Things are financially very unpredictable with us right now. DH and I are divorcing, and he is out of work (again). Our emergency fund has dwindled to almost nothing. I have a solid job and can increase my work hours, but I am human and there will be a limit to how many hours I can work in a week.
I know I need to go through and figure out our budget line by line (am terrified; hate doing this!!! but I know it needs doing and I *will* do it). And I need to buckle down and work more. But right now I am stressing about the mortgage and what would happen if we got behind. He is chronically in and out of work, sometimes earning plenty and then sometimes nothing with almost no warning. He's a contract worker and it goes up and down all the time. I am so sick of the rollercoaster. I don't want to move the kids if I don't have to - they are stressed enough by the divorce and all else.
But even if we had to move, our house is probably not sellable. I had a realtor come talk to me and she said that. Our leach field has failed and to fix it (or credit someone to fix it) would put us underwater on the house. (We are coping creatively with the leach field using temporary alternatives, but nothing we could sell or rent based on.) There are lots of defects in our house, not just cosmetic; things that people would want credit for or that would be too hard or expensive for me to fix before selling. So staying is the best option, but our mortgage is around $1500, which suddenly seems huge.
XH took care of all the bills before and he didn't mind the rollercoaster as much as I do. It stresses me out terribly, though I'm trying to learn to just laugh and do my best and not worry.
I don't expect to lose our house, but I imagine nobody ever does. It always helps me feel better to have a plan for dealing with the worst-case scenario. So, if you went through foreclosure, how bad is it? If you lost your house, what was the process? How long did it take from when you missed a payment? If you wanted to work out a payment plan with your bank, were they willing to work with you? In retrospect, would you have done anything differently to minimize the stress and upheaval that I'm assuming goes along with foreclosure or avoiding foreclosure? Were you able to repair your credit afterward, or at least find someplace that would rent to you? What do you wish you had known?