It’s been more than two years now since Stephanie Alison Walker and her husband, Bob, sold their Silver Lake home in a short-sale that she chronicled in a blog called Love in the Time of Foreclosure. The blog, a diary of the couple’s financial and personal struggles, has now been turned into a digital book that went on sale last week. Walker, who now lives in Chicago with her husband, baby and dog, explains in a blog post (of course) why anyone would want to spend $9.99 on a digital book when most of the material is already online for free:
The book will be comprised of the blog posts that best tell our foreclosure story as well as NEW posts that I never published. There were things I wrote about but was afraid to make public at the time, mostly because I didn’t want to scare off any potential buyers. Those posts will be in the book. The book fills in the gaps in our story.
Click on the link below for an excerpt.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Today is the day the bank officially begins foreclosure proceedings on our home. How do I know this? Because this was the deadline they gave us in a very unwelcome letter that we received the week before Christmas. I’m talking about the Letter of Intent to Accelerate. Accelerate what? Well, our foreclosure. That’s what. This un-Christmassy letter stated that we had until January 16, 2009 to bring our loan current and avoid foreclosure proceedings. That’s today.
Because we did not “bring our loan current,” i.e. pay $16,000, they will begin foreclosure proceedings. Today.
Back in December, a few days after we received the dreaded Letter of Intent to Accelerate, my mom and stepdad Tom flew in for the holidays. Through her real estate connections, Mom (who’s been a Realtor in Illinois for over 25 years) arranged for us to talk to a short sale guru. This man’s entire mission is to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. We were so happy to finally be able to talk to someone who is a mentor for people in our situation.
And so a few days before Christmas, Bob, Mom and I sit around the kitchen island, put the phone on speaker and dial the guru.
We fill him in on the details. We tell him how long the house has been on the market. Four months now. How many buyers have been through. Hundreds.
He recommends we drop the price immediately and go for the short sale. Then if it doesn’t move, drop the price again in two weeks. Keep dropping it every two weeks until it sells. Talk to a HUD counselor, write a Letter of Hardship, call both lenders, track everything – every call, every interaction. Be gracious. With everyone.
“Look, I know how you feel,” he tells us. “My wife and I went through this too. It’s terrible. It is. But it could be a great thing for you. You’re young and your attitude is really good. You’re gonna get past this stronger than ever. You will.”
As he’s talking, I notice that I’m crying. I look up to find that both Bob and my mom are crying too. We’re all crying. Mom’s nodding her head. We’re rapt. He’s connecting with our emotional core.
“And listen,” he continues. “My mission is to help people avoid foreclosure at all costs. But, if it comes to that, foreclosure isn’t the end of the world. Okay? You’ll get through this.”
We wipe our tears. Exhale.
Then continue the calls.
Department of Housing and Urban Development