Well, this was sobering to read. Just when you think banks can’t get any more greedy and low, they surprise you yet again.
Opened up the wounds again. I miss my house every single day. In every season, I could find happy moments on my property. The plants coming alive in Spring. The wonderful days of summer with my tiger lilies blooming, fresh food out of the tiny garden. The color splash of Fall. The beauty of newly fallen snow in the winter, blanketing trees and bushes. Watching bunnies, hawks, cardinals, nuthatches, woodpeckers, black capped chickadees, tufted titmouses from the three sliding glass doors….
Yep. I miss it.
The stories in this report are not exaggerated, I can assure you. Collectors are vicious and they quite frankly don’t care whether you can put food on the table, as long as you are paying them. They will call you ten times a day. Every day.
After I lost my home through credit default swaps, I still had outstanding debt. My wages had stagnated while my property taxes nearly doubled, my natural gas bill doubled, slowly squeezing me into living on credit. Not good. I take the blame for some of it, because I had not been taught how to handle money in my youth, and I wasn’t as frugal as I should have been. It’s as if my parents, who grew up very poor during the Depression, were averse to anything that reminded them of being poor–being frugal was not in their mindset.
So….some hard lessons learned in the school of hardknocks.
The outstanding debts led me to be sued by a greedy collector. When I read about this particular collector online, what I learned was unnerving. They had a reputation for illegal practices such as harassing people and blindsiding them before they could work up a defense (the poor who cannot afford attorneys).
The judge hearing the case was in the town I grew up in. In the anteroom, an attorney that was associated with my ex and his politically well-connected family, saw me and regarded me with a smirk on his face–as if he thought it were funny that I was in the predicament I was in. I’ll always wonder what he said to the judge.
It should be noted that the judge belonged to the Catholic church I once belonged to with my ex. You might recall I was bullied out of the church during and after my divorce. It seemed to me that he wanted to punish me yet again for getting a divorce.
The judge noted that I was without legal counsel, and that was the last of any consideration.
During testimony, I asked the man from the collection agency how much he had paid for my debt…since it was known that this particular debt collection agency paid pennies on the dollar.
The judge shot out, “He would have no knowledge of that.” Or something to that effect. He answered for him and disallowed other questions.
At one point, the judge instructed the court stenographer to shut off the recording device while I testified and while I asked/answered questions of the debt collector. At one point, after a big chunk of the court proceedings was “off the record” the court stenographer asked the judge about it, and he instructed her not to turn it back on. (This stenographer also refused to give me information over the phone–saying I had to come down there in person. I lived 40 minutes away and I could not afford the gas to get there. When I asked her to justify her position, she hung up on me.)
It was clear that the judge was in favor of the debt collector, without regard to my circumstances. At this point in time, I’m still pretty toxic, and brain function is not as rapid as it normally would have been. I am unable to truly defend myself. Or pay for an attorney. Not that I could find any willing to help.
Even though I was only making $100 a month as a substitute, with usually making $300 during the month of May (many substitutes used this as supplemental income, and would fly as soon as the weather turned nice), the judge ordered my wages garnished.
Truly a nightmare.
This was usury, but I had no recourse against it.
I had no money to even file bankruptcy. A straight-jacket of a bind.
If it weren’t for my son paying to help me file bankruptcy, I would not have made it. I would have given up hope.
**edited to add: In my house, I had two nice Lazy Boy recliners that you could just sink into. When I left my apartment, I gave them to my sister’s neighbor several years ago. Now one of them is put out to trash–broken. I see it every day with a pang of all the loss. Yeah, not a good week by any means. Hope you all are having better ones.