When Liz and her family bought their home during the last housing bubble, they got a 5-year fixed, 25-year adjustable rate loan. Their plan was to refinance before the end of those first five years.
(We're entering a new bubble. Don't do this.)
At the time, many people did the same, and what happened to Liz happened to a lot of those people: due to its own error, Bank of America raised the adjustable rate so Liz's monthly payment was three times higher than in the original agreement. Liz knew this was wrong, so she took on the bank.
That, and she didn't tell her family their home was in jeopardy. That's a lot of pressure. Don't do this either.
In the book, Liz leads us through her confrontations with Bank of America as well as Jesus, where she learns things about herself, good and bad, that she never expected to know.
Here are a few things we learn:
When you know you're right, don't give up. Be a nice, sweet, constant pain in the ass.
Take notes. Keep names, dates and phone numbers.
Whatever your faith, there will be times it fails you. Let it fail. Be brave. Demand answers from your god.
Liz tells her story in a clear and funny voice. I helped a little with copy editing. Liz knows how to tell a story, but she knows her limitations. In the acknowledgements she thanks "Petrea Burchard, without whom this book would have no punctuation."
I asked Liz if she wanted to say anything in this post. She sent me two of her favorite quotes from the feedback she's received:
"I too am in loan modification and was going to just walk away, it has been so long and hard. And I thank you, now I am going to fight and stay in my home."
"A friend recommended your book and I do not have any loan issues but it made me feel courageous and gave me a fighting spirit, yes, never give up."
Bank of America and Jeezus is, on the surface, about finding faith. But really it's about three years of incredible persistence and personal power, bolstered at times by faith and at times by humor, and mostly by monumental stubbornness for which BofA was no match.
The ebook is available here.
Notes on other booky stuff:
Today at noon:
Among others, Margaret Finnegan and I will be signing Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition at the Prospect Park Books booth (#63) at the LA Times Festival of books. Click on the link to Margaret to win a free copy of Camelot & Vine.