I am 26 very responsible years old. I am declaring bankruptcy. And it seems so, so wrong.
Back in 2007 I was dating someone, we'll call him Fred, whose car was having problems and rather than having it fixed he decided to trade it in on a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500. He walked off the lot with the truck, no problems. Two weeks later, the dealership called and said there was a problem with his credit, and he either needed to get a co-signer or bring the truck back and take his old car. (Years later that sounds sketchy, does it to you?) He asked me if I would co-sign for him and after consulting with my parents and the couple I worked for, both couples I highly respect, I told him I would NOT co-sign for him. But I did tell him I would go back to the dealership with him to talk to them. I was advised not to go, but I felt really bad for him so I went anyway.
When we got to the dealership the salesperson meeting with us pulled out the big guns on me. "He's already got the truck, you don't want him to have to give it back do you?" "He's a veteran (he'd recently come back from Afghanistan) don't you want to help him out for serving our country?" And on, and on. At one point I stood up, told the person I needed a break, and went outside for some air. A manager came out and asked if I was alright, and I said I felt that the salesperson was manipulating me. The manager came into the meeting with us "to help me" and ended up being just as manipulative. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed and selfish for not helping out. My hands and insides were quivering. I'd quit smoking when I moved to Colorado and I bummed a cigarette off someone outside. I was naive, and kindhearted, and ganged up on. This was why I was advised not to go to this meeting, and how I wish I'd listened!
Things have never been the same.
50 pages of paperwork, plus dozens of copies of financial records. Can you say time consuming and frustrating?
I can't blame anyone else though. No one put a gun to my head and forced me to sign, however much it might've felt like it at the time! It was my poor decision, and I'm still paying for it. The deal was that since I co-signed, Fred would go in six months when his credit was improved and had the truck refinanced. He swore he would never miss a payment and his parents in their gratitude even called me and thanked me and said that they would even make payments rather than let him be late or miss one. Haha. Ha. Haha.
Eventually I came to my senses and broke up with Fred. I met my now husband and moved to Texas and got married. Throughout the years since then I have been plagued with calls about missing payments, late payments, when will you be making a payment. I called Fred many times and begged and pleaded with him to refinance and get the truck out of my name. Finally in January I got the call I've been expecting for years. The truck had been repossessed. Fred couldn't (or wouldn't) get it out of hock, and he was going to declare bankruptcy. Legally, that left me responsible for the balance of the debt, a five hundred dollar plus monthly payment. A free consult with a lawyer determined that if I couldn't assume payments, I'd have to declare bankruptcy as well. There's no way we could assume payments, so that left me with bankruptcy. I called my mom, crying with guilt about being a Christian and having to declare bankruptcy. Fred assured me that since me having to declare bankruptcy was his fault that he would pay my lawyer. (Ask me if I believed that!)
Thank God I keep important paperwork. I needed it.
So here I am in March. I have filled out hours and hours worth of paperwork. I have made dozens of copies. We had to use tax money earmarked for other things to pay my lawyer, and while I'm grateful that we had that available and that Nathan was fine with using it, I'm still REALLY angry that Fred bought a camaro and then texted me that he couldn't pay for my lawyer. I have waited impatiently for three weeks for Nathan's incompetent company to provide me with ONE document that has been holding me up. Nathan was finally able to get the document last night so I finished up the paperwork this morning and have an appointment with my lawyer on Monday.
At least I have someone cute to keep me company in my paperwork misery.
From here we will go over my paperwork and then the lawyer will file for me. I have to meet with my creditors (may be via phone) and then I'm not sure what happens after that.