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I know it's now the end of March, and life has overtaken me enough that I've neglected our story; but now, I'm back with a long overdue update.
The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB
Back in October, Fernando began working for PSSI as an independent contractor, driving and operating a SAT truck alongside the current truck operator. Since he was being paid as an independent contractor, we kept financial records as a legally self-employed entity. Two other things were happening alongside this new development:
One. We were approved for Medicaid health insurance, after 10 months of waiting. Now it remained for us to wait for the official insurance cards, without which we wouldn't be able to receive services. More waiting!
Two. We finished a year-long unemployment mortgage modification program with Wells Fargo--yes, I feel free to name names now. We submitted our October 1st modified payment to them, and indicated uncertainty about employment, but also asked if they would consider our current status of self-employment in repaying our mortgage.
Today's segment focuses on Two. The home preservation specialist, as they are referred to, decided to immediately close our case and refer it straight to collections. We had no idea this had happened until the first phone call from a rep in the Wells Fargo collections department. Surprise! What do you mean we're in the collections department? No one told us what to do once we finished making payments under the unemployment program! How are we supposed to just pay back the arrears, when we've just starting receiving a steady income? These and more questions swirled around as we attempted to explain, over and over and over again to every collections rep with whom we talked.
Our case was finally transferred to a rep (one of those home preservation specialists) who actually called us back and communicated with us! Her name was Tarica, the lone point of comfort in all our dealings with Wells Fargo.
In order to begin paying our mortgage, we had to apply for a permanent modification. After faxing in paperwork, talking on the phone, answering questions about bank statements, and faxing in more paperwork, the beginning of December had arrived.
Tarica called to inform us that our permanent modification request had been denied.
Emotions swirled, and Fernando and I tried to figure out what to do. We formally appealed the decision, explaining that Fernando was now receiving a steady income. A week after we submitted the appeal, Tarica's supervisor called to tell us the documents we submitted weren't eligible for an appeal, and we were denied. Now I was angry. I forcefully explained everything to her (I'm sure she didn't know the history), and asked if Wells Fargo really wanted our house--because we were ready and willing to start paying our mortgage, but for the arrears that needed to be taken care of. Having gotten nowhere, I finally hung up the phone, devastated.
This was one of those times when minutes seem like hours. I was numb, knowing somewhere in the back of my mind that we would have to move--but where? How? Rent would be more than we were currently paying with our mortgage. We kept telling everyone we talked to that we wanted to pay the entire amount back, because it was what we owed, but no one would listen. We were a number in a vast machine.
Only one hour ticked by, one small hour filled with all the emotion I could handle, and I couldn't handle it. Trust Me. Just for five minutes. You can do that, right? Am I not trustworthy for five minutes? Yes. Now trust me for five more. I sat, numb, somehow trusting Him, for one hour.
My cell phone rang.
It was the supervisor again, who informed me that she had "reached out" to the appeals underwriters, and it seemed that the documents we had submitted had been "overlooked." Our appeal would be reinstated.
We waited through Christmas, with a promise that Wells Fargo would not be a topic of discussion for our family Christmas celebration, hosted in our home.
Then, a few days before New Year's Day, Tarica called us. Our appeal was officially denied. This time, Fernando and I took the call together, and we were at peace, whatever the Lord allowed to happen. Our emotions were calm as we talked with Tarica, asking her if she had even looked at the documents we had submitted. She hadn't, so we explained our argument.
Tarica responded, "Your appeal would still be denied, because you have to have three months of employment, which you don't. That won't happen until..." She calculated it in her head, then said, "...January 15." A pause. "That's just two weeks away! I'm going to put your appeal on hold until then. I will call you on January 16, at this same time of day, and let you know what updated documents we'll need you to submit then."
Week after week, we had wondered why the Lord was allowing so many delays, snags, and miscommunications to occur. I honestly admit that we were faithless, complaining about the daily barrage of emotions, the hours spent on the phone, the constant mail from Wells Fargo. And now we knew why: The Lord allowed those delays to occur so that Fernando could complete three months of employment, so that we could file our appeal to keep our house.
We now waited with renewed hope. We could see the Lord's hand at work, and it was enough. Our New Year would come. Trust Me for today. We would trust Him, day by day, whatever would come.
Back to life,
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