Throughout my nine-month adventure with Wells Fargo, I’ve tried through mature, professional interactions to convince them I’m a good candidate for a loan modification and they have played juvenile games to prolong the process and try to justify denying me a modification. Trying to deal with a mortgage servicer as if it’s run by reasonable, competent professionals is a bit like trying to explain difficult concepts like ethics and professionalism to a group of not-too-bright kindergartners. Highly frustrating and inherently futile. Seriously makes a person want to whack one of these bank execs over the head with a two-by-four until they finally admit that yes, they are all conspiring to lie, cheat and steal whatever they can get and they don’t care whether they have to look like imbeciles or two-bit thugs to do it.
But the frustration isn’t the worst part of it for me. Instead, it’s the little things. The not knowing. There are decisions you would make about your property, your life, your work that now depend on the whims of your mortgage servicer. Like the woman in this article wondering whether she should buy firewood for the winter. In my case, I really needed to have the roof of my home re-coated last spring. It sure doesn’t make any sense to spend the money for that kind of maintenance if the bank is just going to take the house, but there’s also a risk the roof will leak in the winter rains and do serious damage.
I like to garden and have done quite a bit of landscaping in the formerly barren backyard of my home. I had a project planned for this fall, but I’m not going to purchase, build and install the fun trellis I had planned or put in more plants for the bank to steal. I made do with planting some things in pots that can move with me if/when I go. Still, I can’t take all the plants with me and I hate to think of everything I’ve worked hard to nurture ending up dead when this house sits empty for months or years after Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac foreclose. What a waste.
Like many homeowners, I have a number of pets. One of them is a wise and wonderful 13-year-old cat who was diagnosed with diabetes early this year. While I was treating him, I had to start facing the fact that he is getting older and won’t be with me forever. Bast is an indoor/outdoor cat who learned his survival skills from one of my other cats who lived to a venerable old age because he was smart about humans and other predators. I’d love to get new kitten while Bast is still able to pass that knowledge on, preserving the lineage so to speak. And I had a chance this summer to adopt a feral kitten, a cute yellow tom from a litter that showed up where I work. But, because of my uncertainty about where I’ll be living, I felt it would be terribly irresponsible to take in another pet. That made me so sad, but what would Wells Fargo care about a few tears?
My biggest worry is my dogs. If I lose my home to foreclosure-hungry Wells Fargo, where do I live? If I go to an apartment, I can’t take two German Shepherds with me. Rental houses are getting more and more expensive, up in the range of my current monthly mortgage payment. And I’ve read some absolute horror stories about the way renters are treated when they live in homes that end up in foreclosure. How could I trust that a landlord would be honest and reveal if he was facing that and I might get kicked out again at any time? For an animal-lover, it is heartbreaking to face separation from beloved pets, to have to ask among your family and friends who would be able to take in the dogs if that becomes my only option.
My biggest concern is for my old shepherd, Alex, who at 13 is partially blind and doesn’t hear very well. He does okay negotiating his way around this familiar house and yard, though once in a while I see him get disoriented and obviously not know where he is for a short time. Moving would be a huge stress on him and I’ve lost sleep over that more than once over the past months. There’s a good news/bad news scenario with that now. He had a tumor removed in the spring, but the vet warned me that it was a type of cancer that commonly recurs. Sure enough, in the summer a small growth showed up on his throat. It had been stable until this week, but now it’s growing fast. So, chances are Alex’s cancer will outpace Wells Fargo’s foreclosure process and my sweet and loving dog will be spared the stress of a move.
I have come to despise Wells Fargo, Freddie Mac and all the government entities that seem not to care about what is right, what makes sense or even what is legal. And I know my tribulations are small compared to many others’ – I am healthy, employed and I don’t have children or other family depending on me to provide shelter and food. But still, it’s the little things that chip away at you day after day.