Welcome to my Thursday! It didn’t go well until I was able to retreat to my kitchen where, ultimately, my frustrations were relieved and some pretty darn tasty Lemon Pepper Chicken Paillard was produced, the recipe for which is after my diatribe. So that’s your cue to scroll to the end if you don’t want to hear it. You have been warned.
If you aren’t familiar with the term “Short Sale” with regard to real estate transactions, you can ask the Google and it will tell you all about it. In a nutshell, I sell the home for less than I owe on it and the bank absorbs the partial loss rather than foreclose and take the entire loss, with a nice fat red checkmark on my credit rating for my trouble. In my case, being a disabled veteran with a VA Insured Loan, the circumstances are a bit different than traditional short sales in that the bank actually doesn’t take a loss – the taxpayers do. The whole point of a VA Insured Loan is that the VA agrees to pay the bank if I can’t. This is one of the few benefits of serving your country and keeping your nose clean – it’s Federal law that we be entitled to this insurance if our credit is worthy – which mine was until recently.
Well enough of the technical mumbo jumbo and on with the sob story. Unfortunately, I have had to use this insurance and wave the white flag. Like many people, I paid an over-inflated price for the home a number of years ago, then the bubble burst and the value went down to where it should have been, then I lost most of my income. Shit happens. I learned about short sales and a few wonderful Realtors came riding to my rescue. Like a trooper, I rallied and busted my butt to get the house ready for sale (spackling, sanding, painting, sealing, cleaning, installing flooring, yard sale, etc.) and then rolled out of bed with a Swiffer in my hand every morning to accommodate potential buyers. I stayed gone for hours at a time nearly every day for a month so strangers could sift through my closets. I have an ace team of THREE realtors helping me, and we received THREE offers within 30 days of listing it for sale – a rare occurrence in real estate no matter the price or circumstances. We all busted ass to get this thing sold so that the bank wouldn’t take a loss and blame it on me by foreclosing.
So for the last 75+ days we have been getting calls – spaced about 3 weeks apart – from the bank asking for another piece of paperwork, or claiming I failed to sign something, or asking for the same thing they asked for last time that we already sent three times. This fake paperwork shuffling already caused us to lose one of the buyers who had made an offer. Today as I was going to my agent’s office (as is de rigueur now) to drop off last month’s bank statement my phone rang. It was my so-called “Single Point of Contact Representative” from the mortgage lender asking for the same paperwork that we sent in last month. I don’t have to tell you how hard it was not to scream and yell. Somehow, I managed not to give her the tongue lashing she so richly deserves. I promised that we would, once again, send her the same paper work we sent before. I sweetly asked if she could possibly predict when the offers might be looked at and a decision made regarding the sale. She basically told me that since we had not sent in all the paper work, it would be another 60 days from whenever the file was complete that “The Negotiator” would take some sort of action.
At this point, I made a considered decision that it was in everyone’s best interest for me to get the hell off the phone as fast as I could before someone got hurt. Someone deserved to have his little pencil neck wrung until the eraser popped off his little pencil head. Unfortunately, I do not know who he is. He operates under the moniker “The Negotiator” and is protected by this front person whose name I do know but will not tell you so that I can’t be sued for defamation of character. How is it that he gets to operate (or not operate, as the case may be) with complete impunity because I DON’T KNOW WHO HE IS. Then it dawned on me – I can call the nice lady at the VA Loan Service Center. Her job is to advocate for me – the veteran. I’ll tell her how the bank is dragging their feet and we are losing buyers and it is so unfair that I might end up in foreclosure after all this effort has been made to get the best deal possible FOR THE BANK. So I did, and she is working on it. Ultimately, it is up to the VA what happens with this, and they are on my side. Take that, pencil head, whoever you are.
So, as I pretended that my poor, defenseless chicken breast was “The Negotiator” and his front woman and pounded the hell out of it, a sense of relief washed over me. Especially since the nice lady at the VA gave me his name. These people picked the wrong chick to mess with. I’m just sayin’.
If I had a signature ingredient – like fellow blogger The Ranting Chef talked about in a recent post (his being bell peppers) – it would be lemon. Lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon slices – I love lemon. So for you, I present Lemon Pepper Chicken Paillard. Pound your hearts out, my friends – the chicken won’t mind and you won’t end up in jail over some pencil head.
I added some oven-roasted new potatoes, carrots, and leeks to my plate (olive oil + salt + pepper, 400oF for 20 minutes), but you can eat it accompanied by just about anything, or all by itself, or as a sandwich, or, well, I could just shut up now. Thanks for listening.
Lemon Pepper Chicken Paillard for One
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
Juice of 1 Lemon
Zest of ½ Lemon
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
1 small sprig Fresh Thyme
1 tablespoon unsalted Butter
Meat Pounder, or the back of a steel frying pan to use as a meat pounder
Parchment Paper or Plastic Wrap
Large Fry or Sauté Pan
Preheat your pan on medium for about 2 minutes to make sure it’s hot.
Now follow the pictures and you’re all set! It’s that easy.