Questions about foreclosure in the state of Ohio.?

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I’ve owned my house for seven years. I do not have an adjustable rate mortgage, and, in fact, my house payment is not too unreasonable as it is pretty comparable to most of the area rents in this area. My problem is that I have a job that doesn’t pay very much … actually less than $ 10 an hour, and my income has not increased with the cost of living. I also have two teenagers and the support money I use to make my house payment will end in three years. At the time I bought the house, I was making slightly more than I am now, and, of course, I thought my income would increase with time, which it hasn’t. Also, I’ve tried to find a better job for the past four or five years, and although I’m called for interviews, I never get the job. I’ve also tried to find a part-time job, but the part-time jobs I’ve interviewed for don’t want to work around my full-time hours. Also, my daughter, the oldest, works a part-time job to pay her car insurance, but lately, her income has actually been going towards car repairs. At the present time, we’re sharing my car. Also, I might add that I’m within the poverty income guidelines and would have to make another $ 585 a month not to qualify for such things as HEAP and insurance for my kids. I’ve also been placed on the waiting list for low-income housing … I even qualify for that.

Recently, a mobile home became available for rent in my area. The rent is half as much as my house payment. Although it is only a two bedroom and I have a boy and a girl, I could sleep on the couch … I could make this work because I could actually help my kids out. Both are talking about education past high school, and I worry that if I’m unable to help them out once they’re out of high school, they’ll become discouraged and quit to get a mediocre job like I did when I was young.

At the present time, I have difficulty in buying groceries and keeping up with my utilities. I cannot save money because I don’t make enough to save. Each time I attempt to put money away, I have to help my daughter buy a part for her car or something around the house breaks.

I’ve attempted to refinance. Chase told me I didn’t have enough equity in my home and I barely made enough money to qualify. This, of course, was after they took my $ 500 in refinance fees. I’ve attempted to do a loan modification with the help of a HUD-approved counselor. Chase told me that they don’t lower payments. I really don’t know what to do other than walk away from the house, but I fear what will happen if I do that. At this point in time, I’m not concerned so much with my credit rating because I don’t actually make enough money to buy anything anyway. I’m more concerned with garnishment of my wages because I’m barely scraping by now.

Any suggestions? Has anyone else gone through this?
I might also add that after my divorce about four years ago, I filed a Chapter 7. At the time, I thought I might be able to save my house, so I didn’t include it in the bankruptcy.
Also, I do have more in the home than it is worth. I received grants to do improvements and make repairs that did not have to be paid off as long as I stayed in the home. I just spoke with the county yesterday … those grants, which are considered second mortgages until 10 years have pasted, now come to about $ 18,000. From what I understand from reading information about deed in lieus and short sales, with the “second mortgages”, I’m unable to do either.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Elyse K
    May 3, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I think what you are going through is very typical in Ohio. I’m not sure what part you are in but I live in Summit County.

    First,I would not worry so much about saving for your children’s education. If you are as “poor” as you say, they should be able to attend a state college for little or no money. (Miami U & Ohio U both have special programs for households with low income – check out their financial aid websites. Last time I checked which was 2 years ago, if your household income was under $ 35,000 you went basically for free.) It is important for your children to take challenging high school classes and get good grades as this will open the doors for scholarships as well!

    As far as the house is concerned, since you said you are spending money you don’t have fixing things in it and you can’t refinance, I would try to sell it even if all you were going to make was enough to pay off the mortgage. In another words, if you owe $ 60,000 and you could sell it for $ 68,000 that would pay off the mortgage and pay the real estate agents fees and let you walk away but keep your credit ok. The only way to find out how much you could sell your house for (may be a different that the amount the bank uses for refinance) is to call 3-4 real estate agents in your area and ask for a free market analysis/estimate. It doesn’t cost anything and will give you a better idea of your position.

    I don’t believe that they can garnish your wages for a foreclosure but I would call Consumer Credit Counseling (check your local phone book) for an answer. This is a free organization that helps people with financial guidance. The Akron Bar Assocation also can connect you with free legal aid.

    I would also apply for an Ohio Direction card through Ohio Jobs & Family Services (www.jfs.ohio.gov) since this will give you grocery money. Depending on the age of your children you may qualify for WIC too. They also have a program called PRC. It is for single working parents and will help with unexpected emergency expenses like car repairs, insurance bills, etc. The number for the local office is in the phone book.

    If you are serious about getting a second job I would check retail like Walmart, Kohls, etc. for the late night shift when they do inventory, restocking, repricing. Or look at your local hospitals and nursing homes. They have shifts that work all hours and usually have part time openings some even are weekend only. They could be dietary aid, cleaning help, clerical help, etc. All these work nights and weekends too.

    Good Luck!

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