Posts Tagged ‘bankruptcy’

I Was All Upset

August 4, 2018

I was going to entitle this blog “motherfucker.”

I got another bill from the endoscopy procedure.

$899.

Why the fuck do I pay so much in insurance?

And get so damn little?

Which I am sure will be on my mind tomorrow when I go in for my dentist appointment.

The last time I was there the dentist said I should get a mouth guard.

And of course, it’s not covered by my dental.

I am not sure what my dental covers, truth be told, I’ve paid a ton out-of-pocket for the work I have had done.

The mouth guard will run about $400.

Which I have been preparing myself for and have not more animosity about it, I need it, I don’t want to grind my teeth at night, why am I stressed?

Bwaahahahahaha.

Sigh.

But I wasn’t expecting another damn bill from the endoscopy.

It feels like I just paid a bill.

For about $900 not even a month ago.

However, there it was, all cheerful and cheeky with its return envelope in my mail tonight when I got home.

Ugh.

I opened it and tried to not pay attention to it, I got a phone call right as I did.

Give the person on the line your complete attention, they are important, not this stupid letter that looks suspiciously like a bill.

Looks like a bill because it is a bill.

I looked at it after I got off the phone.

$899!

For things your insurance doesn’t cover.

There was a big block of letters in the billing area, “insurance company does not cover,” well isn’t that terrific?

I was about to fish out a stamp and write a check and put it in my wallet to mail tomorrow, but then I thought, fuck it, save the stamp, just pay it now, get it over with.

I have the money, I was just hoping to put it towards a new place, not old medical bills.

I got online.

I got logged into their weird payment system.

And!

I don’t have a bill there!

No bill means nothing to pay.

I wondered about that, was I billed twice?

I decided to just double-check and I called the number on the bill and logged into my account, which confirmed that I have nothing outstanding!

Zero balance.

I just chucked the bill in the trash.

Fuck you bill.

The nice thing, now that I don’t have to pay the bill, fingers crossed it would suck if that suddenly changed, but the nice thing was that even though I had a  momentary hissy fit, I wasn’t really balking at paying it.

I was just going to get it over with and pay it.

I am grateful for that in my life.

That I pay my bills when I get them.

I don’t like owing money and I have worked really hard for the last 13 years to be really clean with my money.

I don’t always succeed.

But I don’t owe any money to friends or to medical institutions (it would seem).

I owe money on my car, but I tell you what, with the exception of one month, I have paid double my car payment every month.

I am pretty happy about that.

I plan on making a payment tomorrow, I do them on the 4th when the payment is due, despite not really owing one, my next payment isn’t due until December, I’d rather just keep the habit going and I’ll pay tomorrow.

Hell I may even just pay it tonight to get it out-of-the-way since I’m writing about money and finances.

And, of course, I owe on my student loans.

But I’m not in default and I do pay them when I’m not enrolled in school.

I also don’t owe any money on any credit cards

Or, as the case may be, the one card I have.

In fact, I am thinking it’s time to cancel the damn thing.

I got it last year after being persuaded by a friend and haven’t used it once.

I could be accruing travel miles and such, but really the thought of using it wierds me out.

I had credit card debt, and a fair good bit of it.

I worked really fucking hard for a few years and got it wheedled down and then, yes, upon the suggestion of a lawyer, I filed for bankruptcy.

It’s a little complicated, but basically I spent two years busting my ass to pay off debt that was mostly acquired when I was in early sobriety.

I had run up my cards, got sober, and then was so broke and destitute for my first year that I never made any payments.

And boy howdy did that add up fast.

The interest on the cards skyrocketed and it was worse than paying off a loan shark.

I think I had 9% on one card that went to 28%.

And the other had started around 12% and was at 31%.

My lawyer basically told me I would never get out from under it, that I had made a huge effort to rectify the situation, I really had, worked so much for those years to work with the collection agencies, to the point I was on a first name basis with two different women, made amends financially, did the work, read front to back twice “How to get out debt, stay out of debt, and live prosperously,” by Jerrold Mundis, that I had records of all my payment plans, of everyone I had talked to, that I kept track of how much I spent and that I hadn’t any other debt, was huge.

I handed the lawyer such an enormous amount of spending plans, budgets, records, and notes that he literally was able to turn around the case and file it within two weeks of me seeing him.

I guess normally it takes longer because the lawyer has to do all the work that I had been doing for the past years.

So.

Yeah.

I’m not really interested in that kind of thing happening again and though I understand my friend’s reasonings, I think I am going to just cancel it.

Feels better.

Not as good as throwing away that medical bill.

But damn close.

Damn skippy close indeed.

Advertisements

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

On The Road Again

October 19, 2014

Honey, I just can’t wait to get on the road again.

Baby.

Ooh.

Yeah.

That’s right.

I got back in the saddle, I hopped back on the horse and I rode her all over town.

My Vespa that is.

Yes, my Vespa, not his Vespa, my Vespa.

Because a lady can change her mind and that’s ok.

There was a time, and not too long ago where I would have said ok, I said I’m going to sell it, I’m selling it, or whatever it was I was doing or thinking about doing, even though I had some doubts, because I said I would, I would.

I wasn’t allowed to change my mind.

Which meant I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes.

Which means I have to be perfect.

And man.

I tell ya, perfect is a hard state to achieve and maintain.

Having neither achieved or maintained said state ever, I should know.

Having tried to maintain that state of perfection all my life, I should really know.

I was unsettled this morning about the scooter when I woke up.  I prayed.  Yeah, I do that, weird huh, but it works and I’m not about to change the efficacy of something when it works, do it.  So I asked for some direction and did some writing and then I did a sitting meditation on top of it.

What did I need to do to get the scooter ready?

I should put air in the tires, I should dust her off, she’s basically been at a stand still since June 4th when I sprained my ankle trying to kick-start it, I should maybe, if I can get it started, top of the gas in the tank.

Then I sat.

There were two things bothering me at the edge of my brain.

One of them had to do with a piece of mail I had gotten the day before yesterday.

The other was that I sort of wanted to ride my scooter.

I mean, I was sort of jealous of the dude that was coming to buy it.

I was also concerned that the whole plan to sell the scooter, turn around, put a down payment on another and then transfer the title, get new insurance for the new scooter, pay extra taxes for a new scooter, and the getting my scooter dealt with, felt all too complicated.

That knowledge coupled with the piece of mail I received, which was an offer for a credit card, sat with me.

Now.

I haven’t gotten an offer for a credit card in a long time.

Like, oh, seven years to be exact.

I picked up the VISA pre-approved credit card application and smiled, I had forgotten, though not truly forgotten, about my bankruptcy filing that I did, yes, you guessed it, seven years ago this month.

October 15th, to be exact.

I filed for and was granted a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

I did some stupid things, drinking a lot and doing a lot of cocaine fueled those stupid things, and I had to pay for them when I first got into recovery.

But I did not.

I did not for about a year.

I was really destitute my first year of recovery, I am still uncertain how the hell I got through, but I did, I was graced and I got through and after that first year I had to start cleaning up the wreckage of my financial history.

“We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them,” she quoted to me as we sat and drank coffee in the kitchen of her house.

Fuck me.

I owe a lot.

I was scared.

It was hard.

I made a lot of phone calls with a script I had help writing, I made amends and repaid what I could when I could where I could.  I repaid my best friend $1100 for rent.  I paid off the IRS.  I paid of Victoria Secrets (the pair of jeans and the bra that I had bought on my credit card for $128 eventually cost me $785 after not paying on the Victoria Secrets card I had taken out right before I got sober, but I paid it off–said pair of jeans, fyi, I sold to Buffalo Exchange for a whopping $15 store credit, or $8 cash, I took the cash and bought some groceries).

I made payments to VISA and MasterCard and another card I had, maybe another separate VISA account?  Not even sure, but I made payments.

Sometimes five dollars a month.

Sometimes twenty.

I finally, after a year of doing this, maybe a year and a half, took the advice of a room-mate, saw the free lawyer at the San Francisco Public Library, who told me to file bankruptcy, and I set the wheels in motion.

It cost me $1500.

It cleared me of over $68,000 in debt.

Most of it interest.

The original debt might have been around $12,000 or $13,000, I’m hazy on the numbers.

Anyway.

The only thing I owed on was my student loans, which they won’t absolve, and I have spent the last 9 1/2 years paying my way in cash with very few exceptions.

The plane ticket back from Paris.

And this scooter.

That’s what got me.

When I saw that piece of mail saying I was pre-approved, my first thought was, now I can buy a new scooter and get on this thing.

Then I thought.

Wait.

What?

Why go into debt when I am almost completely done paying off the Vespa?

I have two payments left, I could probably pay it off right now if I wanted to, why go into debt buying a new one?

And then.

It’s so cute, my Vespa, that is.

I sat.

I meditated.

I got quiet.

I thought, felt, asked, listened.

It seemed to be that it was not the prudent thing to do.

I sought further instruction.

I rode my bicycle to 7th and Irving and sat at Tart to Tart and did some reading and spent some time talking about where I am in my life and what’s happening and dating and work and then I rode home on my bicycle.

I was beginning to feel, honest, in my gut, that I was not supposed to sell the Vespa.

I made lunch.

I sat on the back patio and flipped through a Vogue and watched the sky and then I went and got the keys to the scooter.

Act as if.

I pulled it out.

I dusted her off.

I wiped her down, put air in the tires, and decided I would try to start her up and take her to the gas station down the street.

I used my right foot, not my left.

Guess what happened?

No, really guess.

Ha.

She started on the second kick.

The engine-turned over, I gave her some gas and then I let her sit and warm up.

I went inside, put on a jacket, grabbed my helmet, my messenger bag and my wallet.

I hopped on my scooter.

I had not forgotten how to ride it.

I knew within a minute, less probably, of being on the scooter, I knew by the first stop sign I reached at 46th and Irving, that I was keeping her.

I was grinning ear to ear.

I took her to the gas station, topped off the tank, for a whopping $3, and rode her back to the house.

I parked in front of the garage and called the man who wanted to buy her and said, I apologize for the late notice, but I have decided to not sell my Vespa.  I hope you understand and I am sorry if I have inconvenienced your schedule in any way.

He was super sweet about it and that was that.

I rode her to the grocery store, just to get a little more comfortable on her, through the park, and then back to the house to unload my bag.

I rode her up Lincoln to Cole Valley, then to 17th Street, up and over the hill, god damn the view, then up and over Diamond Street to St. Phillips in Noe Valley.

And like that.

I’m back in the saddle again.

It was a bit rocky at points.

I killed it twice.

But I restarted her without a hitch and breathed through the entire thing and whooped with joy more than once.

Grateful that I am allowed to not be perfect, to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to literally get my butt back in the saddle.

I have to say.

I am more than a little proud of myself for doing it.

Walking through some fear.

It does a girl good.

Note to self.

Remember that tomorrow on your date!

Which I will enjoy, no matter what, because I will know that I have a gorgeous little scooter waiting to take me for a ride when it’s done.

Vroom!

Vroom!

Mellow Mouse

October 5, 2014

I have this anxiety sometimes about what will happen to me, where is my life going, how come I have to work so hard to survive, when will I get the time to sit around and be mellow and read books in the sunshine and sit outside cafes and watch the world go by.

I am a consummate people observer and sit in the sun day dreamer.

Today I had this thought pop up again, if only, if only when, then I will be happy.

I chuckled.

I had this thought while sitting outside on the back porch where I live, the sun beaming warmly (and I do mean warmly, the calendar may say autumn, but it is summer in San Francisco for real, even out by the beach, the fog has been banned and it is hot in the city) down on me, a book in front of me, my feet up in a chair, an iced coffee, and a bowl full of sliced persimmons with cinnamon and nutmeg, raw cacao and sea salt sprinkled over it.

When will I ever just have the time to sit around and read books in the sun?

I can get so far ahead of myself that I can forget that nothing’s wrong right now.

I mean.

Nothing.

I am happy.

The job is going well.

My rent is paid.

My bills are paid.

Dropped off my third to last payment on the scooter in the mail box today.  And I am slowly formulating some ideas about how to address it.  I am thinking that when I have some time off around Thanksgiving that I will take it up to the mechanic my friend used and have him pop out the fender.

Then I will take it to the Vespa dealership and see what I can get for trade in on a new Vespa.

Yes.

I will probably not get as much for it as I paid and that is what that is.

I will get a new scooter though and I will not have to worry about the ankle not holding up.

I am timing this all in conjunction with the heal rate of my ankle.

Today marks four months on the nose since I had the accident.

Today was the first day I wore heels.

Not even high heels and not hard heels to walk in, just a low platform cork sandal that I had bought in hopes of prancing around in Wisconsin back in July.

I did no prancing while in Wisconsin, the sandals stayed in the closet.

Today I wore them around the house and then up to the market.

I “climbed” a very shallow incline of a hill and knew immediately that I would be coming home and putting on some sensible shoes, my nanny clogs, and not wearing the sandals for a little while yet.

Two more months and I will have the scooter paid off.

Two more months and it will be the full six months the doctor told me it would take my ankle to fully heal.

I can go another sixty days without a scooter to ride.  My bicycle is working just fine getting me here to there.

Two more months will also bring me to my birthday month and perhaps that will be the special thing for me to do, get the new Vespa.  I know I will have to pay in some money, but I think I will be able to finance it with the trade in and some financing.

I’ll have documented work and pay stubs to show and what with this month also being an anniversary of sorts, I will have perfect credit to proceed with what little financing I may need to do to get a new scooter.

The anniversary?

Seven years ago this month I filed for and received a chapter eleven bankruptcy.

It happened right as all the laws around it were changing and it did not negate out my student loans.  But it did everything else and I was told that after seven years it would all be gone.

In these past seven years I have only been in debt twice outside of those aforementioned student loans.

Once to my friend in Paris who helped me with the plane ticket back from Paris, which I paid off at the beginning of this year.

And the second time, this Vespa scooter.

Of which I have two payments left.

Other than that.

No debt.

Oh.

No doubt, it’s been tight at times, but I have never opened up a credit card or took out a loan.  I am free and clear.

That being said I won’t be going out and buying up a bunch of things and taking out any credit cards to do so.

However.

I can see financing a new scooter.

I would like that.

Aside from the scooter plan my only other plan is to get my graduate school things together.

Tomorrow I will make food for the week, go marketing, and hit the Mission in the evening to do some doing the deal.

And I will take the next action around my graduate school application.  I also plan on applying for some dental insurance, now that I know I will be getting set up with health insurance reimbursement from my employer.

It’s not just time to take care of my motoring.

It’s time to take care of my mouth.

I haven’t been to the dentist in years.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

But.

I have fantastic teeth, always have and I take really good care of them–brush three times a day and floss once a day (yes I do, with dental tape at that, so there)–but still, it’s been over five years since a visit.

Time for that as well.

It will still be a mellow day and I will make sure and sit in the sun again and read some more of my book and eat another persimmon or two.

And when the thought comes that I will only be happy when I have time to sit around in the sun and read books and people watch.

I will laugh knowing I am happier than I have ever been in my life.

More secure in my knowledge of self and the simple joy of being exactly where I am supposed to be.

I can hang with that.


%d bloggers like this: