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I Never Told Anyone How Bad It Was For Me


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I am going to confess something only my wife knows. In the GFC a little more than a decade ago, we defaulted on $250k in debt. This was a bunch of credit cards. We only kept paying on the cars and house and a couple of the bank cards.  I was the only one that drew lawsuits (2) totaling about $20k. I also sued a couple of collectors who crossed some very bright lines and made about $20k. I didn't use that money to pay the judgments (they got paid far later with no accrued interest when we decided to buy a bigger house). Once the creditors weren't on my credit anymore due to their age, my score returned to the 800s.

I'm not sure that "informal bankruptcy" is as viable now as it was then...all of us leave a much more obvious trail of data than we once did. But if my story gives anyone hope...

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I don't know about "hope", but I'm massively impressed that you were able to soldier through this without being backed into a bankruptcy by your creditors!  I suspect that's quite a rocky story ...


The big picture for others to take heart in is that no matter how bad it gets, we have a legal system that grasps that past indiscretions don't warrant lifetime punishment and puts in place limitations to ensure that someone who ran afoul of the credit markets is able to start fresh within a reasonable time frame.  Those who are caught up in what appear to be the most dire situations must allow themselves to take comfort in this (time does, indeed, heal some wounds!).


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This brings up memories of my own financial meltdown back in 08/09. I took a dump on anybody who was anybody in the credit card space. I didn't file for BK, but looking back, my mental health and physical well being would have been better off if I had filed. SOL is three years in NC. Not once did I get served, or get any judgements. For two years, it was nothing but collection calls from sun up to sundown. weekends included. Then about 30 to 45 days, left on the SOL, the phone calls briskly came back. Then like flipping a light switch, no more calls, except from a few stragglers hoping for some money.


I lived under a rock for a number of years, even though I was free and clear of law suits. Early spring of 2015, I get a credit card statement in the mail from Cap One. It was north of $20k. About what I owed them back in 08. Just like any CC statement, I could pay a minimum monthly payment. I wasn't taking the bait. Then around June, I got pre-approvals in the mail from Cap One for the Quicksilver. Spent three days reading the fine print, over and over, making sure it wasn't a trap. I applied, was approved, and that began my rebuild journey.


Then I found Credit Boards shortly after the Crap1 approval. Eventually worked my way back into the door with every card issuer I ever burned.

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