I feel like I keep getting punched in the gut, HARD, and sooner or later the next punch will be the last, and I will give up and die from a broken and bleeding spirit. What happened next took me SO COMPLETELY BY SURPRISE that it literally made me sick to my stomach.
As mentioned last time, the new buyer of my house, a Mexican ball-buster we’ll call Loopy, was riding my ass: “When are you guys gonna be out of the house?!” The sale closed on Monday, Feb. 13th at 4:47pm; she wanted me and my roommates out by 4:48pm that same day. If we didn’t get out, she was going to charge us $50 a day in rent.
Have a heart, you fucking bitch. I lost everything in this deal — and you basically bought my everything for $112,000. How do you think that made me feel? Now you’re trying to charge me rent in my own (ex)house?!
Still, I understood her point of view — she won, fair and square, and I needed to get out. As mentioned, I had a new place lined up, and I had been moving stuff here and there since January. I didn’t want to move anything vital, though, because I had no idea how long this short sale was gonna drag on, and I didn’t wanna have half my shit across town — you know? Also, I wasn’t even sure the sale would go through — there was a very real possibility that it would end up going to auction, in which case I’d have 30 days to get out. So, most of my stuff was still at the old house.
Meanwhile, the situation at my old house was getting awkward. I had two roommates, about whom I haven’t spoken much, so let me fill you in. The girl, a 40-ish woman I knew from the local Burning Man scene, had moved into my basement about a year ago. Prior to that, I had been renting the basement to a toothless hillbilly and his one-legged girlfriend (seriously; that’s a whole blog entry of its own, which I must get to ASAP because it’s fucking priceless).
When the hillbilly and his one-legged girlfriend moved out, I cleaned it out and repainted it and this chick, we’ll call her Susie, moved in. It worked out GREAT — she worked all day from 8am-5pm at an office job, and I usually work from 5-11pm, so we were never in each other’s way. She was a very neat and clean person, and decorated the basement really, really nicely — she has great taste in decor. She sort of turned it into this little bohemian hideaway, and was constantly telling me how much she loved living there.
We were never really chummy, because there was always this sort of weird disconnect between us. But we got along fine, and she was a GREAT roommate.
She had been living with this older Persian guy whom we’ll call Mo, but their relationship was kinda rocky so she moved out of his apartment to take my basement. But, wouldn’t ya know it, before long Mo started coming over…and in late summer, they asked if I minded if he moved in.
I didn’t mind at all — Mo was cool, and a very good cook who was constantly whipping up all this amazing Persian food, which he always shared. He also brought over a huge load of firewood for my fire pit, and he made some repairs to my trailer for me after Burning Man…so I considered him good people. They didn’t want to pay me extra rent, but offered to pay “all” the utilites (power, water and internet…I still took care of sewer, trash, yard maintenance and pest control) plus the rent Susie was already paying me.
I’m a puss, so I caved in and said yes. Mo moved in around July or August, and everything was great…until Susie quit her job. She hated it so much she just couldn’t stand it anymore, and Mo was supposedly going to hire her to do the books at his auto body shop…but all I ever saw her do was sleep til noon and drink all my vodka. I swear, I’ve never seen two people drink so much vodka — I’d get a bottle, and it would be gone in two days. They’d always promise to replenish it…but then they’d drink what they’d bought me within another two days! Nuts!
Still, all was well. Mo and Susie sat around drinking, smoking pot and watching TV in between cooking fabulous meals in my gourmet kitchen. I’m a private person, so I mostly stayed in my bedroom — when I was home at all (I’m usually out and about, hustling and working). So they basically had the entire house to themselves, for $500 a month.
All this time, I was working diligently on my loan modification. At the time, Chase was still stringing me along, leading me to believe they WOULD help me if I would just fax this, that and the other every two minutes. But at my mediation hearing in October, they came out and told me they would not be able to write down my principal or offer me any real help. This was when I realized I could not keep the house.
It was a painful and traumatic decision to make, and I wept EVERY DAY for about two weeks straight. It’s tough to admit that all the work you’ve done for the last four years was for nothing, and you are admitting defeat. But I finally decided to short sell…so I went into the kitchen one night and told Mo and Susie that they needn’t pay any more rent; I was short selling.
They were totally supportive: “Honey, we’ve heard you crying…we’re so sorry, we’re here for you. Do what you have to do.” Mo told me, “You’re not just a roommate, you’re our friend — our family.” I felt a lot better after that. They kicked me some money for bills now and then, but from November on I did not charge them rent. I felt that I couldn’t take money from them if I wasn’t paying the mortgage myself; and besides, I had all manner of prospective buyers tramping thru the house for two days, which I felt bad about on their account.
As any reader of this blog knows, it was a long period of limbo. I accepted an offer right away — Loopy (the aforementioned Mexican ball-breaker) came out on top, and I accepted her offer right around Thanksgiving. I told my roommates this, but also warned them that it could drag on for a looooong time. They had already mentioned to me that they were looking into buying their own house, so I figured we were all on the same page.
Meanwhile, I started looking for a new place. I found a cute little house in fabulous downtown Las Vegas that had an ideal roommate setup, and offered Mo and Susie the master bedroom if they wanted it. They declined, saying they were tired of moving, and preferred to stay in the old house “for free” as long as possible. They seemed to think it would be six months or more — Mo in particular is one of those guys who “knows” the law, and he had it in his head that this would drag on for six months. I told him REPEATEDLY that no, it probably wouldn’t drag on that long, because I was already so deep into the foreclosure process that I had to get this short sale thru in 90 days max. But every time I talked to him he was high and/or drunk, so I don’t think he believed me. He kept telling me not to worry so much, everything would be fiiiiiine, “there are laws in this country to protect us.” He also offered me all this super-shady advice on how to stay in the house indefinitely — to which I told him POINT-BLANK that I was NOT interested in dragging this out any longer — I wanted to get it OVER with!
Still, I have a sneaking suspicion he wanted the house to foreclose — either so he could stay there for free longer, or so that one of his Persian investor friends could buy it at auction for cheap, then rent it back to him. My suspicion was confirmed one day when I was sitting at my desk and looked out the window to see Mo and Susie and a well-dressed Realtor-type walking around my yard — supposedly she was a “friend” of theirs who wanted to see the house out of curiosity. I’m not fucking dumb; I know what they were up to. They probably wanted her to see how nice it was so she could bid on it at the auction!
Now it got really awkward. Mo and Susie had always had a rocky relationship, but now they really got into a fight, and one day Susie asked me if I minded her moving her bed up to my guest bedroom — she didn’t want to share the basement with Mo anymore, because he was being a dick, drinking too much and talking shit to her. Of course I said yes, and even helped her move her mattress upstairs. She asked if I still had that bedroom available at my new place, because her and Mo weren’t going to make it as a couple.
Well, I had already found a new roommate at the new place — a nutty beefcake with long blond hair whom I also knew from the local Burning Man community. He’s a very eccentric person, but I’ve known him for years and I like him OK, so I offered him the extra room. So I told Susie that sorry, it was too late for her. But I felt sorry for her, so even thought it was a severe inconvenience, I offered her the guest bedroom at the new house — a tiny room I had planned to use as my closet (I had a HUGE walk-in closet at my old place, and the new place only had shitty little regular-sized closets). I had already assembled all my guest bedroom furniture in there, but I offered to dis-assemble it and clear it out for her — and let her stay there FOR FREE until the end of February, by which time she could have found a better place. I offered her half the garage for her storage, too.
Susie waffled back and forth EVERY SINGLE DAY. The first day: “Oh girl, that would be awesome; thank you so much.” The second day: “Never mind; I’m gonna get my own apartment.” The next day: “Girl, is that room still available? I can’t find an apartment I can afford.” (She’s been unemployed since July or so.) The next day: “Never mind, Mo and I are getting a place.”
ARRRRRGH! All this nonsense while I was trying to move all my OWN stuff! I was patient with her though, because I felt sorry for her — it’s not her fault she’s an addle-brained sad sack co-dependent. There are plenty of chicks out there addicted to loser guys who treat them like shit — glad I’m not one of ‘em! I did what I could to help her, even emptying my boxes at the new house and bringing them back for her to use. I even found her an apartment for super-cheap, but she didn’t like it because it didn’t have a washer/dryer in the unit. I’VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU: an unemployed alkie can’t be so choosy!!
So this went on through the first couple weeks of February, and then the sale finally closed on Monday, Feb. 13th. As mentioned, Loopy and her broker were on my ass immediately, trying to get us out. I spoke with my lawyer, and he reminded me that in my sale contract, he had stipulated that we were to have seven days after closing to vacate the premises. So, we had a full week to get out.
I told Mo and Susie about this, but they kept dragging ass. They thought they could work out a deal with Loopy for rent, but she wanted $50/day or $1600/month, which was way more than they wanted to spend (hello; they were spoiled after having the whole place to themselves for $500!!). So then Mo got drunk one night (big fuckin’ surprise; that’s basically all he does), and called Loopy, ranting and raving and rambling incoherently about his “rights.” They were under the impression that they legally had six months to vacate — but that’s with a FORECLOSURE! This was a SHORT SALE! I told him OVER and OVER that, despite his secret backstabbing wishes, the SHORT SALE HAD GONE THRU AND HE HAD TO GET OUT.
Now, this man is 60 fucking years old (I think), but he acted like a fucking baby. He basically threatened to squat in the house and ruin the sale! I was freaked out. I worked SO HARD on this sale, and managed to squeak it in under the door…only to be ruined by an alcoholic Persian loser with a pot belly and an overinflated sense of entitlement?! NO WAY.
Keep in mind, they are LOSERS. As mentioned, they mostly lay in bed and watch TV while eating and boozing. They were on my ass about the government’s “Cash For Keys” program, in which the Feds sometimes pay homeowners a fee to get them to move out without damaging the house. I told them if I got any, I’d share it. So, I offered them $500 each.
It wasn’t enough!
I moved out that Monday, and the next night I got a long email from Susie demanding $2,500 from me, or they wouldn’t move. She said I’d been unfair, and hadn’t explained what was going on, and that their “heads were spinning” from the confusion of short sale vs. foreclosure vs. short sale.
BITCH! I WAS AS CONFUSED AS YOU! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!
Basically, she said it was only fair that I pay them $2500 for the “inconvenience” of having to move in seven days. FIRST OF ALL, I told you two fucking losers BACK IN OCTOBER this was happening. And I told you in November that I had accepted an offer. It’s not my fault your loser fat ass sat around drinking vodka instead of GETTING THE FUCK UP AND LOOKING FOR A NEW PLACE! Look at what the fuck I was doing!! I’VE BEEN BUSTING MY FUCKING ASS NON-STOP since NOVEMBER looking for a new place and moving!!!
Secondly, who the fuck is truly being inconvenienced here?! I lost EVERYTHING after an exhausting four-year battle. You want to talk about inconvenience?!
It was an extremely hurtful email, and it felt like someone had punched me, HARD, right in the stomach. Or heart. These people were supposedly my friends! Remember, Mo had called me “family.” REALLY? The kicked me when I was at my absolute lowest, and gouged my broken body out of EVEN MORE MONEY.
I’ve never cried so hard in my entire life — it was weird! As mentioned, we were never really friends, but I lived with this girl for a year and had been helping her through as best I could. Now, apparently, she was back with Mo, and he had turned her against me.
My lawyer advised that I didn’t legally have to pay them anything, but I was afraid they would trash the house if I didn’t. I was terrified they would do something to fuck up my sale. I had everything riding on this sale — my fucking FREEDOM! If they punched holes in the walls or flooded the rooms, it would come back on me as breach of contract, since I had agreed to leave the house in move-in condition. Not that I really thought they would do that — but then, I never in my wildest dreams imagined they’d extort $2,500 from me, either.
So, I spoke with Loopy’s broker, who was also on my ass demanding that I get them out. She told me to draw up a Notice to Vacate, and have them sign it, agreeing to vacate the premises by Feb. 19th in exchange for $2,500, to be paid upon their leaving the house in move-in condition. I gritted my teeth, drew up a contract, and went over to have them sign it one evening.
I meant to go in completely calm, have them sign it, and leave. But when I saw them standing there in my kitchen (OK, it wasn’t my kitchen anymore, it was Loopy’s…but still), I just broke down. I was crying, asking them why they were doing this to me?! Mo told me to stop yelling at him, and that really set me off. “I LOST EVERYTHING!!!! HOW THE FUCK DO YOU THINK I FEEL ABOUT ALL THIS! I DIDN’T DO THIS ON PURPOSE!!!” Mo refused to sign anything unless I paid them up front — but I insisted that I had to cover my ass somehow, and make sure they left the place in decent shape.
Finally Susie butted in — “Just sign it, Mo — I want her out of here. She’s out of control.”
SAY WHAT?! You want me out of MY OWN FUCKING KITCHEN?! OK, again, it was Loopy’s kitchen now…but still, it was as much mine as it was that fat fucking brainless bitch’s. She threw me out of my own kitchen. Talk about humiliating.
They finally signed, and we agreed to meet at the house at 2pm on the 19th so I could hand the keys to Loopy and pay them their blood money at that time. And I left, and sat in my (ex)driveway….and wept. I just bawled my fucking heart, soul and eyes out. Not only had I lost everything…now I was being stabbed in the back by a couple of pathetic, shady leeches. I finally got in my truck and drove away, to bawl some more at my new place. It was heartbreaking.
I sacked up and went about my life, unpacking at my new place and trying to settle in whilst working and dealing with brokers, lawyers and tax people. Then, on the 19th, I went over to my old place one last time. I had left my curtains up for Mo and Susie’s privacy, and had left them my trash can and welcome mat and stuff so they wouldn’t feel weird — not my fucking concern any more! I got my stuff, gave the keys to Loopy, showed her around the property, and then gave Mo the cash (Susie was too chickenshit to show up). To his credit, Mo tried to give me $500 back, but I insisted he take it, as per the contract we’d signed. I was over it. Any amount of money to get those two sad leeches out of my life forever.
Even Loopy felt bad for me. I went out in the front yard, dug up my statue of St. Joseph (the ritual calls for him to be given a place of honor in my new place, for having facilitated the sale), and drove away.
But, it’s over. I guess I learned a valuable lesson:
Never. Trust. Anyone.
Especially not a 40-year old alkie with furry boots and a hula hoop!