Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Die in the Drought

"I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent." Revelation 3:1b-3a

Right before the drought that has hit our area of the country, I bought quite a few plants for a flowerbed off of our patio. One of them being a Gardenia. Gardenias are beautiful plants with full blooms but they are also very stubborn. They only like so much sun, need lots of water and even are particular on the temperatures they will bloom in. When the drought set in, I wasn't very mindful of the grass and even much of the flowers. I figured eventually it would rain and they would be fine. Some of them were. The Gardenia plant, on the other hand, is a far cry from o.k. It is pretty close to death. Even though I watered it occasionally (which kept the rest of the plants alive) I didn't give it the time and amount of sustainable water it needed. I am not sure how much longer it will last, but I am holding on hope that it will make it.
Our spiritual lives can be similar to that Gardenia. Some of us do just enough to get by (go to church, say a prayer before a meal) and that might sustain us for a while. It could potentially sustain us for years. The problem is, without growth, without taking the time to really nurture our faith, we can not live out our lives the way God intended. When we merely maintain our faith, we might be able to get through daily issues and even raise our kids to want to go to church. But, when the fire and drought come, we will find that what we have used to keep us feeling o.k. will not get us through the hard times. If we never learn to seek God earnestly and learn to do what He taught, we will wither away. If we want to learn to feed ourselves, we have to take time and effort. It means not just going to church, but being a part of a church whether its serving, being in a small group or other involvement. We need to not just pray at our meals, but seek Him we need direction, thank Him for his many blessings and cry out to Him when we are suffering. We need to find ways to help us grow in our walk with Christ. I hope that this week, you will search out areas in your spiritual life that need tending to.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Empowerment by pen

Today, I finally feel like I am able to have a voice. Yes, it may fall into the sea of other voices calling out for help, but I am praying that the right person will open my letters and be called to action. I drafted letters to David Lowman, CEO of Chase Mortgage, Candace Miller the U.S. Representative for the state of MI (who also happens to have her office a few miles from our home there) and the President himself. On top of that, I emailed Channel 4 Detroit and Channel 7 Action News AND the White House. If nothing comes of it, then I suppose that is the way God wants it, but the need to do something to get our story and struggle out there is far too great to sit aside and just take it. We'll see!

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

And so it continues....

Our saga with Chase Mortgage continues with another wonderful twist. We were contacted today by the Title Co (who has worked their butt off dealing with the bank) and were told that after arguing with Chase Mortgage for two hours with the newest negotiator assigned to the case, Chase was standing firm that we make a surplus of money. The issue the "negotiator" (I use that term very loosely in this case) fails to understand is that when this process began a year and a half ago, Todd didn't even HAVE a job. In fact, I was only working part time. The issue is not that we make more money (OBVIOUSLY!!), the issue is that we live in a different state-almost five hours away- and our home is not even worth half of what we owe on it! Yes, we make more money, but we don't have much of anything in savings and our paychecks are being used to sustain us in a rental home down here. We have been bringing in the same income since February of this past year. They have the paystubs from almost every month since May 2009. Its very obvious to anyone opening the file (I assume they open it), that we make more money now. We both are working. Period. Our real estate agent has now suggested that we get a lawyer involved. At this point, I think that's our only hope of any movement on Chase's end. Meanwhile, we have heard nothing about the Sheriff Sale and if that in fact did take place. In some ways I hope that it did and that the home sold for as little as possible. Then Chase can pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves for a job "well-done".

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Friday, September 17, 2010

An Open letter to Chase Bank

Dear Chase Bank,
Nine years ago, my husband and I purchased our first home where we had grown up in Michigan. It was a small "starter" home in a great neighborhood and even though it would push us to our monthly allowance limit, we decided the investment was worth it. We raised our two kids there, took great care of the property and home including renovating it. We loved that house. Jump ahead 8 years and our home had now lost half of its value, foreclosed homes surround us and to top it off, my husband was laid off. We struggled for 3 months to pay our mortgage and finally out of desperation, in May of 2009 we put our beloved home up for sale. We had no choice but to go through a short sale because of its hugely declined value so we did everything we were asked to do; send in paper work, fix it up, and with in two weeks, we had FIVE offers. You waited 3 months to even look at the offers and when you finally decided to do something about them, every one of the buyers had walked away. By this time it was July and my husband was offered a job in another state, so while trying to pack up our belongings and with boxes everywhere, we once again put the home up for sale. Within one week, another offer came in. We were thrilled, moved out of the house to Ohio and moved into a rental down there. In November of 2009, you still had done nothing to approve the offer and once again, we were left without a buyer. In January of 2010, we got several CASH offers on the house. We thought, "Oh good! Maybe Chase will take them!". NO. You not only waited 8 months, but we are STILL waiting for you to close. The buyer offered the exact amount you said you would only take and yet here we sit, in September of 2010 and our home is scheduled to go up for auction tomorrow while you sit deciding which negotiator to assign to our case. We have sent our pay stubs, tax returns and letters to you within a DAY of you requesting them over 10 times in the past year and a half. We have jumped through every hoop, every obstacle and yet you refuse to help us. You got a huge share of money from the government to help bail you out. Where does that leave us? In what way have you done anything to help those who are struggling financially and ask for help? Those like us, who have to leave the state to find work and leave behind our home as well? I think the problem is this: you don't care. Its that simple. You truly don't care about your customers. I am sorry that you feel the need to selfishly fill your pockets with government money and yet can not extend a hand to simply close on a sale of a home that we left over a year ago. I really hope that one day, your corporation will open its eyes and see the human beings it is affecting by its stupidity, ignorance and plain disregard for those hurting.

Kimberly Porter

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