It's beginning to feel like 'the good old days'... and I don't mean that in a good way. Wednesday was a day off from work. It began well... I cleaned the kitchen, sorted through the accumulated junk mail that cluttered the counter, washed dried up, crusted ice cream from the bowls in the sink, sorted, washed, dried, and folded 2 weeks of laundry, and was just thinking about whipping up some chocolate cupcakes when there was a knock on the front screen door.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
"Mrs. Hunter?" "This is the Sheriff's Department".
UGH!!! Even though I knew this was coming, dread filled every pore of my soul.
You see... My husband Stan passed away 3 1/2 years ago from ALS. We spent so much money on his care and then had to deplete our savings, retirement, and investments before we could qualify for Medicare... which left me with very few dollars to live on once he was gone. Silly Stan thought for sure I would re-marry with in 2 years... so that's all he provided for. I guess he didn't believe me when I said I would never go through this again for ANY ONE... except the kids and my mom of course. Living frugally allowed me to string out a few extra months. In reality I thought I could pull out another year... however my car didn't like that idea and decided to cause me trouble, and Scott moved to California and needed help, then the economy took a dive and the store sales slid off the charts, not to mention the legal fees I am paying for the lawsuit. Any way... times are tough all over... and I couldn't afford the mortgage payments any longer. Hence the knock on the door from the Sheriff... it's time to move out.
Nothing ever goes the way it should when I get involved it seems. I called the mortgage company back in early April about the lack of money and we agreed to have me surrender in lieu of foreclosure. That is the information I based all of my decisions on. However, the short, round faced man standing in my doorway is telling me that actually my mortgage company purchased the house on April 13, 2010... the sale was finalized on August 25, 2010... and that I had to be moved out by 10am October 5th. Yes... in 6 days! I ask you... how can any one possibly move 27 years of a life out of a 4 bedroom, 2 story center hall colonial in just 6 days??? The little froggy faced man now has the audacity to tell me that he was here a few weeks ago to serve me the papers, but no one was home... I would have had more time if I were home that day. What??? Because I was at work I get penalized 2 weeks? What's going on here? Who I can I talk to about this??? Frog face points to the lawyer's information on the back of the paper. As if this wasn't enough frog face proceeds to 'walk me through' what will happen at 10am on the 5th. A moving van will pull up to the house and remove anything that's in it... the sheriff will escort everyone off the property that doesn't belong there and then padlock the door. Oh... sounds like fun! He leaves.
Hey! Wait a minute! If the mortgage company owned the house back in August... then why have I been mowing the lawn?? Why did I spend $50 on weed killer to kill the grass growing in the driveway? Why didn't anyone notify me?? Why did I pay for homeowner's insurance if I'm not the damn homeowner? UGH!!! And another question... more importantly, who paid the IRS tax lien of $47,000??? I am left standing at the door with so many unanswered questions.
Ring! Ring! There goes my bleeping cell phone. I snatch the phone and bellow, "Hello".
"Ms. Hunter? This is Dave from Princeton Volvo"... Oh here we go again... Ding, ding, ding... round three! Princeton Volvo are NOT my favorite people right now. My car was towed in on Sunday because the turbo charger blew. Three weeks ago I brought the car in because it was making a high pitched whining sound. I always thought a policeman was coming after me. One of their service managers test drove it... told me it was a turbo charger going... it would cost between $2500 and $3000 to repair... not to worry I still had about a year before it really became a problem... and it was OK to drive. He gave me a list of things to watch out for and sent me on my way.
One year in his time warped mind was only three weeks in mine. Just as the service manager predicted... my car would turn into a fog machine and the check engine light would go on. It took 3 seconds to pull to the shoulder of Rt. 18 once the light went on. I knew the routine well. Speed dialed AAA... again, this was the fourth time since May that I have needed my car towed to the dealer. The tow truck driver argued that the lot was gated and he couldn't tow me to the dealer. I reassured him that my car has it's own reserved space by now and that it would be OK. Thank heavens for fabulous friends that don't mind being called at 10:30pm to make a 3 hour round trip drive to help a damsel in distress... in the rain.
Any way... Dave, the service manager called on Monday to say that the repair would cost $5500!!!!!!!! No way!!! I began to dispute it... then realized this would best be accomplished in person. So, on Tuesday I dressed in a 'power outfit' and went face to face with him about the cost. By the end of the conversation he said he could knock the bill down to $4400, but that was the best he could do. In a clear steady voice I told Dave that left me no choice... my next move would be posting all of my repair bills up in my store window for all to see... plus I would wear a pin saying, "Ask me about my Vovlo". Dave prudently decided it was time for me to speak with his manager, Norm. In all fairness, Norm was pleasant and truly seemed to want things to work out... however he had an appointment he had to keep, and asked if he could call me later that day.
The phone call never came. I waited 24 hours... then called them. SURPRISE! Neither Dave nor Norm were there to take my call. Now... minutes after the sheriff dropped a bomb in my lap... Dave returns my call. UGH! We negotiated a compromise... and the car will be ready on Friday for pick up... and then I'm putting the damn car up for sale!!!
Now I focus on the date of October 5th. Certainly that can't be correct. I punch the numbers in the phone for the lawyer on the back of the paper. Long story short... this guy agrees that is not enough time, he will look into it and get back to me, and NO he doesn't know the answers to any of my other questions... particularly the one about the IRS lien.
Ring! Ring! There goes my phone again. Normally no one calls... all of a sudden I'm Miss Popularity.
"Mrs. Hunter? This is Glen from the congressman's office". Ah yes... I applied for VA benefits last April since Stan was in the military. To date I have received a letter every other month stating they are still processing my request because they are so behind. Since April!!! 6 months!!! So I wrote to my local Congressman to see if he could speed the process up in some way. Glen was calling to tell me that he contacted the VA and yes... I qualified for benefits... but they are so far behind it would still be another 4 months before I heard anything. REALLY??? Four more months??? I replied to Glen that if I didn't need the money to purchase food I wouldn't be so pushy. With that he hastily said he would see what he could do and would call back... Click.
Ring! Ring! Geesh... NOW who???
"Ms. Hunter? Dave at Volvo". NOW what? Oh... sure... it would be no problem at all to return the rental car to replace it with a loaner... today... 40 minute drive one way... ON MY DAY OFF!!! UGH!
Ring! Ring! AAARRGGGHHH!!!
"Yes!", I bark in to the phone.
"Mrs. Hunter? This is Glen just calling to let you know the Congressman faxed a letter to the VA asking to expedite your request. Please let me know if you hear anything and I will do the same so that we are all on the same page at the same time."
Ahhhh..... finally a responsible, proactive person. What a nice boy :-)
From the moment the sheriff knocked on my door... to the time I hung up with Glen was a matter of 1 1/2 hours.
I NEED A CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE... WITH BUTTER CREAM FROSTING... NOW!!!
Yesterday I had a nice conversation with the local Sheriff Department. They also agreed that 6 days was simply not enough time to move out and extended the date by 2 weeks.
October 19, 2010 is my official move out date.
Calgon... take me away!