Tuesday, 24 April 2012

28,000 lessons learned

A few years ago my husband and I ran into some seriously major financial woes, completely of our own doing. We got in way over our heads, and owed a lot of money (about 28k) to various people (Although I learned on this journey that our 28k was NOTHING by comparison to others). Our credit was tanked, so no one would loan us any money to pay off this mounting debt.

Here in Canada you can (as a one shot deal) submit a "Credit Consumer Proposal". It's somewhat like going bankrupt but with lesser ramifications than claiming bankruptcy. You submit to the people you owe money to a proposal acknowledging that yes you owe this money, are unable to pay it however you are able to pay x number of dollars over a period of time without penalty or interest. So you negotiate down the amount you end up paying (ie. I can't afford to pay you the 12000 but I CAN pay you 8000 of that amount). If they accept your proposal, then all phone calls, "nasty grams" stop and as long as you make your monthly payments (for however long it lasts...usually 3 years) then everything is fine.

For me the thought of filing "bankruptcy" was admitting defeat and was devastating to me. I'm not sure why but it depressed the hell out of me. I was ashamed, and felt that I had failed somehow, especially with all the pre, during, and post bankruptcy ramifications. So when it came about that we could do this instead - I was far more interested.

Everything SINCE we filed our "credit consumer proposal" has been fine. No more phone calls or nasty grams, no more collection agencies. It's been FANTASTIC. Until today... I've not been well the last few days, this weather that's been all over the map has finally caught up with me and my sinus' have been just horrible with migraine sinus headaches and all the rest. Alan got a phone call today from a collection agency which sent him into a bit of a panic because I mean really who likes that shit? Anyway; as per the usual with collection agencies; this guy was a total asshole and prick to him, treating him like some piece of shit (or worse than) calling him a liar and sarcastically laughing at him and all this. In general, not a good scene. Alan ended up hanging up on the guy and calling the company we had filed our credit proposal through. He explained to them the situation, they informed him that the money this collection agency asshole was talking about had been included with our proposal and that THEY would phone this collection agency back and explain it to them as they had no right to be calling us. So I guess they called, and when they called us back - they informed us that this collection agency had been extremely rude to them as well. Also if the collections called back, to phone them immediately as it would start to boarder on harassment; which they cannot do; as we are now protected by laws that are in place since they are our mediators between us and the people we owe money to.

I've learned over the last (almost) year that because we submitted this proposal (or had we had to file bankruptcy) doesn't make me a bad or weak person. It's not uncommon, and I shouldn't feel like a 3rd class citizen or a criminal for it. We didn't abandon our debt. We're paying it off, a lesser amount to be sure - but We are paying off our debts. But it's been a long journey from there to here, I'm still of course nowhere near where I'd like to be financially; things have been tough in the last 6 months; other curves have been thrown at us, but so far, together, we've managed to stay the course, keep an even keel, and navigate the waters fairly smoothly together.

Oh and to the "gentleman" who phoned my home, laughed sarcastically at my husband and called him a "liar". You'd best pray that you're not dumb enough to phone my home again and get me on the phone...I WILL decimate your ass and make you cry like a little bitch.

One Last Glimpse,


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