Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Friday, July 25, 2008

Good From Bad

This morning I read that about 2.5 million homes are expected to be foreclosed on in the next year. The market value of homes is going down--but they are mortgaged to higher values-- this means that homeowners can't really negotiate with banks, they don't have anything to bargain with. Banks are afraid to loan out any money because they really don't know who will or won't make payments and if the property will be profitable if they end up getting it back. Buyers are afraid to buy cuz they fear they may buy too soon and pay too much, or they could lose their own financial security in a shakey time and end up with a mortgage and no job or something like that.

All in all its not so good. Looking at Craigslist last night I saw an awful lot of ads from desperate home-owners who want to sell before pending foreclosures. Some I think will find buyers, they have more in the houses than they owe-although the houses need work. Others I think are in a true pickle--especially those who have newer houses- there are a great deal of nearly new houses in process of foreclosing and they are going for less than the owners paid for them. It makes me sad that we will likely end up buying a home like that-- when we finally get up all we can and are ready to buy. I want my own home again, and I don't want to buy with a mortgage if at all possible--so likely it is the foreclosed houses that will provide our answer. I feel a mixed feeling about that. Who could feel good about it? I remember when we sold our house at a loss and the new buyer was so excited, the wife told me she would take good care of my gardens and such.. and I just wanted to get out of there! I didn't want to see her or think of my gardens or anything else.

Anyhow that's all a re-cap of what most of us have already seen, not much we can say, its a bad situation when a house defaults.

But what can come of bad? Worse perhaps. It can get worse, but I think it doesn't have to.

I like to think that good can come of bad. Going through a foreclosure process is a trial, it is an affliction and the whole darn thing is painful. When we were in the midst of that several years ago I felt just about tormented, and awfully helpless--what could I do? We put all we had into trying to sell our house and the clock just kept ticking. Finally we did sell it but walked away with nothing. What was ironic is about 2 years later the IRS tried to tax us on the balance of the mortgage that our short sale didn't pay off! It was like a slap out of nowhere to think we had finally gotten out of this mess and were getting on our feet and now we were supposed to give the IRS $60,000 that we didn't have. I think they could have insisted on us paying it somehow--but thankfully when hubby called them the matter was dropped. I don't know if everyone gets out of that situation or not. I'm not 100% sure that it won't come back to haunt us someday, you never feel all the way 'out' when there is some debt lurking in your past. We still have other debt to catch up after our crisis and I know that foreclosure is not the whole story--there's alot of other debt that is probably defaulted on in most of those situations.

Anyhow-- here's my thought here--what is all this trouble for? What good does it do?

I think I take two things from it. One our troubles came at a time in our life when we were not really thinking as seriously about the future as we ought to have been. We had been making a very good income and had not been considering that the well could dry up on us. This huge financial shaking up was like having some sense talked into you. We learned some lessons. We learned we can't live on credit and shouldn't trust that our jobs will always be there either. We learned that we need to prepare for the days when we won't be able to work; to take our finances much more seriously. We need to live on less and get ourselves more secure.

Another thing I take from it is a sense of the comfort I was given in my own trial-- there were many moments of sustaining grace throughout all of it, times of prayer or quiet when I would draw comfort from my faith and also from the little pleasures in my life. I take from that experience the ability to encourage others that it will all turn out for thier good in the end and that even along the way there will be occassional 'tables in the wilderness' places of rest and peace. I can share that they have not been abandoned even when it feels like it.

One of the verses that I like is this one:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ."

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I like it-- even as suffering abounds --is plentiful-- consolation also abounds. I have learned that there is nothing like a few minutes on your knees to pour out the pain and soak in the consolation. God is good!


  1. I believe they've now passed a law excusing a certain amount of forgiven debt on houses from taxation.

    I appreciate your effort to find a silver lining but it doesn't seem like there really is one.

    I just pray for the guidance to get through it and that we'll land on our feet somehow. We have so far.

  2. Hmmm.. you know, when I was at the place you are now--I didn't see much to be cheerful about either.

    Not much you can say there--it is what it is.

    but--I think I can say that when its over-- it is better. You get to start fresh and I think that's a good thing. Not always easy, I'd never say that but you know I think, in a way, hard times are upon us these days, on many of us--in many ways-- this way is only one of them.

    You're going to get through it, you'll be battered but a little stronger, and I for one, will pray for you.