CHAPTER 18 What The Hell is Going On?

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

Mom and Dad had just woken up when they heard the phone ring.

"Hello," Dad said.

"Hi this is Larry," said the real estate agent for Parcel A.

"Hi Larry. How are you?" Dad asked.

"What the hell is going on up there?" asked Larry.

My Dad replied, "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Well, I got a report saying that you had moved back into the house," Larry said.

"What? From whom?" my Dad asked.

"From the servicing company handling the property."

"Well I encountered a group of guys the other day coming up to the property. I didn't know who they were. We've heard reports of people scavenging properties in foreclosure and I wasn't about to have a group of guys with a truck on the property when I had no idea who they were. They could have been anybody," Dad said.

"So you haven't moved back into the house?" Larry asked.

"No we haven't. We haven't been inside the house at all. And the only time we've been to the house was to water the outside plants, and check on the equipment we have over there, which you already gave us permission to do."

"I can tell you there's been a huge foul up in communication going on with the Bank. The Bank sent them to load everything in the house up and haul it off. I didn't even know about it. It's a nightmare," Larry said.

"Had I not encountered them on the road, who knows what would have happened to our stuff," Dad said.

"And I wouldn't even have known they'd been sent up there," Larry said.

Another example of how smoothly the process of foreclosure was going and how in sync the Bank was with keeping on top of things. God only knows how this scene was being duplicated across the country with other properties. All this told us was that the Bank, the official owner of the property, had no idea what they were doing or what was going on. They were clueless and acting accordingly.

Now multiply that out by the hundreds of thousands or even millions of other homes across the United States. There were homeowners, who had their homes foreclosed on, thinking they had a certain amount of time, based on their local laws, after the Eviction to get their stuff out of their previous home. Only to find it stripped bare with potentially no one knowing who had been there or what had happened or where their stuff had gone to.

It was good to know the Banks were following the letter of the law. And good to know how well things were going now that the U.S. Government was stepping in to oversee them.

Not! What a joke! It was like having the Three Stooges take charge, only with the Three Stooges at least it would have been funny. This wasn't funny at all.

I headed down the hill to meet my Parents at our local coffee shop. On my way out of the Farm's main gate I saw what looked like the Bank's crew, the same guys my Dad had encountered the previous night. I happened to be going out the gate as they were coming in the other gate. So I figured I'd stop and find out who they were.

"Hi, can I help you?" I asked.

"Yeah, we're with the Bank. We're supposed to take photos so we can inventory what's on the property."

"And you're not removing anything?"

"No," they replied.

"Okay," I said.

I stood at the gate and watched them get into their truck and head down to the A-Frame. I got in my car and put it in reverse and went back to the Cabin. I got out and went inside to call my Dad. My heart was about to jump out of my chest. I didn't know how I would stop them if they started loading everything up in their truck. I grabbed my phone and dialed the number with shaky fingers.


"Yeah," Dad said.

"The Bank's crew is back," I said and explained the encounter.

"I think it will be fine. If they said they're just taking photos, I don't see any reason you need to stay up there. You can go ahead and come on down here so you can do your internet," Dad said.

"Okay," I replied.

But I didn't feel fine. I felt anything but fine. The pounding in my chest had subsided a little but the Tasmanian Devil was doing cartwheels in my stomach again. I didn't want to leave with strangers on our Farm. I walked into my bedroom and grabbed the video camera off my desk. I turned it on and zoomed down to my Parent's house and recorded them.

One of the guys went inside while the others stayed outside. I assumed the one inside was taking all the photos. They seemed like hard working guys. But I felt violated having people who we hadn't invited, who had the legal right, on behalf of and by the authority of the Bank, to wander around my Parent's home.

They could open drawers and rifle through belongings if they wanted. There was nothing I could do. All I could do was just stand there and film it from the outside and pray that everything worked out.

I'm sure they were just trying to make a living like everyone else. But I didn't know them. And they didn't know us. We were just a name on a list. Maybe not even that. Maybe the sum of us, came down to a number in a system, filled with other numbers. This is what my family and our Farm had been reduced to.

I filmed them from my living room for fifteen minutes. Waiting. But true to their word, they did not remove anything. They finished their task and left the Farm. I was relieved.

It was only after they left that I drove down to meet my Parents at the coffee shop. Somewhere deep inside there was a part of me shaking the whole way.

"The Federal Reserve Board announces that is prepared to expand the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to as much as $1 trillion and broaden the eligible collateral to include AAA-rated commercial mortgage-backed securities, private-label residential mortgage-backed securities, and other asset-backed securities. An expansion of the TALF would be supported by $100 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The Federal Reserve Board will announce the date that the TALF will commence operations later this month."

Federal Reserve Press Release

February 2009

Fact: "The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It was founded by Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. Most developed countries have a central bank whose functions are broadly similar to those of the Federal Reserve. The oldest, Sweden's Riksbank, has existed since 1668 and the Bank of England since 1694. Napoleon I established the Banque de France in 1800, and the Bank of Canada began operations in 1935. The German Bundesbank was reestablished after World War II and is loosely modeled on the Federal Reserve. More recently, some functions of the Banque de France and the Bundesbank have been assumed by the European Central Bank, formed in 1998."

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