Here’s a letter mom wrote towards the end of March in 2005. She had saved it on her computer as Home Equity.doc but that’s the only information I could find about it. I’m not sure to whom she sent it or if anything came of it.

I had forgotten all about the bit about the crazy people who had moved into (and basically destroyed) our old house. I remember she told me there was something like forty pounds of putrid, rotting meat in the kitchen sink after she evicted them and rats everywhere.

March 23, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

Regarding my bankruptcy discharged September 3, 1998:

In 1997, I purchased a new home but was unable to sell my existing home. At that time, my credit was good, and I was able to get mortgages on both homes. I found a tenant willing to do a rent-to-own agreement, and the family moved into my original property.

My son got married in August of 1997, and I had used credit cards to help with expenses even though the majority of the expense was borne by the bride’s family. Around that same time, the tenants in my rental property began to get very late on their rental payments and made two payments with checks that bounced.

After the time and expense it took to evict them, I discovered drug paraphernalia all over the house and back yard and items like handcuffs attached to faucets. As the sheriff was observing them while they moved out, they were trying to steal my refrigerator and did manage to get a washing machine loaded on their truck. This was a young family, and I was completely shocked.

I could not handle paying two mortgages plus my other bills and was soon in very deep trouble financially.

Some time in March, I lost my job of ten years when the company decided to eliminate my management level position in branches throughout Florida. It took me approximately three months to find another position that paid nearly $8,000 less than I had been making.

I was getting desperate so I discussed options with creditors and, especially, my mortgage holders. The bank was really helpful, but they saw no option but bankruptcy if I wanted to save the home I was living in.

It was an incredibly difficult time, and a very hard decision to make, but I felt that I had no choice. I had worked all my adult life, raised two children on my own with little or no child support and had managed to sustain good credit. During that period of approximately ten months, my mother had a heart attack, bypass surgery, then went into a coma, and finally was dropped in the hospital and has been in a wheel chair ever since. We were surrounded by fires and had to endure smoke in our home for almost three months.

At the end of May, I applied for bankruptcy relief. One creditor, Household Finance for Rooms to Go, asked if I would reaffirm the agreement, and I elected to do so. At the bankruptcy haring, however, the judge refused to reaffirm any accounts based on my lack of assets. Household Bank added two digits to the account number and continued to report the debt as past due until about one year ago. HRSI, an air conditioning company, wanted a reaffirmation, but the judge denied that one as well. My original home was foreclosed as part of the bankruptcy. The bankruptcy was discharged September 3, 1998.

Regarding delinquencies on my credit report:

In general, any delinquencies on my accounts were related to unusual expenses such as medical expenses. In 2001, I faced another corporate reorganization that resulted in the loss of another management position. I decided to take a month to determine what I wanted to do next, but, shortly after that 911 made a lot of employers reluctant to hire, and I went seven months without a job.

Twice in the last two years, I have had to go through batteries of very expensive medical tests, and, even with insurance, that can be a problem in a one-income household. On the other hand, I am working hard to improve my credit as much as I possibly can.

Regarding escrowed taxes and insurance:

I am paying my taxes and insurance separately from my first mortgage.

Regarding HSBC/RS:

Household Finance, as noted above, continued to report my account as delinquent for years after the bankruptcy was discharged and actually listed the account twice on my credit by added digits to the original account number. I wrote several letters of explanation regarding this and contacted them regularly, but I am not aware that they finally took it off.

The account number listed on the loan application for HSBC/RS to my knowledge is not correct. That account number belongs to HRSI which was a different account also included in the bankruptcy.

Both accounts are clearly shown on the bankruptcy papers, and, among the bankruptcy papers, there is a separate document denying the reaffirmation of the HRSI account. I do not recall any conversation directly with HRSI; however, I did sign an agreement with Household Finance. Again, both accounts were included in the bankruptcy.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at 352-870-5502.

Kathleen A. Gagne