Friday, August 26, 2005

Bankruptcy Bums...

We all know that only low-life, no good, mooching cheaters file bankruptcy. They go out and spend, spend, spend, then turn around and take the easy way out by letting all the rest of us honest people pay for their “free-ride”.

I personally know of a couple who have really learned the system. She’s a stay at home mom who on occasion takes the time to glance out a window to see if the kids are still alive. He is a truck driver….well in a way. He gets a job driving across country and drives for a week or so, then goes home and calls the agency to come and pick up “their” truck! This is an ongoing cycle for him as he drives just enough to “say” he has worked and draws his unemployment.

This couple also bought a small house as most people will do and put forth a good impression for all to see. They also bought a new vehicle and shortly after saw the need for a larger and nicer house; so they built one. Living the American dream!

How they managed their “good” life? It goes something like this. They signed a contract with a person who agreed to owner finance them some land. They then went to the bank and borrowed money to build the new house. They hired a builder to build their house, which he did until he realized they would not pay up, so he left the house unfinished; inside needing finishing. They then default on the house and file chapter seven bankruptcy and get it. The bank in trying to claim the house back found that it was sitting on land belonging to someone else, so couldn’t touch it. These people got off with a home which they finished out, a new vehicle and the only payment being paid to the man who owns the land. Pretty good deal for them!

This is how it always seems to play out……the honest people struggle while the cheaters always get ahead. Bankruptcy bums!

Now I find myself having to admit to being one of those bankruptcy bums. It all happened so fast that it still seems like it happened to some other bum. We are a family, a large family in fact, and we were paying all our bills while managing to drown slowly instead of instant death. Now mind you, we have never been late on a single payment in fifteen years and our credit rating was perfect. So how did we end up having to file for bankruptcy? It took one quick notice from a credit card company. As it turned out, the original company had been bought out and the new company jumped us from 9% interest to 29%. That totally threw us into the abyss of debt. No way could we ever make that kind of payment.

We ran to credit counseling for help with no good end. All the promises you see on television didn’t pay out for us; after some $500.00 in processing fees.

Next we run to the friends. You know the ones that life worked for. The ones who figured it all out...self made people. The lucky ones. The ones who are there if you ever need them; you know them…everyone knows them and everyone would consider themselves lucky to have friends like them. Good upright people ready and willing to offer a good hand.

After a lot of humbling we went to these people; our last call and in a lot of ways our safety net. We explained our situation and they promptly offered their good wishes and prayers. That was it. They were willing to feel for us but unwilling to lift us out of our misery. Not that they owed us anything, but more like they had made so many offers and hints of being like family that we trusted them with helping us if that makes any sense. The really tough part for me is in being Christian and these people being the same. I am very careful with my word and never offer more than I can or am willing to give. My word is about all I have left, and for these people to give it so easily and not follow up really got to me. Another lesson learned.

Next we finally realize there was absolutely no place to turn, so we ran to an attorney. It was all somewhat simple in process, but rather hard in heart. We borrowed the money to hire the attorney, explained our situation and filled out the paperwork. A couple of months later we were in court explaining our situation and was granted chapter 7 bankruptcy. Done deal!

How we got here is not a nice story, but one that I feel I need to share. Long story short, I was ran over while trying to help a drunk woman out of a busy highway. A month in the hospital, lose the good job, have big family and the need to feed them. We really had nothing to show from all these years except a couple of old cars and a small house. Nothing to hide and nothing to show….except for four wonderful children. Somehow all the plans and dreams just seemed to drift away. Not really sure how they all got away. I just somehow figured it would turn out better…so much for figuring.

At any rate, I am now that which I have held in contempt. Sure tastes different from this side of the table….

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Once again I am saying, "it's been a while."

Once again, I am saying, “it’s been a while.”  

What an opening…right?  Well maybe not, but then again, here I am.  Still wanting to pour myself into this blog, yet, not having the time or energy I always presume myself to have.  

These past few months, not much has changed and everything has changed.  For one I am no longer in school.  I absolutely loved going to college but have lost site of the end goal.  I am a 40 year old husband and father who is disabled and without direction.  I once saw myself getting my doctorate in history and teaching on the collegiate level.  The truth though, is that I would most likely not see it to an end physically.  

Putting this together with the truth that our four children are growing and needing my presence around here I made what appeared to be the wisest move I could make.  So now I am home “trying” to teach the kids along with my wife.  Homeschooling is a lot tougher than most would think.  Beside that, I am attempting to do some writing, which seems to have developed a will of it’s own.  When I want to write, there is never anything in the well, but when I am not is a place to write, it is like there is not an outlet capable of handling it all.  What I really need is a laptop to carry with me everywhere I go.  Just a keyboard and the ability to stop and write would probably produce some good words worth reading.  

Back in the real world, we also found ourselves in bad financial shape….but I really don’t want to write about that now…maybe later……

Remember……If you want to BE RIGHT, then you must DO RIGHT!