"Despite evidence to the contrary, I really am alive,
  finally over my illness (shared with Adam), and writing at last!"
   by  Julie Hiatt Steele

Just so you know, my absence from  bartcop.com  is in no way a representation of the level of my
appreciation of Bartcop or of all of you.  The operative word has been ADJUSTMENT, sometimes better
translated as lack thereof!  If it wasn't annoying enough that I had to sell the house, it was certainly beyond
annoying to note the manner in which the nightmare unfolded!

And then there were the FOUR sets of movers, what wasn't broken or lost, was stolen.  Not to be outdone
by the Realtors, theirs and mine, who turned life into a three ring circus.  So much so that for a time I confess
that I lost track of what we were all doing there in the first place.  As, for example, on the beautiful August
morning when THEIR Realtor arrived and promptly (in the presence of my child and the latest $120 an hour
ensemble of movers) announced that I had ten minutes in which to remove, from the house, any possessions
that I might actually wish to keep.

AND, along with playing "supermarket sweep" in my own house, I was ordered to remove myself from the
premises. My failure to respond to either order meant the deal was canceled, or so she said.  By the time
she turned up that morning, I had actually concluded that I was completely exhausted and that I could not
fight one more second, for one more thing...only, as it turned out, I could...and did. I first asked her to
repeat what she had just said, then I asked her to allow me to repeat what I thought I had heard her say.

Amazingly, I had heard it right both times... Then I announced a break for the movers, asked them to call
in a pizza order because we now would have time for lunch, and then I got around to her...  I let her know
that in my entire life I had never spoken to someone with such a complete lack of respect and that I also
did not expect to be spoken to in that manner.  I reminded her that at that moment the property was MINE,
and that any directives concerning said property would be issued by me. I suggested that she needed to
remove herself from my property unless she wanted to stick around and witness the phone calls I was
about to make, beginning with the one to Nancy Luque.  Nancy's reputation precedes her, the Realtor made
a hasty departure and the movers applauded.   This event fell in the same time period that the house was close
to foreclosure at the behest of First Union Bank.  When I say close, I do mean CLOSE.
Ann ran around like a crazy woman and saved the day by a full ten minutes.   TEN MINUTES!

Saved from the auction block, and back to the question I had been asking all along. First Union, stating that
"the paperwork is not available and cannot be produced," nevertheless "invited" me to produce to the Court
any name or names of creditors that I thought might have an interest in the house.  "Upon receipt of said name,
or names, First Union would then protect me from any creditor or creditors."

Excuse me, but I fail to understand what First Union has to do with a mortgage they had played no part in my obtaining.
No part except for turning me down...  As It turns out, by law, I am entitled to know who holds my mortgage,
except that I didn't, and still don't.  I know that BNC had it first in March of 2000, that same month it sold to
Layman Bros. and then, still in March 2000, it sold to "an individual or individuals" for whom First Union
acted as trustee and Option One continued as service provider.  First Union had been my bank for 23 years.

I overlooked the fact that they responded to "more subpoenas on one individual than in the entire history of the Bank,"
their words, not mine.  I was not as gracious when I caught on to their attempted sting operation in August of 1998.
In keeping with Independent Counsel law allowing prosecutors to choose their target and then set about finding
(or obviously creating) a crime, my own bank had participated in trying to entice me into falsifying loan documents
for a loan they kept calling and wanting me to accept.  I did not want a loan, knew I could no longer qualify for
a loan, and still the calls kept coming.  And I kept saying, "thank you for thinking of me but I am not in the market
for a loan..."  ad nausea.

After the trial, my sister and I went "calling" and managed to get an admission out of the young man whose duty it
had been to offer me loans on a daily basis.  He would later say that when he looked up and saw us coming he
knew it was about to become "the worst day of his life."  And here they were, are, again!!
Oh, but it gets better...

When I began receiving collection calls and letters AFTER my closing on August 23, 2001, I laughed.
In the mistaken belief that it was a matter of paperwork delay, I even laughed when they stepped up the
dunning campaign and threatened foreclosure.  After all, my having ownership of anything more than an
eleven year old car is "history" as they say.  But when it continued, it became less humorous, and when I
finally found out that the seller's closing attorney did not actually pay off the loan until September 27, 2001,
for reasons that make NO SENSE, I was actually shocked!

I didn't even like the part where she charged me interest through August 27 despite the August 23 closing date
to give you some idea of exactly how testy I am becoming in my old age!!  And that is where it all sits, I have
just learned about that little delay in closing and have already been treated to fumbling excuses that give me
no credit for keeping copies of mail or documenting phone calls.  Clearly it isn't thought that I might make a
few calls of my own or document them, either!  Unfortunately these issues, and a few other "adjustment"
concerns, have kept me running in circles.

I apologize to Bartcop and to each of you.  You deserve better. I never imagined I would be so overwhelmed
by moving.  I have not been a tenant for 30 years, Adam has never lived with a family right beneath us
(Bless their hearts!), and it all takes a little adjusting.  And, let's face it, who else would decide to seek out a
Winter Beach rental only to wind up with Sharks on one side and the entire Atlantic Fleet on the other????

Most of all I need to be able to thank you for being my friends, for your generosity at every turn and in every
imaginable form, Today is my birthday, writing to you on this day is my gift and my privilege.
Thank you for making it so.

With love and many thanks to each of you,

PS - Isn't it time for another chat?

PPS - My next "column" will be a comparison of the new [anti-Terrorism] law and the Independent Counsel statute
that was, theoretically, retired.  I hate to tell you, but I can't see much difference.  Beware the little phrases,
the seemingly meaningless tacked on phrases and/or sentences...

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