The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cancel the bankruptcy - I'm a landlord

Friday, I went to talk to an attorney about filing bankruptcy because of this impending foreclosure on my old condo. They suggested I go find out who's living in the condo now, introduce myself, and tell them that they will have to move out.

Sunday, I did just that. I left a note on the person's door with my phone number on it. When the tenant called - her name is Asana - she told me that is a home loan modification specialist and advocate. She could tell that there was a problem with the apartment when she began receiving packages from the bank months ago. She talked to her mentor, Michelle Singletary, who told her that one day the real apartment owner would show up and want her apartment back (how prophetic!).

We met on Monday, Asana and I, and worked out a deal. She would help me with a home loan modification and any other financial advocacy needs I have (talking with credit card companies, MVA, etc). In exchange, I would allow her to pay $250 less on the rent than what she was paying the rental company, which is apparently a fraudulent company. While she is coordinating a home loan modification with the bank, I don't have to pay rent. In other words, I will receive rent money for the next 2-3 months instead of losing money in a foreclosure. In fact, I was supposed to meet with the attorneys today and pay a $400 retainer to get them to handle this case for me. Instead, I'm GETTING money instead of paying it.

How in the world did that happen?

Needless, to say I'm not thinking about bankruptcy anymore.

As I talked with Asana, I opened up and told her that I'm camping out in my car. When I tell my family and friends about this experience, I should use the word camping. Maybe that will help them cope better with the news – you think? Naw, I didn’t think so either.

Well, Asana, was not comfortable with that and arranged for me to stay with her godmother overnight. I did - I slept on her couch. She generously offered me drinks and showed me where the bathroom was. She told me she wanted to get to Mass at 6:30 in the morn, and I told her I'm usually up and about by 6:00. I thought that timing worked for both of us. Yet, at 5:45 AM, she flicked on the living room lights and YELLED, "Good morning!" Then she went to use the computer in the neighboring room (in the dark). So turning the lights on were to get me up. I got up and left after thanking her for her kindness.

Also, while talking to Asana, she told me that I HAVE TO let Jasmine or at least one other person know my real situation in case anything happened to me. I know she's right. I had thought about that before.

So, I called Jasmine up and we planned to meet at her place. I broke the news to her, and we had a good laugh because she had her suspicions about things all along but couldn't pinpoint what might be going on.

BTW, I called my mom on my way to Jasmine's house so that when I got inside Jasmine's house she could hear Jasmine in the background and feel safe for me. Whenever I talk to my parents, I'm always in the car or I'll say that I'm just pulling up to the house or I'm in my room, and they can never hear other people. They've asked me several times how I like it there, and I think they are getting concerned that I'm not socializing or bonding with the people in the house.

So, Jasmine pointed out to me when she figured out that I'd  arranged that call so they could hear her voice in the background.

Jasmine said she's going to talk to her husband about me staying there, but she was relieved that I had someplace to go last night (Asana's godmother's house).

However, I feel fine in my car. The godmother's couch, BTW, wasn't any bigger than the back seat of my Honda! Wow! I thought I was going to stretch out and be more comfortable, but not.

Anyway, I like being able to follow my own schedule and not feel like I'm holding anyone up from Mass, work, or wherever. I'm just glad that Asana and Jasmine know where I sleep at night.

I was researching people’s car-dwelling experiences this weekend.  Many people feel adventurous and they feel like free spirits – that’s how I feel. Some even said they never want to go back to paying a rent or mortgage.

On the other hand, some people felt despondent, tired of the experience, and lonely. They said it was rough.Some people have no friends, no family, an abusive ex, kids who don’t care. There are too many people in the world to be lonely. When I was lonely, I found the problem was with me. It’s really important if you’re going to go homeless to have support. People need to learn to make and keep friends. If you have NO ONE, act as if the problem is you, then go out of your way to find out how to be the type of friend that others want.  

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