Sunday, January 13, 2013

Live Each Day featuring Blue Fern Studios

Today is the day that I posted my first Blog entry into the Blue Fern  Studios Blog. I hope you go visit the blog, as one by one the fabulous Design Team is introducing themselves and posting the most incredible gorgeous designs using Blue Fern Studios fabulous chip board. 
Here is mine...
For the Leaf Frame, I painted the frame with a heavy coat of white Gesso, and while the paint was still wet, I lightly sprayed on some Color Shine spray in Georgia Peach and watched it pool on the chip board. The result was a beautiful design replication of some of the patterned paper I used for the layout. 

 Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE creating my own flowers. I used the Tattered Florals die for the flower petals and the McGill sun punch for the middle. They are very similar to my Passion Daisy tutorial. Just use the same size flowers for all 3 layers. 

This is just a closeup of one of the flowers. 

I painted the nested Circles using Silks Glaze paint in Olive Vine. I ordered a generous supply at Swirlydoos. The  Silks paint gave the chipboard a beautiful shimmer. 
Wasting nothing, I used the throwaway piece after punching out one of the nested circles. I thought it framed the smaller piece wonderfully. 

Blue Fern Studios
                                                                       Nested Circles
Model: 074455

I used the Spellbinders Persian Motifs die under the Nested Circles. The metal butterfly is from FabScraps. All of the little flowers you see were left over from Swirlydoos kits. The journaling frame is a Spellbinders labels die. 
Blue Fern Studios
Model: 074356

Please follow along with the Blue Fern Studios Blog, and see what the fabulously talented Design Team will be posting. You will surely be inspired, as they bring you new techniques to adorn your chip board. 
Thanks for stopping by and look forward to more inspiration to come!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Our Bank Of America Nightmare

I know this is a happy place. I only post positive, creative, happy things here. But I have a story to tell because I am ANGRY. After 3 years of torture, I cant take it anymore, and I will focus my time on getting my story out there before it is to late. This letter is going out to every single influential person or entity I can think of. Somehow, I want justice....

Personal Message:
After 3 years of no action, and our credit ruined. I am taking my story worldwide until something is done. 

Back in 2009, my Mortgage with Countrywide was transferred to Bank of America (BOA) , and that is when our BOA nightmare began. We have owned our current home since 2003 which was the year construction was completed. My husband and I have been homeowners and have been paying a mortgage payment since 1988 and have always been covered with homeowners insurance. We have NEVER missed a payment, never lapsed on a payment, never took advantage of the “skip a payment” option offered, never received any kind of assistance to help us with payments. We have always met our financial obligations. One month, I received my mortgage statement in the mail, and it was more than my regular payment of $1055.21. I could not understand and thought it to be a mistake and called Bank of America to find out why my payment had increased. I was given a song and a dance about the amount needed to cover my escrow account. I proceeded to inform them that I did not have an escrow account with Bank of America. I got nowhere with the representative. So I sent my normal amount of 1055.21. The following month, I received my next statement with a different amount even more than the last statement, PLUS late charges. I called Bank of America again, explaining to them that we had a fixed rate, 30 year mortgage. There is no way that my payment should increase, after some searching, the representative told me the money added to my payment was part of funds placed into an escrow account that Bank Of America created to cover the Lenders Placed Homeowners insurance they imposed on our home. We explained to them that we had Homeowners insurance and our premiums were paid through Statefarm. I called Statefarm, and they confirmed they had given the bank a Declarations Page for the Insurance, as we had as well. Like we did every year since homeownership. The representative said that because they had no proof of insurance Re: A declarations page ( Did Countrywide neglect to transfer over that vital part of information when BOA took over our loan??) that BOA just went ahead and imposed the insurance on our home. I never received any information prior to this about Lenders placed Homeowners insurance, and I didn’t get any letters or phone calls explaining why they did his without letting us know. And I never received notification that they didn’t have that information prior to imposing their own insurance on our home. As far as I was concerned, because nothing had changed with my State Farm Homeowners insurance, there was no need to do anything different. Then the harassing phone calls began. Phone calls from Bank of America Collections department trying to collect the money that they said I was delinquent on. In the meantime, I continued to pay my scheduled monthly payment of 1055.21. I would make them every month and on time. I made numerous phone calls and each and every time I spoke to a representative, I was transferred to another one. It was always a different department. We hoped they could clear up why the debt collection department was calling us and make it right. Instead, we were back to dealing with whatever nameless, faceless BofA customer rep happened to take our call, who in turn would bounce us around to countless other reps in countless other departments, each time having to retell our story, until, a few hours later, we were ‘accidentally’ disconnected, or we parted with no resolution. They could not give us names, phone numbers or emails of anyone to whom we could speak directly about our problem. The right didn’t know what the left was doing. Then I was told they could not speak to me because I wasn’t authorized being that my name is not on the loan. I had to fax confirmation from my husband allowing them to speak to me. I faxed the confirmation. Over and over and over again.The harassing phone calls continued throughout the day and evening. Sometimes as many as 12 phone calls a day. Each and every representative refused to help me stating there was nothing they could do about it, or they would transfer me to a different department and I would have to repeat my story again and again and again. Most of them gave me the same number to call over and over. The number always took me back to the collections department. So many times the call ended abruptly either through disconnection, or a representative that just didn’t want to be bothered. Some were downright rude. Still the harassing phone calls continued. And these phone calls were coming from India…Really??? There was always a foreigner on the phone trying to “extort” money from us. I finally got a representative who said if I sent them the Declarations page for my Homeowner’s Insurance from State Farm, that they would be able to fix the problem. So I faxed over the Declarations Page proving that I had insurance. She said it would take about 48 hours to process. I waited to hear back from them…Nothing. We received more continuing harassing phone calls and more statements with increased amounts including mounting late charges. I called again. This time I went to Statefarm. Had them investigate the last 4 years of statements and payments, proved that I had NEVER lapsed on Homeowners insurance and proceeded to call Bank Of America once again. This time I had Statefarm call bank of America with the information. State farm faxed over the information that Bank of America asked for. (State farm also faxed me the same information they faxed to BOA) A couple of weeks passed and the harassing phone calls continued. The statements never changed and now we were getting letters threatening foreclosure proceedings if we didn’t bring our account up to date. We would also get packages from FedEx that I would have to sign for from Bank of America containing application for Loan Modification. What for??? We pay our loan payments on time. Why would I need loan modification? By this time almost a year had passed since the problem started. All I got was empty promises from Bank of America that the problem would be rectified. One day, a woman appeared at our home. She was walking around the house with a clipboard in her hand. My husband went out and asked her who she was and what she wanted. She wanted to know if the homeowners still resided in the residence. My husband was dumbfounded. He explained that he was the homeowner and yes he still lived there. She proceeded to tell him who she was and explained she was sent to the house from Bank of America. They wondered if the house was abandoned. My husband told her to get off of the property or he would call the police. She left. I called the bank and never got an answer as to who this woman was just that it is their policy when they need to see the condition of the home or whether or not it has been abandoned. Now we were in shock and feeling totally helpless. When I called Bank of America to find out if they received the Declarations page from Statefarm, they said they could not rectify the matter because the page was from the wrong year. I went back to Statefarm and told them what happened. They contacted BOA and sent them the last 4 years Declarations pages proving that we always had insurance. And the information was ALWAYS forwarded to our Mortgage servicers. BOA apologized and explained to us since the take over there must have been a “glitch” in the system and the insurance information was either lost, not carried over, or sitting in a different department that had not crossed the information over. A glitch in the system was the representative’s exact words. Once again there were promises that the problem would be rectified. But they weren’t. By this time, I had spent countless hours on the phone, taken days off of work to deal with the problem and suffered many sleepless nights dealing with the situation. All the while feeling helpless against one of the biggest corporations in the world and getting nowhere fast. BOA appeared untouchable. My husband’s credit was ruined and the stress this mess has caused just kept getting worse. Sleepless nights, heart palpitations, headaches, stomach problems and anxiety had taken over. I cried more than anyone should have over this awful situation. Over a year had passed and we were in limbo. On the advice of an attorney, he informed us that it was illegal to call so many times in a day, I wrote a letter to BOA and the 12 -15 calls a day dropped to about 2-3 a day. This was a small improvement. But the statements still reflected the amount due and kept accumulating late charges along with the amount due for the ridiculously high amount of BOA’s Lenders Placed Insurance. I made phone call after phone call, talked to one representative after another to try and resolve the problem. Each one saw the problem, and either tried to help or passed it on to someone else. I had to deal with one department after the other, and in more cases than not, the department they transferred me to was the same department to make a payment to bring my account up to date. 75% of the transferred phone calls were to the collections department. Some of the representatives sounded like they were sincere in wanting to help us. Other representatives were cold and nasty in their response to me over the situation. I got answers like “pay your fees and late charges and your problems will be resolved”. Or “We can’t do anything for you until you meet your financial obligations with BOA”. Or Sorry, there is nothing we can do as this is a system error”…WHAT??? Then there were the returned checks. BOA issued us a check a few times because they could not accept partial payment. I would send in my $1055.21 payment on time every month , BOA would state I owed more and take some of the money and send me back a check (refunding my mortgage payment)with a letter stating that they do not accept partial payments so they refunded my mortgage payment minus some money.. We NEVER cashed these checks. I continued to make my regular scheduled mortgage payments on time. Every month…Every time… Finally after almost 2 years, a representative said she investigated the problem and would be able to help us. Her name was Betty. After months, the lenders placed insurance was removed as were some of the other charges. All except around $245.00. I was told I would have to contact another department to have it refunded because it came out of another department. . I contacted the department and they said they would take care of it. Here we go again. Department after department kept transferring me from one to another. The letters continued that I was behind on my mortgage and the late charges are still mounting. Once again, no one is able to help us rectify this situation. I was at my wits end at one time not too long ago and contacted BOA through their online banking service and threatened to go to the St. Petersburg Times in Tampa (our local newspaper) and expose BOA for everything they have put us through in the last 2 years. That is when I got a phone call from a woman named Angel Baker who said she was from the BOA Office of the CEO and Presidents Executive Customer Relations. She apologized for the mess that BOA has caused and she would do everything she could in her power to help straighten out the mess. She left her number and extension number if there were any problems. 877 498-7226 ext: 2796. In her follow up phone call because it was a weekend, she would follow up with me the following week. In that follow up phone call she said the problem would be resolved but to give it time for all parties involved to fix the account. Last month, when I tried to call Angel Baker at the number she gave me, when I dialed the extension, I got a recording that the number no longer existed……And there were no options to speak to anyone else. I truly believed the problem would finally be resolved…We were sadly mistaken… Once again, we started receiving phone calls and letters stating that we were now 1 month behind on our mortgage. And when we told them we paid, BOA stated that our current payment was taken for the month before. No one was able to tell us when the payment was missed. 2 weeks ago, a man came to the house, placed a note on the door, my husband asked where he was from and he told my husband to call the number on the paper. We called the number on the paper and got nowhere. All we got was a recording that it was a debt collector from BOA, and only offered options, to make a payment. Finally on November 13, 2012 we were persistent and called the number again this time going through all of the motions until we were able to speak to a live representative. The representative went through the payment history and found that we were 1 month behind on our mortgage which we were still in foreclosure proceedings since 2010. She took her time going through the history from 2009, but became very confused as to where the problem started, she was able to see dates where it looks like the account reflected different reversal payments, and still could not find where the problem started. Only that we were a month behind. When we explained our situation and told her that we had contacted an attorney to assist us because we had been unable to have the problem resolved after almost 3 years, she told us that because of getting an attorney involved, that she would have to transfer us to a supervisor. The supervisor Aron Alvarado listened to our story researched the payment history and after about 30 minutes told us that he found out what the problem was. One of our mortgage payments had been applied to an escrow account BOA created for lenders placed homeowners insurance they took out on our property, and even after proof that we always maintained our own, and BOA’s insurance was removed, that mortgage payment was never applied back to our payment history. It just sat in escrow. He offered to rectify the situation and said we would have to call a different department, and then offered to call it for us. He then said he would have to research and call the department, it would take him about 30 minutes and he would call us back. But he would be able to have everything reversed and it would take about 48 hours before we would see the change in our statements. We left him 2 contact numbers, our home phone and a cell phone. He never got back to us. He never returned our phone calls. And the problem was never resolved. Over the course of the 2+ years, BOA could never find a faxed letter of authorization to allow me to speak to a representative. Another frustrating situation as I am the one who takes care of the household finances and record keeping. We believe a serious injustice has been committed against us as homeowners. We have been in a BOA nightmare since 2010. The worry, that one day we would come home from work and there would be a notice to evict on our door. The worry that after 34 years of hard work to maintain home ownership, that it would be taken away from us in the blink of an eye because of a “glitch” in the system. The sleepless nights, the times taken off from work to spend making phone calls, the countless letters, emails, the worry, the anxiety. I have recently cut my hours at my job, because I can’t handle the stress anymore. This nightmare has taken a toll on my health. This is when we finally decided that we could not let this go. That BOA was going to compensate us for all of the problems they have caused us and our family, so this will NEVER happen to anyone else, ever again. We want to finally awake from this nightmare, and be able to move on with our lives in peace, without the worry of not having a roof above our heads. Now the new nightmare begins. BOA has transferred our mortgage to Residential Credit Solutions. Inc…I have been investigating to find out what kind of company this is, and I read these words… “RCS is a Fort Worth financial services company that describes itself as expert "on credit-sensitive residential loans" -- which means at-risk loans or those slipping into foreclosure.RCS says it buys troubled loans, many of them subprime, and works to help owners keep their homes. Foreclosure, a company spokesman once told me, is the last resort.But that's not what a customer and hundreds of other RCS customers say. They claim in complaints on consumer websites, with government agencies and with The Watchdog that the company is a foreclosure mill where employees purposely delay responses to customers' concerns to make it difficult for owners to keep their houses.” On January 3, I called Residential credit Solutions because I got a letter stating my December payment was not received. I explained to them that the December payment was made to BOA as instructed by them and the next payment in January was to be paid to RCS. I did an online payment to RCS today January 3, 2013 for my January payment. RCS states that I owe them Dec and Jan. RCS told me it does not have the full payment history from BOA as of yet. I explained to them the history behind this missing payment, and it is now assumed that BOA did not rectify the situation, probably applying my payment to the “missing” payment therefore reflecting I was 2 months behind on my mortgage. BOA basically transferred a “bad” loan and is now making it RCS’s problem. We are not amused as I am hearing a lot of negative press about how quickly RSC forecloses on customers. Now we are really scared. What has BOA done to us? We have a spotless payment history. Law abiding citizens. Would never do anything to cause anyone problems. Now BOA won’t even talk to us. And we are being harassed by RCS for money that we don’t even owe. BOA transferred our mortgage that they screwed up, promised to fix, never did and And now we probably have to pay for an attorney to get out of a situation BOA placed us in because of a “Glitch” in their system. I want BOA held accountable for all of the stress and heartache they have caused us. This is our life!! I am looking for someone who will help us. We want our story told. We want FRONT PAGE NEWS!!! I am at a loss for words…and desperate to find a solution to end this nightmare… Regards, Lisa Nazario-Gregory

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blue Fern Studios Inspiration.

 I am having so much creative fun with Blue Fern Studios beautiful chipboard designs. Here is a sneak of just a couple of the designs that are available right now. I used a window and a flourish on this layout.  I opted to do some acrylic paining on the pieces  then used some Silks glaze over the paint. On the flourish, I used a Uni-ball pen in white to add some detail to the leaves and vine. There are so many possibilities to adorning the chipboard. Keep your eye for some tutorials on how to dress up your chipboard pieces. I used K and Company papers in spring patterns and colors because I wanted this layout to fell light and airy. I absolutely adore the Princess Window chipboard. I just adhered the photo beneath and it framed the photo beautifully. 

Blooming Flourish Model: 074509

Visit Blue Fern Studios Blog to learn more about Blue Fern and it's history, and get to know the people involved. And in the coming weeks, you will meet each of the designers behind the creations. You will surely be inspired as the Design Team is packed with Top Talent!! I am proud and honored to work among each and every one of them!!

Goodbye 2012

Well I have a scrapping lineup for 2013!!! I cant wait to get creative this year. With 2012 behind me, I am taking on a new approach to the way I will be creating my art. Fun, fun, fun... No, not changing my style, but I will dipping my paintbrush in a few different places. So look out for tutorials, more layouts, and I will continue to supply you with butterfly files. I look forward to my new venture with Blue Fern Studios and watch it grow like Wild Fire!! And I will be Guest Designing for some amazing companies along the way. I am very excited for this year to bring me creative adventures. You never know where you will see me pop up!! For now, I will leave you with my favorite layouts that I created in 2012.