But in looking at the notice I read a sentence I hadn’t really digested before. Something about now paying PRINCIPAL and interest. “The payment you are making now may increase.”
There was no amount. Just a phone number. I was getting ready to leave for the OC for a gig, but I called. It took two transfers to get someone who told me in a flat voice my new payment. It was going to go from just a little over $500.00 a month to $1800.00.
I almost threw up. Already on a tight budget, living paycheck to paycheck, there was no way $1300.00 more a month was going to appear.
I got in my truck to go rock the OC realizing I was probably going to lose my beloved home.
I knew a refinance was my only chance of holding on to the place I had put so much sweat and love into. But how? My bankruptcy wasn’t even three years old and still recovering from financial collapse, I had gotten $6,000 behind in property taxes. Not exactly the perfect candidate, but I was not going out without a fight. The one thing I had going for me was property values had increased and I actually had some equity that I could bring to the table.
I got started almost immediately. A couple of years ago Quicken Loans had come to my rescue right after the bankruptcy. They refinanced one of my investment properties that actually cut my payment almost $400.00. I went to them again.
To say the process was stressful is an understatement. Doing a refinance because you want to save a few bucks is very different from doing one that is the only thing that will allow you to save your home. There were days when, with everything going on, I literally had 12 phone calls where I had to produce documents, information or get on a conference call about something. This was all while working a full time job and doing gigs on the weekends.
To use a total cliché, it was a total rollercoaster. I still remember where I was when Quicken called me to say the credit union dedicated to “building better lives for their members” had reported a 30 day late payment that was going to basically put an end to the entire refi. I almost fainted on San Vincente Blvd as I listened to the message on my lunch hour. It was an erroneous report, which wasn’t a surprise considering the source, but it took me four phone calls and over an hour to get it fixed and everything back on track.
I was getting ready to start a set at The Blarney Stone on a Friday night when I checked my phone and saw the appraisal had come back. $20,000 more than what I needed to close the loan. I sang the you know what out of that set, let me tell you!
Finally, after one month of sleepless nights and enough scanning and emailing of documents to last a lifetime, the loan closed. With a payment I could at least manage. Thanks to Quicken Loans, I was going to stay home.
Since then, I find myself wanting to leave my home less and less. This might change as time goes on, but right now, even though I am working from home, I find myself wanting to be there all the time. I spend every morning in the back yard, before my work day starts, eating my oatmeal, looking at the mountains, thinking how, if I could, I would spend the entire day. Just soaking it all in.
Up next, three things to look at if you have a HELOC or are thinking of getting one.