I called the bank again today to get a verdict on the modification. Though the customer service representative assured me that she was transferring me to a “special team” of ten people that was familiar with our case, every call left me more unconvinced. Never did any member of this special team of ten remember me or any of the notes made on the case. With every call, every issue must be re-explained.

“It looks like we have all the required pieces of information for your modification. A member of our team will call you once a week to give you an update on your application,” she said. She said the same thing last week only her name was Laquicia. The week before that, it was Anoup. And John with the East Indian accent.

Never have I received a call from a member of our special team.

“Do you realize my house goes on the auction block on Monday?” I asked. “I don’t have time for calls from a member of my special team. I need answers now.”

“Just a moment,” she replied. Elevator music. Scratchy synthesizer tunes grate while I patiently wait.

I pictured the agent eating popcorn and playing solitaire while I’m on hold. I pictured her not even seeking the answer. I felt that with all the papers I submitted and faxed (usually twice) I had laid the witch’s broom at the feet of the Great Oz and Toto tugged on the curtain to reveal a fat, bald man bobbing and tugging at levers and pullies.

If the fate of our home depends upon the abilities of this special team, we’re screwed.

My special team member returned. “We will have an answer by 4:30 p.m. today, maam,” she said. “Would you prefer us to call you or would you like to call us?”

“I’d like it if you would call me,” I answered. I gave the correct phone number to reach me even though I’m required to give that phone number everytime I call to verify that I am who I say that I am. Everytime they ask me whether this is the number to reach me in case they need to reach me. I answer ‘yes’ everytime. They just never seem to feel the need to reach me.

4:30 came and went. I called at 4:45. “Yes, maam. We’ll look into this right away.” Xavier tried to ask me a list of questions that I’ve answered so many times before that I was able to anticipate them. So I beat him to the punch and answered them all in a line. Then, he started to ask the questions I already answered and realized I already answered them. There was an awkward pause as he looked at the questions. He was probably looking at his next chess move on his computer as well.

More elevator music.

“Maam,” he said when he returned to the phone. “After extensive review of your …”

At the use of the word “extensive review” I knew we were denied. I listened to the agent from my special team misappropriate a few turns of phrases of legalese as he tried to let me down easily. At the word “denied,” I felt strangely at peace.

“Very well,” I said. “Thank you for extensively reviewing our application. I’m sure you did your best to save our home. I’d also like to ask if you’d seen any papers regarding a short-sale offer? It was sent about a week ago.”

More scratchy eighties tunes grated on the synthesizer. Could it be … Michael Bolton?

“Ummm, yes maam,” Xavier said. “About that …”

There was no need to listen anymore.

“Can you tell me about the sale of my house? Where and what time will the sale be?”

Synthesizer music. I wonder if he’s won against himself or moved to the next level?

Xavier returned. “You should have received a notice from your trustee.”

“Who is my trustee? I haven’t received anything from my trustee.”

“It should be delivered to you on Monday.”

“So they might sell my house at 8 o’clock but I’ll get a delivery from my trustee at say … 10? You don’t have it written anywhere in your notes about the details of the sale?”

Elevator music.

“Let me give you the number of the trustee. Do you have a pen and paper handy? It’s 206-578-3902. When you call them, they should be able to tell you the details of the sale. Is there anything else I can do for you, maam?”

“No thank you. You’ve really over extended yourself in extensively reviewing my application. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Placidly, he replied, “Good. Well then, have a nice day, maam,” Click.

I called the trustee.

A man answered, “Hello! Thank you for calling Bright Idea Electrical Parts.”

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