Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm Free (?)

Hi All!

It's funny how often a song that comes on the radio will coincide with a day's event.

This morning as I left the final meeting with my "It's all we do and we do it well" lawyer in preparation for filing Chapter 7, KQ played "I'm Free' by the Who. "I'm free, and freedom tastes of reality."

I have been ignoring my financial reality (among other realities) for years. I was brought up to be a responsible member of society and paying one's debts is a key component of that. So for years I kept refinancing the rising equity in the house to pay off the credit cards.

Push came to shove this summer when I was turned down twice for new loans. Even though I had managed to keep the credit score in the mid 700's (excellent) the income test could simply not be passed to qualify for any additional home equity borrowing. My hand was forced.

It turns out that I would have been a lot smarter to file last year before the stricter laws went into effect, but if the new laws weed out the scammers and cheaters I don't mind jumping through the extra hoops, because my bankruptcy is the real deal -- what Chapter 7 is truly for.

I have not been a profligate spender. Even when I had money I always shopped for "deals" -- it's just my thrifty nature. I didn't run up the credit card debt by loading up on unnecessary luxuries. I was simply trying to keep all the balls juggling in the air. Now they've dropped to the floor.

I am certainly not out of the woods yet. Chapter 7 is just beginning and we have a couple of months of hell ahead as the process grinds ahead and we get the anal probes from the advocates for the poor credit card companies.

Our budget will be pretty much hand-to-mouth from now on with no margin of error. At least for now, I am feeling somewhat cautiously relieved.

If the filing goes badly, I guess I have to blame those evil Republicans that got the laws changed.




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