A Little Out of Touch


OK, maybe it’s a little more than being a little out of touch. Maybe it’s really a case of burying one’s head in the sand. I say that, in all sincerity, without judgement or malice of any kind. I’ve been guilty more times than I can count of precisely the same thing. It’s the human condition.

What am I talking about, you ask? A few days ago I had a conversation with a client of mine who’s been planning to sell sometime this spring. They’ve been in the middle of a pretty large project (for a long time) remodeling the second story of their house. When the work is done, it goes on the market. My client called to ask if I knew anything about the way foreclosures worked…because they had gotten a notice of some kind that told them they had one scheduled for next month. They were not sure exactly what the notice was or who had sent it. She went on to explain that they had been doing a loan modification and this sort of hit them out of the blue.

“Have you been missing your mortgage payments?” I asked. “Yes” She replied.

“How long has it been?” I asked. “Not quite sure” She said. “The loan mod people have been working for a long time on this thing, but communication with them is problematic…to say the least. We’re not really sure what’s going on”.

She asked me if 1) it would be possible for a foreclosure to actually be scheduled for a couple of weeks out and 2) if they made a mortgage payment or two could they delay the action until the construction work was completed and the house could be sold.

I, honestly, didn’t know the answer to either question. I suggested they call their lender and talk to them about it.  Put your cards on the table and see if they can help you work through this. She said they were worried that it would blow the loan mod opportunity and they had been afraid to make that call.

Ultimately we agreed that it was probably a better situation to blow the loan mod (if that’s even possible?) rather than have the house be foreclosed upon in a few weeks. She said she would call the lender.

It was actually a great wake up call for me. It’s so easy…and so human, to rationalize or put off potentially painful choices and decisions. So very many people have lost their homes because of embarrassment or fear of confronting the hurdles that are unavoidable. Often, an honest discussion with your lender will go a long way toward a solution.


  1. Sarah Rummage says:

    Most of us are quilty of putting our head in the sand at times about a lot of things. Good advice to us all.

  2. Jim…good advice for us all, thanks for the post. I have always liked the quote “Bad news never gets better with time”, unfortunately most of us learn that the hard way. Best of luck in 2010

  3. EEEK! Stressful! A little disturbing that they didn’t keep you in the loop…

  4. Perrin Cornell says:

    It is hard to fathom how you could NOT know… but I hear it frequently. I have a friend that is down 4 payments. She was telling me that she intends to get them all caught up next month… when asked how and really pressed she had no idea how. But she said she had one payment now and for sure one in a week… I suggested she get hold of the lender asap… “I don’t want them to be mad at me”… and start talking (if she intends to keep the house…and she does). It is confronting the problem and dealing with it that is the problem… not having an answer and being raised without consequences…

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