A Foreclosure Story, Part 4: One Month to Move

Yesterday, December 14, I finally got the knock on my door I’d been dreading/expecting. I met Bartholomew (not his real name,) the realtor who will be handling my… er… the bank’s condo from now on.

Bartholomew was hired by the bank to handle the eviction process, the clean up, and the eventual sale of my former property. He does this for dozens of properties at a time. And there are many others doing the same job right now.

We had a good chat. He was relieved that I was doing all this by choice. I think dealing with crying, soon-to-be-homeless people affects his psyche, which is a good sign for his continued humanity.

Due to various problems they’ve had in the past, most banks now start eviction proceedings the day of the sale, thus giving the tenant a set amount of time to leave before courts and sheriffs get involved.

So I must be out by January 15. If I’m out before then, I get cash-for-keys. If I’m out after, the bank will sue me for “rent.” I’m relatively prepared. The 15th won’t be a problem.

Bartholomew does not have the power to negotiate the cash-for-keys amount. He has to send my offer to the bank. They’ll either accept it or counter-offer. I’ll write about that once the number is set.

Some interesting notes from our conversation:

  • Yes, the number of foreclosures is still going up.
  • Even though Wells absorbed Wachovia which absorbed World Savings, somehow they’re all still suing each other over all the bad loans that were made.
  • Bartholomew himself is underwater and considering a strategic foreclosure of his own.
  • Wells is indeed pressuring Wachovia to expedite foreclosures.
  • Many people who try to get loan modifications – and even get them approved – are suddenly foreclosed upon anyway.
  • About 1/2 of his foreclosures are strategic. That is, people (like me) just walking away from a bad loan.

So now I have to start beating the bushes for a new place. And where? Do I want to live in another high-rise downtown? An apartment block in NoHo? Hunt for something in my current neighborhood? Find a nice duplex? The adventure continues.

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