When getting information together to send a letter to Sara, I notice that she lists a phone number on one of the documents. I call and a woman answers. I say I have a wrong number. So now we can reach her if we need to.

We send Sara a letter explaining that she owes us $1000 and if we don’t hear from her within 10 days we will file a claim in small claims court.
We call Fiona and she denies that she did anything wrong and says that she is “unable to get a hold of Sara”. Boy, she must not be trying very hard.

We receive a certified letter from Sara. She says that she doesn’t owe us the money because her fiancee was transferred and she was going to be unemployed so she was denied a loan. She cites that the contract says if she can’t obtain financing that the contract is void.

I call Sara’s number (with the intention of actually talking to her this time) and it says that her number has changed to a 903 area code. I look it up and it is Longview, TX (where she said her fiancee was being transferred). I leave a message on the 903 number.

I call three times throughout the day – on the third try Sara picks up. She said it was all a misunderstanding and that she would be able to send some of it after the second Friday in July when she has some money. She gives me her address in Longview, TX.

7/8/05 (the second Friday in July)
I call Sara to see if she is going to mail us a check. She said she would send part of it that day, but couldn’t send it all because she has $4000 in medical bills.

We get a letter from Sara with a $100 check that states by depositing the check we agree that she can pay off her $1000 (now $900) of debt over the next few months. We deposit the check. It clears.

As you’ll see (when I get back to the house part of the story) we were busy during the last month so we hadn’t followed up with Sara regularly. I call her and she happens to be driving to Houston that weekend and says she will mail a check from Houston that weekend.

Still no check – I call Sara and she said she’d call me back to verify the address. She said she had sent it that weekend.

Busy again for the next two weeks so I get around to calling Sara again. She said she had gotten the new address (my work address) and hadn’t had a chance to send the check yet. Her fiancee had just left her and was no longer supporting her as she goes through school. She thought she would probably be moving back to Las Vegas (where she’s from apparently) within a week and would be calling me back. I offered her to send a reduced amount instead of doing it over several months. She said she’d talk to her mom about perhaps borrowing the money from her and doing that.

Call Sara and she said she was now in Vegas and was starting work in a couple of days – asked us to bear with her until she gets the money together.

Called Sara – the 903 number is disconnected.

I post this story on a friend’s blog (without changing names)

Sara posts a comment requesting me to take her name off. She states that because of the move she no longer has my contact information. She found the blog by doing an internet search on her real name.

Via e-mail Sara obtains my contact information and agrees to continue paying the money when she is able.

In Part 5, we’ll get back to the “house” part of the “house story”.

Update 7/15/07: Sara has since filed for bankruptcy and it was granted – the $900 she owed us was dismissed.