Well, hello readers. I've sort of disappeared off the radar the past month or so but never fear ~ I have been busy.
The spouse seems to think he can retire this year but it is a pipe dream minus the pipe. We don't do drugs. There is no way retirement is going to happen this year unless The Employer pays the spouse off. The spouse seems to think it's in the cards. We'll see.
I have been busy cleaning up after renovations and figuring out what to do next. We really need to get this house finished so that we can enjoy living in it sans dust. It is all such a slow process. We still have college expenses to worry about (naturally) and that constant infusion of cash into the University of California system drains off a lot of resources and extra cash. There is still much to do to the house but not a lot of money with which to do it. Much of the interior work we will have to do ourselves because we are receiving ridiculous quotes from contractors who seem to think we are going to make them rich. Not gonna happen. If I need to climb up a 25 foot scaffold to save $3000, I will do so. Done it before.
Tax season is upon us. I've been completing our 2013 return. Done and dusted. Last night, the spouse commented that our paper pile is breeding again .... we have a stack on the desk, in the kitchen and on the floor next to my armchair, not to mention the file box. Yes, it has gotten out of hand and I am spending the day sorting out old papers, shredding and burning. Along the way, I have seen tax statements that have hurt my heart. Would you like a glimpse? OK. These items will hit the 'burn' pile later this afternoon but here, recorded for posterity, is a look into my financial life of yesteryear which, thankfully, is long past and will not ever be repeated, and I say that with a giant middle finger pointed in the direction of every loan officer and bank who loaned us money when it was abundantly clear that they should NOT have. Not with credit scores in the 500s.
Mortgage interest paid: $31,661 + $3206 + $4671 + $1174 + $20,049 + $7015
GRAND TOTAL PAID IN MORTGAGE INTEREST: $67,776
This grand sum is more money than many people make in one year. It is certainly more than the amount I personally have made in the past 5 years combined. The amounts above represent the number of times our mortgage deed was traded and transferred in the secondary mortgage market in 2006, the height of the money grubbing craziness among banks. Six times. One bank in particular held our deed for just 2 weeks before selling it on. If that alone doesn't represent the fraud and corruption of the banking system during the run up to the 2008 crash, I don't know what will. Bastards.
I have a monthly mortgage statement from Countrywide Home Loans (one of the biggest 'exotic' mortgage loan offenders during this time, if not THE biggest) that shows that one of my home loans is about to adjust to over $3000 a month. Interest only. With a past due amount of $6000+ showing in the box underneath it! Almost $10,000 required to bring my loan current. Crazy. I don't know how we ever survived this time but this is definitely the run-up towards our own personal financial crash. The principal owed on this particular loan was almost $400,000 which was all just numbers to me then. I'm not even including the amounts owed on the second mortgage. I'm sure I never even paid attention though. This is also about the time when my hoarding reached its zenith. I was too busy 'medicating'.
I am missing papers here, no doubt a symptom of my extreme disorganization back then.
The numbers below are all true and equally unbelievable. I'm sure there are more itemized mortgage statements somewhere in the ether but this is what I have:
Mortgage interest paid: $64,188 + $4470 + $8155 + $27,536
GRAND TOTAL PAID IN MORTGAGE INTEREST: $104,349
2007 was the year that everything fell on its ass. My years of suppressed grief and anger at the way I was treated for the first 20 years of my life came to a head when I finally confronted my father with his behavior and my unwillingness to put up with his shit not one minute longer. The housing markets were beginning to slide off the edge of the cliff, taking my high paying job with it. I was left in a panic, facing foreclosure, bankruptcy and a huge house full of hoard. The numbers above represent our unsustainable, unhappy, expensive and inflated lifestyle. Not shown is the amount of money it cost to 'maintain' that lifestyle in addition to the mortgage itself, which would've exceeded even the mortgage interest amount shown. Don't forget too that there were property taxes due on the huge custom ex-home as well and I will fess up here: At the time we hit foreclosure and had to move out, we owed almost $25,000 in property taxes which had to be covered by the bank and paid to the county before they could transfer the house at foreclosure auction. We drowned in that house.
I don't have any information for 2008. I think I shredded it all last year but kept 2006 and 2007 information to remind me of my past gross stupidity. It's time to let it go now. I do know that in 2008, my high paying job was gone, disappeared like spit on the hot sidewalks of the Mojave. In a bid to hang on to the house, before I realized once and for all that such a pursuit was futile, I cleaned offices and houses to make money. I made a decent sum but spent all of it on mortgage payments so all of my physical exertions were really a total waste of time. 2008 was a tough year.
No information for 2009 either. Paperwork was all shredded too. I am only keeping the past 4 years of financial records in order to streamline the amount of stuff I carry around with me. I do know that 2009 was the beginning of a fresh start, rebuilding our credit and rebuilding our shattered finances. We were broke and almost out on the streets. I had some money left over from my high flying days which had to be used to provide shelter for the family and, luckily, I caught a Robosigner at the bank on a 'good' day: our present house was signed over to us by someone working in the bowels of a bank somewhere in the Midwestern States who was tired of handling a massive backlog of seemingly useless and unsellable foreclosures. We made an extremely lowball offer on a half way derelict house in a decent part of town and the rest is history. My knowledge of the housing market combined with the internet combined with PURE LUCK made the transaction possible.
5 years later, we continue to rebuild. It will take a while.