I’ve mentioned it on here perhaps a dozen times, but only in passing so I wouldn’t be surprised if longtime readers don’t remember. Don’t remember what, you ask? Why, that Wes and I have been trying to get our mortgage modified for the better part of two years, that’s what.
A long, long time ago, I can still remember how the thought of a modified mortgage used to make me smile…
A couple years ago, our job situation got all shaken up and our income was seriously reduced. This was a problem, because we were one of the hapless millions who bought homes they, strictly speaking, couldn’t really afford. Our mortgage gobbed up as much as 60% of our income at times, and sensible lending practices dictate that your mortgage should account for no more than 30% of your income.
Still, we made the payments. We scrimped, never went on dates (seriously, there was one year when we went on two dates. Total. Both of which were paid for by gift certificates) and kept our house so frigid that we wore three layers of clothing and huddled under blankets during the winter. We considered living la vida poverty worthwhile because we had a house. A house, we were assured, was the best investment you could make.
Until it wasn’t. It turns out we bought our house at the apex of the housing market, and when the housing prices began self-correcting, we were dismayed to find that our house was worth far less than we had paid for it. So now we had an income-gobbling mortgage on a house we had no hope of selling.
All this would have been fine, except for the issue of the house itself. This house is a fine starter house, and is perfectly sufficient for two adults and a baby. There is, however, no room for a second baby. There wouldn’t even be room for a dog, and a baby. We have a little over 1000 square feet, a washer and dryer that live in the garage (where they freeze and become useless in the winter), and no pantry. There is really no way we can stay here indefinitely.
So, we pursued a mortgage modification. Supposedly our bank, Wells Fargo, would be motivated to modify our mortgage rather than risk us foreclosing on our house. Well, they’re either too stupid to put those pieces together or unfazed by the idea of a foreclosure, because it’s taken us two years to get a modification proposal from them.
We received the proposal yesterday. I opened the envelope with incredulity, which quickly turned to dismay when I realize what they were proposing. Their proposal was to turn our 5 Year ARM into a 30 Year Fixed mortgage…And increase our monthly payments by a little over $500 per month.
That’s right. Increase.
All I can say to that is, WTF, WF? I mean, in what kind of perpetual opposite-day must they be living to think that, if we’re having trouble with our current mortgage payment, increasing it by $500 per month is going to help?
I mean, even if all things remain equal, our interest rate will change when our ARM is up in a year so we’re still screwed. Now we have some serious negotiating to do with our (pigheaded, idiotic, dumb dumb dumb) bank. If they’re unwilling to offer something that’s even vaguely realistic, we’re facing some big decisions.
Lucky for me, I have the perfect antidote to big decisions: baby cuddles. Aidan’s in this really great phase where he falls asleep while eating, thereby enabling me to cuddle his sweetly sleeping self for as long as I want. Yeah, I forsee a great many cuddles in the near future.