Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Life and Times After Bankruptcy

The mail has become a strange source of amusement this year, partly due to the fact that we filed for bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2012. In exchange for final notices (yay!), we are now getting loan offers and credit card applications (boo!). Damned vultures is what they are, knowing that you can't file for bankruptcy again for nearly a decade. Fuckers. 

Our lawyer and debt counselor* told us this would happen, and for the most part, we've been able to laugh about most of it. Within about a week of our court hearing, we started finding these overly enthusiastic post cards mixed in with our utility bills, telling us that we, too, could rebuild our credit! CAPS! BRIGHT COLORS!! EXCLAMATION POINTS FOR NO REASON!!! It was like all these companies hired Robert Ludlum to write their advertising. Then the auto loans came, and the various banks decided to get in on the action. See also: for-profit universities.
Because ... we obviously have money?
After the initial surge of ridiculous SPEND MONEY NOW THAT YOU'VE WIPED THE SLATE CLEAN shit, things calmed down a bit, but the amount of mail we get is still astronomically higher than before we filed. Before, we could go weeks without getting any new mail. Not even a Brookstone catalog. After? Ha. Our mailman actually came up to me one day and asked me if he could just drop our pile of mail in front of our door. To be fair, our mail boxes are about half the size of a child's shoebox, so anything more than about two letters is enough to force him to shove them in there. 

Honestly, it felt as if someone had, instead of giving out my email to these ass clowns, they gave my address and then said, "Onetwothree GO!!" I kinda wanted to point the finger at our lawyer but figured (hoped) that he wouldn't do that sort of thing. It's not like I couldn't just throw it all away, which I totally did, after I decided that my idea of making a cautionary visual tale to others who would file for bankruptcy might introduce a little thing called a lawsuit into my life and no, thanks. I've had about enough of court rooms**. Although I still kind of want to create a website or some type of educational pamphlet about our experience. Hm, food for thought.

Anyway, it was pretty easy to sort through the crap mail and the things we needed to keep, but Three and I still like to open a few of them, just to see what the company or whatever is trying. My favorites are usually the payday advance ones because they are just so incredibly ludicrous. I mean, come ON, dudes. I have no desire to pay you, like, 200% interest.
How about you burst into flame instead?
Three likes the auto loans, if only for the fact that he knows that they think we're just chomping at the bit to buy a new car***. That's what poor people do, obviously. Buy things we don't need. They're also the most obnoxiously colored pieces of paper, so they're easy to spot.

But the creme de le creme came in the mail today. The second we saw the logo on the envelope, Three and I erupted into laughter. Capital One was trying to get us to sign up for a credit card.

Capital One was one of our debts that was lumped in with our bankruptcy and one of the companies that Three had been tangling with for years. I won't go into the nitty gritty here, but let's just say that Three told them that they could go fuck themselves after the following happened: 1) they told him he could pay a certain amount to stay current and 2) the next day, they said he had to pay $2000 or else ... something. They weren't really too clear with the penalties, but Three stood his ground. He told them who he'd spoken to the day before and that he'd paid the smaller amount over the phone. He then tried to work with them to get a payment plan set up, but they were pretty firm in their "pay us this much or ELSE" stance. This argument, as repetitive as it was, was played out over about a six month period before Three basically said, "Fuck you, assholes. You aren't working with me here."  

They apparently don't keep records of people who tell them to fuck themselves, though, since at this very moment, I have a "NO ANNUAL FEE OUR LOWEST INTRO RATE****" letter right in front of me. First, hahahahahahahahahahahahaha, Capital One, you are dumb. Do you not remember our epic over-the-phone fights? Hahahahahahahahaha! Now that I have that out of the way, second, there is no way in hell we're getting a credit card right now. I've talked to our current bank about our options to rebuild credit in the future, but right now, we're fine doing cash only. We're not planning on buying a house any time soon, and credit cards scare me, anyway. 

This just baffles me, though. I guess I'm naive when it comes to thinking that people are basically alright. Sure, there are the scummy jerkfaces who get off on making other people's lives miserable or focus solely on themselves, but all in all, I think most people just try to do the right thing. And then companies, which all of us know are legally "people," come around and blow my theory out of the water. They are preying on people like us. Luckily for Three and me, we're fairly intelligent people who just throw them the side-eye as we rip up their letter, but there are people out there who will be completely oblivious to the fact that raptors have them in their sights. And that just makes me hate them even more, knowing that they'll screw those people over for a very, very small amount of money in comparison to what they have. Assholes. 

I'm thinking of sending the return envelope back with coupons for Summer's Eve douches. Because I'm, you know, mature and shit. 

* Okay, it was a poorly edited online program that we were forced to complete in order to file for bankruptcy, but I like to call it our debt counselor. It sounds less sad. And yes, I spent quite a bit of time reading over the grammatical errors and thinking, "How did this get approved for public viewing? This is atrocious."
** Between bankruptcy court, which is a whole other story, and the federal child pornography case I had to serve as a jury member on for two weeks back in 2006, I'm about done with our legal system. 
*** Which we kind of are, but that's beside the point. We don't want a "new" car because we're sick of the old one. We want a new car because our current one could crap out on us at any time. 
**** It goes from 0% introductory rate to 22.9% after one year, with a penalty APR of 29.4%. I have to give them credit here, though. On all of the other credit card offers we've gotten, this chart is really small, but I'm thinking that recent legal trouble has them all paranoid. Yep, that's three different links. And they all make me giggle with glee. 
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