Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bad advice

Funny post from I paid for this twice already - a how-not-to-be-frugal posts as opposed to the frugality basics posts I mentioned the other day. Ben Stein actually wrote a whole book like this, which I kept for a while in the bathroom for quick review. Of course, one of his was "don't buy a house" and we know how that turned out for me....

Speaking of which, we're trying to do a "deed in lieu of foreclosure" with Sovereign, but I can't get anybody in the loan mitigation department to return my telephone calls. I just got another utility bill from the house - how is an empty house using $63 in water, I ask you? - and there's just no telling how long it will take them to get around to sheriff's selling it. The lawyer I've been consulting with (dollar signs roll...) said that we should keep the insurance up just in case the place burns down the day after we let it lapse, which will be a big bill in July if it goes that far, but that we could let the utilities lapse. So that's what we're going to do.

And another consequence of my continued and elongated default is that I keep getting notices from Bank of America (my major credit card creditor) lowering my credit limit. Every time I pay off another $1000 they lower the credit limit to the next thousand. So I'm at something like $7400 now and they lowered the limit to $8000 "due to a major derogatory item on your credit report," according to the letter. No kidding. But I can keep using my card, they assure me, as long as I don't spend more than $600.

This is actually sort of okay, because I don't want to have a whole lot of available credit anyway at this stage, but the issue for me is that, while I acknowledge that I'm going to spend the next few years discovering how people with bad credit live, I can't start rebuilding my credit until this thing with the house is resolved, and it just won't resolve.

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