Dear Universe,

Hi! How have you been? I realize it’s been a while since I last wrote you, and quite frankly I was hoping another letter wouldn’t be necessary. It turns out, however, that you sent another one of your famous conundrums my way. I realize it may be your little brother Karma that has been shanking me in the shower for most of the year for burning ants with a magnifying glass as a child, but to mess things up this much, I suspect you had a part in it.

See, while the house you so lovingly destroyed is just about replaced — the little catch 22 you threw into the mix is quite a beauty. The manufacturer won’t release the house until they get paid, and the escrow company won’t release the money until they inspect the house. I’m sure you see the problem, and I suspect you planned it this way. Anyway, I just wanted to write and let you know I’ve adopted a supermassive black hole. Oh, it will take some time, but ol’ Blackey will eventually suck all your belongings into nothingness.

If you’d like to work things out, I’ll be in my basement. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to see me — there’s no house covering it. I’ll be down there burning ants. Feel free to put on your ant costume and come for a visit.

Your buddy and pal,
Shawn Powers

9 thoughts on “Dear Universe,

  1. Dear Universe,

    Are you in the mood for a beatdown of epic proportions? Yeah, I thought not. Fix Shawn’s Catch-22 or incur the terrifying wrath of the UCF – which, BTW, includes the Ordinary Goddess.

    Carol Elaine
    aka Ordinary Goddess

  2. Damn, I wish my husband the REAL ESTATE & TITLE ATTORNEY was still around to help you with this one! It sounds like that might be your next option – and with as many people as you know, surely someone has the legal expertise in that area to help you with your ant-burning and black hole adoption paperwork.

  3. Call your bank directly or whomever put the funds into escrow. You just have to shake enough trees. I worked in construction, it’s actually a more common problem than you realize, but REALLY freaking annoying.

  4. I’d tell the builder that you are about to call the Attorney General and ask about how they handle fraud cases — because if the builder wasn’t hiding something, they’d allow the inspection so they could get paid.

    Dr. Phil

  5. Candy — the problem is the bank is Chase Manhattan. My only option is to submit an appeal in writing, which will take forever to get done. The house is ready now, and I’d like to get it. If the local builder can’t come up with the cash to pay for the house, then I’ll have to get more ‘creative’.

    Phil — the builder doesn’t actually build the house. He is the guy that did the basement, etc., which is all inspected and fine. It’s a modular house, so the manufacturer in Indiana insists on full payment, because once the house is on my property, they have no legal rights to it. The “builder” in this case is literally a middle man. Hopefully it will get straightened out today, or I’ll have to start a lengthy and frustrating process with Chase.

  6. Wow, he won’t let you have the house inspected until you pay him? That’s bogus and extremely shady. The point of the escrow is that he knows the money is there. The only possible reason he could possibly want you to release the escrow is he knows he’s work is shoddy. Builder guys seems so clearly in the wrong that it’s almost laughable. You don’t have a catch-22. You have a scum-bag for a builder. Don’t give up the cash unless the product meets your specs. Period.

  7. Conq: I’ve actually checked up on both the house manufacturer and the local builder. Both have excellent track records. Since it is an insurance claim, the escrow company is my mortgage company. If it were a local escrow company (like the escrow I have in place for the masonry and such), we could do the inspection and such on the same day. That’s how a new house would work. Unfortunately, it’s not with a local title company, it’s with the big conglomerate, and they’re not very flexible.

  8. I’m thinking a call to the state’s Insurance Commissioner? If it’s the insurance claim that started the financing, then they could be involved as this is technically a hold on the settlement funds.

    And get a good real estate attorney. I’m sure these things happen all the time, but attorneys know whose ass needs to be kicked to shake things loose!

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