My bankruptcy attorney mailed me a fact sheet this week about HUD programs and mortgage modification. I visited the HUD website and filled out the questionnaire. The result was I am eligible to apply for the HUD program. I am working on getting all the paperwork done so I can turn it in Monday or Tuesday.
I must get the paperwork in and get the process going because I am two months behind on my mortgage payments. I missed August and September. The mortgage company told me to pay the oldest payment first, so I need to pay the August payment as soon as I can. I should have enough to make that payment within 30 days.
Being eligible to apply does not mean I qualify. That will be determined after I turn in my packet to my local HUD agency and they review it. Then they negotiate with my mortgage companies to modify my loans so the payments are more affordable with my current income.
Right now my income is $1950 per month and growing. I have another marketing campaign out to get at least a couple more tutoring students. I expect to get at least one more client in October, and probably two. First 9 weeks report cards come out on October 13, and parents of some students not doing well will seek tutoring for their kids.
On average, I’m about $500 short each month of what I need to meet all our expenses. I say “about” because I’m catching up on utility payments that got behind over the summer when I had limited income in June and very little income in July. In case you haven’t read previous posts, the tutoring company I worked for closed as of June 1, 2009 and we didn’t find out about it until May 21. I also earn different amounts from my online endeavors that can vary from $75-$250 depending on advertising revenue and sales commissions in any given month. Since it varies so much I treat it as a gift or found money.
Our water/sewer and garbage bill went up, then came back down by twenty dollars. I have no idea why. The phone bill will be lower because I was able to change our plan, and so will our cable/internet bill. I was able to make significant changes to that plan as well. They have more plans available than just a year ago.
They changed our electric meter from an analog to a digital meter in April, and ever since then our electric bill started going down by $20-$30 per month. We have the level billing option, so the amount we pay is a 12 month rolling average. That means our actual bill has gone down a lot more than that.
We’ve done a lot around the house to make it much more energy efficient. We put compact fluorescent bulbs in everywhere they make sense, turned the A/C up a degree, and went around the house and unplugged everything we don’t use or don’t use often. I started using “dryer balls” and I put all the clothes through the spin cycle twice in the washer. It cuts drying time about in half. Electric dryers use a lot of power, so running it half as much saves a lot of money.
I also had to replace my laptop in September with a refurbished machine I was able to get for $200 from a friend. I thought it was new, but upon careful examination, it’s a refurbished older machine. The repairs to my old laptop were not advised because of its age and were estimated to be well over $200. When they diagnosed it, it looked to be either a processor problem or a motherboard problem. Neither of those is worth fixing with the inexpensive cost of computers today. My old hard drive is still working so I can access it when I need it using an adapter (I already owned it).
Why replace the computer? I run my tutoring and online businesses using Quickbooks and email. Without a PC I can’t run Quickbooks. My accountant strongly advised me to get a computer, even if I had to borrow or rent one, because the IRS would find it fishy that 8 months of my business year are in a real accounting program and the other 4 months would then be on paper. So I asked around my group of friends until I found a deal I could manage.
I am very lucky that I have a group of friends that are loyal and knowledgeable to be as they would tell be all the pros and cons of such matters as I have not mortgaged even a needle in my life so wasn’t sure as to what procedures would follow in such matters because I needed to file for bankruptcy before the International Debt Collectors agency got a whiff of anything wrong and start hounding me for my unpaid loans.
Since we are starting over after the bankruptcy, we will be able to meet our expenses as soon as I get my income up about $500, even if my mortgages don’t get modified. Two new students will make that happen, and I’ll find at least two more students this month. My online income grows in small fits and starts, but I’m not counting on it to solve my income problem. What I make helps, and it grows, but I’m focused on my tutoring business because it is in demand and makes real money I can depend on.
If I don’t come up with two students in about 2 weeks, I’ll go back to delivering pizzas until I find them. I don’t think it will come to that. High school level math and science tutors are in big demand.