Several years ago I decided to buy a new apartment. I found, in my view, an appropriate housing cooperative, which had begun building a new apartment complex. After considering it for a long time, I decided to sign a contract with the society and paid the entire sum for building fees. When the complex was completed, I received keys to the apartment and immediately moved in.
I unfortunately could not become the owner of the apartment, because I could not sign the deed for the property. Why? The housing cooperative was in a difficult financial situation and was soon declared bankrupt. The bankruptcy court appointed a trustee to manage the cooperative and to sell its assets.
The beginning of the insolvency proceedings, all the previous decisions of the board were annulled. So it was no longer possible for me to proceed with the signing of a notarized deed. I was unable to become the legal owner of the property. As I found out then, I could have lost my apartment including all the contributions I had paid toward its construction. It turned out that the legal owner of the property was the housing cooperative. For this reason, the trustee could have done anything he wanted with the apartment. He could, for example, sell the apartment without my permission and not return the money I had paid to me. As a result, this was a difficult period in my life, I feared losing my house, money and with an uncertain future ahead of me.
Finally, three years after the bankruptcy proceedings had begun, there was an opportunity to solve my problems.
One day the trustee called me and others like me, who were not the legal owners of their homes, and informed us of a possibility to sign a deed for our apartments. There was one condition, however: We had to quickly pay an additional amount of money. Only then would the trustee sign the deed and that was the only was we could become the legal owners of the apartments. The trustee gave us three months to raise the money and arrange the necessary formalities. As for me, I had to pay the very high, and unimaginable for me at the time, amount of approximately $30,000.
Three months quickly passed and I unfortunately was unable to come up with the money. Since I already had two outstanding bank loans, no bank would agree to give me another loan. So I was unable to pay the amount needed in time. The trustee was therefore calling me his office on a regular basis and asking me if I had come up with the funds needed. He called me nearly every Tuesday and Thursday, when he worked from his office in our neighborhood. He threatened me with eviction almost every time.
He called me back for a meeting in January. The trustee’s lawyer also took part in the meeting. They gave me a final deadline for payment at the end of February. After this date, at the request of the trustee, I would be ordered by the court to leave the premises. The said, “If you don’t pay by the end of February, you will be evicted in early March.”
I didn’t have any idea where to get the money from. From my point of view, my situation was hopeless and without any way out.
Nevertheless, I still hoped and believed that there must have been some kind of solution to this difficult situation. So I decided to “move heaven and earth…”
At the beginning of the year, I asked a lot of people to pray to God for me. I asked hundreds of people at home and abroad including France, Italy, Norway, Iceland, Holland, Germany and Poland. In February, I also asked members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement, who now prayed for divine assistance and a solution to my problem. Additionally, my mother and I prayed constantly for a happy resolution to this difficult position I had found myself in.
Following these prayers, I had noticed that the trustee ceased bothering me and regularly calling me to his office.
February passed very quickly and quite quietly. Although I had not paid the amount demanded, I did not receive an eviction order. In early March, I wrote a letter to the court requesting an extension for payment. Soon after, I arranged a meeting with the judge. During the meeting with the judge, I agreed to pay the money by the end of September.
March and April came and went quickly and I still didn’t have the money required, nor had any idea where to get it from.
In May, I again asked a lot of people to pray for me. I met a person, previously unknown to me, quite by chance following a prayer session of the Catholic Charismatic Group in a nearby Church in late May or Early June. Her name was Anna.
As it turned out, Anna had worked in banking for several years and was very well aware of the market of banking services. When I met her, she held a high position in a bank. Anna decided to help me and find a bank that would ignore my situation (as I have already mentioned, I already had two outstanding bank loans) and grant me another loan. After several days, she called me and said she found a bank, which agreed to give me a loan. In June and July, I gathered all the required documents and sent them to the bank.
Time moved along very quickly and when September came around I still did not have a final positive decision regarding my bank loan. In early September I found out that the decision had been suspended by the bank’s legal adviser. He did not agree to grant the loan because there was a provision in the contract which aroused his doubts. Several bank officials tried to convince him that there is no problem but it did no good. Another problem also arose, as I had to pay back a previous loan as soon as possible.
And what could be done? Of course, only prayer remained … In early September I went to church to once again ask for intercessory prayer from the Catholic Charismatic Renewal prayer group. We prayed that the lawyer would change his decision and I would get the financial resources to repay the loan.
Two or three days after the prayer, I received a phone call from the bank that the lawyer had changed his mind! The new legal arguments that were made, were so convincing that no further obstacles stood in the way of granting me the loan. With regards to the money needed for the payment of one of the outstanding loans, in September, over two days, I was able to collect the amount required and fully repay the loan.
So it seemed that everything was on track and I would soon be able to deposit money onto the account of the housing cooperative.
Well, in late September and early October the global financial crisis took place. Most banks decided to stop lending, or to significantly reduce the number of loans. At the same time loans became more difficult to obtain. In early October, I received a phone call from Anna, who told me that there was a very difficult situation on the financial market and my bank had suspended the granting of loans until further notice. But she promised she would try to find out if in they could not give me a loan in the bank where she was employed. But – she warned, it could be very difficult as the bank only grants large loans and mostly to wealthy clients.
I wondered: what could I do? And as usual, only one thought came to mind: This time also I would ask many people for prayer.
October 9, I went back to the intercessory prayer group of Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
The next day, Oct. 10, at noon Anna called me with the news that she personally met with the head of the board and obtained his consent to give me a loan.
Ten days later I signed a loan agreement with the bank, which decided that it would deposit the funds on the trustee’s account on presentation of the signed deed. Later that day I met with the receiver to agree upon a date for the signing of a notarized deed.
But I was in for an unexpected and very unpleasant surprise!
After reading the agreement, the trustee said that certain provisions of the contract were not acceptable and said he would not sign the deed until the bank makes changes to the contract. He strongly demanded a meeting with the management of the bank in order to receive an explanation. But the bank did not intend to either change the contract or to meet with the receiver because, as the officials of the bank informed me, the trustee is not a party to the contract. In response, the trustee said he would not be able to sign the deed with me.
Again I asked for prayer from members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, who prayed for a resolution to the matter.
Soon after the prayers, the bank agreed to meet with the trustee. During the conversation (in which I also participated), the director of the bank proposed a solution, to which the trustee readily agreed.
The deed was finally signed by me and the trustee on November 26 at the headquarters of the bank, in the presence of a notary and a bank employee. This was at about 9:30 am. At around 11.00 am I received a phone call from the bank that the bank had already transferred the money to the housing cooperative.
It was in this way that I had became the legal owner of my apartment. All the obstacles that stood in the way, had been removed.
This was achieved by prayer to God, by many people around the country and abroad! It was a great prayer, which actually “moved Heaven and Earth “.