Thursday, April 30, 2009

Me? An inspiration?

My neighbor Mark has written a great book, and he tells me I was the inspiration!

A few months ago, he and I were commiserating about this rotten economy and sharing ideas for making a dollar stretch further than ever before. A few weeks ago, he knocked on the door and showed me his new book!! Here's the funny part - when he sought a local graphic artist to design the cover the woman said "you should check out this local woman's blog THE ENDURANCE DIVA - it's along these same lines." She shared my name and my neighbor Mark exclaims "That's my neighbor! The one who inspired me to write this book!".

Anyway, this little bound magazine size book is a gem. Full of great advice and tips that will save money AND be kinder to our environment. He includes worksheets to help with budgeting. He also supplies websites to search for more information on a wide variety of subjects.

Mark is marketing this tome to nonprofits and churches, encouraging them to buy in bulk then supply them to members, customers, or parishioners. You can order a single book as well. They are $19.95 each plus shipping and handling. For $29.95 he'll also throw in a CD with hyperlinks and documents. He can be reached at or through snail mail at Money and Earth Savings Book, 2026 Sibley View Court, Northfield, MN 55057, or by phone at 507-403-1144.

Be sure to mention The Endurance Diva sent you!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

F. the big one, Foreclosure

Let's talk foreclosure.
Did you ever think you'd hear that word so often? You know it's a problem when you search Google images with the word, and get over a million hits.

I just plain don't have the answer, but here is what I have learned.

Yes, you can call your lender and best of luck with that. Here's what we heard:

Us: "We've just had a major job loss, can you help us out?"

Them: "No, we can't, you're good customers and you're current on your payments."

Us: "Yes, we know, but that may change since we've AGAIN just had a major job loss"

Them: "Well, until you've missed some payments, we just can't help you."

6 months pass, and we start to miss payments . . .

Us: "Well, we've missed some payments now. Can you help us out?"

Them: "Nope. Not until you bring the payments current and show proof of steady income"

Us: "But we told you we had a major job loss, with no new employment showing up despite Herculean efforts. You told us you had a hardship program that we could qualify for if we missed a few payments"

Them: "Yes, you could qualify for that program when you bring your mortgage current and show proof of adequate steady income"

Us: "We could pay you $800 a month until we find employment, will that hold things?"

Them: "Nope. Absolute full payment, after you bring it current".

Another 3 months pass . . . .

Them: "OK, we'll drop your mortgage down to $1500 per month if you bring it all current and show proof of steady income".

So again I say, good luck talking to your lender.
The Obama housing plan would save us, and many others. But, according to my one Senator's office, that plan is still in committee and won't become law anytime soon. They've got to save all the millionaires first.

Another option would be to find a good co-signer, apply for a mortgage, and try to buy back your house through a short sale or through the sheriff's auction. But be mindful that you may end up paying all the fees, taxes, etc. Short sales aren't the blessing they are cracked up to be.

Another option is to have some wealthier friend or relative buy your home and rent it to you. Our lender said that was fraud, but our banker said it's perfectly legit.

My best advice to you concerning foreclosure is to muster all your pride and self-confidence, keep your chin up, and just endure. Walk away, find a rental, and sleep well knowing you did your best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

F is for Failing to Keep up my Blog!

Sorry folks. I've been neglecting The Endurance Diva and that just WON'T be happening!!
I've been busy enduring, what else?
Updates soon.