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.
That totally sucks. I had seen an expert on tv who said if you’re told to vacate, don’t. Stay in the house because the banks more often than not won’t go to the expense of hoisting you out.
I think it’s criminal that these are the same banks who reward their “best and brightest” for making lousy decisions – decisions they’d tell us were the first rule in investing – don’t put it all in one place.
David Tinney @ Tinney.biz says
Someone oughta take that banker out on a dusty Georgia back road and give him a really good country ass kicking. FTW to his in-laws for being generous and understanding.
Christina, I’m late seeing this post, and it’s got me seething. I’m in Georgia and I know exactly what you’re talking about. My cousin and his family are going through the same thing. Thankfully they have been able to hold things off for a while after filing bankruptcy. He can’t work because of a number of health problems, so everything falls on his wife’s shoulders.
Lori said it best – this situtation the banks have left this economy in is absolutely criminal. So many people have lost their homes and the banks have done little to rework the loans when it would seem to be in their best interest.
I’m glad your brother has found work (which is also quite scarce in this neck of the woods with the state unemployment above the national average). Thank goodness for a supportive family during these times.
Christina Acree says
I was just googling “crisis intervention” and stumbled across some articles you wrote on just that. I am currently obtaining my BA in Counseling, and I’m about to undertake writing my senior research paper. I’m considering writing it on Crisis intervention, as that subject has just recently become fascinating to me. I am also trying to figure out what would be a good field to get my Master’s Degree in. Basically, I was wondering if there would be a way I could talk to you a little more about your brief stint into Crisis Intervention – what you know, what names or resources you could forward, things like that. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out. I think there is a good chance we have a lot in common. Thank you for your time!