Thursday, January 12, 2012

the only gift that keeps on giving..

It's been a really long time since I've mentioned the Bent Family Messy Financial Disaster. That's probably a really bad way to put it, but we've been dealing with this situation for over 4 years now. After a while, you kind of just get past that, make light of it, shed some more tears, but then even find a way to sort of laugh at it and nod. After a few years you realize that there is some sort of light at the end of that dark tunnel. You learn to even laugh at it more, mostly out of nervous and anxious feelings, but also because.... really kind of have to.

I'll bring this blog up to speed. Ya see, remember our condo? And our layoffs over the past several years? The two go hand in hand so it's really hard to separate them. Without one we wouldn't have the other.
Here's a really quick timeline to get the situation laid out:

  • We purchased a condo in our old state of Maryland back in the summer of 2007 (a condo we were excited to keep in the family). 
  • In late August of '07, Rick is laid off for the first time. The major shit storm of our economy happens and we realize construction was the very first field to get hit. 
  • After that we manage to make some money here and there, enough to sustain life, even making mortgage payments even though they were late. 
  • From the rest of 2007 until about February 2009, we continue to struggle. Some months are way worse than others. Companies that Rick gets hired into go belly up left and right, but thankfully we fall back on unemployment. 
  • We realize in January of '09 that we can't afford the condo and sustaining our way of life. We lived like middle class people but we fell to the poverty income line. Something had to go. 
  • We list our condo onto the market, after throwing every penny (and more) into fixing and upgrading the condo, to make it more appealing and sellable. The condo looks amazing. 
  • It's listed March of 2009, we move to Colorado late-April 2009. 
  • While living in Colorado, we end up having 2 different real state agents that proved themselves less useful than a broken toilet (neither one of them ever did an open house or showed their own clients our condo).
  • Payments stop on the condo in either late 2009 or early 2010 and bank agrees to have us list the condo as a "short sale". 
  • We get 4 (yes...4) offers on the condo and our bank denies every offer- one offer being only about a thousand below the short sale price and one offer being a few hundred under the asking price. 
  • The value of the condo is at $169,000 when we leave in April 2009 to now plummeting to $89,000 today. 
  • In May of 2011 our condo officially forecloses and to this day, it's still listed on the market as "bank owned". 
So this is where we are! We have thousands upon thousands of credit card debt (we used credit cards to pay all of our utilities and food at one point when there was a layoff) and we have a foreclosure hanging by the back of our necks.
It's officially a good time to get the bankruptcy ball rolling. Especially now that the debts are finalized and there are no new debts. As a matter of fact, we've accumulated no new debts since the foreclosure. All of our debt is just sitting there.
It's not fun (or nice) to say "oh we'll just WIPE that slate clean" because you really don't feel that way. Especially since a good, thorough attorney is at least $2,000. But do we feel that we can finally move on from this mess? Well, we feel like we can finally end the disaster of the past 4 years. It's an end to it, not really a clean slate... yes... because the damage is still there. We still miss our condo. Yes, we moved to Colorado.. but we HATE the fact that it's still sitting there..unused..totally abandoned... not being enjoyed and used by someone who could surely appreciate it.

But this will be the year to get the ball rolling.

I just realized yesterday that despite my desperate need of a 2nd used car for appointments, school, etc, I can't actually buy one even if I have the money. The process of bankruptcy takes away your right to own more than one vehicle.
So there's that.
But at least.... someday... we'll be able to completely move on from this mess and know that it's officially over. The feeling of still being in limbo after all of these years is enough to drive anyone crazy.
But I do know that things never stay the same. Things always evolve and change and that is one of those things. We just have to keep focused.
There will actually be a day where I can have my own beat up used vehicle. When that day comes I will scream.

1 comment:

Becca said...

oh I am so sorry to read all about this . . . I feel your pain a little bit because we are totally stuck with our house in Woodstock and cannot get out from under it :-( I hate that! And we need a car too, plus unexpected medical expenses this year . . . oh I will be praying for you!