Weather Updates

Moving mess


Updated: September 11, 2012 6:22AM

Dear Fixer: I hope you can help me. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis and am on a fixed income from Social Security disability.

Last year, I applied for an apartment in Hillside Apartments, a low-income building in Sioux City, Iowa, where my son lives. They told me on the phone that I was accepted and I began to make plans to move.

Then, at the last minute, I got a call that my application was rejected and they sent me a rejection letter. It said there was a way to appeal the decision, so I sent a letter to ask for a hearing.

We never heard from the company, called Dominium, based in Minnesota. We tried to call several times and always left a voice mail message that wasn’t returned. So my friend wrote an email to the president of the company. He wrote back and sounded very nice. He said that my application had not been rejected — it had been “conditionally accepted” so there was no need for an appeal. But he said that since so much time has passed, I would have to begin a new application.

They sent me a new application, which I filled out right away and sent back. They are still considering my application. They told me that there are no openings now and there is a waiting list for the next apartment. But here is the worst part: The waiting list is by the date that you apply and they are going to use my new application date, not my original one!

If there is no apartment now, I understand that I can’t move in. But they goofed up by sending me that rejection letter and then not replying to my request for an appeal, so why should I have to go back to the end of the line? I hope you can help.

Arlene Jones, Harvey

Dear Arlene: You better get packing because this just got fixed!

We took your problem to Dominium’s marketing director, who got it to senior VP Jack Sipes. He was able to slice through the red tape. Within days, your application was back on track. And even better news: A unit had opened up. You went there and met with them in person, and now you’ve got a move-in date later this month.

Have fun being closer to your son in the Hawkeye State.

Help for ‘underwater’ homeowners

If you are among the one-third of Chicago homeowners who are “underwater” on their mortgages and afraid of completely sinking, the Illinois attorney general’s office is offering a loan modification event this Saturday.

Housing counselors from the attorney general’s office as well as mortgage lenders will be available to meet with distressed homeowners at the Help for Homeowners event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Schaumburg Community Recreation Center, 505 N. Springinsguth Road.

The free event is sponsored by AG Lisa Madigan, along with state Sens. Dan Kotowski, John Milner, Matt Murphy and Michael Noland, and state Reps. Fred Crespo, David Harris, Sidney Mathias and Michelle Mussman.

Participants should bring:

† The most recent pay stubs (for the past two months) for all wage earners/household members with income

† If receiving government benefits, current award letter (including unemployment benefits)

† If receiving child support, copy of current court order and proof of payments

† Most recent bank statements (going back two months)

† Most recent W2s for all sources of income

† Most recent federal tax returns (going back two years)

† Complete and accurate budget

† Letter explaining reason for default/inability to afford current mortgage payments

† Recent utility bills

† Recent mortgage statement

† Recent Homeowner Association Assessment (if applicable)

† Recent property tax bill

† Homeowners insurance declaration page

For more info, call the Attorney General’s Homeowner Helpline at (866) 544-7151.

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