months…” ) Hello 2007!!!
we’d completed our remodel. We were, by then renting it out because we could not sell it!!?? Not only that, but the rent ($2100.00, on OUR “fixerzaster”) was only half of our payment of $4500.00 a month, in addition to our mortgage$?$?$?. (2nd home = higher interest rate.)
What were we thinking? We were in a panic. $$$!!!??$$!!??!!$$??????(*can you hear me now?)
We liquidated every dime, including the retirement.
We were hell bent on salvaging our big dream.
BANKRUPT by 2008 –
We lost everything but our vehicles and our HOME???$$$!!!
In December 2008, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. My surgery was on Steve’s last day of work in San Francisco. Needless to say, we also lost our health insurance. (I share this story, because it establishes a critical timeline.)
(Its 2012, really…and I am all good , really!!)
It’s now, 2009 , we are both self employed, and I am out of commission for 4 months.
Still we’ve never were late or missed a mortgage payment. Remember too, that we had no credit and paid everything with cash in hand. (*bankruptcy does that to you.) We never borrowed from anyone. We knuckled down and worked hard. If we couldn’t afford it we did without it.
Life continued, and you guessed it, its time to find a fixed rate mortgage. So we call our lender, (of course, because no one else would talk to us$$$????$?$?$!!!) to open a refinance of our home. *(Well, I don’t want to name names, but the initials are !!AURORA BANK!!!!!! and !!!!!!INDYMAC!!!!! (*May some seriously nasty juju befall all who “in the name of help…”jujujujujuju!!!… )
OK, I’m back. Sorry.
What a surprise! Aurora can help us to modify our mortgage, **Obama plan and all. “DO NOT MAKE YOUR PAYMENT UNTIL YOU HEAR BACK FROM US IN THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO WITH THE AMOUNT.” that’s what we were told by !!!Aurora!!! (*juju)
At that time our mortgage payments totaled $2100.00.
Good news!! Aurora is lowering our payment to $795.00 a month. But it’s still variable. They told us that this was a quarterly number and would be adjusted every few months. Because of the hardship resulting from the real estate market and the value of our home plummeting (now a $222,000 formerly appraised for $560.000)
OK!!!! It felt like they were working with us.
This back and forth continued for 18 months. Some times we were threatened with auction or foreclosure, always because some monthly verification or form or signature was missing (One the last persons we talked to at Aurora said that every paper that we faxed had to be signed and dated by each of us, including our bank statement. COME ON!!!!
We received our modification papers December 19, 2011. Merry
Christmas! Aurora had decided that the new amount of our mortgage was to be $2843.00 a month which was only for 4 months, then it would go up because they were then going to include attorneys fees. Not only that, but before they would issue the mortgage they needed $14,000.00. (Because, that’s how much we were in arrears, because that $795.00 a month was just a temporary reduction because of hardship while we were in the re-finance process)
OH, and the bigger number was because we were both self employed and didn’t show enough income to qualify for a lower rate on the $480.000 mortgage on our home that was presently valued at $233,000.
OH and if we gave them the last $3000 we had in savings they’d probably be able to complete the paperwork before the weekend. (*bad ju ju ju ju)
The bottom line-
We were to pay $2843 a month on top of the second at $1088 a month ($3930 a month for 30 years, just for our mortgage…on a house worth $233,000. Who knows, in maybe 15 years the house will be worth $400,000, why….we’ll only be 73 years old then, if we are here at all, …..and we’ll still have 15 years to go at $4000 a month. Us all self-employed and all.
underwater at 53? …at 73?
It appears that we no longer qualify for our own home. Never late.
We chose right this time.
Our house went to auction on January 10, 2012. Steve attended. We were among the first few to be postponed until February 10th.
We are still here and will be until we see the sheriff.
* meant to be a little wishful whisper
** I think Obama is doing the best he can, look what he’s got to work with, who’d want that job!!!!!?????
Check back for the next installment of “CLARK SHADOWS….”