I received a voice mail from a representative of the bank — a real estate agent in Bend from Caldwell Banker. He offered us $500 to be out by August 15. That’s the day Elsa returns.

Our lawyer warned us that litigation is risky. That, if we lose, we might have to pay the bank’s fees which could send us into bankruptcy.

But $500 and out in a week?

Soon after that, we decided to take a break from hammering out applications on the computer and take the girls to the pool. We were depressed. We felt defeated.

We had an odd experience there. We met the man who put the short-sale offer on our house. He said his real estate agent couldn’t find anything to complete the sale. No deed, no information, no anything. It was a complicated mess.

The bank has offered us something.

Yet, just on Monday, we heard the cell phone conversation as the woman asked whether they would consider a cash for keys offer. They said no. And now, they all of a sudden have a cash-for-keys offer? And not a very good one. Why the duplicity?

We’ve never bought a used car from a lot, except once. I didn’t want to, but Paul was sure he would never find this exact truck. Very well, I said, but we cannot spend more than x amount. They accepted x amount. Then, as we were going to sign papers, the fees popped up. $100 for this and $50 for that.

You must not understand. X amount is all we’re going to spend.

Well we have no control over this and over that. These costs are what they charge us.

We begin to stand up. To walk away.

The salesman says, Hold up, let me talk with the manager.

He disappears.

Finally, he returns with a smile. I guess we can cover the costs.

The manager leans out of the doorway and with an apologetic smile, says, You know we’ve got to try!

Is the bank just trying to get out of us what they can? Are they not wanting to go to court or just following a process?

Yet, the one thing I fear the most out of all this is to experience this one word:

duh.

To be a fool. To miss the boat. To not see the obvious.

Should we take what we can and go?

Or should we wait and see what happens?

Why do I feel safer trusting our future with the courts?

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