Monday, March 21, 2011

Coming Clean, Getting Real, Fessing Up... (Part One)

And all that jazz!! 

Most of the time I am a very optimistic person and try to stay focused on the positives of life.  It's not that I don't feel the need to be "real" or anything.  With all the bad stuff going on all around us I'd just like my little corner of the world to be a bright spot--at least as much as I can make it.  Plus there are lots of things in life we don't really want to talk about unless we have to.  Right?  But there comes a time when we just have to be honest about what's going on in our lives.  So now it's time that I explain some of what we've been going through and share our "news" that I hinted about some time ago--(and some of what I've been asking for prayer for--for about a year now).

I'm sure that you've heard that wise piece of advice, "Never say 'never'".  Well, once upon a time, I said with genuine, heartfelt passion "We will NEVER file bankruptcy!!"  Sigh.  So here's the story...

In early 2008 our family business was doing great and we had our 3 oldest sons working for us (and doing a spectacular job at that!).  But things really started falling off.  We persuaded our friend from Virginia into coming back to Missouri to help us out and advise us financially (and fix our computers and make us laugh!) but the economy was bad enough that it wasn't something that he could really help with.  He did, however, buy our "fixer upper" home that we had bought in 1996 with intentions of fixing up and selling but just didn't have the time (so we bought and moved to the farm where we currently live).  Our friend moved onto another job, Son #2 moved to Hawaii and eventually Son #1 had to find another job because we simply couldn't afford to pay him what he needed and still pay our bills though he tried his best to help us however he could.  Son #3 continued to work for us but he still had to learn a lot of things since he had really just been a "helper" for the other boys. 

Then DH's back went out.  With the profits from the sale of our house and the help of credit cards we were able to stay afloat financially for some time.  Eventually though, there was no buffer and we just couldn't pay our bills anymore.  We tried working with our creditors and some were as good as gold (pun intended!!).  The creditor for our home--not so much.  We got behind on our payments and they told us that they would refinance our loan but we had to make 3 reduced trial payments--which we did.  It seemed fishy from the get-go when we asked them what happened after the trial payments: "Don't worry about that", they said.  "Most people don't even make it that far."  ?????   Well we planned to!!  This was our home we were talking about--our farm and warehouse for our business!!  Three trial payments came and went and we were still no closer to getting the refinance finalized.  "Just make three more payments" they said.  At the end of those payments we got a letter in the mail saying that if we didn't pay up the full amount of money we owed them (which includes what we were late on from DH not being able to work plus the money that we "shorted" them by making those trial payments totalling to be around $7,000) they were going to foreclose on our home.  When we talked to them they said that this was normal procedure and that the refi would be done just before the deadline for foreclosure.  We waited and waited.  DH called them nearly everyday but there was never any new news.  Friends and family told us that if we wanted to save our house we would have to file bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure.  Finally out of desperation that's what we did--Chapter 13.  Everything went into effect just a day or two before the foreclosure.  Do we think that they would have had the refi ready by the foreclosure date.  Not at all!!  They were just playing us along.

Since we filed the Chapter 13 bankruptcy our situation has continued to worsen so much so that we cannot make our payments to the trustee anymore.  We will now have to file Chapter 7.  With all of my being this is something that I do not want to do!!  We've prayed, asked for help and prayer and examined all of our options--including me going back to work.  

We know that we created this disaster by living beyond our means and presuming upon the future.  We have no one to blame but ourselves--though DH throws some of the responsibility onto "the economy", I know the truth.

So our big announcement is...  We're Moving!!!

To be continued...


dulce de leche said...

Oh my. Many hugs to you! I am sorry you are going through such a hard, stressful time. <3

Fruitful Harvest said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your home! You will be in my prayers!
I will pray your hubby finds some work.

Peace and Love,