Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Two days ago, I found a letter addressed to my landlord from a company that specializes in foreclosure assistance. Immediately recognizing this type of letter, I put it to the back of the pile of mail and brought it inside. All the while my heart pounding. Later that evening, as Grey was inspecting the recently repaired furnace and leaking oil filter, I showed him the letter. And that's when the old ghosts were allowed to emerge for both of us.

It's hard to believe that a year ago, Grey and I were in a situation where we were unable to sell our condo and facing the prospect of foreclosure. Throughout the recession, we managed to hang on to the property, making sacrifices in order to make sure we never fell behind on a payment. But when we faced not being able to sell due to a toxic resale certificate created by our property management company, we found ourselves in a situation where we wondered if foreclosure would be our only way out.

Thankfully, that wasn't the case. Through some gymnastic-style negotiations and the help of our rental manager, we were able to convince the Board to fire the association's property management company, replacing them with a company that is much more ethical. In addition, through more guidance from our rental manager and due to an insanely hot real estate market, we formulated a plan to sell that involved absolute transparency (something that scares most realtors). In short, we were able to turn an insanely bad situation around, getting out ahead.

But the scars from that trauma are still very fresh and this trigger was a reminder of that.

There's this odd assumption most have that with time, the scars from a traumatic event will magically disappear. Very often, I'm told that "time heals all wounds," but what people fail to understand that healing does not equal erasing. Pain can become less acute and relief can come from the triggers, but the ghosts remain.

Part of that is a good thing as the learning that has happened has shaped how we live today. Part of knowing about the foreclosure process means that Grey and I are also aware of what our rights are as renters (which are fairly substantial). We cannot be evicted because of our landlord and any new owner will either have to take up our rental contract for buy us out of it. We also have basic rights to living conditions that have to be maintained and we know the channels to use if these aren't met.

But the other part is processing all that happened. Of allowing us to confront those ghosts once again and acknowledge they were extremely scary and awful. That what happened was beyond simple life decisions and/or choices, but an actual robbing of a simple desire that most didn't have to worry about.

In the meantime, we have an 8 month warning about a pending move, giving us time to hunt and hopefully a chance to find a better situation.


  1. Good grief. As if your plate weren't already pretty full.

    I'm glad you're in such a good position to advocate for yourselves, and that you have time to find a serendipitous place. Wishing you well on that!

  2. Yikes!! Well, I'm glad you have ample notice... and that, as Lori says above, you know your rights and how the process works. Wishing you luck in finding a new place to call home that you love!

  3. Oh jeez. I hope you have enough time to get everything together and move on to a better situation. I'm sorry there's so much moving on going on, and that you are faced with this trigger in the mail. I can totally see how that situation of possibly foreclosing and feeling the walls close in on you would create trauma that could be revisited over and over. I hope that you find your home that is free of these difficulties! I'm glad you know your rights and can navigate these processes with the power of information. Wishing you the best of luck.


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