a few days before my first Law School final, during the dead week when i was supposed to be studying studying studying studying studying but really i was just re-watching a lot of 30 Rock and fucking around, the PSE got a call from her former-prostitute aunt with some troubling news.
apparently the PSE's Grandma was getting turned out of her house.
in a matter of weeks the bank was going to foreclose on the PSE's Grandma's house, the house that she lived in for over thirty years, the house that the PSE grew up in, and put the PSE's Grandma out on the street.
the PSE's Grandma is in her late-eighties. she is on oxygen and is barely mobile.
she lives her life in the thirty feet between her bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom.
now, thanks to the good people at Wells Fargo, she will be a homeless person.

the PSE's Grandma bought her house back in the 1980s and has lived there ever since.
after several years, with help from the PSE's Mom who lived in the house with her, they got the house paid off free and clear
the PSE's Grandma, along with the PSE's Mom and several of the PSE's uncles all put work and sweat equity into the house, renovating it, updating it, keeping it nice.
then the PSE's mother killed herself and the PSE's Grandma needed money so she went and got herself a reverse mortgage.
a reverse mortgage might be the very best example of everything rotten with capitalism.
though, there are plenty of great examples, really.
reverse mortgages are schemes where banks buy the birthrights out from under successive generations so that homeowners don't starve to death after they stop working.
rather then allowing people to accumulate wealth, banks capitalize on desperation, reabsorbing what little a person has been able to scrounge together for themselves, leaving poor families unable to ever escape poverty.
in a humane world, a woman who worked all her life who needed assistance in her retirement should be able to get it from the social safety net.
but we live in America, and the only way the PSE's Grandma was able to get money after she stopped working was to let the bank take her rights to her home out from under her.
the deal was supposed to be that the bank would take over the deed to the house, acquire the fee, but that the PSE's Grandma would be allowed a life estate to continue to live there until her natural expiration.
but there was fine print to the deal and the bank always wins in the end.

as part of the deal, the PSE's Grandma was obligated to continue paying the taxes on the house, as well as carrying insurance.
but, the PSE's Grandma is poor as shit, that's the whole reason she got a reverse mortgage in the first place and after a while, those insurance and tax payments became too much.
property tax in Nevada is not all that high. i can't imagine the PSE's Grandma had to pay more then $2,000 or $3,000 per year.
i don't have the slightest idea how much homeowner's insurance is, but figure maybe another $2,000?
maybe the PSE's Grandma had to pay $5,000 per year to keep her home in her name?
that might not seem like all that much, that's just one good Drug Study per year, but, again, the PSE's Grandma is old and infirm and housebound and there are so many times you can check under the couch cushions for change.
$5,000 might as well be a million when you're poor.

the PSE's Grandma has a whole mess of children and grandchildren, dozens in total, but i don't think a single one of them could be counted on to help pay the bills.
they are all different kinds of drug addicts and criminals.
the PSE is probably the only person in that whole clan of wastrels who could have been counted on to find several thousand dollars to bail the old woman out, but nobody bothered to tell the PSE what was going on until it was too late.
the bank sent notice to the PSE's Grandma of her past-due debts back in January.
by the time April came around and the PSE's Grandma hadn't come up with any money, they let her know they would be foreclosing.
the PSE's Aunt only told the PSE what was happening last week, five days before the house was set to be auctioned off.
like a cat, dropping a whole bunch of dead sparrows at our feet.

i am busy with Law School. i had a Property exam to study for.
but, i like the PSE's Grandma and, more then that, i think the Bank is fucking disgusting, so i had to spend several hours over the weekend before my final worrying about this shit.
this is something that can be fought.
i just had a semester's worth of Property, let's put that learnin' to good use.
i just wish this would be on the exam.

first things' first, if we're gonna fight this business we're gonna have to get an injunction to stop the house from going to auction.
but, that won't last for very long because the law is almost certainly on the side of Wells Fargo.
we can try to go for some kind of equitable relief, but the court is likely to just tell us to go fuck ourselves.
if we're gonna stop the bank from foreclosing on the PSE's Grandma, it will have to be with shame.
make enough noise, get enough media attention on the case, maybe the people at Wells Fargo will decide it's not worth the effort and go back to waiting for the PSE's Grandma to die and they can take the house by rights.
if i was up in Reno and/or i didn't have anything else to do i could quarterback this myself but because it was finals week and because i'm several thousands of miles away, i decided to see if i could get some backup.
on Monday, after my Property final, i made calls to poverty law lawyers and legal aid clinics all around Reno before finally finding a guy who might be of some use.
he does landlord/tenant stuff with the County Legal Aid and when i explained the situation he said it didn't sound like there was fuck-all he could do but he said he would call over to the PSE's Grandma and see what's going on and we could go from there.
well okay. that's a start!

a day passed, then another, then a third.
finally, on the day before the Bank was supposed to auction the PSE's Grandma's house i called up Gary Weiner at the Washoe County Legal Aid and asked him what the fuck was up.
he seemed confused as to who i was or why i was calling but after a while he remembered.
“oh, yeah, i talked to your Grandma,” he said, “she doesn't want to do anything.
she accepts her lot and wants to move on...”
well of course the PSE's Grandma accepts her lot.
poor people are always resigned to getting fucked over. it's why they're still poor.
i wanted to tell the Legal Aid lawyer to grow a pair and go take on the world's 10th and America's 3rd largest bank, for free, but, without a client with any standing, he couldn't even if he wanted to.
i thanked him for his time and hung up the phone, pissed.
looks like the Banks win again.

so what's next?
Wells Fargo will sell the PSE's Grandma's house at auction.
the minimum bid is $230,000.
the house is in pretty sorry condition and it's in a lower-middle class neighborhood so i don't know that there will be a whole bunch of people clamoring to buy it but, presumably, somebody will buy the thing at some point.
then, the PSE's Grandma will have between thirty and forty-five days to get the fuck out.
my advise would be for the old woman not to move an inch.
for the new owners to have to call the Sheriff to physically drag her out, and then for the old woman to just lay there on the curb.
if she can go ahead and drop dead in the process, all the better.
the PSE's Grandma has bene looking forward to death for years and maybe, just maybe, if she plays her cards right, we can get a lawsuit out of this.
it didn't work with the PSE's Mom, but, try, try again.
assuming, however, that the PSE's Grandma isn't willing to die on the curb to make a point and win us some settlement money, she will likely move in with her only son who isn't a fuck-up, Dwayne.
the PSE's little cousin Talon who is a freshman in high school and is living with the PSE's Grandma because his own parents are awful will likely either move back in with his own mom [who once lost custody of her other child because a Pit Bull ate its face] or move in with the PSE's Former-Prostitute Aunt, whos is nuts, but who has a boyfriend who can afford to pay rent on a house.
who knows how either new living arrangement will work out for the displaced or the people who take them in.
the PSE's Crackhead Uncle who also lives at the PSE's Grandma's house, Talon's dad, will have to go be a homeless person, living under a bridge somewhere.
at the very least, i hope the PSE's Crackhead Uncle, or somebody in that family of psychopaths has the decency to burn the house to the ground after they are all forced to move out.
if not for justice's sake then at least for spite.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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