Foreclosuresurvivor's Blog

Surviving Foreclosure

Employment

I’m working through a “temp” company for $25.00 per hour.  That’s not too bad.  Temp companies don’t run credit checks most of the time.   I’ve been assigned to a long term assignment.   I’ve been contracting at this assignment for about 1 year.   I’m fortunate.  However, most holidays are not paid and I have very limited leave.   The health insurance is too expensive so I’m still using my husband’s (we’re separated) health insurance.  Obviously, contracting is not a stable full-time job.  It’s “temporary.”    The hours are flexible.  There isn’t a lot of stress.   I always work. 

I’m an English major.  I also have a Paralegal Certificate.  (I started my Master’s but can’t seem to finish it.) I’ve worked many long hours as a Paralegal.  Eventually I became a Paralegal Manager.   I  lost my job making $92,000 a year as a Paralegal Manager in a small law firm.  It all started in the Summer of 2007.   I was working as a Litigation Coordinator at a law firm in DC making $87,000 per year.  (I loved that job.)  It was a satellite office. 

One morning we were pulled into a conference room and told by management the main office decided to close the entire DC office in 2 months laying off everyone.  I didn’t panic.  Due to my hard work,  I was offered 2 positions.  However, when I started the new position, there was NO work and yet I was paid a relatively large salary.   The country was in a Recession yet we were told we weren’t for a long time.  Remember that?  I quickly realized there wasn’t a need for me.  You could cut through the tension in the office with a knife.  The country was about go into a financial black hole and I didn’t know it.  First they unjustifiably reduced the paralegal staff and then there was the problem of what to do with me.  They decided to push me out.   See law firm employees don’t have unions.  It’s not like a factory where there are mass lay offs.  It was a small firm where they can do as they please.   It’s way more advantageous to fire someone or gently ask you to go than lay you off.  There’s a risk of a law suit but they know you don’t want to be “black balled” as a problem in your industry.  DC is a small city.  Essentially I was pushed out.   It was one of the most stressful moments of my life. 

I thought with my education and work experience, I would get another job easily.  The problem was there weren’t any jobs at all.  I’ll never forget being told by a temp representative, “there aren’t any jobs.”   I was unemployed for about 8 weeks.  I couldn’t request unemployment benefits because technically I resigned.   During that time, I got behind on all my bills including my mortgage.   NO, Wilshire was NOT willing to “work with me” to modify my loan.    Besides, my home was worth MUCH less than what I purchased it for in 2006 anyway.   They foreclosed on my home in January 2009. 

My husband left us.  My daughters and I became homeless.  Have you heard of the Middle Class trap?  Well, even homeless I don’t qualify for ANY government run assistance for child care, housing, food stamps, etc. I’m rich because I’m temping!? 

 We now reside in my parents’ basement.   We are thankful.

I know I’m not alone.  For the rest of my life, I will always remember the family murder suicides that occurred on a regular basis in 2007-2009.  We’re fortunate.  We’re healthy.  I can work. We have food and shelter.   Like I said, we are fortunate.

Now I’m fighting to get a stable job and get back on track financially.

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October 15, 2009 - Posted by | Rebuilding Credit after Foreclosure

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