Renting while foreclosing - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The rug is being pulled from us We live in the Metro Detroit area, dh is in the auto business (retail) and we're not current with our mortgage by almost three months. We've applied for a loan mod with our lender (in JAN.) and we're still waiting for their proposal, what they can do to help us.

DH was offered a job that has alot of promise, but it's 1 hour and 10 minutes one way to commute. He'd be working Saturdays too, at least two a month. I'm not crazy about him commuting 2.5 hours EVERYday, and neither is he, we're at this current house so we could be closer to his job now.

I'm wondering what we can do about renting if we foreclose on this house. We've already accepted the fact that foreclosure is now, unfortunately, a very real possibility. We've worked so hard we've always paid our bills and have had the best of credit.

There is just no way we can stay here with the GM in the dire place it's in. We haven't even paid our property taxes from 2008 (nearly $7000), it's been a struggle just to keep only two months behind in our mortgage and keep food, lights and heat on. I've applied for several jobs, but there is nothing out there, so many workers are getting laid off here, the job market is saturated with ppl trying to get even minimum wage jobs at grocery stores and Target, etc. Those places aren't even hiring! Sorry to vent. Any ideas would be really helpful. Thanks

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#2 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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I don't have any advice since I don't know much about that, but I thought I'd say that my husband commutes 1-1.5 hours each way every day. On top of that he works very long hours, so he often leaves the house at 6:30am and returns at 7:30pm. Yeah, it sucks, but we live with it. : I'm just thrilled he has a great job in a crappy economy. When things improve, we'll find him something closer to home.

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#3 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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I don't have any advice since I don't know much about that, but I thought I'd say that my husband commutes 1-1.5 hours each way every day. On top of that he works very long hours, so he often leaves the house at 6:30am and returns at 7:30pm. Yeah, it sucks, but we live with it. : I'm just thrilled he has a great job in a crappy economy. When things improve, we'll find him something closer to home.
Same here-dh is commuting sometimes close to two hours each way, but the job is good and the insurance is there, so we consider ourselves fortunate. We know many people who are doing this at the moment. Honestly, an hour an ten mins. one way doesn't seem too bad to me. My dh has some weekend or nighttime obligations, and if he didn't he would pick up an extra course to teach at a local college for the extra $$$. These are crazy times-you do what you have to do.

My kids are a similar age to yours OP, so I know what the long commute means to family life. It isn't ideal, but we've made it work for our family. There are many jobs that require travel during the week, actually, that would mean more time commuting. I don't know if foreclosure is a forgone conclusion for your family or not, but I wanted to say that while long commutes aren't easy on anyone, you can definitely do it.
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#4 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. Currently he leaves at 7am everyday and is home around 7pm the earliest, 10pm on M/Th. We've lived the hours.

One of my friends dh lives in South Carolina, in a seperate apt, b/c he can't find work here and they can't sell their home. But, they aren't upside down like we are either.

He's still on the fence about taking the job.

I hope our bank helps us out. We've been waiting almost 5 months for them to help us, and we've drained our savings (that was our taxes!) to pay the mortgage to keep it only 2 months behind and not three. We've also had several notices about them shutting off our gas because we can't keep current with our gas company. Ugggh.

Any way we crunch the numbers though, if he takes this job, it'll still be a paycut from when we first moved here, 5 years ago. But if he stays where he is, yes, foreclosure will probably be inevitable.

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#5 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OMG...just as I was writing that last post, the FED EX guy brings me the loan mod from our bank!! I'm reading it now...xx fingers crossed.

 Mommy to Emily (16), Cal (12) and Claire Bear (3)
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#6 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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I hope that the Fed-Ex guy brought good news!

Re Gas: Are you with DTE? I got a few notices over the winter (and went into a blind panic when we lost power on our block because I thought they shut us off!) before someone told me about shut off protection. No matter how much my bill actually is, I only pay 244.00 per month. There are no income requirements. All I had to do was ask and pay 120.00 of my then 1600.00 bill.

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#7 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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Oooh! I hope your bank can help you out.

I'd say if they can modify your mortgage to something manageable, you should try to stick it out. An hour and ten minutes isn't terrible. It sucks, but it's not THAT bad.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.
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#8 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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Honestly, with property taxes of 7 grand, it sounds like you are in too much house unless you have some sort of rich-person income (interest off a trust fund, etc.).

That said, if you're upside-down, I can see why you'd really want to stick it out and I don't blame you one bit! I hope that the Fed Ex man brought you great news!
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#9 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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Hope you get good news from the Fed EX!

Are you in a high proprty tax area?
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#10 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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When we were in MI & in a similar situation the family independence agency was able to step in & catch up our payments if we showed we now had the income to upkeep them(where we didn't when we fell behind). We weren't signed up for any state aid either.

Something to look into if you haven't already. Salvation army kicked in & several local churches too.

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#11 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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Honestly, with property taxes of 7 grand, it sounds like you are in too much house unless you have some sort of rich-person income (interest off a trust fund, etc.).
Our taxes are over $8000 and trust me, we are not in too much house -- 1300 sq. ft, small yard, three small bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, 40 years old. But we *are* in NJ, which is just ridiculous for property tax, and our county is one of the absolute worst. Our taxes were just under $6K when we moved in 6 years ago, but we were reassessed recently. I wonder if the OP is in the same boat.

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#12 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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Honestly, with property taxes of 7 grand, it sounds like you are in too much house unless you have some sort of rich-person income (interest off a trust fund, etc.).
That's really quite normal around here. Property taxes are super high. We were about to buy a house that was under 50k in a nice neighborhood but didn't because the property taxes were 6,000 per year. The mortgage was more than affordable, but we'd never be able to keep up with the taxes.

Body, I've been more than patient. Please make a baby. Please?
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#13 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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just wanted to give you encouragement....I'm in Baltimore, and a lot of ppl in my neighborhood commute to DC to jobs. lots of jobs in the federal government, plus most private industry positions pay better there. It's about 50 min. on the commuter rail, plus the drive to the station, plus any traveling within the district.... so it stinks, but its doable.
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#14 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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I hope the bank brought you good news. So far we are in a good place but you never know when the tide can turn.
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#15 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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Both dh and I lost our jobs within a six month period during the Reagan recession. We each found new jobs--an hour and a half away and in opposite directions from each other, so nowhere logical to move. We did it until we could come up with a better situation. I got a job near our family, we sold our house and moved. It stunk while we were living with the terrible commutes, but we were able to keep it together and eventually things got better.

So, if it were me, I'd jump on the new job offer. The commute will suck, but you'll survive it. See what you can do on the house. The reality is that the employment situation in Detroit isn't going to be great for a long, long time.

I hope the bank offer is better for you.
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#16 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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Sending you some

I have family and grew up in the suburbs, and I know how bad things are. We left after DH finished grad school (about 10 years ago) and it seems like everyone followed us.

My mom has seen her home value go from around 450K down to around 250K...and yes, she too pays crazy taxes. Around 8K a year! I think her property taxes and insurance payment isn't that much less than what we pay for our home with a mortgage, though she owns her house outright! Our taxes are 1/4 of what hers are!

Personally, I wouldn't want to commute that far, at all. Plus, don't you have the winters to be concerned about? Wouldn't the commute be worse during winter?

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#17 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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DH leaves home around 5:30am and gets back around 8pm. Sometimes it's more like 10pm. It sucks but that's how it has to be for now.

I hope you have good news but don't let the commute put you off!
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#18 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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yuckas....i hope you got good news.
And I'm feeling pretty good about our $800/year property taxes right now...........

CPST
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#19 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't know how he could not take the job. If you're in financial trouble a job is a job and right now that's all that matters!

My DH commutes 1.5-2 hours each way, but he has steady and stable work, and we're grateful for that.

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#20 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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I commuted for 1 1/2 hour each way for two years. It sucked, but we managed. Now, during the winter it takes 1 hour for me to get to work, and we also manage. It really isn't ideal, but many people do it.

About renting and foreclosure, I don't know if you're looking for a landlord's point of view, but if it is, here's mine:

We never did a credit check on any of our renters for 8 years, but last september, we rented the basement apartment to a guy and he was unable to pay us. He told us he was trying to get in a better financial situation, so we gave him time. We tried to work things out, but eventually, after letting him be 4 months late (and owing us more than 2000$), we threw him out (and never got any of our money back and then noticed he burned our furniture). We gave him many, many chances, but he took advantage of us. From now on, we will FOR SURE do a credit check on all future tenants, and refuse someone with a bad credit, no excuses. It may be harsh, but we have struggled financially because of him, and we will not allow it to happen again.
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#21 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I started to post earlier, after the Fed Ex delivery but my kids needed intervention (I homeschool)..

I think he will take the job. The job now has been good to us, but the last six months have put us in this pinch. And, if GM goes BK and takes away Pontiac and GMC, well...(those are two of his main sellers, esp Pontiac)..

To answer some questions - yes the commute will be longer in the winter!! The drive will be mostly state road and interstate, both are notorious for fatal wrecks esp. in the snowy season. The other thing is he will have to commute through Ann Arbor, a large city that can cause alot of grief for commuters. So, the 70 minute commute is probably in the best of conditions.

That said, I think he'll go. He has to let this other place know today or tomorrow.

The bank offer was okay, not great though. They want us to escrow our taxes and that might jack up the 'trial' payment in the future (they said this) to just about what it is NOW. We can decline the offer though and press for something better. DH will read through the documents tonight.

That too, is a nightmare. We haven't been able to actually TALK to a living person with the bank about this. They call everyday, twice a day sometimes. But, it's never anybody we need to talk to, just people hired to call ppl late on their mortgage, KWIM? WHen my husband called our 'negotiator' (who we waited three mos. to get) her voicemail box was FULL. BANKS!! UGH. I hope we never are in this boat...ever....again.

BTW - yes, we're in a high tax area. We're in Oakland county too, esp. high taxes here. We're on a lake too and have nearly 2 acres. Our home has lost a lot of value. I already called our realtor. Only one house in our price range sold in our schools district last year. ONE. I cried.

Thanks for reading and all the support...you are all so kind

 Mommy to Emily (16), Cal (12) and Claire Bear (3)
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#22 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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That's really quite normal around here. Property taxes are super high. We were about to buy a house that was under 50k in a nice neighborhood but didn't because the property taxes were 6,000 per year. The mortgage was more than affordable, but we'd never be able to keep up with the taxes.
6k taxes on a 50k house!!!!! Wow... have I finally found something that is actually a lot cheaper in Canada rather than the other way around? We pay around 1700 property taxes on a 220k house. Car insurance is another story though!

OP - I hope the bank had good news for you. That commute sucks but is better than no job.

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#23 of 30 Old 04-20-2009, 08:35 PM
 
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We are in a crappy situation right now too. SE Michigan.
But the ladies here have been soooo supportive.
My dh lost his job 3wks ago and we are still trying to figure things out.
Up til now we have had perfect credit, never been late on ANYTHING.
But were not very prepared for a complete job loss. We have still paid up this month, because we have a little savings.
The ladies here recommended we sign up for food stamps, which we have.
And we contacted a HUD counselor, our first appointment is Mon.
Things aren't a lot better yet, but right now I have hope something good will happen.
It sounds like your in a nice house, I'd do what I could to stay, escrows can actually make it easier in the long run. And an 1hr+ commute is a common reality, dh has always had that commute. You kinda get used to it.
We're 6 people living in a 950sqft house, we were looking to move and rent this place out, but then dh lost his job.
We're in macomb, and bought this house for 95,000 a few years ago.
The house across the street is currently on the market for 36,000. So we're in a pretty crappy spot right now.
I would really recommend calling HUD if thats an option for you. It sounds like your bank hasn't made an appropriate offer for you. *fingers crossed for you* that something better comes up. Banks suck.

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#24 of 30 Old 04-21-2009, 02:45 AM
 
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I don't know if someone has given you the Home Ownership Preservation Foundation number yet, but you can try to give them a call. 888-995-HOPE It's free. The first session will take about 30-60 minutes, and it's really hard to get a hold of them again when you need to update your situation. But they have some great information and can really help you out with finding services to help.

I wouldn't be crazy about a 1 hour commute, but I'd be less crazy about living on the streets. In these times, take what you can get.
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#25 of 30 Old 04-22-2009, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update:

Dh took the job. He's talking to his current boss now about leaving.

The commute will be hard. He's done it before, it's not pleasant at all. But, we know he's lucky to get this opportunity to still make some decent income.

The banks trial offer is still a bit out of reach, or could be. Not sure if he'll sign the offer or not, we could play hard ball and see if they come back with something better.

There are so many ppl out of work here (michigan) and GM let go of 1600+ more the other day, just in our area! The market is so flooded with ppl looking for work, it's downright scary.

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

 Mommy to Emily (16), Cal (12) and Claire Bear (3)
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#26 of 30 Old 04-22-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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"Our taxes are over $8000 and trust me, we are not in too much house -- 1300 sq. ft, small yard, three small bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, 40 years old. But we *are* in NJ, which is just ridiculous for property tax, and our county is one of the absolute worst."


Holy guacamole. I pay property taxes in Seattle, and thought it couldn't be worse than that ANYWHERE. I stand corrected!

OP, I almost cried with you to hear than ONE house sold in your district last year. What a horrible situation! It just sucks not to have the option of downsizing even when you have the will to do so.
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#27 of 30 Old 04-22-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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as far as the property taxes being escrowed- I've read that with all new modifications, it is mandatory to do an escrow. And really, I'd rather the escrow personally, when we bought our house we did the escrow up front. It is way easier to HAVE to pay the money every month than have something happen and be screwed when it comes time to pay the taxes.

And gosh, if the payment with the escrow is less than the payment you have now, that is savings of almost $600/month, wow! I wonder how much more the bank would be able to lower your payment?
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#28 of 30 Old 04-22-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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So glad for you that your DH has a job. Good luck with the house.
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#29 of 30 Old 04-22-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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I'm originally from SE MI. This thread is breaking my heart. I love where I live now (the UP), but I still have little fantasies about moving home, just to be near my friends and family.

DH and I were like rats leaving a sinking ship. I love Detroit, and this whole situation makes me really sad.

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#30 of 30 Old 04-22-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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I'm happy (that's not quite the right word) to see so many former-Detroiters here giving their support. What's happening in SE Michigan right now is unbelievable, and it breaks my heart--including for my own family who are going through some hard times, too. My family and I are in Wayne County and things are indeed grim.

I want to offer reassurance to the op, and to pps who talked about doing everything right and still being in this position. It isn't fair, and it isn't how things are supposed to be, but you are not alone. You are not alone.

I'd like to gingerly offer my feeling on your situation, OP: I think you should consider leaving your house. At least, think of it this way: what is the best-case scenario for your future? Do you think your husband will get a job closer in the near future, or, do you think housing prices are likely to go up in your area in the near future? If not, is your family prepared to do this commute long-term? Why? What to you would be worse, foreclosure/bankruptcy or having your dh commute all that way long-term? I think you should do a pro/con of each scenario to honestly evaluate this situation for your family. Do you want your children to grow up with a dad who is rarely around and who is (possibly) quite stressed when he is around or parents who go through the stress of foreclosure and moving but then move on? I'm not saying this to make you feel guilty for if, indeed, this does prove the best choice for your family then by all means you should know this, but only to let you know that it's okay for you to be considering foreclosure, to know that it is a legitimate choice for a family in a situation as dire as yours.

As a sort of frustrated PS--my husband and I are undergoing foreclosure now ourselves and everyone says, "Oh, talk to the bank, they'll bend over backwards to help you!" and this has just not proven the case at all for us. We feel like we are constantly shuffled around, no one person is intimately familiar with our case and instead we deal with seeming-newbies who don't know how to answer any of our questions, or who tell us one thing, only for one of their colleagues to tell us something completely different. I don't at all get the sense that the bank is willing to try to work with me, but rather that I am dealing with a big, bureaucratic institution in which my case is totally swallowed up and lost. Sad but true.

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