Yesterday, when Grenwinae came home I was reading a book in our bedroom. He came through the door and said, “It’s paid off.” Huh? My mind went to various thoughts on what he could mean but coming up empty I asked what he meant.
“It’s paid off. The bankruptcy is paid off.”
In the fall of 2012, we filed bankruptcy. Our financial House of Cards had been precarious for years but it just couldn’t be sustained (personally, I don’t know HOW we sustained it as long as we did). I’m not going to go into detail about how we ended up in this situation but briefly we bought too much house 17 years ago and the two times we’ve tried to sell it national events torpedoed our efforts (the first time we listed, within a week 9-11 happened; the second time we listed, we went to war, now I have a house in dire need of repairs that could never be afforded).
We made too much money to be helped by any programs; made too little money to pay off the personal debt. Obama helped people who had no income – we had income, just not enough to pull us out of the hole we had dug through our own foolishness.
We were between Scylla and Charybdis, hanging onto a small piece of board of our wrecked ship with a group of sharks circling us.
Unlike mega corporations our debt wasn’t wiped out. Instead, we would pay what we owed but the amount would no longer accrue interest (on two of the loans we were paying over 38% interest I kid you not – this is called predatory lending practices and we were very naïve in our 30’s). We made a list of everyone we owed, went to court to stand before a judge, the court authorities and our debtors.
We spent several hours being chastised like we were five years old and documents were drawn up for amounts to be withdrawn automatically from our income. Grenwinae had to be humiliated and chastised by his father. It was a dirty secret that only the closest friends and family members knew.
When December 2014 rolled around, I knew we had spent 2 years paying over $20,000 to all of our debtors except Company X (a predatory lender which we owed the largest amount too and which, through their aggressive threats had forced us to seek relief through the courts).
In bankruptcy the attorney and court decides who gets paid first and how that money is applied and Company X was last on the list. The attorney handling our case was wrapping up our end of the year (2014) payments and deciding who next to pay (which would only be Company X as everyone else had been paid now).
She discovered they never sent a letter, or representative, to the court!
While their debt appeared on OUR records submitted to be paid, since Company X never crawled out from the hell that spawned them to take our soul in front of the judge, the debt is considered OVER. After 17 years of dealing with them, struggling to pay Company X rather than buy food or clothes, they wrote us off when we wouldn’t cough up the blood money on their schedule.
Bankruptcy is OVER.
We are reeling from this news. Plans I had carefully laid out now can all be re-shuffled. Possibilities open, not only because of the income we will regain (the payments made to the court) but also selling the house (which was never in the bankruptcy) can now be moved up a year, possibility two years on my plan!
We are too stunned to really fully understand the meaning of it. It will probably take months to heal and regroup mentally from the fact that something that has dogged and haunted our footsteps for over 15 years is now over.
Mercury Retrograde you tricky little bastard – here’s a big kiss from me!
It’s a Pagan, Full Moon in Leo, Imbolc Miracle!
PS Remember this post? I just didn’t think it was going to be this big.