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Author Topic: Every Man Thinks That His Burden is the Heaviest...
Daruma28
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...Who Feels it Knows it, Lord!

Taking a line from one of my favorite Bob Marley songs...'cause it's how I'm feeling right now.

The Great Depression 2.0 is kicking my ass.

Filing for Bankruptcy, and can't even afford the lawyers fees to do it right away.

One month behind on my rent.

Talking with the boss today - may be getting laid off this month.

Creditors ringing my phone off the hook, night and day.

Life is Great! [LOL]

Please, this thread is not a pathetic plea for sympathy from ya'all...really, I appreciate any kind platitudes and empathy you may or may not wish to express to me...thanks.

But I make this thread only as a second installment of my original thread I posted a couple of months ago:

Folks, how tough is it getting for ya'all out there?

Please, once again, state your location, your personal situation and any signs that have become obvious to you all about this Depression/Recession in your locale.

As for me, I drove by the Hawaii State Capital yesterday, and saw the UPW and HGEA (that's the United Public Workers and the Hawaii Governemnt Employees Association -- my former union --) all lined up in picket formation, protesting the Governor of Hawaii's proposed furlough program for all State employees.

Because of massive budget shortfalls, our Governor is proposing all State workers have 3 unpaid days off a month just to ensure the Hawaii budget doesn't go bust.

The unions are protesting vehemently.

Some Government working puke had the temerity to write a letter to the editor in our Daily Paper that the furlough would be a 14% drop in their income, and that's UNACCEPTABLE.

I've had a 70% reduction in my income this year!

**** THE UNIONS AND STATE GOVERNMENT PARASITES!

I wanted to drive my 4runner right into their picket line... [Mad]

DISCLAIMER - That last line was total hyperbole! A fantasy for which despite what some of you may think of me, I would never actually really commit...

...I think. [Exploding]

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hobsen
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That sounds like very real and serious trouble for you. My sympathies.

As a retiree, the drop in inflation is actually helping my income to stretch farther. But I worry about whether the quality of health care my wife and I receive will be sustained. And California as a state is horribly in debt, with no agreement being reached on what to do about that.

Otherwise, for the economy in general, my understanding is that maybe 10% or so of workers have actually lost jobs, which means they have little money to spend. (That figure is very old and may be seriously wrong.) But almost all others are worried about losing their jobs, so they are buying as little as possible and saving at an unprecedented rate. So while little is being purchased, which means even more jobs will be lost, the buildup in savings should result in a much better outlook once confidence returns. This vicious circle has occurred in every recession in my lifetime, so I expect the United States will pull out of this one eventually, which is what the experts now seem to predict. Heaven knows I am no expert.

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TomDavidson
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As my wife is technically funded by private grants but works at the state university and is thus still being required by the governor to take a furlough, despite the fact that it means the grant money that pays her salary will simply have to be returned to its donors at additional state expense, I have to admit that I have been one of those picketers, Daruma.
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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
As my wife is technically funded by private grants but works at the state university and is thus still being required by the governor to take a furlough, despite the fact that it means the grant money that pays her salary will simply have to be returned to its donors at additional state expense, I have to admit that I have been one of those picketers, Daruma.

I don't fault you for that TD....but I spent two and a half years in the belly of the beast, and I KNOW that the State Government is full of dead weight, nepotism, graft and guys just getting their guaranteed salaries and producing nothing of economic merit.

While your case is certainly the exception to the rule, I wouldn't begrudge people in your wife's and your position - but your situation is hardly the norm.

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philnotfil
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I have a little bit of survivor's guilt, but Dave Ramsey has our household budget doing great. Last year I left my high paying teaching job ($32,000/year) for graduate school ($20,000/year). Needed a $500 repair on the car, no big deal, had the money in the bank to pay for it. Life is surprisingly good. We are actually doing better than we were before we got on the plan, but I do look forward to graduating and getting a real job.
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Pyrtolin
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Pittsburgh, PA. One of the few solvent cities in the country, even if our state is at loggerheads over its budget.

I'm fighting foreclosure on my house because our servicer is unwilling to offer a reasonable workout, but PA (and Allegheny county) have layer upon layer of legal protections and programs designed to make it almost impossible to lose your home. Once that's worked out I'm actually in a good position to deal with the rest of the debts that my wife has run up, but we're waiting for the slow wheels of bureaucracy to turn to see what method will be the best (State emergency loan program, or a court arbitrated modification- I'm actually hoping for the later because it would be much more simple and affordable overall)

In other signs that maybe things are picking up a bit, my band finally got a solid connection with one of the bigger local Irish Pubs (even if it is a chain) which might actually be critical link to picking up some local credibility and following.

All I need to do is keep a handle on things and we'll keep moving up.

(Why is Pittsburgh solvent? Because a few years back we filed for Act 47 protection, which seems to be bankruptcy, city style, and got a good head start on making a lot of the cuts necessary to get our act in gear. Also, our economy still hasn't fully recovered from the collapse of the domestic steel industry, so we never took the rides up over the past few decades. All the factors that have had us treading water for the past 20 years are suddenly our best assets.)

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Daruma28
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Good for you Pyrt! I hear ya on the wife/credit card bill thing... [LOL]

Good luck with your band. I played in a band for a few years, and we had a go of it, never had any kind of following, just a local Hawaiian luau/wedding band that played more for the love of music rather than trying to make it a career.

State of Hawaii needs to make a whole lot of cuts...but we are a solid SOLID union town that will fight any and all cuts, tooth and nail.

Based on the dramatic fall off in tourism, I think our State is FUBAR...and the State just raised taxes almost across the board today, as 07/01 is the fiscal new year here. Gas, property, capital gains, parking rates, and other public services all had some kind of rate or fee hike of some sort.

Not looking so good right now for us out here in the middle of the pacific.

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cperry
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So sorry to hear the news, Daruma. What a crappy situation.

Here in Northern VA, we are doing pretty well, generally speaking. I know of some kids at the school whose parents are out of work, and our school raised funds to help pay some electric bills for a few folks over the winter, but that's still rare. My daughter works as a pastry cook for a local resort, and that business has died down a lot; she works more regularly as a cook at the local hospital. Part-time bene, full-time hours. Frustrating, since she has no health insurance.

Hubby's doing well in the defense industry, so far. I'm in public ed, so with over 20 years in the field and 11 in this county, I'm safe unless I really screw up.

Hubby and I made purposeful decisions when buying our home in this area 11 years ago to purchase a home we could pay for with one salary, in case I quit or in case of an emergency. We were giddy to see the value of our home triple in 8 years. When the market started failing, and we were very happy that we hadn't caved in and gotten ourselves in bigger debt, even though we were tempted to upgrade to one of the many McMansions out here.

We are very worried about the long-term effects of all this, even though right now we're feeling pretty comfy. (thank goodness, or thank God, or thank goddess, or praise Allah, or whatever) even people who have made good decisions will probably be suffering before it's all over.

This is NOT to suggest that folks who are suffering are doing so only because they made bad choices. But we are surrounded by friends and colleagues who bought homes (and other crap) well beyond their means on crazy loans, etc. It is hard to hear local radio ads proclaiming, "Get out from under your credit card debt. The credit card companies hate it, but we can get you out paying less than half of what you owe," knowing that we pay our credit cards off every month and are being responsible -- and helping, in many ways, pay for other people's greed.

Sorry. Rant mode off.

I am really bummed for your situation, Daruma. I hope something changes so that you aren't hit so hard.

[ July 01, 2009, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: cperry ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Well, thing I like to remember is that our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents (and for some of yez punks, great-great-grandparents) SURVIVED the Depression.

A lot of the credit card debt ads reflect at least in part, I'll bet, the sudden recent rise in their APRs.

Our credit card company announced they would double our APR a few months back.

We canceled our card promptly so we could pay off the balance at the old rate.

They still tried to screw us on a technicality, but we prevailed.

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Chael
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Dallas (my city) is experiencing a budget shortfall. We are:

1) Cutting the library budget: taking one day out of every library's open schedule, cutting their materials budget (for ordering new material of any sort) to 20% of what it was, and firing 25% of the staff. My sixty year-old mother works for the library. She isn't sure whether she'll lose her job, or just have it turn to crap--working at two branches every day (mornings at one, afternoons/evenings at the other), ten hours a day, four days a week.

2) Cutting funding to parks and recreation facilities, including trash and litter pick-up.

3) Building a hotel/convention place with taxpayer dollars to attract people to the city.

(!)

I'm more or less insulated from current goings-on right now. I'm going to grad school and working part time as a guitar teacher--not exactly one of the Musts of the world (unlike electric bills and food), but I'm doing alright with teaching, gigs, etc. We'll see how it is in a year, when I get out. My betrothed still has his job, and we've been careful with debt.

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RickyB
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Actually things are picking up slightly here. There's a bit more freelance work available. There's also chatter about an upswing, but that don't mean a thing.
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scifibum
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My wife has a dad and a step dad (well, technically a birth father and an adoptive father).

They're both unemployed and can't find work. One of them and his wife moved in with us.

My job seems secure. My company shut down an office in another region but is hiring back some of the headcount in my location. The company is doing fine financially (but is not riding out the recession...is being very aggressive about trying to pursue greater profitability).

Aside from my two fathers in law I have a couple of casual acquaintances who are having a hard time. Otherwise things seem pretty normal.

Sucks, Daruma. Wish I could help.

[ July 02, 2009, 12:39 AM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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TomDavidson
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I don't mean to complain, either. We're actually still in a pretty good situation; I'm making enough money to support us (which is one of the reasons I went into technology in the first place), so Christy's salary has always basically been icing on the cake. It'll suck to have the icing thinned out, but Madison's in better shape than a lot of other places.

Heck, just 30 minutes south, there are towns reeling from nearly 20% job loss over the last year.

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Mormegil
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First, I'm sorry about everyone here who's got it rough. But I'm actually in great shape.

My father basically gave me his paid-for house and is living an itinerant lifestyle in his motorhome. The house was an utter dump though; I am remodeling it, myself, room by room. (And I mean tearing it out down to the foundation and rebuilding all the way up.)

What that means though is no mortgage or rent payments, there are materials costs. But it still lets my wife be able to stay home and raise our daughter, on my fairly meager salary.

The company I work for has taken a lot of hits, but we're still in business and plan to grit it out.

So, basically, apart from rising prices and worrying in general, my family is actually doing quite well; I've still got a job, at the same pay.

Actually, we are better at managing money now than when we got married, so we're in better shape now than we were 2 or 3 years ago.

We saved all year, lean and mean, so that when I got the backyard (formerly a jungle, I mean a *jungle*) redone somewhat, we'd be able to get some patio furniture.

So in the midst of this recession, I've just purchased a gazebo, table, chairs, new bbq grill, and had some stone put in. Total cost, about $2K. I guess I did my bit to stimulate the economy.

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TomDavidson
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His motor home has a foundation?
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Mynnion
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Things are good and bad in Amish country PA. Certain areas such as building have been hit hard but in general things are status quo. I am lucky enough to work for a biomed with about a 90% stable income. As always I have more work then I can possibly do so I am safe unless we get bought out. My retirement, however, has been pushed back for a numbe of years because of the hit on my 401K.

I have several friends that have been laid of or had hours cut but they are all in the building trade.

I am really sorry for all that are struggling. Unfortunately we all end up paying for the greed and stupidity of those responsible (you pick the target).

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LetterRip
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Sorry to hear that Daruma,

I'm unemployed currently as well (was a temp job with a company in a hiring freeze, with a corporate policy of temps only being allowed for 6 months - I was there for 12 so a fairly good run.)

LetterRip

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Clark
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St. George, UT

Life is rough for many people around us. As far as I can tell, unemployment for the 20-40 male group in my neighborhood is around 15-20%. I have luckily been spared thus far.

My wife is now watching a neighbor's kid while she works for a few hours a day a few days a week. It brings in a few hundred dollars a month, which is nice.

My job remains steady. The company has only been around for a handful of years and is not yet profitable; we survive by spending the investors money for now. About 9 months ago the quarterly bonuses were completely cut off until things improve, which means a loss of 2-4 thousand a year for me. (Of course, the things have been going poorly at work, so we would have missed most of our bonuses anyway, even if they hadn't been taken away.) I don't think I'm likely to lose my job unless the company goes under. That isn't likely, but remains a possibility. We've got 1 small car payment on a civic that is worth more than we owe, and a home that we bought last year which is perhaps worth just less than what we owe on it.

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Colin JM0397
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Charlotte, NC.

Work @ home, so I'm not too sure about the employment picture out there, but I’m doing well.

For anyone with any sort of background in writing, Technical Writing seems to be plugging along in general. I keep my resume up on Monster and get several inquiries a month for contract and permanent work. If you can fudge a resume that show's you have writing experience, there are jobs to be had.

I'm sitting pretty good. My company is projected flat earnings, but no drop over the next year. No raises this year, but no layoffs yet that I know of. In my division - Mainframe - we're actually doing well. With smaller work forces, baby-boomer programmers retiring, and IT departments looking for cost savings, we're selling quite a bit right now.

On that note, anyone looking for a career change: mainframe programming. They are retiring in huge numbers, yet those big computers keep chugging along needing support. You have to be willing to grow a beard and wear suspenders, but it’ll pay in the high 5-figures when you get some experience and seniority.

Healthcare is also doing fairly well, albeit some places are cutting back.

My fiancée is hanging onto her job with Wachoiva/Wells Fargo for the time being, but the next 18 months are a big ??? until the merger goes all the way through. Things look pretty good for her department staying around, but with cuts. She’s the sr manager there and more competent than her counterpart, so things are looking (hopefully) okay even with a reduction.

We're trying to pay off our debt as soon as possible, but also using our dual income right now to sock away money for the wedding and, believe it or not, to buy all the stuff we know we want/need for the next few years in case she does get laid off. Clothes, shoes, furniture, etc.

All you struggling - sorry to hear about it.

--------------

Hey, for those of us doing okay - anyone interested in donating to an Ornery emergency fund? We can set up a a little something, form a board to make decisions, and then folks needing a hand can petition the board for some help.

Every little bit helps, I suppose...

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Daruma28
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Thanks for the charitable idea Colin...but I would never petition for it. [LOL]

Even though I'll be bankrupt and unemployed, I'm confident I will survive. [Cool]

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Wayward Son
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I hope the winds of fate change for you soon, Daruma, and things start going your way.
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Daruma28
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Thanks Wayward..me too! [Wink]

Hope more of you will contribute to this thread. I really would like to see a "real" snapshot of how the economy is affecting people across the globe...rather whatever portrayals there are in our corrupted, lying media.

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Mormegil
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quote:
His motor home has a foundation?
Um, no. He gave me his house. He's gone in his motorhome. I'm in the house. The house has a foundation. (Barely.)

I re-read what I wrote... it seemed clear to me...

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Ron Lambert
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Daruma28, there is life after bankruptcy. Think of it as forgiveness. Our society is merciful enough that it has made provision for people in really dire straights to be forgiven their debts. In ancient Israel, in the Old Testament, this was institutionalized, so that all debts were cancelled (and all slaves set free, and all land returned to its original owners) every 49 years, on the Year of Jubilee. God directed that this be so.

If you have to declare bankruptcy here in America, it will remain on your record for ten years, but you will still be able to get some credit. Someone will offer you a credit card (probably with only a $400 limit) in less than a year. If you pay on time, your credit rating will gradually increase again. Maybe within a few months. But you will be able to order things through the internet, and even rent a car (which requires a credit card).

But if this is the course it looks like you will have to take, see a lawyer as fast as you can, and do not forewarn your creditors, or they might try to beat you to court and try to make things harder for you. You are protected as soon as money changes hands when you pay your attorney to engage his services. Also, your creditors will be legally required to stop phoning you with harassing phone calls--they will have to direct all communication to your attorney or law firm.

There is more than one kind of bankruptcy. They recently toughened up the laws, but I think the following is still basically true: The most drastic kind is where you have very little or no income and do not have any realistic ability to pay off your debts in the foreseeable future. Then you can be granted complete forgiveness of all your debts.

But another kind is one where a credit counsellor will guide you through a payment of only a portion of what you owe. This can be less than half of your original indebtedness, where essentially credit card issuers will remove all the usurious interest, overlimit and late fee charges they have added to your bill. (I mean, in some cases, the crooks have been charging you as much as 28.99% interest! Compounded monthly!) In some plans, you would pay a very reduced single monthly installment to your credit counsellor, who will then apportion your payment among your creditors.

Make sure you are dealing with someone reputable. If you have to go for total bankruptcy, many lawyers or legal firms will provide you with the service for as low as $200, or even less. Maybe some will even let you make payments to them for their fee. Check the Yellow Pages. Many give you a price up front. Bankruptcy is a booming market right now for attorneys in the present economy with so many people losing their jobs. Then they will delegate it all to their legal secretary to fill out for you the necessary papers and file them, and then the most junior member of the law firm who may be just an intern will accompany you to the hearing before a bankruptcy judge.

Some people at the bankruptcy hearing clearly feel like it is the end of the world, and are horrified and grief-stricken, shamed. Some are in tears. It should be a traumatic experience, to some extent, at least because this is something we should never want to happen to us. But it is best to think of it as simple forgiveness, and an opportunity to make a new beginning. Sober, and hopefully wiser.

Back in England a few hundred years ago, debtors who could not pay were put into debtors prison until they could pay, which meant indefinately. When the debtors prisons got too full, the authorities decided to empty them by sending all the convincts to Australia, to found the new colony called "Botany Bay."

We can be thankful we live in a more enlightened and more merciful society. Although Australia is a very prosperous nation, today. And many of the bankers there are descended from ancestors who came over in convict ships to Botany Bay.

[ July 02, 2009, 07:46 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Funean
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So far so good, though we're drowning in debt. That's not anyone's fault but our own though (*cough*HERS*cough* [Wink] ). She's at the top of her game and has just been given her own school to run (and she's going to turn it around--I'm so excited--plus hopefully she won't be having to go to student funerals anymore). So far I seem to be safe, because I'm cheap (due to being part time by choice--no benefits) and extremely useful. But if I get downsized, again, I'm very useful and don't need a full time gig. At worst I'd have to patch together several positions doing the same thing. We are fortunate in that the children's father doesn't really work (don't get me started, because then I'll get all hypcritical) and can fill in any blanks we can't avoid. We have been very lucky so far, and believe me, I'm grateful. Hope things get better for you, Daruma.
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Greg Davidson
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I feel hesitant in writing, because things are okay with us. Aerospace is stable, there is constant or even growing demand for proposals. My wife's concerned about the financial challenges her nonprofit faces, but she's still employed. We're financially very conservative, in that our only debt is the mortgage, I am driving a 15 year old car, we are living in a duplex that was affordable when I was first hired out here at half my current salary. The major impact of the economy is that we decided we to take our youngest son out of private high school in order to be sure we can afford to pay for college for our older two kids. That was both emotionally very hard for us, and at the same time I recognize that's not real problems (and to his enormous credit, my 15 year old son -- who loved his private school -- recognized the precarious nature of the economy and insisted that he didn't want to us to spend on his high school education if it would imperil his siblings' college education)

We are seeing unemployment rise in our community. We had a foreclosure sale across the street. Still, there is also a lot of wealth in this area. A vacant warehouse on the corner near where I work was just bought & refurbished by "3 Ball" which evidently produces reality tv shows. More storefronts are vacant than any time in the last 10 years (maybe 5%), but there are also new openings.

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Daruma28
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Ron..thanks for the stellar advice. It echoes all of the advice I received from my attorney brother. He's not a bankruptcy attorney, but he did a cursory examination into the law, and recommended a reputable firm here that he knows of.

I'm already in the process of filing - but I haven't notified my creditors that I have representation yet, I just deal with the phone calls because of what you said about them beating me to the punch and filing motions in court before I can file.

It does suck, and I do find it humiliating...but I see no other avenue of recourse.

Ah well, as I said, I don't want this thread to be a "Daruma pity party," I just wanna see how things are going on all around...

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Ron Lambert
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Daruma28, I guess not all lawyers are bad, are they? At least not all the time! [Smile] It is good you have a brother who can give you this advice, and recommend a reputable firm. You can find consolation in the fact that you have a lot of company, and most did not set out deliberately to have to go this route.

Unemployment in America is now almost 10%. One in ten have lost their jobs. Guess how many are unable to make credit card payments, etc.?

Like I said before, I believe that you are protected the very instant money changes hands to retain your attorney's services. But it is a good idea to get the filing done as soon as possible. Then you can be sure. The law firm's legal secretary will probably do the filing for you.

Remember the Jubilee in Ancient Israel. God approves of forgiveness. Even to debtors. And is that not part of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:12? "And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors."

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Colin JM0397
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The government's numbers have it at 10%, so the actual numbers are probably around 15%, maybe worse.

http://www.shadowstats.com/ has it at 20%.

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rightleft22
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Girl friend dumped me in December – everyone knows you hold out until after Christmas holidays.
Laid off in Apr and remain unemployed.
Good thing I don't have a dog!

Life can feel like a joke without a punch line and I have little desire/passion to do get back out ‘there.

There were signs that the communication industry I was working in was headed for a slow down so began to prepare a year and a half ago and got my finances in order as best I could.

Came across the following from the book ‘Odd Thomas’

“I’m happy”
“You’re at peace son there’s a big difference”
“Which is what?”
“If your still, and if you don’t hope too much, peace will come to you, it’s a grace but you have to choose happiness.

The dialog bugged me.

[ July 03, 2009, 08:59 AM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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scifibum
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Odd Thomas was the best Koontz I've ever read. I'm ambivalent about the sequels.

On topic: Greg, I think it's good to post and balance the picture somewhat. It's not all bad, though it's bad enough.

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0Megabyte
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Yeah, I was fired today, too. And they were steadily giving me more hours, so I was finally going to be doing alright, money-wise.

My boss's boss was looking to fire somebody, and they found some small excuse, which would never at any time be worth firing somebody for if they didn't just really WANT to fire somebody, and so I was fired.

My boss had a very hard time telling me. He really, REALLY didn't want to do it.

Such is life.

I'm gonna draw unemployment from those b****es, so they can suck it.

[ July 03, 2009, 07:50 PM: Message edited by: 0Megabyte ]

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hobsen
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Sorry to hear that, 0Megabyte. And it is really bad that they found a pretext for firing you, rather than just saying they had to cut back on employees to stay profitable - or at least to keep losses at some figure they could stand. That sort of behavor means they can never rehire those they let go, and former employees will be badmouthing the company forever. But it was good your immediate superior made clear that it was not your job performance which was at fault - and he should be the one to know. That would not matter for me because I have held thirty or so jobs, with all but two supervisors saying I was excellent, but for someone just starting out getting fired that way can hurt both his income and his confidence. Nobody deserves that except for cause.
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0Megabyte
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Indeed. And there was no cause. No rational cause, anyway.
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0Megabyte
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I mean, the company had been screwing me over for awhile, giving me grossly low numbers of hours a week, and now that business picked up and I was finally starting to make enough money to pay my bills, I was promptly, unceremoniously fired.

Imagine that, huh? They treat me like **** for six months, and when their excuse of bad business no longer works, and one single person calls in complaining about me, out of a large number of every day (and I guess I took out the trash improperly on a single day, something that has never happened before, I didn't realize, and has never, ever been a problem or a complaint in my years of working there) and so I'm fired. No warnings, no prior problems in regards to that or anything else, but just immediately fired because they wanted to fire somebody anyway. Lovely.

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Sauurman
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I'm sad to hear all of these depressing stories! [Frown]

Texas seems to be weathering the storm about as well as any place. Personally I'm not having problems in my job and even though it is a bank I don't foresee any problems.

However my dad was laid off and he's having a hard time finding another job and my brother is working crummy dead end jobs because he can't find anything better.

Hope things get better soon, its a shame all we have is 'hope' considering the government is making an even bigger mess of things.

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Ikemook
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I feel the same way as Greg, as I'm also doing decently. Not great, to be sure, but I'm not having the kind of problems you all are.

I have a stable salaried position at an expanding CRM company. I've managed to make myself very useful, so I'm probably the last person in my department that would be fired. I have only one semester's tuition left to pay for the online program I'm in, and I'm going to be withdrawing from my 401k (which I haven't put money into in almost a year due to the economy) to pay for part of it. My biggest expenses after that will be my car and my teeth. My car hit 200k earlier this year, and I've spent way, waaaaay more than the value of the car on it (I can't afford to buy a new one). I'm at the point where if the car craps out again in a serious manner, I'm just going to junk it and bike/catch rides to work.

As for my teeth, a back molar broke on my last birthday, and started a sort of "death spiral" of tooth issues that needed to be addressed (in the form of many cavities, one crown, and one root canal). My parents insisted on helping me out with this, so they footed part of the bill. I appreciated it, but still feel really bad about them having to help. I'm going to pay for future bills, though, mostly because they're hitting much harder times than I am.

My dad will be let go from the company he worked for for 23 years in August. My mother is a nurse who works on a grant in a public school, and had a 40% hour reduction to save the state money. They both are looking for other jobs, and both have had job offers from interested organizations. My dad is looking into corporate consulting, and my mother has a few leads (a teaching job, a job working for the state). They're very good with their money, and have excellent credit, so if they can get jobs they should be fine. I'm still really worried, though. Jobs aren't easy to come by, and its disconcerting that at this moment I'm the only one in my family with a stable, full-time position somewhere.

So, yeah, I'm not doing too bad. My family's not doing great, but nothing like what some of you guys are experiencing. My heart goes out to you, especially you, Daruma. Hope everything turns out okay.

--David

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Pyrtolin
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As a touch of an update here- just got a letter today saying that the state of PA has approved me for a HEMAP loan, so my mortgage will be officially in the clear and back on track as of August 1.

The loan will be an extra $25/month (I imagine that, over time that will go up a bit, but it's more than manageable)

I'd still like to see a modification out of the murder loan that I have, but at least I'm back on keel at for now.

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cperry
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Good news, Pyrtolin.
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Pyrtolin
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Putting more news on this one- the state took forever to actually do anything on the loan (and really, the idea of having to pay on separate debts with an extra lien wasn't all that appealing) but having an alternative way out finally seemed to be the prod the mortgage company needed to start talking about modification again (there's the power of competition, and especially the freedom to walk away from a bad deal at work for you) and, after months of babysitting them, calling repeatedly to ask "Any more documents" I finally got a reply of "Your modification is in the approval queue, you should be getting the documents in a couple of weeks."

They couldn't tell me what the new terms were going to, so I'm not celebrating just yet, but unless they're completely cracked, they should be at least passingly reasonable. (Most ironically amusing bit of mail that I got for them was a letter in the meantime saying "Your rate is up for adjustment. It's based on LIBOR so would now be ~5% if we hadn't previously decided that it couldn't drop below 9%, so we're not changing it")

Even if the rate doesn't change, things are looking good for getting the last ~$6k or other interest bearing smaller debts will have been taken care of in the next year or so, then our medical debts after in the year after that, leaving just the house and student loans to go.

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