Monday, February 23, 2009

as the $h!t hits the fan...er, ah furnace...

Thursday we received a call from our renter; Mary. Seems like the furnace went out – of course, when it’s going to be extremely cold. Murphys Law. We drove out there that evening to try and diagnose the problem and to at least get the wall heater in the breezeway working so that she would have some heat.

We asked if she knew anyone in the heating and cooling business and she said her father’s old neighbor does heating and cooling; Tony’s Heating and Cooling. We told her to give them a call and have them come out the next day.

Overnight the wall furnace in the breezeway stopped working. Weird. This led us to start thinking that the gas pressure was off – not getting enough gas to keep things running.

Friday morning Tony’s H&C came to diagnose the furnace. Seems like three major items were broken; the blower, the inducer and the condenser cover. To have these three items replaced, it was going to cost $950. But to have the furnace replaced, it was going to cost $2400 – so we opted for the lesser amount.

The furnace is only 8 years old. It was installed using the Clinton Township Residential Rehabilitation Program. We looked in the accordion folder at the house for the warranty information, but could not find it. So Jerome suggested that I call Clinton Township to see if anything would still be under warranty.

Come to find out, this was a big mistake.

I called the township offices; no one that I worked with during the program was still employed there. I left a message on the new guys (Ed's) voicemail. He later called and left a message on my voicemail stating that he couldn’t find my file under the name “Bosch” and could I call back.

When I called back, he said that he had indeed found my file and after telling me that the warranty was most likely only for 5 years, he went into some “issues” that have now come to his attention.

He kept saying that he hates to be the bearer of bad news but…according to the contract for the Residential Rehabilitation Program, if the house is no longer my primary residence and if the use of property has changed; the $25,000 loan (lien) is due and payable. GULP!

He kept me on the phone for over a half hour going over the contract that they currently have. I told him that I refinanced in 2003 and had the township sign off that it would be OK that I did that. I got married in 2003 and if I had added my husband to the mortgage that would be considered a transfer of ownership and the loan would be due and payable, so he was not put on the mortgage. I changed the paperwork in 2005 for Primary Residence at the township offices. We had the house up for sale for nearly 2 years to no avail. I have had the inspection per ordinance 357 in order to obtain a license from Clinton Township to rent the house. I have mentioned in two letters to the township regarding the rental license that the house was a part of the 2001-2002 Residential Rehabilitation Program and no red flags went up. I have followed all the rules that have been set before me to the tee. You can’t tell me that all of that information being told to the same township would not find its way into my file and if I was disobeying the rules, it wouldn’t have been brought to my attention by now? I told him that I’m sure that I’m grandfathered in to the old contract that doesn’t say anything about “property use change” or “primary residence change”.

He told me that he’s been in that office since August 2003, and it’s possible that I am “grandfathered” in, but he would be doing some investigations.

When we got home from work that evening, we also did some investigations. Thank God I keep all of my paperwork. There is NOTHING in MY contract that says anything about the loan being due and payable because of “property use change” or “primary residence change”. The ONLY thing is says is if there is a “transfer of ownership”, then the loan is due and payable. They must have updated the contract over the years. But it’s not in MY contract.

Also found the warranty information for the furnace in the Residential Rehabilitation folder...darn the luck; would have saved me a call...and a bunch of hassle.

Waiting to see if he's going to call me back.

If I had a dollar for every time the township has made my emotions go through the roof, I think I'd be a "hundred-aire". It upsets me to no end that this guy can just blurt out that $25,000 is now "due and payable" in such a matter-of-fact way, without regard to how it will effect the person he is telling, without doing his due diligence prior to speaking to the homeowner. And minutes before the weekend is about to happen. I wonder if there is an ordinance about that that I can hold him to.

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