The Real Truth About Foreclosure

foreclosure V&B

To some it’s a dirty word. An act that should, under all circumstances, be avoided.

For others, it’s something that people do to “cheat the system”.

Many find it irresponsible and lazy.

Well, I’m here to say: “fuck that!”
Let me tell you the real truth about foreclosure, as I know intimately well.

Three years ago I was recovering from a divorce, while trying to keep my house and business afloat. I was sinking fast.

Every single month was a struggle. My studio rent was almost double my house payment, and the landlord would be at my studio on the first of the month with his hand out waiting for his check. I was desperately trying to figure out how to make it all work. I had to keep the studio going, that was my only source of income. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to pay ANY of my bills.

The struggle went on for months. I learned how to play the mortgage game: get behind a few months, make a payment, get behind a few months, make a payment. As long as you were caught up within about 60 days they would essentially leave you alone. But after awhile, I started slipping further and further behind on my Northpoint mortgage loans. I tried to work with the bank, but they really wanted nothing to do with helping me save my house. They actually made the process of trying extremely difficult and it was set up in such a way that you were going to fail regardless.

I had already drained what little IRA money I had, and was left with no savings and no safety net. During this time, I wondered what rights do bailiffs have if I keep failing at my payments. There were days I wasn’t sure how I was going to put gas in my car to get a client meeting out of town, let alone pay my mortgage or rent.

I never in my wildest dreams had thought I would be in a position to lose my home. I loved my home. I had lived there for 13 years, THIRTEEN YEARS. I never once refinanced or took out a second mortgage. Yet, I still owed $124,000 and homes in my development were selling for a mere $79-89,000. Selling it wasn’t an option. So I continued to bust my ass and hustle the hell out of my business to try to make ends meet.

It was exhausting. I was running on empty. My emotional health was taking a toll on me. I was withdrawing from friends, I stopped going to events, I lost 20 pounds. I was too embarrassed about my situation to confide in anyone, so I was carrying it all inside of me.

The kicker in all of this was that my business was doing great. However, since my ex left I was in a position to now cover ALL the expenses, not just a portion of them. This meant I had to either amp up my business, or win the lottery.

One day a very dear friend called. She is very intuitive, and as soon as I answered the phone the first words out of her mouth were “are you losing your home?” I couldn’t even answer, I just started to cry. Finally, I had someone to talk to about it. She assured me I would be fine and that it would all work out, that here was no shame in losing your home. Yet, for some reason, I still didn’t feel that way. I was carry a ton of shame on my shoulders. I felt like a failure. A failure at marriage. A failure at my business. A failure at money A failure as a homeowner. It was seriously almost more than I could take. There were some very dark days that I wasn’t sure I could make it through.

My dear friend encouraged me to call another one of our friends. Little did I know that her and her husband had recently been through almost exactly the same situation as mine (minus the divorce part). What?? But they seemed to have it all together!! It was such a relief to learn that I wasn’t alone in this very scary process. They helped me understand my options and once I started to understand that it will all be ok, I felt a ton of relief.

I eventually started opening up to others about what I was facing with my home. I was surprised to learn how many people had either been through it or were about to go through it themselves. Some had ARM’s and their payment had skyrocketed. Other’s had lost jobs or had cutbacks that left them unable to pay their mortgage. While some were in the same situation as mine having gone through a divorce and struggling to make ends meet.

When I did the math and realized how much I had paid the bank over the past 12 years, I no longer felt bad. I knew they were going to be just fine. It was time to worry about Amy and what was best for her. In the end, I was so tired of the hustle that I decided it was best to just let the house go. Once I made peace with it, I knew the right new home would come along.

Amy Zellmer

Amy is an author, professional photographer and creative business coach located in Saint Paul, MN. She is also a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post & a TBI survivor. She recently published her first book: "Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury: Finding the Road Back to Normal".

She has an obsession with Starbucks coffee, Miss Me jeans, and all things glittery and sparkly. She enjoys traveling the country with her eight pound Yorkie named Pixxie, and instagrams her journeys.