Friday, October 11, 2013

Dealing with Insurance Companies and Federal Agencies - Part 3

On April 5, 2012, the day after regaining entry to my house after evicting the tenant for nonpayment of rent, I was granted a $15,000 judgment against him.  But I acted too soon in filing for that judgment.   As I walked throughout the house taking notes on damage and missing items, I discovered he had taken over $30,000 in furniture and other belongings from my home.  (At  some point I will have to figure out how to get the $15,000 judgment order changed or amended to include the extra amount.)

For the 15 years I paid premiums, I had never filed a claim against my homeowner insurance policy - not even auto insurance (40 years).  I had obtained homeowners insurance with American Commerce Insurance Company through AAA.  But that April, I filed my first claim ever.  It was for $30,000, and I provided receipts and a list of all the items missing.  A week later I received a letter canceling my insurance coverage because I had failed to tell them I had rented out the house (which would have raised the premiums even more).  I was so busy and distraught over the mess I had to clean up - which costs me thousands of dollars - I wasn't able to get another insurance policy for five months.  And of course it cost me more than what I had been paying.  A short time later CitiMortgage informed me I owed them $1200 for the period of time I didn't have insurance.  They made me pay $100.00 extra every month, which I am still paying.  The mortgage payment is now $2,080 monthly.

At my husband's death, my income decreased immediately with the loss of almost half his pension and all of his Social Security benefits, which combined amounted to about $1,000 a month.  Then it cost even more ($500 monthly) when I refinanced the mortgage shortly before his death (i.e., the federal government allows a spouse to file for life insurance benefits if the dying spouse's death is expected within nine months or less of the filing and is so certified by a licensed physician). At that point in time, CitiMortgage, Inc. was the servicer and FannieMae was the owner of the loan.  It  remains that way today.

My job search has been a failure, and very frustrating.  I thought a BA degree would help open doors, but not, I suppose, if you are middle-aged.  But I continue to seek employment although I don't hold out much hope.  Meanwhile, I am in the process of filing a complaint with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.  I have filed complaints with other agencies, and will provide details on those efforts in another, future posting.  It's just a matter of getting all the documents together and focusing on the task.  Not easy.

Once I finally got the house back in presentable condition, I rented out rooms.  More problems there, which I will discuss in my next post.

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