Fighting Bank of America or How to Become the Owner of Your Husband’s House


Dearest readers, here we are again. The drama with the Bank of Asshat-ery may almost be at a close. A quick catch up. When Fix-it-guy died August 24, 2015, we owed $4711.90 on our house. You will also remember that Incompetent Dumbass Lawyer told me not to make any  payments on the house. I dutifully did this, because he’s the expert, he should know the thing that I am supposed to do, right? Oh dear reader, you are obviously just as deluded as I am about experts. So Fast forward 19 months and a new Bright and Shiny Lawyer. We had our settlement conference with the Bank of Asshat-ery’s lawyer.

So, it must be a rule that you must send your most cunty lawyer to do a job. She is dumpy looking and self important. Actually looked as if she might have just rolled out of bed. She wasted 15 minutes complaining about having to drive an hour to my county because our county doesn’t allow these sort of things to happen over the phone. Once in a conference room she proceeds to hand me a Harry Potter novel of paperwork to “assume the mortgage”. Now, dear reader, we have made it abundantly clear that I have no intention in the universe of assuming the mortgage. I have wanted to pay it off since the beginning. That has always been the plan. To finish what Fix-it-guy started. And Bright and Shiny Lawyer told Cunty Faced Lawyer this. Cunty Faced Lawyer gave the longest most audible sigh and then asked me if I even had the money to pay it off. I damn sure do, bitch, let me write you a Nightmare Before Christmas check. What was that amount again?

Then I find out it’s a process. Bright and Shiny Lawyer encourages Cunty Faced Lawyer to call the bank for a payoff amount which is somewhere hovering between 2 times more than the original and 3 times more than the original. They think I should pay for their foreclosure attorney. And here’s another kicker, I get to pay for the imaginary escrow balance that consists of the taxes that aren’t due until April and the house insurance that isn’t due until August. So I’m fine. Let’s walk over to my bank and transfer the money since you only take certified funds. No, it’s a process, they will email the actual payoff amount on Monday. So Monday comes and so does an email from Bright and Shiny Lawyer, somehow the amount of the payoff has jumped almost $2000 dollars from the amount quoted on Friday. What the fuck changed? No one knows. But we are now very solidly closer to the 3 times amount than the 2 times amount.

On Wednesday I trudge down to the bank. My heart is breaking. I feel like I can’t breathe and I’m trapped in a cyclone of hell. I do meaningless things all morning because my brain needs some repetitive thing that I have to concentrate on slightly to feel calm. Nothing works. I am in tears. To the bank I go.

And the bank teller hassles me about my name on my account. This is a 20 minute process and I am barely hanging on with my fingernails to the edge of sanity that is suddenly asking me if I really care about hanging on to it. I do not. Finally they decide that this transaction can be made. Another 10 minutes to figure out the paperwork. And then some hassle over where the physical address is. For. An. Electronic. Transaction. I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to provide any other person/entity with their own address when completing a transaction. I asked the girl to please not fuck with me today and just do the damned transaction. My fingernails are slipping and I can no longer promise that I will remain calm for the ride we are on.

Finally the transaction is processed and I’m presented with a receipt. Oh joy. I bop to the post office to mail off complaint against Incompetent Dumbass Lawyer with the state and then on to Bright and Shiny Lawyer’s office to give him receipt of payoff.

I go home exhausted and in a flood of tears again. I do not real relieved to have this done. I feel apprehensive and awful. It feels like I’ve chipped off the last bit of Fix-it-guy. I feel like he will be gone and he is already starting to feel like less than a picture. The memories of his voice are gone and I can no longer imagine his gentle kisses or the way he held me. It is the last thing in my life with his name on it. It feels wrong and awful and horrible to change it. I know that I have to. But it feels bad. Everyone assures me that it was always my house too. But see, I never wanted to own a house. That was his dream. And I feel as if I am still living it. Without real purpose. Now that he’s gone. That dream was beautiful with him. Unpurposeful and surreal without him. I am starting to feel like an episode of “Legion”. Minus the Pink Floyd references.

Despite my exhaustion, I did not sleep a wink that night. I lay there in the bed staring at the ceiling. Flipping channels. Trying to figure out what happens next. Because there are still more bits of this to do. Just fragments of things to settle. I have no more energy for these fights. I am angry and don’t know who to be angry at. I can’t be pissed at Fix-It-Guy. He obviously never planned to die. So my anger get directed askew at  the Bank of Asshat-ery, Life in General, Incompetent Dumbass Lawyer and the Universe as a whole. I wish I had fireballs or some other cool super power to throw at all of these things. But, no. I do not.

Dear Reader, a cautionary tale is to be found in all of this. Do not choose Bank of America as your mortgage company. I don’t care how many sparkles they put on their unicorns. I don’t care what the incentives are. Stay the hell away from them. They are a bunch of insensitive greedy bastards.

Welcome to this shiny little corner of hell, come in and help me redecorate


So, dear readers, it’s getting to be a bumpy ride here in the Land of the Not Quite Right. As some long time readers will remember Fixitguy died in August 2015. Yes, it’s really been that long. Trust me, no amount of flailing makes that go away. So, in that time I have been keeping my nose down and moving forward with one step right in the front of the other. Even when that moving forward seemed pointless, still I persisted.

Just a recap of things in general. We are THIS far past his death and my house still sits in limbo like some sort of Victorian ghost in the middle of Neverwhere. Of course the biggest problem with all of this has been LazyLawyer who told me not to pay on the house so I wouldn’t have to pay credit card bills and in recent months has been on the “Fuck it, just let them foreclose on it” boat. Which is in no way helpful to me because I still need to have someplace to live. He has done nothing to lift my opinions of solicitors in general. So, I hired a new attorney who has taken me on as a personal crusade. The bad guy in this little melodrama is Bank of America (to be known as the Bank of Asshat-ery for the remainder of my dealings with them).

Now Bank of Asshat-ery has done everything in their power to be as non-accommodating and non-apologetic about Fixitguy’s death as anyone could be. Within days of being notified of his death the calls began to harass me about making payments. This whole thin seems bizarre to me as the loan was in his name, so technically I have no legal liability to pay this loan, but the Bank of Asshat-ery says that I do because well….they said so, of course. Within months of his death, they put in some sort of paperwork to expedite foreclosure which LazyLawyer told me to ignore. Just a formality. All part of the game, he said. Within a few short months of that they started sending the little Asian guy to my door to take my picture and hand me a little yellow envelope. The harassment is unbelievable. I finally had to take my phone number off of their books to get them to stop calling me. There were days that they called 10 times a day. I, of course, was blindly following LazyLawyer’s very bad legal advice. Which in the end looks as if I will be made to pay double what FixItGuy owed when he died. Isn’t life wonderful?

Around Thanksgiving, I took the reins in my own hands, since LazyLawyer seemed incompetent to and called the bank myself asking for a pay off amount. By the time I received the documents, the deadline had passed. When I called to inform them, they told me that was too bad and now I owed another $1500.

New lawyer who is bright and shiny in a way that I hope stuns the Bank of Asshat-ery into severely underestimating him and making them do something really stupid is working with the Bank of Asshat-ery to come to an agreement on how this is going to get paid off. They offered to let me assume the loan at the new payment point of double almost triple what we owed 18 months ago. He told them that I was willing to write a check immediately and sign a non-disclosure. They vetoed that. The Bank of Asshat-ery are a bunch of greedy fuckers who have no empathy for anyone that does not contribute to their pocket books. I am desperate to write a check for them. I have been pleading for them to just let me write them a check. I am more than willing to write a check to them. I just don’t think it’s fair that I should have to write one for almost triple the amount that the Fixitguy owed. I also think it’s hideously unfair that I have had to empty out his retirement account to make this possible. Lots of things about this situation seem grossly unfair, but some are just plain more unfair than other things. I don’t know how this is going to go with the Bank. I have faith. I don’t know where that will get me, but a girl’s gotta hang on to whatever she can.

 

Closing in on a year and other tales of survival (or who let me adult? WTF?!)


Yesterday was Andrew’s birthday. He would have been 54. I was bombarded all day with memories from various social websites reminding me of this fact and of all the birthdays in years past and how we celebrated. Mostly it was concerts. Because our whole lives were concerts. But mostly I woke up feeling lost because for the first time in 16 years I did not wake up to snuggle his  crazy blonde curls that I affectionately called Rooster head and tell him “You’re 8 years older than me”. July was very special for us. Our first date was July 15th and for years (including that first date) went to Muncie for Shakespeare at Minnetrista and later on BSU’s campus until they did away with it altogether. His birthday came on July 19th and 7 years 7 days and 7 hours later on July 26th came my birthday. It seemed our whole world revolved around 7s. Now I have had to add the anniversary of his mom to July on the 14th. In the past, our little group of 3 couples celebrated four of our six birthdays in this week. Starting with Drew’s birthday and ending with mine. It seems a little weird to start on a different birthday this year.

It also seemed weird to sit quietly at home and go to bed fairly early last night.

We plan to celebrate a little with a lantern release tonight. Just the few of us getting together and remembering a man who made so much impact on all of us and left such a giant gap behind. It’s important to go through these rituals of remembering and feeling all of the feelings that come with it. It makes us…..(swallow) human.

If I had known a year ago that my life was going to be so drastically changed and forever altered, I don’t know if I would have acted/behaved/done anything differently. But I do know that I would have still put my head down and moved forward with everything that is inside of me because I am too stubborn/dumb/pathetic to do anything less than that.

So this year has been filled with all of the firsts. Which suck. Every. One. But still I move forward. This year has also been filled with lots of changes. I changed jobs, hairstyles, focuses, relationships, coworkers and cars. I didn’t get stuck but am often debilitated by the thing that brought all of these changes. I am not happier in these changes, per se, but I am feeling a hell of a lot less stressed about life in general. I have found support in places that I did not know existed. I have learned that we take life way too seriously and that we worry about far too many things that…..Just. Don’t. Matter. And we also let life get on top of us in ways that…..May. Just. Kill. Us.

Think about those things for a moment. Meditate on them. Use them for a mantra. Life is way too short to fuck around with people who make us miserable and far too precious to waste time doing things that don’t make us happy or lead to a way to make us happy.

Afterall, I decided that after 2 years of being stuck in a job that I hated and that had become some sort of demented antagonist in my life, that I was moving on. With or without a replacement job. Luckily a replacement job came along.  I have learned to appreciate little things in life. I consider nothing wasted time anymore. Roger wants to take a car ride?  Let’s go! Chance to take a day off work and take my kid to see our lads <bows head in reverence> Liverpool play on US soil? Fuck yes! Take my friends and kid to concerts? Hell yes! (Side note: you have not lived until you realise that you prolly played WAY too much Violent Femmes while your kid was growing up because you are standing next to him at that concert and you both are screaming the lyrics “why can’t I get just one fuck” at top volume.)

Have a written a word outside of a few blogs since Andrew died? No, I have not. But let me tell you why. I sit in front of the screen writing a blog and I cry my eyes out. I am not ready to write anything else right now. Writing is intensely personal and intensely emotional. I am just not ready to share that much with anyone right now. I haven’t stopped being creative. I have been working on the Autie Zombie Girl shop and things are starting to come together in a way. I have a working website: Weird gifts for Weird people. For now, this is satisfying my creativity. I will go back to writing. But right now, there is so much to do!

I challenged myself this year. It would be very easy for me to go inside, shut the door, lock the latch with that satisfying CLICK and….Never. Come. Out. Again. But because that is the easy answer, I did not do that. Instead I put myself out there. I go to the market every Saturday. Good or bad weather. Good or bad sales. I signed up to do some local shows. That is definitely not in my comfort zone. But without Drew to buffer the world for me, I have had to learn to do it for myself. I do occasionally still hide. I still have Asperger’s for fuck’s sake. But I had to get strong enough to do things on my own. I always have. I have always had this pool of getupandgoness that makes me move forward in a generally lucid manner.

I am now also LITERALLY my husband’s brother’s keeper. Not many of you know that Drew has a brother with an extremely awful mental illness. He is paranoid schizophrenic. When their mom died, Drew and I promised we would look after Mark. When Drew died, I thought that it was my job to fulfill that promise. He was arrested a few months ago in Family Dollar arguing with his voices and destroying merchandise. We got him a placement in first our local mental health agency and then our state mental health hospital. The guardianship hearing was a hoot. Drew’s real father showed up to contest it. He’d succeeded in putting off the hearing for a month. He attempted to make it a three ring circus, but did not succeed. He told the judge that I was crazy and that I was famous on the internet because “her people call her auntie zombie girl”. He also tried to turn being weird into a bad thing. He told the judge that I was proud of being different. So the judge told him that he could see I was different from where he was sitting and he was going to give me guardianship anyways. Bam!

I have been tempted often in the last couple of months to send him a letter and tell him that this is  not how good Christians and Believers behave. That he should be happy that someone has stepped up to take care of Mark. Afterall, he’s just as crazy if not crazier than Mark. He does not see it that way. Thankfully, I have people on my side in that family. Drew’s cousin told the rest of the family that I was obviously the best person for the job. Afterall, his own mother trusted me to take care of him in her absence. I also made sure to dispel the myth that Drew’s mom died atop a giant pile of money that was earmarked for Mark’s care. This is not the case at all. It’s hard to make people who only use money and their own rewards/benefits as a basis for helping others understand that sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

I continue to clean the house and to put his items away that will eventually go to an auction and be used to pay for his headstone. I continue to find memories of what our life together was and what it meant to him. I believe he was truly happy. Not just with me and our marriage, but with his life. He loved his little part time job and he loved fixing things. He was starting to put together a little network of people that needed things fixed. He enjoyed the freedom of doing what he wanted when he wanted and taking as long as he wanted to so that the job was done right. He was truly in a very good place in life.

So ahead of us are the last few firsts. My first birthday (in 16 years) without him. My first year without him. It’s a struggle that I feel immensely under equipped to take on. But here we are. How would I have done this all without the love and support that I have? I have no idea. Prolly not very well.

I miss his smile. I miss waking up every day and told how pretty I am. I miss his gentle kindness. I miss his confidence. I miss the confidence that he gave me in myself. I miss having a built in concert/movie buddy. I miss everything about him deep into my soul. Life is not as happy without him. Music is not as good without him. My house is so quiet and empty without him. He was my best friend.