Getting Back in the Game

By Tony Evans

saving moneyChaos, Frustration, Tears, Job Losses, Moving, Foreclosure, Rising Gas and Grocery Prices… All describe what’s happened to this country the past 12 months. But good ‘ol Coach Buzzzz says stop whining and hollering at the kids, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend and the animals. It wasn’t their fault, and for the most part nor was it yours. Let’s chalk it up to experience, and get back in the game. Like a new place to live.

I noticed a recent survey said 60% of Housing Predictor readers might never own a home again, or wait years to buy. That’s sad. There IS an escape hatch out the back door of this current national ‘doom and gloom’ factory. Let’s look to the future.

This two part series of “how to get back in the home ownership game” might seem strange, but it’s one way to temporarily or permanently solve your housing situation.

If you walked out on a mortgage and let the home get foreclosed and have really bad credit in addition to the foreclosure, sorry but we can’t help. But if you kept up on other bills this could be the answer you’ve been looking for. This scenario won’t work well if you’re self employed, either, unless you have two years taxes that show a strong net income on a business you’ve owned for at least 36 months. We’re talking “track record.”

But if you still have a bank account with some funds available, a job, and the only “ding” on your otherwise good credit history is that foreclosure or short sale, you will want to read, print and save this article.

The first thing you’ll need to do is get your financial life organized on paper. On a quiet evening with no distractions figure out precisely what your monthly outlay is, (car, credit cards, rent) – forget groceries, gas and car repairs.

Next, total up your monthly income from ALL sources you can actually verify. Now, dig out your W-2’s from 2006 and 2007 – not taxes, just W-2’s. Total up the gross income for both years and divide by 24 months to get a two year income average. Same if you’re self-employed, only use the last two years net income on your tax forms. Finally, pay your local credit agency $15 and have them run an updated credit history.

If there are some minor collections that show up pay them, if you can. Then keep all debts current. Also, if possible, for the next six months, stop using credit cards all the time. High card balances can be instant death.

Write this letter to all 3 credit reporting agencies:

To Whom It May Concern:

Due to the ongoing trouble that subprime lenders have put homeowners through this past year, I was forced into foreclosure or a short sale. As you can see from my past credit history I am NOT a “deadbeat,” nor a bad risk, but found it impossible to continue to make payments on the mortgage I had on my home. However, I intend to continue to honor all other obligations on my report to the best of my ability. Please insert this letter in my credit file as a matter of public record.


Signed your name

Here’s where you send this letter, Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.

P. O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013

P. O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

Trans Union
P.O. Box 4000
Chester, PA 19016.

In Part Two things will become much clearer on where we’re headed, how to get there, and what to do once you’re there. You’ll be especially interested to know the varied financial outlets available when dealing with new manufactured homes. I know them well. I wrote a book on it.

On a lighter note and in honor of baseball season’s beginning good ‘ol Coach Buzzzz offers some new lines to an old favorite baseball tune that is more in keeping with the current times.

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
I can’t afford to buy peanuts and cracker jacks,
I could only bring water in my backpack,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
’Cause at today’s ticket prices I doubt I’ll come back to another ball game.”

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