It took Mastercard a few years to really catch up with me, and I was able to avoid being in front of the judge by settling on a $100 a month payment plan in the court hallway with an attorney from the collection agency/law firm my account ended up in. I was able to pay that until my daughter came to live with me last April, and it seemed like everything went to feeding her and clothing her. Then my dad died in July and blah blah blah.
I heard from them regarding my breach of contract. By October I was in a place where I could start paying them their $100 a month again, but they didn't want to hear it. With all the interest that had accumulated since 1998, I owed $10,000.
I did what plenty of people do. I ignored them.
I decided to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get these people off my back and make a fresh start. I was expecting a large income tax refund for te first time in years, and after my half-hour consultation, told him that as soon as I received the check, we'd start bankruptcy proceedings. This lawyer wanted to be paid in advance, in full.
My car decided to put me through h*ll and continued to do so, more on than off, actually until yesterday! Many things that can go wrong with a 9 year old car did. It wasn't so much the money as my inability to GET anyplace and dependence upon rides to and from work. My car was constantly in the shop.
Welp, to make a long story even longer, just before I could get back to the lawyer, a court levy was placed upon my checking account and they took over $2,000 of the money. Yes, of course I understand that I owed it to them, but this was a *SHOCK* to my system! And yes, they can legally do this in the state of New Jersey.
I spoke with someone at work who was going through a Chapter 7 as well (they're much more common than I ever thought). Her lawyer was obtained through our insurance at work. They have a number you can call if you need legal services for cheap. Well, for $200 cheaper I'm going to a much less stuck up and more experienced lawyer. On the copy of the levy order, it says that they could take my car, etc. My boyfriend and I have switched cars until this is all over with.
I cashed in my money market account, had myself put on as a secondary perosn on my boyfriend's checking account (his social security number will be the one that they see, not mine), and are waiting for this out-of-state check to clear. Everything depends on the cash from that check.
I hate this cloak and dagger Bonnie & Clyde stuff. But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I lost 3 lbs. this week, which is nice, but I had stomach pains and wasn't sleeping any longer than 4 or 5 hours a night. I was snapping at my daughter terribly.
My boyfriend has saved my a** once again. Do ya want me to keep you all posted? (Or have you fallen asleep from this LOL)