Taking Back My Home: Amanda's Storyin HPN Blog
My name is Amanda. I am a twenty six year old single mom of a three-year-old boy. He is my world. However, the story doesn't start there. It all began back in 2006 when I bought my first home with my husband. To us it was the dream house, perfect for him and I, our 3 dogs and a cat.
I lost the house in a divorce several years later. I didn't want to give it up, I just couldn't afford the house on my own. Like many in this economy I've strugled with layoffs, finding new work, and having to rely at times on food stamps and stay with other families. The divorce agreement stated that he was to keep up on the payments and take my name off of it. A year later when I went to buy a car the dealership told me I needed to put money down in order to purchase the car.I thought I still had near perfect credit, but it had gone from 754 to 545 in one year. What?! I was furious and confused. Turns out my ex-husband had stopped making payments on the house and couldn't get my name off unless he refinanced or bought me out. Either way it was a no go. I felt like I was stuck with the situation and had no idea how to take back control over my credit. But it kept getting worse, every time I went to rent a place my credit score affected my costs to move in. I still had two mortgages on my credit. For several years I didn't know who to call, or what to do to get the mortgage off my credit. To me credit was everything.
Getting some answers
Talking with the REconomy team about my house they told me that I did still own rights to the home and they confirmed that it was still on my credit. They did a little research and told me to contact my ex-husband to see if the house was empty, when the last payment was made, if he had filed for modifications, and if he would be willing to sign the deed back over to me. I found out that no payments had been made since August 2011, he had filed for several modifications and been denied every time. He signed the deed back over to me in February 2012.
Facing the Bank
That night around 5pm I was sitting in the driveway waiting for my furniture to come and a friend to help with the locks. A car pulled up in the driveway and a guy got out. He asked me who I was and I responded by asking who he was. He informed me that he was there to fix the locks, clean and prepare the home for foreclosure. I told him he was trespassing and that he needed to check with the courts. He asked me if I was the owner, and I replied yes. I asked him if he wanted the locks or if we should just throw them away. He told me to hang on a minute and got back into his car to make a call. I got back into my car and made my own call to Project REconomy. The two amazing people on the other end cheered me on for holding my ground. I felt untouchable. That was a scary moment, I can see why people give up. I am lucky enough to have the support of the Project REconomy team who have experienced situations similar to mine.
Taking Back Control
After about five minutes the guy got out of his car and walked toward me. I asked him for his business card and he claimed he didn’t have one. I then asked him for his name and phone number and he said that he “didn’t give that information out.” I proceeded to write down his license plate number. I hope that you are picturing this. At that moment I stood my ground and became a strong, independent mother and homeowner. I stated “you won’t give me your information, you have trespassed, and now you won’t give me my keys.” He suddenly became more cooperative. He told me the locks were the same as before and should be in a drawer inside. We moved to the door to take the locks off and I asked him if he was the guy that got paid five bucks to do this. He said no, so I responded with “Oh, so you get ten?” He claimed that wasn't getting any money for doing this. I asked his who he worked for and I have never seen a more concerned, frightened grown man in my whole life. He got flustered and turned red in the face, blurting out “Nation Star” as he walked, almost running, out of the yard to his car.
February 24, 2012 my son and I woke up in our house. Looking around and then into my son’s eyes was one of the best moments of my life. We have a long road ahead of us, but I am confident we’re going to do great. I found some solutions, took back control and stood my ground. I hope that my story can inspire others who are fighting foreclosure, whatever your situation.