Here’s an update for everyone with a decent bit of good and bad news.
(When did Xbox Live become a dating platform? I don’t remember players being this thirsty in the past. lol)
ImmoralMinority referred me to a colleague/friend who gave me some seriously good advice. Meanwhile, I also heard some good news from the lawyer my mum has. Apparently it hasn’t been eight years since my mum’s last bankruptcy, so she cannot file again. Thankfully since we both are on the mortgage, we both would have to file bankruptcy. So bankruptcy is out of the equation.
In further good news, both IM’s colleague and my mum’s lawyer practically said the same exact thing: The bank may come after us after the foreclosure. However, I may be safe if that were to happen. Since my mum has major assets, they’ll come after her first. They’ll take her RV and liquidate her business long before they come after me. The house itself also has a decent amount of equity. My assets are also technically worthless, so the focus would almost certainly be entirely on her.
So the gameplan for now is to stall the proceedings for as long as possible to sell the house.
Meanwhile, the fallout between my mum and my brother has reached what I’d say is “15 seconds from midnight”, so even if I magically avoid the foreclosure problem, I may not be out of the frying pan. There’s going to be a lawsuit of some sort over the house between mum and my brother and I think I’m going to get dragged into it since I’m also legally his landlord.
He doesn’t like paying his rent (and spent 4 or 5 months not paying it), she likes writing up new leases and handing out 5 day notices like candy. He never pays his rent on time, there are rats and mold in the house and there’s a dispute over who has to fix it. Oh and I guess his non-payments were under a previous lease that is no longer binding so my mum may not even have that to stand on...idk. It’s...it’s a crapshow so bad I can’t even begin to write what’s happening. I can’t keep up with her decisions as a landlord and something tells me she’s broken a few laws. The mortgage company wanted proof that the house is rented with income at least equal to the mortgage payment...my mum sent them a fake lease since the real lease has payments far lower than the mortgage payment. So...I have no idea what’s going to happen and that’s only adding more weight to my shoulders.
This is on top of my current problems with still not having my hormones. Other pharmacies and my insurance’s home delivery program won’t fill without calling my doctor and surprise, my doctor is physically incapable of returning calls. Like, I can schedule an appointment for a month from now, but I can’t get refills?? Walgreen’s will fill but they won’t correctly run my insurance and my insurance says it’s not their fault the pharmacists out here are incompetent. I’m reaching a point where being off hormones is seriously impacting my mental and physical state. Combined with processing the breakup and this whole family situation, I’m really scared. To clarify, I’m not depressed but I’m indescribably overwhelmed and I’m not sure how clear my thoughts are. The few times I seem to have a clear mind right now are when I’m playing GTA V, working on a project, or riding a motorcycle. These activities require enough attention to block out any unnecessary thoughts. The stress is definitely impacting my sleep and sleep has always been the one thing I was solidly good at. Having dysphoria creep up on me (along with masculine features I haven’t had for nearly five years) is just icing on this cake.
I’m going to try to rectify my hormone situation once again today. If I fail, I already set up both an appointment with my current clinic and with a new one a couple weeks ago. There is about a month wait in the beginning months of the year. I take this may be because trans people may be using tax refunds and/or making good on New Years resolutions to finally start transitioning..so the few clinics that can provide informed consent get inundated. Those dates to see the docs are coming soon so this will come to an end soon. Just...seriously??
I’m not going to lie. I really want to pack up everything and get as many physical miles as I can away from my family and this stupid state...like California, Texas, Florida, or New York far away.
In a departure from my normal crazy “Unnecessary Motorcycle Shopping” posts, I’m bringing myself back down to Earth to vent. Warning: Heavy reading ahead.
Last night I was faced with a reality I hoped would never happen: Bankruptcy.
My 18th birthday was one of my worst. While some teens saw it as freedom, I saw it as the day that would start off a life of financial ruin. It happened 6 years earlier with my brother, so I had no expectations that it would not happen to me.
It did happen to me. Before my body could finish processing the Mike’s Harder Lemonade my parents’ eyes were watering at my zero credit. Using the emotionally manipulative tactics they had used with us since we were children, my parents convinced me to let them use my credit for cell phones, tv, internet, and landline phones from AT&T. “It would build your credit”, they said. “Every kid helps out their family during a struggle”, they said. “Are you really so selfish that you will make us go without phones or Internet?” “Selfishness is so unbecoming of a man, women don’t like selfish men”...and on and on.
I knew where this was going to go. My parents are so irresponsible with money that despite their $1+M (yes, M as in million) windfall in the year 2000 or so, they still foreclosed the house we were living in by 2004 and my parents declared bankruptcy soon after. They decided to burn that million-plus on renovations by shoddy contractors (one of which set himself on fire by leaving a torch on his dashboard), a used camper, a used conversion van, and a pool. Mind you, those renovations were so shoddy that the garage we had built had a visible lean to it.
Starting in 2004, my family would move every six months to a year, always running from debts and irresponsible spending. It was always the same. We would move into a home we couldn’t afford (and they were ALWAYS brand new upper class homes), my parents would lease expensive furniture and electronics, then almost immediately not be able to make the payments on...well...anything. They’d then declare bankruptcy, we’d move out, move into another new home, then start the process over again. In the span of 2000 to 2013, we moved about eleven or twelve times, each with plenty of bankruptcies and burned bridges along the way. I never felt secure and eventually I just never unpacked any of my boxes when moving into new places. Why bother, when less than a year after moving in I’d have to pack it all up again, anyway?
Christmas also became the worst time of year around about 2006-2007. My parents would delight us with lavish gifts...only to take most of them from us and pawn them a month later. In fact, anything of value in the house was pawned and not returned. I lost entire libraries of photos from the Chicago Auto Show and many events that’ll never happen again. Gone.
As soon as my brother turned 18 they moved almost everything using credit into his name, then started the normal process over. They only got a few years of out of him before he split, taking an almost irreparably damaged credit with him. Unfortunately, it took my far longer to reach this point where the tactics no longer worked...far far longer.
It took maybe about a year for my parents to stop paying that AT&T bill they put in my name. With only a job at McDonald’s, there was no chance in me being able to pay the bill. Last I checked, it ballooned to something like $6k after various fees and charges to debt collectors. After seven years, it rolled off my credit and AT&T now allows me to do business with them again.
But it never. Stopped. There.
While still dealing with the intial fallout of them not paying AT&T, they decided to try another credit hat trick. Our family pet became ill and instead taking the pet to a vet, she decided to take them to the ER. Now, if you’ve never taken a pet to an Emergency Room, let me warn you ahead of time, it’s not much cheaper than taking a human to an ER without insurance. Faced with a $1k bill for our bird, my parents turned to me. I worked at McDonald’s, I couldn’t afford that bill or payments on it. But look here, there’s a credit card I can apply for that’ll pay the bill... “Our bird is sick, you NEED to sign up for this credit card. Are you really so selfish to let a poor animal die? Remember, we got this bird for YOU, so it’s basically your bill anyway.”
And I signed my name for a credit card I couldn’t afford under the promise that my parents would pay it. Would you be surprised if I said they didn’t? The card issuer took us to court a couple years later and for once in my life I got them to pay for something. But they would hold it over my head indefinitely... Mind you, our bird wasn’t deathly ill. He had what was basically a cold and was cured with some medicine. He didn’t need an ER visit.
And yet, somehow using my credit for services that wouldn’t be paid for (there’s more, electrical companies, Verizon, probably others I can’t remember) wasn’t the worst. No, that’s still to come.
Enter payday loans.
With my parents’ chronic inability to pay bills they wrote a lot of bad checks that would never cash. These were checks for cars, utilities, Christmas presents, you name it. At some point and thanks to services like TeleCheck, no business accepted their checks. They even had trouble keeping bank accounts.
So when it came to having no money for rent, guess who had to save the day? These rent ones were possibly the most damaging to me. I was able to put up a fight when they wanted phones and TV, but the threat of homelessness always hit me hard. So when they said “you HAVE to get a payday loan for us or we’ll be homeless”, I didn’t put up much of a fight. Again, promises were made that I knew wouldn’t be kept. Interestingly enough, my banks did cash my payday loan checks so I didn’t get blacklisted...but that did mean I now owed a bank $1+k. These banks were never paid off and instead I just abandoned the account and opened up new ones at other banks. This process with payday loans rinsed and repeated until there wasn’t a single bank that would give me a bank account because I already owed them upwards of $2k or more paying my parents’ rent. At some point, even the payday loan stores were onto me and they wouldn’t take a check from me, instead requiring a bank draft. Of course, my parents wouldn’t pay and I’d have to abandon that account. So now not only do I owe a number of banks money, but now I owe a payday loan store money, yay! For a while I rolled around with a prepaid card because I had no other choice. No bank would even give me the time of day.
When I got a better job, the payday loans stopped, but the leeching and the emotional abuse hadn’t. Using my credit only stopped because by now my credit was just as bad as theirs. I still paid their rent, I still paid their bills. Whatever obligations I had didn’t matter, my parents’ needs came first. I didn’t have the courage to say no. I hated myself so much back then that I just couldn’t take the gaslighting, shame, finger pointing, and disappointment that came from saying no to my parents. As it is, I just wanted to die, so finances were not extremely high on my priorities. It’s something I wish I could have done better..
Finally, it all came to a head in late 2015 when I saw myself staring down a gallon of antifreeze. I was done. I just couldn’t stand life. Transition was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and yet my life still spiraled out of control. I was even more of a slave to my family and even the best calculations showed that I would NEVER, EVER be able to move out. I fought tooth and nail to tell them that they need to figure out their financial issues...but I would always revert back to what bludgeoned into me back in childhood and gave them whatever they wanted. Emotional manipulation and abuse is real.
With the help of Cajun Ginger from Kinja, I made my escape. I was still suicidal, but at least I was in a place where I could begin to heal. I got a therapist and over a year unraveled my childhood and began detaching myself from the destructive teachings of my parents. It would take until 2018 before I would truly undo the damage and be able to tell my parents no and stand my ground in doing so.
Unfortunately, my parents were able to get in two more punches before this would happen, and these two were massive heavy hitters.
A new kind of loan.
Our family has owned this 2003 GMC Envoy XL (ignore the timestamp, pic was taken in 2008) since 2008. This poor SUV has seen a rough life with us. Engine grenaded in 2009, suspension failed not long after, failing electronics, catastrophic rust, and crash after crash after crash. This SUV deserved better. I treated it the best. Some of my best times as a teenager were driving it to my secret beach, a safe haven where all the worries of the world washed away. I love that hunk of GM badge engineering.
In 2015, my parents needed a title loan to pay the rent, but neither of them had acceptable income for such a thing. But I did. The way the title loan was set up was that I’d become a temporary secondary owner of the vehicle. If my parents defaulted on the loan or paid it off, I’d be removed from the title. So I was told by TitleMax, this meant there was zero risk for me. Well, colour me surprised to say that they actually paid off the title loan...possibly in part because defaulting meant they wouldn’t have a vehicle at all.
Oh, but there was a plot twist. When we got the title back from TitleMax I was the only person on the title, making me the sole owner of the GMC. I actually kind of thought that to be cool, and began hatching a plan of how I’d get the SUV in my custody. If only I had done that...
In 2016 my parents got yet another windfall. And with it they were going to buy a house they could fix up and live in for the rest of their lives. Somehow that didn’t happen and what they actually got was a house they didn’t want to live in and in an area they didn’t like. The new plan was to turn it into an investment property. Some more irresponsible spending later and by 2017 they were out of money and the house wasn’t finished being remodeled. On top of this, they were once again unable to make their rent. I would make two decisions I will regret every day since.
The first was another title loan. By this time I had completely forgot that I was the only owner of the Envoy. Despite this, the title loan process wasn’t any different than last time, so I didn’t realize that I was actually financially responsible for the loan until I had gotten home. I had nothing I could do but hope that they’d pay it off. My dad would Uber in the Envoy to pay off the title loan, but not only did he not bring home any money, but he ran a ton of red lights. And guess who the red light camera bill goes to? So not only would the title loan on the Envoy default (something I didn’t learn until a few weeks ago) but there are a fat stack of tickets from both red light cameras and toll violations. The only reason the Envoy hasn’t been repossessed is because it’s being stored at the rental property.
Speaking of which, the second thing. When they ran out of money for their “investment” property, they came to me. I had paid down enough of the catastrophe they put me in to have good credit. I had a bank account again and life was largely normal. They knew they couldn’t use the threat of homelessness against me, so instead they leveraged my desire to have a dream home. I’m still not sure exactly what they said to get me to do it, but I hate myself for it. I hate myself for not telling them to pound sand. I signed my name onto a mortgage fully knowing there was a chance it would default one day.
It took two years, but it most certainly did default. My parents moved my brother’s family into the house and from the start it was a losing proposition. My dad would charge them rent that was far lower than the mortgage (and for a couple that couldn’t even pay their rent, that was insanely illogical) and as tensions rose between mum and my brother, eventually they would also stop receiving said rent. Over time, they became $5k behind, then $10k, $12k, and now we’ve entered foreclosure proceedings with a whopping $50k behind on payments.
While the house was only $5k behind they told me to pitch in a grand or more to help make payments. Hold up...WHAT?!? Let me get this straight. My brother won’t pay his rent because of potential foreclosure and a sour relationship with my mum. My parents can’t pay the mortgage because they couldn’t afford it in the first place, so I have to save the day yet again?
On top of this heavy news, my dad decided to skip town again. He’s done this maybe 10 or so times growing up. My dad was so not there throughout my life that I really don’t know him. I know so little about him that when he got his cancer diagnosis I didn’t even shed a tear. I recall being more interested in his life insurance payout. This was another thing I hated myself for. But I digress..
My mum threatened to move into my tiny apartment because she couldn’t afford her rent. I either had to help pay her rent (on top of my rent) or let her move in.
Nope...I snapped. I’m so done with this. I told her I’m done giving her money, done helping her, done screwing up my life to feed her unsustainable lifestyle. If she ends up homeless, it’s her fault. For once in her life she’s going to have to learn how to swim without using her kids and other people as life rafts. I often joke that my brother’s eccentric behaviour makes him a liberal Kanye, but for once I see his side of things. Foot. DOWN.
Admittedly, I’m quite proud of her. She moved in some people into her empty rooms to help her pay the rent, and golly, it’s working. Though...one of her tenants is the child porn loving, valuable thieving, women beating man from a previous update installment. I won’t bring my purse anywhere near that house, but whatever keeps her afloat, I guess.
Unfortunately, this came far too late and now I may face the ultimate price. Our lawyer will delay foreclosure as long as he can, but it’s inevitable unless we can get someone to buy this property (that’s in far worse condition now) for at least $160k. Oh, and the price to pay off the mortgage goes up $100 a day on top of court fees, because of course it does.
Before this year ends it’s likely I’ll have both a foreclosure and a repo on my credit in addition to all the other crazy nonsense. All because I had a good heart and wanted to make my parents proud.
What hit me especially hard last night is when my mum said I should declare bankruptcy. She said it so casually and pretty much demanded I do it. Do they really not have any remorse for driving me to suicide on multiple occasions? Do they not care they’re ruining my life? Bankruptcy...really? And the sad thing is that I almost don’t see any logical way out of this. Tallying everything up, I’m $100+K deep in their debt, not including the things I’ve paid off over the years and not including my own obligations like a car, rent, and so on. I feel like I’m moving deck chairs on the Titanic and lately it’s been majorly impacting my sleep.
People have been telling me to sue them. And sure, while I’m DONE helping them with anything (they recently told me to sell a bike of mine to pay a bill of theirs...haha, yeah, no), I’m not sure if I can do that. Heck, I feel bad if I say something wrong in a Kinja comment, suing them would tear me apart no matter how much it may be the correct thing to do.
So that’s definitely a kind of update. So much is great in my life. 2018 was legitimately the best year of my life...but this stuff is always going on in the background even if I pretend it isn’t.