I wanted to share my BK story (and have been waiting for a long time to share this!) in the hopes that it will help someone else going through the same uncertainty and hopelessness.
In 2011 my then husband and I were working together to launch a Media Technology business. We both worked full time for the business without salaries. I was a single mother at the time with two small boys from a previous marriage, and we were using my savings as the main source of income to cover our bills while we tried to get the business off the ground. He was a British Citizen here on a resident green card through our marriage. In 2012, due to the recession, the businesses prospects started to suffer, and we were running low on money. I went back to work to try to cover some of our finances while we continued to try to make the business work.
In 2013, we were facing near total destitution on the business. During this time my then husband became extremely unstable and abusive. There were times when I was legitimately afraid for my safety. In June of 2013, facing extraordinary business expenses that we were accumulating due to the business, he emptied our bank account while I was at work, and fled the country back to England leaving me with the debts.
I was left to pay for $150,000 in business debts on my own between 2013 and 2014, and without any savings whatsoever, and without any idea of how I would cover them. In July of 2013 I tried to restructure my personal debts via a Ch. 13 bankruptcy because I desperately above all else just wanted to save my home for my boys, but it became too difficult with the debt at hand. I had no choice but to surrender my home. I was devastated. But, I would not allow this to define me.
Though I had lost my business, and my husband fled the country with my savings, I chose to put my head down, kept my eyes forward, and just work it out. I ended up turning the contracting job I took out of necessity in 2012 into a full-time job leveraging the career I had prior to the business. I meticulously worked at repaying my creditors or making payment arrangements until every last dollar was paid. I poured myself back into my career, and advanced quickly up the ranks going from extraordinary loss to the top of my field.
I significantly increased my salary year over year by going after more challenging positions within my companies, and returning even greater results back to my firms. I have since paid every last dollar of debt I have owed, and today I am 100% debt-free. I am 100% on my own, and I am 100% OK with that. I have money in the bank and an amazing career. This experience has taught me such an incredible lesson, and one that I share with my two boys: You are ultimately responsible for everything that happens to you. Some things may be out of your control, but you can control how you REACT to them.
In regards to my ex-husband: When he left I had no way to contact him as his family would not give me any information or tell me where he was. I had no way of recouping our money because he had given up his Resident status in the US, and I would have had to sue him in the UK. At the time, I didn’t even have the money for the filing fee. I decided to completely let him go and just move on with my life.
In November 2014, he finally resurfaced via serving me with Divorce papers in absentia through a local attorney. We finalized our divorce in January of 2015. I was in chambers in person at court, and he was on the phone. I chose to waive any and all rights to any money he had. At that point, I didn’t need or want anything from him. I don’t need anything from anyone any more. And I never will again.
It took me seven long years to get through that experience, but I did so with so much more gain than loss. Yesterday I celebrated the last item related to that experience falling off my credit report, and I am finally, truly free. I have a beautiful new home that I share with my boys (young men now!), no debt, with a nice nest egg and retirement account that continues to grow. I wanted to post this to help you keep things in perspective, and to remember that NO MATTER what you are going through, this too shall pass, and you will come out of this even stronger than before. There is so much more I could share, but I think this is enough (I hope) for someone else to anchor to, and keep in mind even through the hardest times. Just keep your head down and eyes forward. You will win this battle if you choose to accept the fate that you alone can make great things happen if you just believe in yourself. <3
Thank you for sharing your story. You did an incredible job at rebuilding. Congratulations on your success!
Great story! Great job handling it all!
Wow! Just. WOW. Give yourself a HUGE pat on the back! I love hearing stories like yours! WTG!!!
Hard work does payoff when you put your foot down and end the madness. Congrats!
That's an impressive story and a fantastic rebuilding story! Thanks for sharing it.