When we changed jobs and moved two years ago, we had trouble selling our house. Eventually we found ourselves facing foreclosure. At that time it was hard to get information on our particular situation, so I thought that sharing my story might help others. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank.
We never expected we’d be facing a foreclosure, especially not in 2009 when we eagerly accepted the keys to our very first home that was truly “ours.” After living for three years in a manufactured home owned by my in-laws, we decided to lay down roots in that town, and we bought our first home. It was a buyer’s market, and we figured we could make money when we finally decided to sell the house.
The house was actually a foreclosure when we bought it, so we got what we thought was a good deal. None of the appliances were included, so we bargain shopped on Craigslist to get what we needed. I painted every room, and the three of us moved in, and shortly thereafter became four.
We lived in that house for three years, and then in the summer of 2012 we decided we were ready for a change. Within a period of two weeks we heard about a job, applied and interviewed for the job, got offered the job, and packed up our house and moved three hours north.
We put the house on the market and paid both our mortgage and rent on our new residence for a few months, hanging on by our fingernails. In the meantime, our credit card debt grew. Eventually we decided we wanted to pursue a short sale, and we found out that we couldn’t do so unless we were delinquent on our payments, so we finally stopped paying our mortgage.
That was a hard decision to make, as we wanted to hold up our end of the deal, but we thought the only way we could sell the home was to pursue a short sale, so we did. It was a long, arduous process, and in the end, even when we had an interested buyer making offers, our short sale request was denied, and eventually our bank foreclosed on the house, this past January.
There is a happy part to this story, though! When we stopped paying our mortgage (to pursue a short sale), we put all of that money toward paying off our credit card debt. We also tightened up our budgeting and stuck like glue to our weekly budget, and in less than a year we were able to pay off our credit cards. In February of this year we made the monumental switch from using our surplus money to pay off credit card debt, to putting it into our savings account! I can’t put into words the peace of mind that comes from putting money into savings rather than using it to pay off debt.
There are some negative effects of having to foreclose. Our previously outstanding credit scores have suffered, and it will be several years before we will be able to buy another house. But in the end, you have to make the decisions that make the most sense for you and your family, and there is always a bright side.
Now we are five!
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My husband is starting to look into graduate school options, so the section on education loans was especially of interest to us. And under the “Tools and Planning” section you’ll find a variety of compelling articles on various financial topics written by “real” people.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.