Most of the time, I have a good memory – which has been both a blessing and a curse.
I remember a lot about when I applied for bankruptcy, but not everything.
What happened, and when?
Fortunately, there are some records I still have from back then.
In late 2010 when my financial world collapsed, I created a folder on my PC where I began saving mostly Notepad files recording information like calls I made to creditors.
I can’t remember what this folder was originally called, but eventually it became VB (short for Voluntary Bankruptcy) which it remains to this day.
As well, there are emails I still have in my Yahoo! inbox.
Last week after posting Part 3 of this series, I had a look at some of these records and emails for the first time since then, and they made for startling reading.
Just then as I prepared to write this post, I read them again and discovered even more files that I’d previously missed. They also made for startling reading.
One file I’d missed last week but found just then was a record of that ‘phone call I described in Part 3.
As you may recall, the overall tone of the person I spoke with was polite.
So much so that in that record, I made a comment at the end:
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts in this series, my first New Year’s resolution for 2011 was to apply for voluntary bankruptcy, and the first step was to contact Bankruptcy Saves Lives.
But when I was writing those posts, I couldn’t remember when I contacted them.
There’s no record in VB, but in my Yahoo! inbox I found my answer (click to enlarge):
It took me almost two weeks to write to them? Why? Unfortunately, I can’t recall.
Bankruptcy Saves Lives replied to my email early the next morning. Later that day I began speaking with them by ‘phone and they also began emailing me information I needed to complete my application.
Two weeks passed.
I exchanged more emails and ‘phone calls with Bankruptcy Saves Lives, and offline I put together my application.
In VB, I have a copy of the blank application form that I downloaded from ITSA, but no copy of my completed form and supporting paperwork – I must have printed that out and completed it by hand (and maybe somewhere in my paper files, I have a photocopy of it).
On Friday 28 January 2011, I sent my application and supporting paperwork with a cover letter to the bankruptcy trustee that is highly recommended by Bankruptcy Saves Lives, in the hope that they would take me on and forward my application to ITSA.
A week passed with no word from either the bankruptcy trustee or ITSA.
Then a second week passed and still no word.
And then a third week passed with still no word.
I was getting more and more worried – especially after Friday 18 February when I went to withdraw some money from an ATM and found that my bank, who was also one of my creditors, had put a stop on my account (fortunately, weeks before I’d gotten into the paranoid habit of withdrawing as much of my cash as possible as soon as possible in case something like that happened, so I wasn’t destitute).
And then late in the afternoon of Monday 21 February, I got a call from the bankruptcy trustee to advise that they had taken me on and that on 14 February – Valentine’s Day, a week before – ITSA had accepted my application, so without knowing it I had officially been bankrupt for the past week.
And just before I’d begun writing this post, I found that during that call I’d made the following brief record in yet another Notepad file:
The caller from the bankruptcy trustee asked if there was anything else she could help me with, and I said yes – three days before, my bank had put a stop on my account, and could she possibly help me with that?
She said she’d contact my bank – and the next day, if I remember correctly, the stop was lifted.
14 February 2011 is the important date because that’s when my bankruptcy became legal – but because I didn’t know about that for a week, emotionally and psychologically 21 February 2011 is the most significant date.
It was the first day of the rest of my financial life.
And from here on, I had to get it right and keep it right.
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂