Last year, one Friday afternoon, I received a notice in the mail from my mortgage company. It basically said that my payment was about to go from $770 to $1600 effective immediately. After the shock wore off I called the mortgage company, but they were closed until Monday. So I had to keep this information to myself all weekend long. I didn’t want to alarm my wife about it without knowing some reason why.
On Monday. I called the mortgage company as soon as they opened and I learned some shocking news. It seems when they set up the escrow on the mortgage, they figured in the home owners insurance but they did NOT figure in the property taxes. In fact… they didn’t pay the property taxes for THREE YEARS! They “just” realized it and paid what was owed… but now they want to COLLECT it back from us in 12 months. This means a payment hike MORE THAN DOUBLE what we were paying before. Only problem was.. We couldn’t afford the new payment.
Now… I don’t like to cause my wife any undue stress, but this was BIG DEAL, and I don’t like keeping things from her. But before I could show her the letter and tell her what was going on, I had to find a solution. I asked the mortgage company if they would collect the deficiency over 24 months instead of 12. They agreed that the circumstances were unusual so they granted the request. Now the mortgage payment was set at $1107. It would still be hard… but doable.
The mortgage company sent us a new “Escrow Analysis” letter showing the $1107 payment, and I sat down with my wife to talk about it. Understandably she was upset at the situation. How could the mortgage company DO that? I explained everything I learned, and let her know where the money was going to come from to make the difference. She appreciated me doing my research and felt much better that we had plan was in place.
If you have “bad news” to give… follow these tips:
When you have “Bad News”
1. Don’t hide it – Many times it’s tempting to pretend you never got the bill, or the letter, or the eviction notice… but things like this ALWAYS come out at some point. When it does, you spouse will not appreciate the blind side.
2. Have a solution if possible – You don’t want to simply dump the problem on your spouse. If you have any control over the situation, present to spouse both the PROBLEM and the SOLUTION.
3. Ask for help – If you don’t have a solution, or you can’t implement the solution alone, ask your spouse for help. You will need their support no matter what.
4. Thank them – Thank your spouse for listening, for offering suggestions, and for being brave under the circumstances.
Have you had to give bad news to your spouse? Do you have more tips on how to make it easier?