It's not about the house.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Tramp's Story, Part XIII: Children and Fools

Con’t from a couple of posts ago, in which I faxed my 1099s to Maria, so as to convince her she ought to lend me more than ten times my yearly income…

I made the same piddling amount of money the last time we went through this, but — well, actually, last time my puddle was even smaller. And despite what the news cycle can't bring itself to stop reporting, even at the height of the Stupid Boom banks were not just throwing money at anyone with a death wish and a catcher's mitt. They did still have at least one standard in 2004, and my husband (only he was not my husband then) was not up to it: Johnny had no credit rating whatsoever. Still doesn't, as a matter of fact. So he couldn’t be officially included on the mortgage papers, which is why I (not entirely truthfully) added his annual income to my own.

I still think of this as a little white lie, though. It was our honest household income, even if that isn't the question that was asked. And at least I wasn’t like those other people, inventing million-dollar incomes to get $500,000 loans. All I did was add Johnny’s $25K on to my 17! And that still wasn’t enough to buy even this shitbox of a house! The mortgage broker took it upon himself to pop another $15K on top, just to be sure! But it wasn’t my idea! All I did was sign the freakin’ thing!


So I was pretty well determined not to get into any of that crap this time around, even if it meant aborting the attempt. Johnny doesn’t have any income this time, anyway, and I’d been very up front with everyone about that from the start. Henry, Aroutyan, Sarah, Maria – all of Sybil’s alternates who’d so far come out to play. I made good and sure that not one of them would be surprised by the wee numbers reported on my 1099s, but I didn’t know if there were more I hadn't met. And I didn't know how the Inner Council would judge these things. I didn’t know what Runic Guidelines they might follow, what their Urim and Thummim would have to say, or if anybody’d told yet them exactly how much money I don’t have.

So after I faxed the 1009s, I emailed Maria:

“Is there any chance that they’ll say no,” I asked, “when they see these numbers? I mean, you and Henry have both made it sound like a done deal, but… $17K? Are you absolutely sure no one will laugh?”

“This is not an income-based program,” she assured me. “They really only want to see proof that you’re employed. After that, the numbers just don’t matter.”

“Okay, then I have another question: If you – or ‘they,’ or whomever – aren’t interested in how much money I (don’t) make, then why do you-or-they care if I’m employed? I could very well be jobless with a ginormous trust fund like My Lady, or I could be gainfully employed by her and pulling down seventeen grand. If all you really care about is my past record of timely payment, then why bother with all this hoop-jumping rigamarole?”

Not really. I didn’t say that to Maria. I thought it, but I kept the idea to myself. I decided it was best to leave well enough alone for the time being, sit on my hands until I had a final answer, and repeat the mantra “The worst that happens is we’re back where we started” over and over in my head while rocking back and forth, eating my hair.

The next morning, Maria called me on my cell phone. I was standing in my living room at the time:

“I just wanted to let you know," she said, "I have your preliminary HUD document in front of me.”


“Yeah. So have you got a minute? I'd like to go over the numbers.”

Sure! But um, first...

Can you tell me what “preliminary HUD document” means?

To be continued. Maybe only two more times! Or three. But the end is in sight, I swear to god. Really. Do I seem like the kind of person who would lie? I mean about something of this magnitude? To you?

Well, I never.

1 comment:

12ontheinside said...

I feel ever so slightly better about the drama I went through recently organising a new mortgage. Although in hindsight, I also now see I so should have stretched it out for 6 weeks worth of posts.