Thursday, August 23, 2007

Not as good, but hopefully getting better...

Here's the first of many posts on what has happened to me in the last year. I'm going to describe all events exactly as I recall them happening, and try to avoid any opinion (though I have many). Draw what conclusions you may.

In early November of 2006, I wrote my monthly check to the mortgage company. Sometimes, I had written the check to my roommate and she had sent a single check, but this time I wrote it to the mortgage company itself. A few days later, a check for my half of the mortgage cleared my account. Surprised at how quickly it had happened, I wanted to check the date on the check. When I looked at the check online in my bank account, it was a check that I had not written. It was a check that my roommate had written from my checkbook, made out to herself.

At first this was not cause for great alarm. I trusted my roommate. We had lived together for 7 years, and been friends for 8 more. On Jason's advice, I called the mortgage company and asked if they has received payment. They had not. Since May.

I immediately called my roommate at work. Her first question was "Why did you call them?" I told her what had happened, still convinced that this was some kind of horrible mistake. She promised to call them and sort it all out. That night she told me that she had been sending the payment via EFT. Suspicious, I asked if I could see the EFT statements when she got them so that we could figure it out together.

A couple of days later, she tells me that the bank did misdirect the money, that the EFT slips had been ruined in her car, and that she is trying to work things out with her bank.

Next, a few days after that she tells me that the bank won't return her money. That it went into some sort of account that she can't access. I asked her how, that if it were her money, that the bank would keep it from her. She said it was their policy. She, at that point said that it would be 3-6 months before she could get at it.

She had talked to the mortgage company and set up a loan modification. This extends the period of the loan, and puts late fees and back payments on the total of the amount owed. The paperwork was in the mail to us.

She had set up a account for me and had told me she wanted to move. I was actively pursuing a new roommate, and she had told me that she would continue to pay bills (I couldn't on my own) until I found someone.

On Nov 30, I found out that I was going to lose my job (a long story that I'm not discussing here, for legal reasons. If you know me, you know all about it). I got home that night and the house was empty. She had taken all of her things, and was gone. I called her and she explained that her relatives were in town that day and could help her, but not to worry. Nothing had changed, according to her. She was going to move out, but keep paying bills.

The next day, I lost my job. About a week after that, we met at the UPS store to sign the loan modification paperwork. She made the same promises that she would pay bills and help. I never saw her again.

To be continued...

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