Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 51- So close, yet so far away

We have floors! They are putting in a nice, wood-look ceramic tile all over our house. This was a major concession on my part because I loved my hardwood floors. Loved. I did not, however, love seeing them in a dumpster, and I don't think my heart could take it one more time. Ceramic makes sense for our lifestlye and for our repeat flood risk. I'll get some pictures up once they are complete.

Now, my house looks mostly like a real house instead of a construction site. Pay no attention to the dumpster in the driveway. This is both comforting and frustrating because it looks so nice, but it is really just a shell. There are still no appliances (except the fridge in the playroom), no functioning sinks, and no connections for the satellite dish and phone downstairs. It looks pretty, but it is still not usable. I have a promise from the contractor to have our appliances in on Friday, but I am not scheduling my life on that promise.

On the finance front, we did recieve the first "draw" on our insurance check from Chase. The bank put a 10 business day hold on the deposit, and the first $4000 that comes free will go to the demo dudes who have been waiting on their payment for about 50 days now. Although we completed the required "50%" inspection on Saturday, I have no hope of seeing the second check for at least 2 weeks, and the final draw will not even get started until we have a final inspection of repairs. After an inspection, the inspector has 10 business days to file his report, and then Chase has some allotted time to process the report and send the promised funds. Also, while the first draw is supposedly sent immediately upon reciept of the check (try 12 days later), the second and third draws are dependant upon successful submission of all the crazy paperwork.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chase What Matters (after allowing 2-3 business days for processing)

Friday, June 5: Received check from insurance company and called Chase to find out how to get their signature. The process includes many, many forms that have to be faxed to me to fill out. Faxing forms takes, apparently, 3-5 business days.

Monday, June 8: Received forms and 12 pages of instructions via fax. Read and followed all instructions to complete forms. Made several phone calls to Chase for clarification on how to fill out forms.

Wednesday, June 10: Mailed forms, signed and notarized, along with check via overnight certified mail.

Thursday, June 11: Called to confirm receipt and acceptance of forms and to request mandatory 50% Completion Inspection. I was informed that Chase has 2 business days to contact the inspector. Then he has 3 business days to contact me to schedule the inspection. My forms were not in the system, but they allowed me to go ahead and order the inspection.

Friday, June 12: Called Chase again to confirm receipt of paperwork. The unhelpful person on the phone informed me that I needed to write the specific words “self-contracting” in a blank on each of two forms instead of the very similar phrase that I wrote. NOTE: This is not in the instructions. The only way to make this change is to correct and re-fax the forms, allowing 2 business days for them to be processed.

Tuesday, June 16: Called Chase again to confirm receipt of corrected paperwork. The unhelpful person on the phone said that I need to write a “brief description of what happened to my home” in the blank for “…the undersigned hereby agrees to release and/or waive any and all claims of lien of labor and materials described as_,” rather than a description of labor and materials. I immediately request a supervisor. She is very sorry, but the forms must be correct. Today, I will correct the form and fax it once again, allowing 2 business days for processing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 44 - Cabinets, Crises, and Cash Flow

Things are moving along ever so slowly at our place these days. The moldy wood floor has been removed. The base, chair rail, and wainscot have been replaced and primed. The frames for our kitchen cabinets have been built. We are at a stall until the cabinet doors are complete, but then we will have a flurry of painting and staining. Once all of that is done, I will have my kitchen back and life will be much more like normal.
We hit a roadblock shortly after my last post when our house was taken over by a poltergeist. It was either that or the neutral wire from our house to the transformer failed from water plus time. Lights in part of our house were barely lit while others were too bright to look at directly. Circuits and bulbs blew, and all things electrical quit working. There was this crazy fluxing thing that happened when the refrigerator kicked on. I had to pay some guy with all kinds of meters and gadgetry who spoke to me through an intermediary a ton of money to fix it all. I say all signs indicate poltergeist, personally. The repairs were expensive and probably not covered under our policy, but our electric company and the electricians/ghost busters really came through and got us back to normal as quickly as possible.
We received our payment from the insurance company on Friday. The “contents” part of the check was made out to us, so we opened a new checking account to make the accounting easier and deposited the money there. Then we went on a shopping spree and purchased our new dryer, oven, and dishwasher, as well as a new vacuum cleaner. Everything has been delivered now and will be installed as the cabinets are completed. New everything is a definite silver lining of this process.
The “dwelling” part of the check is more complicated. It is made out to the mortgage company and has to be sent to them for endorsement. They require inspections and all sorts of rigmarole to give us the money back. I googled “Chase Loss Draft Department” in search of forms, and found out that the first twenty websites are all just people complaining about how terrible this process is. I am super excited. After filling out an insane amount of paperwork, including a document (notarized, no kidding) that I will not take a lien out against myself if I don’t pay my construction bill, I mailed the check to them yesterday morning. I’m just going to pretend that this will go well until they prove me wrong, because I really can’t take another battle right now.