Many years ago, I found this site and in particular, this section. Rebuilder's Anonymous
Coming from a Ch 7 Bk, I wanted to know how to re-establish credit and remove the baddies that remained post-bk.
The bankruptcy came from a myriad of factors, succinctly stated here:
2007: as VP of internal audit of my public company, after several quarters on my watch trying to fix a material issue incurred prior to my arrival, I told the company the best plan of action given the most recent issue was to restate their financials to the SEC. That was a most unwelcome suggestion. I was fired. SEC rules be darned.
It was Christmas time.
During summer of 2007, I had traded in my 2005 Infiniti FX-45 and my 2004 Cad Escalade ESV on a brand new sparkly Escalade ESV.
2008: Called Wells Fargo who had the mortgage on my home that I'd paid on time for the full 8 years I'd had the house and asked them what could be done about my mortgage because apparently, they'd placed an escrow on the house that I was unaware of.
Total lien on house: $330,000
Appraised value of house: $675,000
I'd put down 20% on the home in 2000 when I bought it, never missed a payment, never had escrowed given the 20%, always paid the taxes, and always held insurance.
Wells Fargo could not explain why to my satisfaction but said they would work with me on catching up the late payments. What late payments? Well, they never considered a payment in full because the difference between the payment BEFORE escrow and after escrow was never included in my payments so, partial for August payment went to cover escrow for July, etc.
I asked given my recent job loss if there was something that could be done to modify my mortgage that was at 9.25% and was told that I did not qualify for mortgage modification because I'd never been late (please see above).
You see where this is going ...
Not to be outdone but my Escalade had issues with less than 8,000 miles on it. In July of 2008, the Escalade died on the road: no steering, braking, hazards, On-Star; total and complete electronic failure. At that point, it was declared a lemon by the state I lived in (one occurance of a total braking OR steering loss and manufacturer has to buy the vehicle back).
GM was polite the first time I called and asked to have the issue escalated but eventually, I had to get an attorney involved.
Oh, as the former VP of audit for a public company during the worst recession in modern history, my name was bunk on the street. Job search, despite over 500 resumes sent out, was going no where.
2009: I'm behind on mortgage payments by about 2 months. Wells Fargo says I qualify for mortgage modification now. GM is balking at doing anything for lemon Escalade that sits at the dealership (who's owner was in jail for white-collar crime). Seriously, can't make this up. Attorney against GM is pushing to get me paid out and the vehicle picked up.
Vehicle is taken by Chase who had the lien on it after GM continues to stall. GM finally agrees to pay for lemon vehicle but only if I have possession of it. Chase refuses to turn it over because they want to be paid first, despite all letters were coming from GM and my attorneys.
GM says no, Chase says screw you (to me) and GM files for bankruptcy protection. (Hence why they were stalling all along, in my opinion.)
August 2009 I received a letter from WF about loan modification and that I qualify given the equity in it for a rate reduction as well. I FedEx'd the paperwork to WF to have the loan complete.
Nov 2009 I received the letter re: loan modification that's due on Jan 1, 2010. Woo!
2010: at the Wells Fargo branch to make the payment in January, I'm escorted into the manager's office to be told that the house was actually foreclosed upon in Sept 2009 and that sadly, I have 45 days to move or find my house locked and all belongings insdie the property of WF.
2 weeks later I find an intent to sue me for the lien on the Escalade, and I filed for Ch 7.
I had no credit card debt. The only outstanding debt was the Chase lien, mortgage, a small tax thing related to the 2008 settlement with my former employer (they failed to file the right numbers and I did not check to make sure it got covered), and my student loan taken out in 1993.
Bk is fully discharged in May 2010 but student loans and tax issue are not included. My $2,200 attorney did feel like filing the papers to see if it might be partially discharged.
2011: after rebuilding period my credit score was 687. Woo!
2012: after rebuilding some more my credit score was about the same.
2013: still 687; protecting that score with all my heart to try and buy a home in near future; my father falls gravely ill at end of year which starts the cycle of poop (he lived which is a miracle... he really should not be with us)
Those student loans... I took out $23,000 in 1993 and 1994 to pay for my MBA program that I left with one class to finish (I'm a single mom - have been his entire life). I'd paid on them when I could be during the terrible years, I deferred or put into forebearance. In 2013, they were listed as having accrued to $135,000 (despite having paid on them in the early '00's to the tune of about $50,000)
I'd rented an apartment when we moved from that state to where we currently reside. The complex manager had said my son and I were model citizens. Rent was never considered late but when my father became so ill, I did not pay the rent on time. We'd lived there for over 18 months, and I explained that I was waiting for the docs in the home state to let me know what his situation was. My mother is very dramatic so was unsure how sick he was or if I'd need to go home. Eventually, 2 days after admission to the hospital, the docs told me to come home. Again, I let the complex know what was happening and said I'd pay the rent when I returned home but that I need to get to that state apparently, to plan a funeral.
It's 1500 miles away... I drove in shorts and flip-flops... arriving in my former state, I pulled up email to find that the complex was giving me a 3-day notice and that if I did not pay it in the 3 days, they would move to evict. I again explained what was happening and said that I would pay when I returned. It was ugly. That's being kind.
Dad was being taken off life support - the pump for his kidneys was taken off slowly to monitor his BP, the removed the butterfly pump for his heart, the removed the BP machine and dialysis... and we waited, expecting the end.
Well, Dad is now 87. Two days after that, he walked out of the hospital and went home. So did my son and I - driving the 1500 miles back, arriving at 11:30 on a Tues night to find our eviction notice.
We found a place to move to and still live here.
2014: things are getting better but that complex decided that rent for december wasn't enough and charged me $3200 in cleaning fees and other miscellaneous charges (of course, that's after they wouldn't allow us to take pictures and the sheriff had to be called to remove the rest of our belongings). I hear from Hunter Warfield.
It shows up on my credit. I refuse to pay for anything outside of December 2013 rent; they had the place rented and filled by Jan 3, 2014 but were charging me the rent for Jan as well.
My credit score dropped to 625.
Student loans are now about $800/month so I ask for IBR. ACS is the next corp to be sued by CFPB, I think given the numerous complaints against them. The lose paperwork, payments, statements, send my information to people in states I've never resided who have no business getting my information (SS#, full birthdate, loan info, etc).
Given I was thinking about closing the credit cards I never used, I closed FP, Synchronicity, Care Credit, Cap One (low CL), and a few others, keeping open my higher FL C1 and TiresPlus cards. Made sure my util was never more than 5%, made sure my car loan was paid on time and above the required amount.
2015: ACS is still an issue - despite confirmation of fax'd documents and the manager of the area talking with me on the phone while filling out said documents, I get a rejection for IBR and then I'm told the student loan is close to default.
Told the consolidate the loan to get it out of that status, I tried but the screen indicated "Already in progress - cannot have more than one at a time" ... say what?! I had no other student loan.
Student loan enters default status.
Score drops. Oh, and that old tax issue that I'd hired an attorney to help me get an OIC? Yeah, still not done so there is a tax lien put on my credit report.
2016: 2nd worst year of my life... 2nd only to year my 1st son died (1986). I thought the year WF stole my house was bad but nope, 2016. Score tanks to 599. And it gets worse
2017: The intent for all of the above is for people who might come here thinking their situation is hopeless, read my life and think, if she can do it, so can I.
There is always hope as long as you have a job, there is always hope.
Last night I pulled my score: 443 (TU), 457 (EQ)
Yep! From VP of public company with 780+ score to worse than what it was immediately post bk. 443. I almost laughed but didn't. I got angry looking at what's on it.
I knew about the tax lien and student loan. I knew about the apt complex. What I didn't know is a few collections had re-aged themselves to be within last 2 years.
So, here's a list of the baddies, amount, and tracking of what I'm doing about them. Each month, I'm going to pay to repull my score and track the progress, relate that back here. I hope someday it helps others to not give up.
Wait. Just wait. There is nothing after the above is done but to wait. And update when I have responses from the CRAs, CA's and others.
I am so grateful that I don't have student loans. I have a GED, and that's enough for my freelance business. Student loans destroy a lot of people.
This is an inspiring story. I've been through a lot, too. Sick kids, six-figure hospital bills, several medical collections for their bills, no help from their "father", huge tax lien. I just don't know where to start. Most of the things I've disputed have just come back verified. So frustrating.
Well, Irma hit. Took in a family of 7 with their dogs, cats, bearded dragons, hamster and some fish. Rode out the storm in my house, gave up my bed to the husband / wife and I slept on the love seat... gave me plenty of time to think because sleeping was not happening!!
Went through every line item on my TU credit report and every line item that is old, being re-dated every month by collection agencies that are not owed, were never owed and should be not be doing so was put in numerical order and correspondingly, I wrote why that line item should be removed. Sent that letter CRRR.
About those student loans:
I found a demand for evidence letter on the CFPB site and it's a doozy. Basically, it reads like a discovery letter which I'm sure it is based upon.
The first time I sent it out to the collection agency for those student loans, they sent back paperwork without an amount on one page that I did sign from 2007, another page WITH the amount that I did NOT sign/initial (the box is there for initialling to occur). However, they did not provide the additional paperwork from 1993 regarding the original loans from Sallie Mae which would indicate that there is a paper trail from 1993 to present. Given the mess with Sallie Mae, DoE, AES, ASA - I'm crossing my ever loving fingers that paperwork doesn't exist.
After receiving the above back from CA, I sent a 2nd letter demanding validation and proof and highlighted ALL the sections of the letter that were missing adding, "To help aid you in complying with my demand, I've highlighted all the sections of my request in yellow. Please see the attached original request." Sent CRRR.
I've been claiming now for years, my identity was stolen due to AES's mess/mis handling of my account including payments, IBR requests, etc. Well, guess what?
Due to Irma, I qualify for disaster help and in filling out the online form to prove my identiy, it asked, "Which of the following cities have you LIVED in?" And all 4?
Yep, never lived in any one of them. Something smells there...
Oh and due to Irma, my contract ended abruptly. I'm out $36,000 in earnings. And those little issues on my credit report? They could impact my ability to get help from FEMA.
Equifax letter (insert laughing emoji because, well, it's Equifax - they have lots of issues right now!)
So, I'm back with an update:
Kia was sent a letter because they violated the state's law regarding repossession and I'm threatening to sue; they have until Jan 18th, 2019 to respond or I commence with litigation.
Son's car with BMW was sent settlement offer though they too violated the state's repo laws so hopefully, they just accept my settlement offer and wipe my credit report clean.
Student loans - this one took A LOT of effort; when I say a lot? 10's of letters sent to US House of Representatives who sit on sub-committee for financial regulation, CFPB, NY Times, Washington Post, ABC News; countless letters demanding paperwork that showed I owed the debt; countless disputes with ASA, servicers and DoED; countless attorneys (including civil litigators) and now (!!!) I think I have an attorney who is going to help. Seriously, help. His first question, "Do you have copies of everything they did?"
Yes, yes, I do! and in mulitple places including bank security box... he was almost giddy as he started thinking of the ways to sue both the servicers and the guarantor. Recent litigation (Jan 2019) has appeared that is similar to mine and I'm hopeful.
There have been countless nights when I've thought it'd be better if I were dead because of student loans and what was done; I've been to the hospital countless times with chest pains and dizziness when I start to think about them and what the servicers did to me; but not anymore.
The collection agencies aged out of SOL so I demanded they be removed. The last baddie on that is Hunter. Dude who owns the company has a $38,000 a month tax payment on his property in Clearwater Beach, FL so he's unlikely to have ever accepted settlement and he's BFF's with the owners of Camden but that just aged out of SOL so I'm demanding it be removed.
I paid off the closed Cap 1 (they closed my account in good standing when a payment I sent in bounced - Irmageddon had no remorse on credit issues).
What will I be left with? A TiresPlus card, some other stupid lowbie card with $300CL and a car loan on the 2011 MB which will be paid off in March.
If the student loan issue resolves, I expect to pay something to finalize it but substantially less than what is showing and until that is done, the mandate is to remove it from my credit - hoping the judge will sign that.
I remain, ever so hopeful!
Hi, HopeLives! Wow, what a story. Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey and his financial program? I used him to get out of Medical Debt from 2014-2016. My debt was not nearly as subtantial as yours, but there are a lot of people who use Dave Ramsey's program to get out of hundreds of thousands of debt. You can also then start to rebuild your score with a secured credit card, I just did it with Skypass Visa by US Bank. I wish you the best of luck!
Once the student loan is resolved, I will have no debt @XtineAin; my credit will be cleared of any baddies. No debt, $$ in the bank.