KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Do You Spell "Relief"?

Pinch me, please—I think I'm dreaming.

Early this morning, I got a call from the case handler at the offices of the bank that holds Ed's and my mortgage saying that after they'd perused the seeming hundreds of pages of financial info that I'd faxed them at their request, they will be granting us a 3-month moratorium on making any mortgage payments at all! (Yes, we will have to pay back that money down the line when our finances are better, so we will be putting money aside for that eventuality.) I felt like leaping through the phone line to hug the guy. He said, "You and Edward are making so little right now in comparison with your monthly [personal and business] expenses that I can't charge you anything at all on your mortgage." Hell, yeah! That's what I've been saying for months—that the economic collapse has mostly wiped out Ed's cabinetmaking business. (And yes, this arrangement with our mortgage-holder will be put into writing very shortly.)

This week I will compose and fax a letter of gratitude to saintly U.S. Representative Tim Bishop for lighting a fire under the mortgage-holder's collective butts. I had also contacted U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, but one of his staff members told me that Schumer couldn't do anything about our situation because the entity involved was a bank, not a federal agency. Obviously, either that staff member or Schumer himself didn't know what he was talking about.

But Bishop contacted the Customer Assistance Group of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Administrator of National Banks (yes, our mortgage-holder took bailout money and [snark]amazingly[/snark] was very recently able to report a highly profitable quarter), and opened a case on our behalf. He even sent us a copy of the letter from the comptroller's office, showing our case number.

Should you need mortgage help—and your mortgage-holder took bailout money, making it a national bank—check out the web site of the Customer Assistance Group.

In our household, I'm the one who does all of the bookkeeping—for the family, for my business, and for Ed's business. Today's phone call means that I can now breathe and focus solely on work when I'm working. (What a rare pleasure!)

And in other good news: Ed has three potential cabinetmaking projects. But we can't count on them yet. He's met with the customers, taken measurements, and gotten drawings from the architect for one of the jobs (drawings that Ed will have to modify because it appears that the architect used specs that won't fly in real space and time), but he must now work up bids for all projects and then wait for the customers to haggle over and then approve the bids.

I share these kinds of things with you because I know that I'm not the only one going through such problems, so I'm providing info that I hope you or someone you care about can use to relieve stress.

And now ... it's a deadline day! Yikes!


Anonymous said...

Katharine - I am continually impressed and in awe of what you accomplish. Writing letters to officials, being a mom and wife, and managing your full time business on top of all that. You amaze and impress me. Congrats on what you have done here, and thank you for sharing the info with us.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Well, thank you. You've put another smile on my face.

Nina K Pettis said...

Hurrah, huzzah, yippee! Good for you and your persistent self!

Funny about Money said...

Excellent! Great work in pushing this through.

Kinda explains how your son learned to advocate for himself, eh?

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Funny, I do believe you have a good point there. ;-)

Mary Beth said...

That is awesome news. you rock.

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