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Retired Air Force Member In a Mortgage Pit After a Divorce. – Cortland

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

I’m hoping you can point in the direction where I can get some assistance. Long story short, I’m retired AF (retired in July 2010) and own a home that I purchased in 2003 when I was on active duty. As a result of a permanent change of station move while on active duty and a divorce 2005), the home has been vacant for two years, in need of repairs (which I can’t afford) and is unsellable and un-rentable in the current condition. Additionally, the home has a second lien taken out in 2004. My wife also owns a home that is vacant right now, but will be rented soon (we hope). I can afford the payments, but it seem like money is going down the drain. I know there’s a moral (and legal) obligation to honor the contract I signed, but I’m trying to find options on how to get it in condition to rent until I can at least pay off the second mortgage and try to sell it for the balance of the loan. I’ve even looked at sel ling a portion of my military pension to raise funds.

Should I continue making payments that are going no where? Is there a program out there that can help?

Cortland”

Dear Cortland,

What resonated most to me was the statement about a moral and legal justification to ride this bomb to the bottom of the well. Reminds me of that scene with Major Kong from Dr. Strangelove.

What doesn’t appear to make any sense is to pour money into a situation for which there is no expectation of recovery. All you do in that situation is spend years trying to repair the past and leaving yourself exposed to a lingering financial disaster.

Before you do anything I’d suggest you click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and discuss your options with them. If this loan was a VA loan you can be eligible for another VA loan in the future.

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Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

2 Comments

  • Appreciate the comments and understand the philosophy of pouring money into a “mortgage pit”…excellent discription by the way, I just don’t see bankruptcy as the solution to my short term challenge.

    • Isn’t the short term challenge you allude to actually that you have a long term vacant home in need of repairs which you can’t afford that is unsellable and unrentable? It might even be underwater where you owe more on it than it is worth.

      Absent some lottery win, how else do you expect to find money to repair the home and be able to sell it for more than you owe plus repairs?

      Absent an infusion of cash, the way you change the equation is by modifying the debt.

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