If you haven’t read Adventures in Real Estate – The Continuing Saga (Part 1), you might want to do that first.  This post was written on the same day, but the whole story was too long for one post. 

When we moved to the US, we were both assigned Tax ID numbers (ITIN) until we could get Social Security Numbers (SSN).  For Devin, the SSN happened quickly because he had a work visa and a job, and he no longer needed the ITIN – we forgot that he had even had one.  I, on the other hand, was not eligible for an SSN until we got our Green Cards earlier this year.  Since I wasn’t planning to get a job, I didn’t rush out to apply for my SSN right away.  The decision to buy a house happened quite suddenly, so when we started the process, I still didn’t have an SSN.  I was encouraged to get that completed, and they got on with the process of our house purchase.

wolf frustration

'nuff said

As it turns out, the FHA was suspicious of us because we both had an ITIN and an SSN, and since both numbers follow the same pattern, they thought we each had two SSNs and were trying to pull some sort of scam on the government.  They asked for clarification of various things, including the fact that I had both numbers – they never asked about Devin’s for some reason.  They made us prove (on three different occasions) that the money that we were using for our down payment hadn’t been given to us by someone else.  They scrutinized our bank statements from our US and Canadian bank accounts and demanded updated statements as time passed.  We signed a million pieces of paper, read and tried to digest reams of legalese, and still, they were not satisfied.  And apparently we didn’t even see the majority of the requirements, as the others were taken care of by the mortgage broker directly.

As time got tighter for us, and the termination of our lease loomed closer, they still didn’t let up.  This repair has to be completed before we can close…that statement has to be updated…this inane question needs to be answered…you know that money that you originally transferred from your Canadian accounts into savings and have given us statements for? – we want you to prove that you moved it to your checking account in order to pay the down payment (this one came to us while the movers were loading our apartment into a truck).  We were infuriated and more than a little scared.  WHAT WAS GOING ON?

It wasn’t until our stuff had left for the warehouse that we finally found out about the fraud investigation.  By then, they had decided that all was well, but it was too late to get the official document saying so, and to register us as the owners on title that day.   So, we bought some clothes, checked into a hotel, and spent the weekend on forced vacation.

Luckily, our mortgage broker and realtor are kind people, and have been doing everything they can to support us through this process.  We have made some good friends as a result.  We also are grateful for our wonderful friends who have been taking care of Mario in their home.  Sakari is at her usual vacation kennel, and will be happy to move into a house with a yard when we pick her up on Tuesday.

photo of sign for Hope, BC

I hope.

By the time I am able to upload this, I hope we will be settling into our new house.  Today we talked through plans F & G (since we’d already discarded plans A – E due to all the delays), just in case they find some other ridiculous reason to disrupt our lives.  We have some options, though none are ideal, and all will be difficult.  We hope we don’t have to use plans F & G.

…to be continued.