Why Strike Debt

Debt. Housing. Education. Healthcare. Consumer. Municipal. Debt

6 notes

Freedom Through Bankruptcy

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All your life, you’re told that BK is the worst thing that can happen. For me, it was not.

In 2010, I walked away from more than $200K in debt in about 5 minutes. That is literally the length of time of our hearing, and we were not hassled in any way. I had let my ex-husband persuade me to take out all kinds of exotic loans for exotic reasons, using my good credit. In 2008, he left, and everything came crashing down. I got laid off from my job – which, however, allowed me to qualify for a Chapter 7 BK — and my dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I was shattered. I literally walked with a limp for awhile.

But in the end, the BK itself never held me back in any significant way. Part of this is because I am so incredibly fortunate to have good friends and family in my life who held me up. I realize it was not just *me* that saved me — and that any others are not so fortunate.

But the point I wanted to make is about today. Today, I have a great job — actually working for myself. I am completely debt-free and have been since the day of my bankruptcy judgment. I am so far behind so many of my peers in terms of shit that I own, but it’s OK. I am thrilled to be in the black. This year, I have been able to give to all kind of causes — quiet loans to friends, lefty campaigns I believe in, the classical radio station, the hipster radio station, the dog in Texas that was tortured and needed a home, the Occupy Sandy effort. This cause. And: my own wedding. I feel like kind of a jerk saying all this, like I am gloating in the face of so many terrible stories — but the request issued was to visualize debt-free. So: it is fantastic.

My message is if you have to go through bankruptcy to get here, do it. It has to be a truly insurmountable debt, mind you — I have spoken to people with $15K, 20K of debt and strongly advised them to just climb out of it. But the chasm I was looking at — well, I just jumped in. And it was OK. It was all right.

I would say if you know you are sinking, just swallow your disbelief and your pride and face the facts. I lost my entire 401(k) when I didn’t have to … paying interest on massive loans I would just walk away from in a year. Face reality and face it quick, so you can stop taking phone calls and stop throwing money at these low-life lenders. I could have saved it for when I needed it — the courts will not take it away.

That is all.

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