Monday, January 6, 2014

Life...Post Bankruptcy

What I would have done differently... I would have kept some type of spreadsheet, whether on the computer or handwritten of every creditor, name, address and phone number, account number, date opened, high credit, amount owed and any communication I had with them.  Seem like a lot of work but this information should be kept whether you get in financial trouble or not.  This information is absolutely needed when filing bankruptcy and if these accounts are old, it is hard to locate it.

Life is a bit different!


Adjusting to this new way of life has been interesting.  The new way of life I am referring to is not having to live in constant fear that our financial life will be rocked to the core.  That there are no surprises lurking around the corner of someone taking the very little that we have.  This is big for me because I have lived like this for so long that it is a huge sigh of relief to not live like that anymore.    Our financial life just seems to be more manageable because we are dealing more with exacts than surprises (and not the pleasant ones).  We learned a long time ago to live very simply so, right now, that is easy for us.  We learned a long time ago to do without many things, so, right now, that is also easy for us.


Granted, my “BANKRUPTCY RADAR” may be especially sharp right now, but people have some very different thoughts about bankruptcy.  I have heard people say that they just pay their credit card bills every month to avoid getting into this situation.  Others have said, “well it is too easy to get bailed out so people do not have to own up and take responsibility for their actions.”  While still others say that they would NEVER let themselves get into this mess!  Everyone has an opinion of those of us who file bankruptcy!  Hell, I probably even did in the past! But the hard, cold truth is that this could happen to anyone at any time.  It did not happen to us because we were stupid, naive maybe, but not stupid.  Just because this happened to us does not make us any less than anyone else however, I have witnessed that it does make some people feel superior over us.


Here is the thing…not everyone who files bankruptcy has the same problem.  Not everyone just could not control their use of credit cards.  It is the same as the assumption that everyone who is overweight is that way just simply because they eat too much.  The problem exists as to the “why” does an overweight person eat to much.  People who never have been overweight say it is because they do not care enough about themselves to not overeat.  Well, in bankruptcy the problem came into being as to “why” they could not pay their bills.  In our case, we lost the ability to pay our bills because we lost the income that we had when we agreed to the debt.  We used credit because we were led to believe that we had more assets than we actually had.  Then when our cash flow was also taken away with the loss of our major source of income, the ability to pay the debts became impossible.  With these two factors, anyone, anywhere would have the same problem and probably end up in the same situation.  But that is what others do not understand.  Situations can change on a dime and most people could not keep up with their current lifestyle, and that includes the ability to pay your bills, for very long before something breaks.