Exception to Policy

In case you’re wondering why I haven’t posted – maybe you’re not wondering but I like to think you are – I’ve got a policy that says “If I am only going to bitch, then I won’t post.”  Well, this post is an exception to policy post.

Oh how I would love to say that I love Texas, I love El Paso, the schools are great and my program is going wonderfully.  But I cannot.  Texas is probably okay once you drive out of its rectum.  Its rectum, of course, being El Paso.  The biggest problem is that El Paso is growing faster than it can keep up with and it shows!  There’s a tremendous amount of poverty as well but the biggest problem is the 300% growth being projected for the military community.  This requires roads, schools and just massive amounts of construction in general.  Plus, there are random areas where it just, literally, stinks!  The schools are run by monkeys.  The demographics at the middle school the Czar attends are so bad that literally 75% of the kids are completely out of control.  The Czar, of course, walks a fine line when it comes to being one of them.  It’s a hard thing to just want to fit in with a bad crowd and have parents like us, I suppose but every day’s a new barrel of fun.  And the PhD program is a total pain in the ass.  I almost quit it yesterday.  Seriously.  I took the first test in Statistics and despite getting A’s on the homework felt completely lost on the Exam.  Something is wrong there.  I have determined that, despite having zero other test anxiety, Math tests close down my brain.  This is an obstacle I must overcome immediately.  Suggestions?

Change Topic:

I’ve been getting a few questions about the bailout and I don’t really know why.  I’m an expert on exactly nothing, right?  But I’m against it.  In principle, theory and practice, I am fundamentally opposed to this bailout on every level.  It does not fix things that are fundamentally wrong with the banking system and it is unfair to further tax the American People because of banks’ failure to proactively manage this mortgage mess. 

Now I’m going to tell you a story.  I don’t think the first part is new to the blog but just in case I have new readers, I’ll re-tell it.  In 2004, we bought a house in Michigan.  I had taken a job there and Paul had been assigned there and all was well.  We did not take on more mortgage than we could afford.  It was not an ARM and we had spent far less than the bank was willing to lend us.  We even went with a 15 year note to try and quickly build equity.  Then my vision started to act up again because my job sucked and was stressful.  Paul got mobilized and it became clear that I could not manage a shitty job and a deployment.  But we were STILL okay because we had built slack into our budget.  We had not bought more house than we could afford.  I went to school, got the masters and collectively our family emerged from the Mobilization unscathed.  Six months after returning from Kuwait, Sarge got PCS Orders.  Two weeks after the PCS orders arrived, the house was listed for sale and three months after we got orders, we were moving.  As a result of the PCS move, we took a $2000.00 a month pay cut.  That was our undoing.  We kept pushing and working with realtors to get our house sold.  We fought hard but we lost.  We tried to work with the VA (loan guarantor) and the bank until about November or December of last year when they stopped returning our calls or e-mails.  We have had no information from anyone about anything in almost a year.  Yesterday, our now-former-realtor e-mailed me to tell me we’d lost the battle.  Despite having a $150K offer on the table (a mere $40K loss), we lost.  Apparently the VA would not approve the short sale.  Now, the locks have been changed, our realtor’s sign and key box removed and the house is now listed with a different realtor at $129,900.  Our cash loss on this is obvious.  We lost everything we put into it, our credit rating and our dignity.  I do not know if/ how this will affect my husband’s career or mine.  Because of the credit damage, we can’t open a new checking account anywhere and our car insurance rates will probably rise.    I can’t really speculate on how far and wide the ramifications of this will spread.  It has strained our marriage (we’re fine, really) and broken our spirit but we will recover from that most easily.  The odds of us every owning a home again, however, are virtually nil.

We did nothing wrong.  We were pulled under in the giant flush that hit the West Michigan real estate market almost exactly at the same time we had to list our home for sale.  Not one person or agency has considered helping us.  Federal employees moving for BRAC get relocation assistance including help selling their homes.  Why don’t military families that have to move get the same support?  It isn’t like you don’t give up enough as a result of military service.  But it is what it is.  I am accepting of our fate except when the wounds get re-opened and I get nauseated and angry all over again.

But why should I help banks who aren’t willing to help me?  Lenders and bureaucrats that are incapable of calculating the probability of getting a better offer than $150K in the existing market conditions and end up writing down the asset another $20,000 are not worthy of assistance.  Fuck you.  Learn how to run your business.  Be accountable for your mistakes and get your hand out of my God Damn pocket.  I’ve got nothing else to give you.  Take some management courses.  Take some math courses and get smarter.  Fix your own mess while I deal with the one you created for me.


~ by sharplisa on September 30, 2008.

3 Responses to “Exception to Policy”

  1. Well…have you tried comparing the contents of the test to your homework assignments? Maybe the two were really disparate and it isn’t you at all? I have a similar problem and deal with it by avoiding all math all the time. I could be awesome at Sudoku – if it didn’t involve numbers. Sorry I can’t be of more help…

  2. Is the PhD going to help your situation in the long run?

  3. Well, that just does suck all around. The housing situation makes me sick just reading about it. We were so lucky that we weren’t in a spot like that, just because we were fortunate to find the right buyers.

    I was just saying that if El Paso does nothing else, they certainly know how to tear up some roads. Having to go through that mess every time we come and go from the house is getting old.

    The Czar is always more than welcome to hang out here! I guarantee there’s no bad crowd at our school, haha.

    Hang in there.

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