Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Housing Update - the big wait is over... at least for now

We'd told you that Columbia went to an informational seminar with ACORN Housing in February. Our union has an agreement with the non-profit that makes going through ACORN's house buying program financially beneficial if you qualify (which we do). However, the process has not been especially expedient.

- February 10th: Columbia attends ACORN's mandatory information session, which was very informative and allowed for Columbia to ask a lot of questions.
- April 2nd: We mailed ACORN a detailed history of every purchase we have ever thought of making since the day of conception. In all seriousness, it's a lot of paperwork. We waited so long because Columbia got another raise that showed up on March 16th's paycheck and because we wanted our tax return to be in our bank account. At the February meeting, Columbia was told to expect a phone call about 2 weeks after ACORN received the intake packet.
- April 4th: ACORN received our paperwork. We paid for tracking. We didn't want to risk all of that paperwork getting lost in the mail.
- Then began the phone calls. Columbia's. The poor guy kept calling, and calling and calling. He left a dozen messages and never got anywhere.
- April 30th: Columbia calls again and explains to the receptionist how long the paperwork has been there and that he can't get anyone to return his calls. The person responsible for processing paperwork then takes Columbia's call. She explains that they have been working on a grant proposal and apologizes for the inconvenience. She said that she hoped to process our paperwork and call us back tomorrow (which would have been May 1st).
- May 12th: Columbia calls ACORN again and explains our saga to the receptionist, including the fact that this agency has had all sorts of personal information for 6 weeks and has not contacted us to discuss it. We received a call back within an hour informing us that our paperwork had been processed and we had been assigned a loan counselor.
- May 13th: Columbia calls the loan counselor and leaves a message (I begin this post...).
- May 14th: Columbia finds the email address for our loan counselor - the man's a sleuth! He decides not to write on a Thursday night as we think they may not work on Fridays and he doesn't want the email to get lost in the cluster of weekend emails.
- May 18th: Columbia calls and emails the loan counselor, asking her to call him.
- May 19th: Columbia gets a call from the loan counselor at ACORN and sets up an appointment for... May 20th - TOMORROW!

He scheduled it for after work and mentioned he may bring his wife and daughter with him. The counselor didn't seem thrilled. I would love to be there, and Pumpkin is very well behaved for a 14 month old, but... We'll decide tonight.

We are hoping tomorrow will bring us big answers... especially the amount of the loan for which we are eligible. The bigger answers might be 1) Should we continue to try to work with ACORN? and 2) Are the benefits from going through their process worth the hassle? I would also be happy to know if I can finally start making plans for this summer.

1 comment:

I. M. Bitter said...

I'm don't have an answer for your questions, but congrats on moving in the direction toward a home!! :)

Very exciting!