I read the email at 7AM friday morning. I dropped the phone and clutched my stomach. “Noooo” I could hardly breathe.
It was true, I was sure it was true. My groggy mind tried to form the words. “We lost the house.” I said it out loud just to be sure I was awake.
“We lost the house” Louder now with more force.
“WE LOST THE HOUSE” I ran to the bathroom to get Mr. Flinger who was busy getting ready for a normal day. A regular Friday.
But this was no longer a regular Friday.
He looked boggled, confused, unsure. I began to sob. “Wait, calm down, what?”
Unable to speak I pulled him downstairs and showed him the email. The lender denied us. My credit score fell over 120 points this one month alone. I couldn’t speak.
“It. Was. The. Late. Payment. On. My. Student. Loan.” I chocked.
Apparently, not realizing my student loan didn’t get switched with our other bills to our new bank, I neglected to check it for two months. Two months. Any other two months would not matter. This two months, though, will change our life.
I paid the bill in full on January 8th, 2010. I set up automatic deduction so I would never make this mistake again. I thought I fixed it. I didn’t think twice.
The 60 days will cost us the house. Our house. The house that just Monday we stood in, for only the second time, talking to each other like new lovers. “Doesn’t it feel like we’ve lived here before?” “Yes, what is that? Did we marry in another life and have this house?” The children have moved in according to their drawings at school and home. We’ve made plans for our garden. We have, very much literally, fallen in love, as a family, with this house. The kids have their own rooms. They have a back yard. They look forward to schools with great reputations and parental involvement.
It was surely a dream too good to be true. A gem. Our house.
My husband and I have worked hard to get to where we are. We planned, nearly too well, the order of events. We finished undergraduate school, got jobs, and got married. I finished graduate school before I had our first child. I planned, the entire time, to use my graduate degree to provide a life for my children where their mother was both happy and involved. I followed a passion to get my continued education. My husband passed the creditials for being a professional engineer to better serve his family and work. We continue, planning, to this point. This end. This dream.
This is the year we were to move in to a hose big enough for the children to grow up in, finish school in, bring home boy friends, girl friends and leave for college in.
Our goal, since dating in 1989, has been to be in The House by the time our first child entered public school. Our goal was to provide a stable home for our children in a house we could stay in.
We found that house in October, 2009.
Literally, it was familiar upon first glance and immediately ours in our hearts.
Having a few quiet moments in our house on Monday, I sat, alone, watching the ghosts of the future. I saw my children running in from the school bus. I heard my daughter talking endlessly on the phone up in her room. I saw my parents visit and have enough space to stay after their long flight from Texas and a backyard big enough to house our puppy we are all eager to get.
Ghosts, fleeting hopes, and wishes.
I spent Friday working with our mortgage broker and the Dept of Ed. I called, I cried. I wrote earnest letters begging for help. The difference I’m asking for is simply this;
Remove the 60 day late off my credit, make it 30 days, and I can get the house my family needs.
This window will close quickly. We may not get an extension on this house. If we don’t move fast, our chance for finding any house will be gone as the market rises and the chance to leave our small condo closes. In the words of our mortgage broker, it’s now or in ten years when you recover from this market.
My fifteen year old daughter and thirteen year old son growing up without a backyard and sharing a room. This is the future if we don’t move quickly.
So I called up the chain of command. Three times. I asked, begged, who do I talk to? Who can help me? I just need thirty days marked off my credit. My account is in good standing. I have auto-deduct set up. You will get paid on time. I am sorry. It was a mistake.
I am sorry.
These are the words I choked out to my family yesterday morning. I sobbed, “I am sorry I am sorry I am sorry” as they gathered around me on the couch. The intense pain of knowing I let each and every one of them down was almost too much to take. They snuggled me. They kissed me. My son offered his lovie to me. And I sobbed even harder knowing how hard we worked for this dream and how I had single-handedly destroyed it.
And now I’m begging you.
I have no other choice but to fight for our new life. It is my fault it is gone and it is my duty to fight for it. I am asking, begging, pleading with you. Do you know anyone in the Credit Clearing department in the Department of Ed? Do you know a lender who will accept a 583 credit knowing my husband’s is in the 700’s and mine will return there shortly? We are good people, we pay our bills, we are a family just wanting to do what is best. We work hard to be where we are and will continue to do so. It is who we are.
I will do anything for this dream.
My daughter asked if she could help me. She was confused by my tears. “Moms and Dads cry too?” My children looked lost and afraid. I hugged them. I said they could help. They could help mommy because Moms and Dads are just people, too. We make mistakes. Small, silly, life altering mistakes.
And God I’m sorry.
So my daughter recorded this video for you. It is all she knows to do. I write because it is all I know to do. My husband supports us, loving us even if, in his words, we had to live in a shack and my son offers his stuffed toys because he wants to help. We plea, we beg, we call, and all I can do is hope we get this house in the end.
Mygodmygod, it is our house.
From the archive where I first wrote about finding the house:
Imagine my shock, then, when we go for a drive at our lunch hour to “scope out the neighborhood” we’d ideally love to live, and find our dream.
I’ve never felt this way about a house before.
He clearly never has either.
Or a person for that matter.
We walk around noting the emptiness. We walk all over the grounds, picturing the children playing and each other fixing up the yard. We talk about where we would put the furniture as we peer through the spider-web windows.
It’s so…... “Up” ..... in a way.
The house is ours from first sight. We’re not sure about financing yet, if the foundation is sound, if we can even do this. But for some reason, this particular house, this one time in our lives, there isn’t s spreadsheet, a lengthy discussion, a hesitation.
This one time I got to see my husband fall in love on first sight.
And I was right there with him falling in love, too.
I hope we found our home.
Something tells me this is “it.”
I just know.
Try Fifth-Third Bank. They gave us a no-doc mortgage. It’s worth a try. I’m so sorry, I know how this feels. I’ve been in a similar situation. Best of luck to you.
By Amy on 2010 01 30
I don’t know what to say other than this. Earlier this year, my husband and I lost two houses before we moved into this, what really honestly is our dream house. I know you can’t see it now, but it really, really, will be ok.
By jodifur on 2010 01 30
oh. oh, ugh. i am awfully sorry.
i hope this gets turned around for you, i really do. i wish i could do something.
By slouchy on 2010 01 30
My heart is breaking for you, and I SO WISH I knew someone to contact for you. Instead, fingers crossed and prayers going up that all will work out.
By Jen on 2010 01 30
Try another lender. Those combined credit scores shouldn’t prevent the purchase. I hate that feeling… especially when YOU KNOW its the right house.
By Flossip on 2010 01 30
Shit. There is nothing I can do. Nothing. But I am crossing EVERYTHING that someone else will read this who can do something.
By Annika on 2010 01 30
oh my gosh. I really really really wish there was something I could do, I am so sorry.
By VHMPrincess on 2010 01 30
Thank you. I thought maybe just getting the word out would help. And I’ll try some of the info we get.
Also, for the love of Peter, DO NOT pay anything late when you’re buying a house. Sob.
By Mrs. Flinger on 2010 01 30
I don’t have any advice, but I am so sorry this is happening to you. :(
I recently discovered I was 60 days behind on a credit card I’d used once EVER. The charge was $75. The late feeds were $30. Ugh. The card was new after my purse was stolen last May. We were still getting Bill Pay notices for the OLD card, with a zero balance. So, I didn’t realize.
I was mortified. I’m not sure if it’s dinged my credit or not. I hope not. But, we’re not trying to buy a house (or anything else right now), so it’s not as big a deal if my credit was dinged.
I hope someone can help you.
By Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba) on 2010 01 30
I don’t know anyone. But I pray. For you. And them. And even if they don’t call back… the right person will. And then you will know what to do. Be listening.
By Mommentator on 2010 01 30
I wish I had some, any pull. This is effed up, for lack of a classier term. We’re not talking being evicted from a home or having a car repossessed; we’re talking being late on a student loan. Am furious FOR you. Will reset myself and send you all my best thoughts.
By the wino on 2010 01 30
Oh I am so, so sorry. My heart is breaking for you reading this. I wish I could help in some way. Please don’t blame yourself though!
Banks and lenders are cracking down so hard right now on everyone. We have perfect credit and have paid all of our bills on time. Yet when we were given an offer to transer a credit card balance and accepted it, the company called my husband and started grilling him about what he planned to do with the money, his job info, etc.
Then they told him that not only would they not give us the balance transer, but they were closing our card down. A card we’ve had for years and have never been late on a payment on. Again, we have perfect credit.
I really believe these lenders are looking for any and all excuses not to loan (and a lot of these banks are taking the money that WE the people gave them in the bailout and are investing it and/or paying lofty raises to their executives instead of loaning it out as they were supposed to do).
So really, even if everything had been perfect, it’s still really hard, so please don’t beat yourself up.
And I’m a huge believer in positive thinking so keep on envisioning your dreams of living in the house. Don’t give up hope yet! I’m praying that it will still come together for you and your family.
By BlondeBlogger on 2010 01 30
OMG, I am totally passing the word. You deserve that house!!!
By Beth Blecherman on 2010 01 30
I’m with Jodifur - we lost out on our dreamhouse before we found a better one. Still, it’s so disappointing. You do “move in” as soon as you fall in love with it. I’m sorry :(
By Melissa on 2010 01 30
Oh God, I’m so sorry! I wish I knew someone or could just fix it for you, my stomach hurts for you. It has to be okay, it just has to be fixed. Prayers, good thoughts, crossed fingers, candles lit.
By jennifer, playgroups are no place for children on 2010 01 30
My advice (and while I’m a lawyer, I can’t give unsolicited legal advice, so consider this girlfriend advice) is to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT. Keep asking to speak to someone higher. Keep saying that you don’t want this story to have to become a national one where the bank ends up looking like a monster. Keep heading up the ladder until you get the result you want. I think you can. Hollee
By Hollee Temple on 2010 01 30
I am so sorry - please try other lenders! Even if you had to take a different interest rate to get in, you can always refinance in a few months.
Don’t give up - your scores should be just fine for getting a house. Keeping fingers crossed and sending out good finance mojo into the universe for you.
By pgoodness on 2010 01 30
Terrible story, It hurt reading it.
I was a Realtor years ago and had a client lose his credit by paying off a loan. Sounds counter-intuitive but a late payment wasn’t reported until the balance was zero. Had he left $1.00 on the loan he would have been fine.
If you contest the mark with the credit agency directly, they usually get removed but it takes 30 days.
We’re currently moving because our landlord had an adjustable rate loan and the bank refused to refinance. It’s weird living in a home that’s currently on the market…it isn’t much fun.
By Rick Bucich on 2010 01 30
I’m so sorry! But I have a strong feeling this will work out. My feelings are usualy right on…
By leigh on 2010 01 30
Simon’s credit got FUBARed a few years ago when he opened a Mervyn’s account to get a discount on a $10 belt and then never received a statement for it because they sent it to an old address. Flash forward a few years, and it almost (almost!) cost us our house too. (Is there a possibility you can get approved for the house loan on your husband’s credit only?)
By Leah on 2010 01 30