I’m happy to say that I’m doing fairly well here for myself. Santa was good to my son this year. But we had a major disappointment hit the family when my brother couldn’t get my sister-in-law and niece here for Christmas as they’d planned. It would have been the first year they’d made it up for Thanksgiving or Christmas since our grandpa died in 2006. The economy wasn’t really to blame for their inability to make it here… the snowstorm that hit the East Coast was responsible. They only made it six hours into the drive from Georgia to New York before the snow hit and they were stranded in Virginia on I-81. They slept in the car that night and ended up turning around to go back home.
But the real downer was that – not only did they lose their house – but they can’t even rent a new place. I’ll try to make a long story short. My brother was in real estate. He got his realtor’s license and was working in the booming Georgia housing business. Then the economy tanked and no one could get financed. My brother was working but didn’t get paid for about a year. My sister-in-law got laid off from her job. They had an infant daughter to raise and no income. They fell behind on their mortgage payments while my brother looked for more work.
He got a new job. A great job as a financial planner. But he was supposed to get his first paycheck on June 1, and he was still waiting for it on July 1. We helped him out with a loan to pay his mortgage while he waited to get paid. Then the bank (understandably) told him they wanted the money. My brother sent them a check to cover a little more than half the amount. They sent it back to him; they wanted the whole amount or nothing at all.
They started working with a bankruptcy lawyer to sort things out so they could work out a payment plan and not lose their house. On a Friday, they were told that everything was going smoothly. On Monday, they were told that their house was being foreclosed on and it would be up for sale the next day. It sold in an hour. They lost their house despite all of this money the government gave the banks to stop this sort of thing from happening. Banks suck.
So then they started looking for a place to rent. My brother had $5,000 in his hand to pay five months rent up front… and no one will rent to him because of his credit. So let’s get this straight. He sent the bank a check for several thousand dollars, but they sent it back because it wasn’t enough. He has a good job now, but they didn’t care. They told him they’d work out a payment plan, but they lied and foreclosed on him anyways. So he needs a new place to live, but no one will rent him a house because the foreclosure ruined his credit.
If you forcelose on someone’s house and no one will rent to them… where are they supposed to live? On the street? Bah humbug. Give me a freaking break!
Thankfully, they’ll be able to move in with his in-laws until someone decides they’ll rent a house or an apartment to him… but it’s going to be a tight squeeze for everyone. The in-laws have two adults, three kids, and now they’ll also have two more adults, a baby, and a dog.
If they didn’t have her parents down there, where would they go? He has a good job that pays well, so it’s not like he can just uproot everyone and move… there’s no guarantee that he could find another job in a location where someone would be willing to rent to them. Not to mention that moving is expensive, and he’s still paying things off from the year where he didn’t get paid.
What is wrong with this country when the bank kicks someone out of their house when they have money and they are trying to pay, and then no one will let them rent a place because their credit sucks from the foreclosure? The system is broken. Why did we bother bailing out the banks if they’re not using the money to keep homeowners in their homes? Wasn’t that the point?
This is a rant. I’m angry at the situation. I’m angry at the bank. I’m angry at the landlords who won’t accept $5,000 up front from a man who is working to support his family. Nothing like kicking a man when he’s down. Then again, that’s what it seems we do best here. “Merry Christmas,” indeed.