Today's tip comes from Ed. T. Barron. Writing on DC Watch.com, he says those in mortgage trouble simply have to demand the "Note" from their mortgage company. This buys them the time they may need to get it together:
"Send, via certified mail and notarized, a letter to the lending institution requesting them to “Produce the Note.” The note, of course establishes that the homeowner is indebted to the bank for the mortgage. It is interesting to note that almost half of the banks who have been contacted by potential foreclosees cannot produce the note. This can result in delays of foreclosure of up to nine months while the lending institution scrambles to find that silly one-page document. With banks selling mortgages to other banks, it is very likely that your note cannot be produced. It also gives the homeowners some negotiating leverage with the foreclosing lending institution."
Rhode Island's Attorney General has successfully used the "Produce the Note" strategy to fight foreclosures. It's not a way to prevent foreclosure, but it can buy valuable time.
Can't refresh your wardrobe like Laura Steins of Harrison, New York? The Washington Post reports she's just barely managing to survive making a little less than $300 thousand per year. I'd love to sympathize with her plight but:
- She refuses to fire the nanny
- She refuses to move
- She hasn't had to skip a mortgage payment
- She hasn't had to forego a medical procedure for any of her kids.
But goll-dang it, despite the $2.5 million 4,000 square foot house, the rugs are worn and she agonizes over buying a sweater from Ann Taylor. (She buys it). What's a recessionista to do? (First step - fire your financial advisor since you obviously aren't listening to him/her anyway)
I've long been a fan of clothing swaps aka "Switch and Bitch." Suzanne Agasi runs a website devoted entirely to clothing swaps - how to do it - what to expect, etc. If you can't be bothered, just come to my next session.
Valerie Elizabeth is taking this frugalista business a step further. She's keeping an online diary - wearing the same black dress every day, but dressing it up with accessories. She says her "little black dress experiment" helps women get creative with the stuff they already have. Get a clue, Laura Steins...