Another stressful week so far. DH was still trying to work with Bank of America on the lien. He had talked to a supervisor, who gave him "escalated case #" and appeared to act like this would get taken care of. But, no, it's still the runaround tactics. Seriously, what a crappy job to have. So, we gave up and yesterday morning I emailed the attorney our preliminary title he needed, to make sure we didn't have any other liens we didn't know about (we don't). He called me back when I was on my way to work.
Get this - we probably won't be able to get this lien removed by the bankruptcy judge. Why? because since we were underwater in our home equity when we filed bankruptcy there was no need for our attorney to use the "homestead exemption" when filing. Apparently, that little box would have had to have been checked in filing in order to file a lien avoidance now. So, let me get the logic here straight: IF we had had some equity in our home at the time of filing, then our attorney would have had to claim a "homestead exemption" in order for us to keep our home and keep the equity in our home (up to a certain limit per state) from being sold and used to pay back creditors. IF we had had equity in our home, we could now re-file to have the lien removed, no problem. But since we didn't have any equity (in the negative, in fact) and were actually much worse off financially then someone who had equity in their home, we now have to pay the lien judgement. What the heck kind of sense is that?
So, the attorney says he needs some time to research this situation and see if there is anything he can do for us. He is going to a bankruptcy attorney convention next week and will bring up this situation with all these lawyers as he also has another client just came into the same boat. He won't be able to give me an answer for another 2 weeks. Sigh. I'm pretty much just resigning myself to the fact that we will have to pay this out of our home proceeds. Hopefully we will get out of our home what our realtor expects and instead of actually coming out ahead, we'll be where we originally thought we'd be. It is what it is. I'm tired of making myself sick about it.
With my planned future mortgage amount, we will pay off in about 16 years. Since we don't have any other debt, our mortgage will be about 33% of my current income. Still well under the 43% criteria for total debt to income ratio that the banks use. I am also not budgeting in the 10% of salary bonus program we have at work as part of my income. While it's never not been paid out, I still do not plan for it in my annual budgeting. Also, I plan to take at least part of any future raises (I typically get every year, 2 years max) and add to my monthly mortgage payments.
Unless some miracle happens in the next 5 days and a developer/builder makes us an offer, we have decided that next Monday we will have the realtor put the listing for the home/property as is and priced accordingly. A couple of weeks ago she had said $300k. I am hoping we can get $270k out of it and then we will be ok with paying off that lien and the proceeds we need for our new down payment. With wanting to build our new home, we are kind of in a time crunch to get this process started and done before winter sets in, otherwise we'll be waiting until next spring to build and probably lose our option to purchase the land if we have to wait that long.