Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bankruptcy is Now Official

June 18th marked the day that I officially declared bankruptcy. I've felt physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt for years and now I have a piece of paper to prove it.

In one way I'm glad that I finally did it. I've had financial issues since I was in the psychiatric hospital for depression about three years ago. Prior to flying into the cuckoo's nest my bills were current, I always paid on time and my credit score was 786. After being in the hospital, I lost my job for the first time in my life, went without a paycheck for a while, got behind on everything and my credit score plummeted to less than 500.

I visited financial advisors who all said I needed to declare bankruptcy. I didn't want to do it due to the stigma of it all and also I was a contractor and was worried that I would lose my job or have issues in getting another job when the contract was over. I've now been full-time for almost a year and felt that I needed to go ahead and get it over with.

I recently met with a bankruptcy attorney who said after viewing my financials that I needed to do it. I got all of the paperwork together (my gawd, the paperwork is incredible!), saved $800 to pay the attorney and on June 18 they filed the paperwork with the court. I still have to go to a court hearing to have it finalized with a judge and am currently waiting to know the date of the hearing.

Not only will I be going to court once this summer, I will actually be going twice. In my job I need to have a C2 security clearance due to the nature of my work and because of my credit issues the federal agency who grants the clearance recently notified me that they could not decide if I should have the clearance or not and said that I had a choice of having a federal judge decide based on viewing my paperwork or request a hearing so that I could make a case before the judge prior to their decision. I opted for the hearing so that the judge could see me in person and hopefully ascertain that I'm not some deadbeat person.

If I don't receive the security clearance I could lose my job. I am the breadwinner and am scared to death of this.

The federal attorney working on the case contacted me last week notifying me of the process and suggested that I gather evidence of why I'm in the financial mess I'm in. She also said it would be good to gather written character references from people to present to the judge as well as any other documentation to show what type of person I am due to the judge performing a "whole person analysis" in the court hearing. I've already asked some people to write references and have received seven so far. What people have said in these references brought tears to my eyes because I didn't expect such glowing words. I wish I could believe what people have written about me.

I've also made copies of my university transcripts to show the judge that I'm a senior holding a 4.0 GPA with only three classes left. I was able to find documents of me going to financial advisors in the past to prove that I tried to take care of my debt and will explain that I am just now pursuing bankruptcy because I am a full-time employee and was worried about claiming bankruptcy as a contract worker. I found the discharge papers from the hospital which I will present as well as my credit score reports from Experian, Equifax and Transunion that show my payment history was stellar prior to the date of me going into the hospital. I don't know if it will help, but I'm also going to present past reviews at work as well as my DD-214 (discharge papers from the Navy) showing an honorable discharge.

The person who hired me where I work now is also going to go to the court hearing with me to give an in-court character reference. I knew him years ago when I worked where I work now (yes, I now work full-time at the same place I was fired at years ago after being in the hospital). He knew me back then and will be able to testify what type of person and employee I've been and to state that he knew I was in the hospital years ago and have been doing better since then.

What's ironic is that I had this security clearance when I worked here before. I will notify the judge of this as well as telling him/her that I had an even higher security clearance while in the Navy. I hope that the bankruptcy will go through first so that I can also present the bankruptcy paperwork to the federal judge. If not I will still present the case number and paperwork the bankruptcy attorney filed on my behalf. I was scared of filing bankruptcy prior to the federal hearing and only hope that the federal judge will see that I'm trying to take care of my debt instead of just letting it go and not doing anything about it.

I have a Chapter 13 bankruptcy which I'm glad about because I will need to pay a certain sum of money every month for the next five years. To me it's better than a Chapter 7 because in the Chapter 7 you don't need to pay a thing. Though I won't be paying the exact amount I owe to the credit companies, I feel good knowing that I'm at least paying something.

It's strange to think that not only did I lose my daughter, I lost my car (I had a Volkswagen Jetta before but am now driving an extra car my parents have that has no air conditioning while saving money for a car that I can purchase outright and have no car payment), I am now officially bankrupt and yet I've still not lost my sanity.

The monster called insanity is irresistibly close and I hope I don't jump off the cliff. I'm barely hanging in there. At least I'm not in the psychiatric ward again. Maybe I'm stronger than I realized.


L.J. Diva said...

You're getting your weight under control and now you're getting your financials in order.

Make a list of EVERYTHING that needs to be done in your life and start one each week.

Before you know it, you'll have EVERYTHING under control and life will get better.

la said...

Hi Chunks,

Firstly, apologies for the meaningless test post I just sent. I've had problems leaving a comment (I tried a few times with openID) but it kept taking me to a fail page.


>> Maybe I'm stronger than I realized.

Multiply that by 100.

Reading all you've been through - and how much you've achieved in spite of all these setbacks - makes me think you're pretty amazing. You have done so much to be proud of.

It also strikes me how unfair your situation is and how lucky we are in the UK to have socialised healthcare. (But I don't want to turn your comments into a political rant.)

Anyway, I'm really glad you're writing again =)

la x
(the la)

Karen ^..^ said...

You are so much stronger, girl. I'm really in awe of all you have accomplished. I really need to get my life in order and simplified. Right now, that nasty depression is threatening to suck me under.

Unknown said...

you have always been stronger than you realised

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