War on Debt: Financial ADD

In January, I declared war on our credit cards.  With over $11,000 dollars in credit card debt, I mapped out a basic plan to accomplish the goal of being free of credit cards by 2012.  And in the spirit of complete honesty, I’m going to share the nitty-gritty details with all of you.  (*Names of creditors have been changed to protect the not-so innocent.)

Last week I made one credit card payment.  ONE CREDIT CARD PAYMENT, PEOPLE!  I seriously almost forgot about it because it wasn’t this outrageously choreographed expense.

And that would be because we only made the minimum payment.

 I know, I’m a horrible person.  But because I’m apparently a little ADD, I keep changing our financial focus.  Last month it was to make some overdue purchases.  Before that it was to get the debt paid off as quickly as possible.  And now it’s to get a little extra socked away in case of emergency.

This shift in focus was brought on by a little homeownership snaffoo.  And by snaffoo, I mean our insurance company sucks.  Let me explain a little…

Back in April we had some pretty impressive hail that caused a lot of damage around St. Louis.  It attacked both cars (one of which you may remember is no longer with us) as well as our roof.  Except the appraiser that came out to inspect our roof insisted there was no hail damage.  Even though practically every house on our street got a new roof out of the deal.  Even though our neighbor, an ex-roofer, identified the damage.  So we refiled the claim.

After jumping through hoops, we got another appraiser to come out and he acknowledged the damage.  However, our excitement was short-lived.  It wasn’t until we got the itsy-bitsy check that we were informed that our policy is an Actual Cash Value policy.  Which essentially means that they will only pay out what the roof is worth, not the cost to replace it.  A minor $4500 difference.

Now, we were first-time home buyers when we purchased this money-pit house…  And we made a lot of mistakes along the process.  But I would think I’d remember someone telling me that they couldn’t issue us a regular policy because our house was too old.  Nor is it printed anywhere on our policy.  So I’ve been fighting with numerous AAA personel for well over a month to get the money we need to replace the roof. 

Let’s just say it’s not going well.

I know a lot of you might say, “I’ve had AAA for 47 years and never had a problem.”  And I’m happy for you.  But this has been the worst customer service I’ve EVER received.  Phone calls ignored.  Vague answers.  Contradictory responses. 

All that to say I’m hoarding money in the off-chance that we can get an appropriate settlement to replace our roof.  Because in addition to the ACV policy, we have a 1% hail damage deductable.  Which puts us out $2000, instead of the $1000 we were told upfront. 

Sigh.  Being a homeowner is hard.

Actually, just being a grown-up is hard…  But also rewarding.

We know that we are making every effort to best provide for our family, so it *might* be worth the hours spent on the phone.  And even if I don’t get anywhere disputing the terms of the policy, I did discover that the age of the roof was calculated incorrectly, so we’ve got another $400 coming our way.  That’s something. 

Then come January, we will buckle down and shift our attention back to the credit card debt and get this mofo paid off! 

Then perhaps we can start thinking about paying off my student loans…

Next Post in the War on Debt: Game Face

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4 Responses to War on Debt: Financial ADD

  1. […] post in the War on Debt series: Financial ADD Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share with Stumblers Share on technorati Tumblr it Tweet […]

  2. Kristy says:

    Despite the roof snafu, you made a great big dent in tackling the debt. I say Nicely done! Hope things work out for you on the roof deal!

  3. susan says:

    We had that SAME clause in our roof thingy when we went to get a new one before we moved. Yeah it sucked. why does no one tell you to look for these things when you buy a house?!

  4. […] Bad:  Less than a month after cashing the roof claim, Murphy’s Law […]