All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them. (Isak Dinesen)
To help me stay focused and organized, I divided my story into four parts and then wrote this "summary". The first part "struggling to keep my home" tells about how my husband and I came to purchase the home, thereby becoming a part of America's Middle Class. Part 2 (refinancing and the economic ups and downs) explains why we had to refinance several times and then, paying the consequences as we (mostly I, as he died shortly after the economy tanked) suffered through the Great Recession (which, despite economists' declarations to the contrary, continues today for most of us). Part 3 talks about the trials and tribulations of becoming a landlord - serving as a warning to think twice before opening your home to strangers. Part 4 talks about how I dealt (and continue to) with the major theft, the sheriff's office, and the insurance companies when my first tenant absconded with my furniture and other household items.
Left out (to be discussed at a later time) were the dealings with the state and federal agencies to whom I submitted complaints (Washington State Attorney General's Office and WA State Department of Financial Institutions, the White House, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Comptroller, and others.
Also left out was a discussion of how this has taken a toll on my health. This is an area I want to elaborate and receive feedback on because I'm curious as to how others cope. Some people simply walk away, others fight, others become ill and are forced to give up.
I remain one payment behind in my mortgage (fees accumulating at over $100 a month) and am almost two years behind in my property taxes. I have yet to file complaints in small claims court (the county district court) against the three tenants who owe me money (none have bothered to file a change-of-address with the post office, of course). If I could collect on the monies owed, I could get caught up with my mortgage payments.
I continue to search for the tenant who stole $30,000 in personal property from me. And I am presently contending with leaky pipes and other unexpected household maintenance issues costing me over $2,000 in repairs. There are many deferred maintenance issues on my home. Also, in my spare time, I continue to look for outside employment.
My relationship with Rolf has suffered as a consequence of all that has happened to me over the past several years. I am in the process of removing my belongings from his house. And I'm busy getting this Blog launched. I hope eventually to launch an interactive web site, but don't have the time or money (or knowledge) to do so at this time.
My blood pressure is not fully under control, but I'm working on it. So, unless I have a heart attack or stroke between now and the next time I post, I hope to continue to share my story with others who are undergoing the same struggles, and hope we can encourage each other to move on with our lives in whatever direction we deem appropriate. I'm not a religious person, but a recent sermon by Joel Osteen "Live Your Dream" resonated with me. I plan to order the CD soon. www.joelosteenministries.com
I am not giving up as long as I can breathe and move.
If you have any comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org