What I would have done different...I would have ran my FREE credit report once every year, print it and put it in a file. Even if the credit score was horrible, it was just for my eyes. I would have cleared up anything that was not correct right then and there. There were so many incorrect things on my report when I had to use it for the bankruptcy filing. I did not have time to get them cleared up and had to add them to my filing. I know that we are always advised to do this and just put it off but it is really, really important to have it done and corrected.
THERE ARE SOME GOOD THINGS!
During the time from when we filed and the date of our actual court hearing, I started to realize, among other things, that I will be getting used to a whole new way of thinking regarding our “situation”. One thing is …we no longer have a situation. That is going to take getting used to. A relative, who at the same time was in the process of a chapter 13 filing, had told me that she is scared to death of going to court on their designated day. I was thinking, “what the heck, I have been scared to death for eight years, I am looking forward to going to court and ending this”.
Now, when thinking about our financial state today, I couldn’t help but think about how long I have just wanted to live debt free and how, for so long, I thought that was never going to happen. I will have to say that right now we are about as debt free as we are ever going to be and it feels good. The burden of all of this has taken its toll but I do know that it could have been worse. This morning as I was getting dressed, I began to realize how blessed we have been that we have always had clean clothes to wear, shoes to wear, the ability to purchase personal items like shampoo, facial wash, hair products, toilet paper, Kleenex, deodorant, perfume, body spray, etc.. We never went without those things. We have home telephone service, internet, cell phones, cable TV. We have always had the money for gasoline in our cars. We have transportation that we own free and clear (the cars might be really old but they still get us where we are going). Even though we have had some trouble having groceries at times, we still always had food to eat. We have running water that gets hot when we need to take a shower. We have an air conditioned and heated home. So really, we have everything that we need and more.
I think that the real fear came in at the possibility or probability at losing the ability to provide any of these things. Again, the fear that came from what was lurking around the corner was absolutely miserabl. When was it going to happen that we would not be able to pay for any of these “basic” things? So far, it has not happened. So we really can not say that we lost everything, because we didn’t.
That is the thing about when you become “bankrupt”. It means that you had more and that you do not have it anymore. It means that you are unable to pay for the excess. But we are blessed enough to pay for what we need and quite frankly, two thirds of the world probably can’t. Two thirds of the world would love to be in our shoes!
Even though I entertain some very bitter thoughts about what we have been through and how we got there, my appreciation for living in this country is increasing. Where else could we be living that would extend the opportunity for us to have a “new beginning”? You can not become bankrupt if you did not have anything in the first place!