Home Economics

-after Kara Candito

 

I.

Consequences are lifeless until people
make them breathe.

 

II.

Landlords often die of heart attacks
and in the confusion the rent check they lost
will be deposited and, logically,
overdraw your account.

 

III.

You must understand, a bank is a business and they cannot
give away things for free. They know your card was declined
at the grocery store. It is due to four overdraft fees
totaling $140.

 

IV.

For Purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “actual direct compensatory damages” does not include—
(i) punitive or exemplary damages;
(ii) damages for lost profits or opportunity; or
(iii) damages for pain and suffering.

 

V.

Make sure you keep an accurate check book register. It will be essential
for the teller to point out why the bank is not responsible
for your overdraft.

 

VI.

Empathy has no place in banking. Salaries
are paid with their bad math—do your part.

 

VII.

Henceforth, “You” shall refer to each person who is a signer of the document as well as those legally connected to and/or responsible for the signer.

 

VIII.

The fourth of five landlords we paid to live
on E. Shore Drive told us we could stay until spring
or when my father died
(whichever comes first).

 

IX.

You see, he wasn’t interested in being
a landlord in the first place—just needs a place
for his boat to winter in safety; have you seen the cost
of dry boat storage?

 

X.

In February he’ll say, “you know, this is working out
after all. I see your dad has died but you can keep paying
rent here if you want.”

 

XI.

I don’t.

 

XII.

When you are 22 and each home
you’ve lived in has been forcibly taken away
from you, the only logical choice is to buy
the house your new landlord put up for sale.

 

XIII.

In the current market a home is a good investment;
The Fed has lowered interest rates to historic levels

 

XIV.

in an attempt to stave off economic collapse.

 

XV.

Buy now, add a patio, and you’ll make ten grand in 5 years.

 

XVI.

Don’t worry about your credit card debt
or that you only work part-time. Lenders don’t look
too closely at DTI ratios these days.

 

XVII.

Closing Costs, which shall include, but not be limited to: origination fee, discount points fee, appraisal fee, credit report fee, EPA endorsement fee, home inspection fee, legal fees, documentation preparation/compliance fees, escrow fee, recording fee, survey fee;

 

XVIII.

“The neighborhood is borderline. See.
No gang tags. And there,
just on the other side of that razor-wire
fence is the very desirable
Westnedge Hill Neighborhood. See how close?”

 

XIX.

You ask, “will my son go to that elementary
when he is old enough?”

 

XX.

“No,” you hear. “Wrong
tax base,” he says.

 

XXI.

You won’t worry. This is only a starter home;

 

XXII.

we’ll move out of here before long.

 

XXIII.

Your mortgage lender will miscalculate the numbers
a little to get you to $600 a month. They can’t afford to lose
the sale due to something as silly

 

XXIV.

as a $1,000 annual error. You’ll be able
to pay that with a 30 day notice at the end of the year.

 

XXV.

The proper identification of new account holders is essential not only for the safety
of other customers and the reputation of the bank but is fundamental to preventing
the spread of terrorism. Obtain new account holder permission

 

XXVI.

to pull credit so that additional loans can be put through in the process.

 

XXVII.

You will learn the meaning of 2008.

 

XXVIII.

Gunshots or fireworks is a fun summertime game
in this neighborhood. If only you can ignore the dead
13 year old draining into his sheets at 11am on a Sunday.

 

XXIX.

You’ll ask for help to get out.

 

XXX.

“There’s nothing we can do,” the realtor will say. “Real Estate is a gamble
and a lot of people have lost. Take me, for instance. I had to sell
two of my rentals since 2008. Took a loss on them
both. Thank goodness my home is paid off.
Anyway, yes, your home

 

XXXI.

is underwater now. Almost 50k. Sorry for your luck.

 

XXXII.

Optimistic reports show that housing prices are on the rise in states other than Michigan.

 

XXXIII.

“You see,” the realtor will say, “if I were to sell this house
for you, here, today, I would put it on the market for fifty
and be happy to get forty. That’s on the high end
of the comps I’ve pulled in the area.”

 

XXXIV

At some point, you will realize the correlation between
the phrase “your mortgage is underwater,” and the undertow
of the neighborhood.

 

XXXV.

This realization will make you stop paying your mortgage.

 

XXXVI.

In general.— No provision of this paragraph shall be construed as limiting the right
of the corporation as receiver to assign the contract described in subparagraph (A)
and sell the property.

 

XXXVII.

You will receive letters that explain
how to remain in your home if you are having trouble
paying your mortgage. The letters cannot help
if you want to move out.

 

XXXVIII.

When your son sees your foreclosed home
he will shout, “my home!”

 

XXXIX.

Try to find a way to explain the concept of foreclosure
to a two year old.

 

XL.

See: IV; subparagraph (A), section (i)

 

XLI.

Ignore phone calls from the following states: Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Florida. If they leave a message,

 

XLII.

delete it after they say the bank’s name. You will become
very well practiced at this.

 

XLIII.

Give up the glitter of fresh snow
for the sun bathed pale tan of Kansas.

 

XLIV.

Signers agree that by applying for a loan with the lender, signers accept as “satisfactory”
the lender, lender’s loan terms, interest rate, discount points and conditions,
and that the financing contingency shall be utilized only if the lender disapproves
the loan due to financial circumstances.

 

XLV.

Your foreclosure will be published
in industry magazines so expect to receive
letters which attempt to talk you into bankruptcy.
They cannot help you if you want to get out.

 

XLVI.

Try your best to explain the concept of distance to your son.

 

XLVII.

He will say, “Where Miss-cha-shin?” You reply, “far away.”
“Oh. Where Boppa? With Gamma?” Don’t let him see you answer,

 

XLVIII.

“far away.”

 

XLIX.

See: IV; subparagraph (A), section (iii)

 

L.

If collections agencies cannot contact you, they will call
your parents, neighbors, and old friends. Their propaganda
campaign starts early in the foreclosure process.

 

LI.

If the property is considered vacant the lender may take action
to take possession of and sell the home 30 days.

 

LII.

See: IV; subparagraph (A), section (i)

 

LIII

Think about the slide you built
in your front yard for your son.
You had to leave it behind. It won’t fit
in an apartment.

 

LIV.

Once the bank takes your home they will sell
it at sheriff’s auction.

 

LV.

A collections agent
will be in contact so you can
pay the balance unpaid
by the final auction price.

 

LVI.

Your son will try to find the courage
to go down City Park’s covered slide—its darkness
only broken by the sun-glow of your ankles.

 

LVII.

As you wait for him you feel your phone hum
with collection agents. It tries to tell you that
only credit scores die during foreclosure.

 

***

 

Robert J. Sanders is a father, a second generation biker, and a known perpetrator of acts of attempted poetry. Born in Alaska, he has spent most of his life in and around Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is currently studying creative writing in the graduate program at Kansas State University.

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