I keep meaning to mention that Dean passed his first Physical Fitness Test with flying colors a couple of weeks ago! He was hoping to get the minimum score of 180 (out of 300) but he got a 243! He routinely runs 3.5 miles to keep in shape. I asked him if he ever thought those words ("I just ran 3.5 miles") would come out of his mouth, to which he said "no". Good work, Dean! In doing the "12-minute-run" in high school PE, I never managed more than about 2 miles, and felt like I had done a marvelous work.
Also, if you don't know, we have been going through the most excruciating, agonizing experience of our lives. The only thing that can even remotely compare to this stress was when Hunter was born 7 weeks early, but even that is a long shot because I always knew he would be fine, and that he was in good hands.
Upon deciding to join the army after much prayer and fasting, we expected everything to fall into place and that the house would magically sell, and I hoped we at least wouldn't lose the money we put down on it. But alas, in six months it hasn't sold, and with a 60 percent pay cut, we were reduced to using credit card money to pay the darn mortgage, months after we vacated the place. We lowered the price to the point that we would lose every penny of our equity, and still not a bite. That's just the market right now. Needless to say there have been many sleepless nights around here as we've pondered what to do. We have stellar credit, and that was on the line. It didn't make sense to keep paying the mortgage; it was a bottomless pit, and we were using one creditor to pay another. I've been job hunting, but being out of the workforce for 5 years, and not having a real "career" to speak of, I've had no bites there either. It wouldn't be worth taking a menial job, as the pay would barely make a dent in the mortgage payment, not to mention the cost of childcare for Kyler...
So a week ago I called our congressman's office back in Oregon (where we maintain residency) and asked if they could give us any guidance. While waiting a few days for a response, I even called Bank of America and asked what options we had. The front line customer service rep I got said there was not a thing they would do for us, since we no longer had the income to support the mortgage. That infuriated me, and made me realize we weren't getting anywhere by continuing to pay the mortgage.
Soon after I finally heard back from the congressman's office with a number to call. After explaining our situation, the HUD counselor advised that we stop making the mortgage payment. That was shocking, yet titillating at the same time. I then mentioned that Dean is in the process of getting a security clearance in the Army, credit being the first thing checked. She said in that case we might need to continue to pay the mortgage, but gave us several ideas to work on, and on her end she was going to send paperwork to the bank, petitioning our case. I called the bank on Saturday and asked to speak with someone about doing a Deed in Lieu (of foreclosure, which essentially gives the house back to the bank), and they tried to put me right through, but that department was gone for the day. I called at 8am today, directly to that department, and spoke to a nice lady who said to write a brief hardship letter, mention the Sailors and Soldiers Act, and give proof of our new income and fax it to a certain number, then call in a few days. She blocked any late fees, and put a block on our credit as well, as we will no longer be making payments. She said the Soldiers and Sailors Act would also protect our credit. So, hopefully everything will work out. We've now put this month's mortgage payment toward paying off one of those credit cards. Hallelujah! Now we just wait for it all to transpire, and keep praying and crossing our fingers. Thank you to all who have remembered us in your prayers!