jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
Below is a copy of the email I sent to my family and friends last night. I also blind copied a couple of real estate agents I know. Yes, I really need the help. I also need ideas of ways to get some fast cash that aren't too strenuous and don't involve driving very much as my old van won't go unless the heat is on full blast to keep it from overheating and just stopping as it did a couple of weeks ago in the middle of one of the main roads through Palatka, some twenty-three miles from home. (The tow I wrote about here earlier I think.)

Today I got another letter from my mortgage guy saying he put $15,000 forced placed fire insurance on my place and wants a check for $411.25 for it and the administration fee. I will likely pay something on it over the next few months, but know that they will add it on to the principle too. Now, if they placed the lesser of property value and mortgage amount and I know my place is tax assessed at $49,000 or so, then it follows that the mortgage must be down to $15,000 now. (I will get an exact amount when I can pay it off. There is no penalty so to do after July 18th of this year.) Thus, yes, I really need your support and ideas.

Here's that email:
Dear Friends, Family & Some Real Estate Agents I trust,

First, there are some blind copied folk on this email who may wonder why you are there. Well, it is because I value your opinions and ideas and you may know someone who can help. Yes, I'm desperate, but still want to do this right.

Three years ago I took out a very expensive, not to great a mortgage to save my place from tax lien sale and from a man who wanted it and to get it that way. I did manage to save it and used the rest of the $17,000 plus mortgage to pay off all of my credit cards and old bills. I figured I had three years to get things all set to buy the mortgage back this July when there came no penalty. I won't tell you the mortgage interest. Let's just say it is more like a car loan rate than a mortgage and it is not with a bank, but a guy who does investments for people and I haven't been able to pay down anything but interest.

Now I am in the position of being three years behind in my real estate taxes again, which the county reported to my mortgage guy and the mortgage guy says I am in violation of my contract so is threatening to call my loan. I need to pay those taxes. They total just under $1800. This needs to happen yesterday.

I have no way to pay those. I am actually running one month behind on the mortgage and had hoped to be able to play catch up with it over the next four months to be all caught up by the end of the year. That doesn't make him very happy either. If he knew that my well pump has a short and I am working on a grant application to get that fixed and to replace the garage roof, he would be livid. The garage roof was as it is when I got the mortgage .

If I had a credit card, I would attempt to pay at least one year of the taxes to get the place out of the sale state. I don't have one and still have a bad credit score since it hasn't been the five years needed to clear my record. That also doesn't bode well for what else I want to do i.e. refinance the mortgage with a lower interest rate.

What I really, really need from one of you real estate people is for you to buy out the mortgage at about $18000, pay the $1790 and change in back taxes and then hold a mortgage on the property for that about $19000 or maybe $20,000 with fire insurance. I would like for it to be a loan of no more than 6% for 30 years, secured by the property which is tax apprased at $49000. I looked at a $20,000 loan at 6% for 30 years and the mortgage payment calculator came up with $119.61 for a monthly payment. With that amount, it would be possible to escrow the taxes and probably the insurance with Citizens as long as we don't do the theft part and still be about $200 which is what I can afford on a monthly basis.

I also want to learn how to do some investing with no money down etc., which is another discussion entirely. I know I need to got through the boxes in my garage as well as Mom's stuff and sell off some of it. There are some things I want to keep and to use that I cannot use right now because they are packed and not where I can access them. I want to sell the piano and keep the organ. My left hand has so much nerve damage that I will likely never be able to play left hand on piano again. The organ is another story as it has foot keys and one note chording which I can use to make music. It also takes up much less space and is more than adequate for what I need. In other words, I want to pear down some of my stuff. That doesn't mean I have to sell off all of the stuff I really like just because it is nice and I am poor. I like to enjoy my pretty things, nice dishes and silverware as well as to have my nice pots and pans hanging in my kitchen again etc.

Do old, poor people NEED nice things to live? No, of course not! At the same time if I have to sell off all my nice things to live, then, quite frankly, I would rather not live. It pretty much did that when I walked away from most of my things when Pete and I divorced. I got some other things that I now have and want to have around me to enjoy. It is great fun for me to fix myself a nice meal and to eat it on nice plates with silver utensils and I do that for special occasions.

So, if anyone can help with a way to get $1791 within about 30 days, I'm all ears, eyes and whatever else it takes. My body is not in the best of shape right now, but I do have a doctor's appointment on Monday, the 29th so all should improve rapidly after that. I have a nasty urinary tract infection, the bane of all female diabetics like me, and my eyes seem to have some sort of irritation in them that is making them run some kind of matter, most likely from pollen allergies. Other than these two things, I grow a bit stronger each day and learn how to accommodate the arthritic changes. The hardest thing is vacuuming because it uses my shoulder and back muscles which puts some strain on my middle and upper back. I wish people, especially those who evaluate me for housekeeping help services, would consider the repetitive part of such tasks instead of just whether or not I can walk or reach. Pushing the vacuum back and forth as it gets full is murder. They don't look at that though, especially with all of the funding cuts.

So, before you ask, yes, I'm planning to work to sell some things too. I need to find a way to earn about $200 a month or so more than what I get now just to survive. I also need to earn a fast $1000 extra over the next four months so that I can get out of using my bounce protection every month and can also get out of having to use Speedy Cash for a payday loan, which I had to do this last two months. I hate that as between the two I end up paying something between $35 and $89 a month in interest for that money not to mention the extra gas to absolutely have to go into Palatka twice a month.

I managed, this month, to get Clay Electric to let me pay only $110 of my $149.69 electric bill so that I would have enough money left to maybe be able to get through until payday on September 14th. I have to add the extra to my bill next month which means I have to pay about $!98 then. At least I have been able to keep the bills fairly low by keeping the temperature a little higher and not washing a whole bunch of clothes.

Enough about my odd life right now. Look, I'm broke. I'm frightened and depressed. All I have is this place, my old van and my three kitties here. I know I have family and that I am loved. I also know that I won't last a year in the Chicago area weather and I can't afford to live there or in San Jose either. My $1074 that gets deposited every second Wednesday doesn't go very far here. It would go even less far in either of those places. An assisted living place or a nursing home would drive me nuts. I value my privacy too much to go to either just yet and I wouldn't be able to keep my pets. Tarblaze is old at 13 and Brudder not far behind at 10 with even Tiffitu no kitten at 6 years old. If they go to a shelter, they will be put down. The two girls have no idea how to survive outside and have no front claws. Brudder is getting slow and yet still confronts dogs when he is outside. If I lose the house and have to go somewhere else, they will all die too and they just don't have to have that happen now. They have given me so much.

I also have no money to move my stuff so I will lose everything. Maybe that doesn't seem like much to you. After all it is only things and I can live without them. It just hurts more than I can say. I feel so much a failure and I wonder why I even bothered to fight so hard to live three years ago and to get my back fixed. I hate having to ask for help. I hate feeling helpless and knowing that I can't do this alone. I value my independence more than almost anything else. Some of you also know that I value the quality of my life much higher than the quantity i.e. length of that life. Please help me save my home. It isn't much, but it's mine and, with just a smidgen of help and luck, it will even by mine free and clear again in a year or less.

Thank you for your ideas, thoughtful consideration and help. I hate to say this and I do really need it. Peace ---Ellen

No wheels

Aug. 13th, 2011 03:56 pm
jemyl: (hugabear)
Thursday afternoon, I was full of hope and oh so happy. I jumped in my sweet, old van, Big Blue. She cranked right away and ran like a top. I stopped at the gas station on the corner and put 4.03 gallons of regular in her tank. Since I get 10.3 mpg, I figured it was enough to get me to the bank in Palatka, 23 miles away. Apparently in the heat or at the four miles of 60 mph, something went wrong and as soon as I slowed down to stop in the left turn lane to go into the bank, Big Blue quit. She wouldn't crank. I put on my flashers, closed her up and walked over to the bank to get my money out that I need for the month. I had a bill to pay by 6 p.m. on Friday in downtown Palatka.

I walked back over to the van and tried again. She cranked one time, ran super rough for about 20 seconds and quit again. Then I tried again and almost got her started when the battery went dead ----107 in the sun will do that.

I had put a quart of oil in her, my last one before I tried to crank her the second time. I couldn't check the water as the cap was so hot I couldn't get my hand on it long enough to push it down and turn it. I started dialing to see if any of my friends were in town. NO way, was just my luck.

About that time three Palatka cops showed up and pushed me and the van across the street into a vacant parking lot of a closed convenience store, just barely off the road. By the end of that, I was so hot I was beet red and really having trouble breathing.

I closed the windows again, locked up Big Blue, and headed for the pre-school next to the old store. They let me sit down and make my calls in the cool. I had let my AAA lapse ----argh! I wasn't sure. They said I could buy it and still pay for a tow. I knew I didn't have enough money to do that, so I just called the towing company and waited the 30 minutes for them to get there. Thank Goodness I had the cash with me to pay them as it was now past banking hours.

The guy got there, asked the dumb questiion "will it run?" Duh! Would anyone leave a vehicle where mine was if it would run? I think not! After I told him no he got down to business and loaded Big Blue on his rollback. Soon we were on our way home. This towing company has better trucks than the last one I had to use, from the same spot, almost, half a block off, when I had Big Blue quit on me last year. This truck had two steps of running board instead of one high one. I could get in pretty easily.

The driver dropped Big Blue in the driveway, facing in, fairly close to the garage, so putting the trickle charger on her was easy. I just had to finagle a way to fasten a tarp over her little hood to keep our afternoon rains out of the engine compartment and off the charger. I think I succeeded. I'll find out as soon as this little storm goes by. It is raining at the moment and the 24 hours of 2 amp trickle charge are almost up. It's time to take it off.

I figure, and surely do hope, that all that is wrong is that the heat somehow made me use more gas or there was some condensate in the tank because of the extreme heat and it got too low or with a bit of water in it. That way if I can put about four to six more gallons in, and can clear the injectors with a bit of injector cleaner added, Big Blue will crank and run smoothly again. Then, after a few minutes to be sure she is running smooth, I'll fill the tank to about half (to avoid the leaky seam)up at the station and be able to go to the bank and grocery in Hawthorne.

I desperately need to get dry cat food, kitty litter, more oil for Big Blue, Poise pads and some Tomato soup and such. I also need to either go to the E.R. or find someone to drive me to the urgent care center. With the way my back hurts and no appetite, I think the E.R. will be necessary as I think my UTI has gone to my kidneys and that's why I am having trouble walking without pain et al. I'm allergic to sulfa drugs too, so I want to be very careful who I see and the hospital has that well noted and documented.

Yeah, I'm bummed, and I don't have time to be depressed about it. I have to find a way to get wheels, to get into Palatka to do another damned payday loan to be able to pay my bills this month. I was going to try to go to one of our local charities to get a once a year help with my electric bill, and I still might, but I still won't have enough for the rest of my bills and even cat food and half a tank of gas unless I get a loan. It will be that way, I fear, until I can find a way to sell some stuff, like jewelry or maybe even my piano and the oldie but goodie golf club sets to pay for it.

I need to find a way to sell enough to cover the bills and then enough to get another used vehicle, like a small truck or small S.U.V. or mini-van, big enough to carry my outdoor setup but more efficient and newer/smaller than Big Blue which is an E-250 long wheel base 1989 Ford van with a big V-8 engine. I'd prefer the slightly smaller version with a V-6 for better gas mileage, and a bit newer for fewer breakdowns. Also, a good working A/C would be wonderful. Big Blue has none and now has to be run with the heat on to keep her from boiling over.

All I can do is keep trying to find some way to earn some more money. Christmas sales are coming.

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jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
jemyl

July 2012

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