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How Could This Happen To Me? (Part I) – Miracle Mondays

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Hi Friends –

Meet “Jessica”.  Her story is similar to many of ours “surviving” today in this tough economy – losing jobs, falling behind with bills, gaining insurmountable debt and almost losing our homes.  Although our stories are different, I, myself, have experienced losing jobs, accumulating bad debt and falling behind with bills.  Maybe you have, too.  Jessica’s story is an inspiration to those of us with similar dilemmas, and an eye opener that may possibly save a few others from going through this experience. Jessica’s story is a real testimony of how “faith” has kept her afloat.

Here’s hoping that you can join us for Part I of Jessica’s story, “How Could This Happen to Me?”  We will post Part II of Jessica’s story the following week on Monday, March 9, 2015. 

 

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PART I:

 My story is one of falling behind financially. It’s not fun, but I can truly say, through it all, we have learned from our experience.

 I have always been one to use credit cards, ever since I got my first card when I was maybe 20 years old.  When I got married, I did not have a lot of debt; just a few credit cards with low balances and maybe a car payment.   We bought things that most middle class families buy. 

 Fast forward years later; we didn’t think a time would come when we could not afford to make the payments, as we were always responsible about paying our bills.  With the credit cards, we never had quite enough to pay off the balances, so we would make a little more than the minimum payment each month.   That is what got us into trouble.   We were living off of credit instead of living off the money we made.  We were always paying interest to someone, which I now know was our biggest mistake.  We were using plastic instead of using our brains.  Instead of saving up for something we wanted, we bought it on credit.  We were giving the credit card companies our hard earned money.  You are not getting it on sale or getting a good deal if you end up paying interest on it.  I wish I would have thought that way many years ago.

 We both had good jobs, but we were not saving.  We were not thinking realistically.  We did not think of what would happen if one of us were to lose our job, but that is what happened.  My husband was working for a small company where he was a manager, and they decided to cut back on the staff due to the economy.  He was let go.  He was devastated and took it very personally.  I tried to make him feel better by saying everything would be okay; he would find another job.  I told him it could happen to anyone.   It had nothing to do with him personally.  The company just could not afford to pay all their employees and had to reduce their staff.

 Fortunately, within a short time, he found another job and everything was back to normal, at least for a few years.  Then it happened again.  Unfortunately, because of the type of business he is in, he has been let go more than once in the last 15 years.  The last time he lost his job, it took him over a year to find work.  That was really a tough time in our lives, and I was getting very frustrated. I was working full time, working overtime, and I even got a second job for a while to make ends meet. It was killing me.   

For a while, I was working 7 days a week, so I was rarely home. When I was home, I was tired and concerned about the future.  Looking back, I just did what I thought was best at the time. I prayed, I cried, and I tried to get emotional support from friends and family. We never borrowed any money from anyone because I just felt like if we couldn’t make enough money to live on, then we needed to change the way we were living. I would have moved if it came to that, not that I wanted to, but I would have done whatever needed to be done.  I was feeling depressed at times and didn’t know where to turn.  I didn’t feel like anyone could understand what I was going through, not even my husband.   

At one point, we were behind on our mortgage two months, and I called the mortgage company thinking we could get on some kind of payment plan. They said we would have to pay the full balance that was past due. It sounded crazy to me at the time because I thought they would want to help us to get caught up and back on track with some type of payment recovery plan. They told us if we didn’t send the entire amount due for the two months plus late fees, they could foreclose on our home.  I realized they were serious when I gathered enough to send them half of what we owed … and they sent the check back.     

 

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 At that point, we just stopped paying them and paid more on our other bills. I thought, well, if we are going to lose our home, I’m going to make sure our other bills are all paid and we are not past due on them.  Then one night, someone came to the door.  We were served with papers to appear in court.  We were told we would have to appear in court, or we could lose our home.   He said if we didn’t respond in writing and go to court, we could come home one night and there would be a sign on our door telling us we needed to move out. What a terrible reality! So we decided we would stay in our house as long as we could and save up the money to move to a new place.  I started to contact lawyers to see  if they could help us with this dilemma.  We had always paid our mortgage payments on time up until then, and the mortgage companies always said if you are having problems making payment to just call them and let them know.  Unfortunately, that did not work for us. 

I can tell you Jessica’s story it isn’t necessarily a “Cinderella story” with a fairy tale ending, but it does have a positive outcome.

 

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Please join us for Part II next Monday, March 9, 2015 of “How Could This Happen To Me? – Miracle Mondays”…. Until then.

30 Comments

  • Terri says:

    I consider you a hero, for even being brave enough to share your financial struggle.. i cannot wait to read the next part

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Terri – but it’s not me – it is a dear friend, tho.  And I appreciate it – Please check back in next Monday for Part II – thanks!!!!!

       

  • Devonne says:

    So brave of you to share your story.  I have been there too   All too recently. Thank you for your honesty

    • Clare says:

      Devonne – although my husband and I have been there – more than once – this is a friend’s story – but so many of us can relate, can’t we????!!!! Please check back in next Monday for Part II – appreciate your taking the time to comment!!!!!

  • I definitely want to know what happens! My heart goes out to them for having gone through that.

  • Pam says:

    One day at a time! I know so many people that are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s hard to save money these days with things being so expensive; groceries, electricity, phone bill, etc. etc.  People can relate to this story because so many have been through the loss of a job or just not getting raises at their job to keep up with the cost of living. I believe companies should give cost of living raises. Just my thoughts.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Pam…. yes Jessica experienced “one day at a time”, I have and most people have…. so so true!  I appreciate your candor and about the raises – I know most folks these days are just trying to “hold onto their job” – particularly when they are in middle age or older!!!! I love your comments – check back in please next Monday for the conclusion!

  • This is going to help so many people just by reading your honest account. Thank you for being so transparent! So many have gone through this. You are giving them a voice.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Bonnie – so glad you like Jessica’s “candor” – many many folks (definitely including myself) have gone through this.  Stay tuned for Part II on Monday!  Blessings and thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • This absolutely breaks my heart and also drives home the point of preparing for the unexpected. Need to bolster my savings!

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Kimberly – It’s an encouraging story, though, and stay turned for Part II next Monday.  Jessica’s hope was and is in the Lord!

  • Chris Carter says:

    oh, such a tough place to be in!!  SO many people end up in this place financially, because of their unrealistic spending.  I’m so glad you are sharing your story, in hopes others may learn to be much more realistic and intentional with their income before the credit cards pile up.

     

    I am looking forward to hearing how this worked out.  What a difficult situation to endure!

    • Clare says:

      Yes was difficult for Jessica… and I have been through similiar crises too – most of which is often uncontrolled in our lives , i.e. losing a job, getting downsized, etc.  Stay tuned for next Monday’s Part II – thanks for stopping by!

  • Starla J says:

    Oh so hard. Life can be so hard. Thank you for sharing.

    • Clare says:

      Thank you for sharing, Starla.  Yes, boy oh boy – life can be hard!  Thanks for stopping by!  I appreciate it!

  • Amy says:

    She’s lucky to have a friend like you supporting her.  Things can pile up so easy. Sometimes it just takes one little incident to snowball into something completely out of our control.

    • Clare says:

      Things can snowball – that’s for sure!  Thanks for the thoughts and check back in next Monday for Part II – blessings!  🙂  🙂

       

  • Tesha Fritz says:

    I don’t think people realize the hole that “credit”creates.  My pastor says that until we learn to be content our yearning will always outlast our earnings.  Looking forward to part 2.

    • Clare Speer says:

      Thanks Tesha!  And Jessica’s husband also was downsized and laid off multiple times too which added to the debt pile up! Check back next Monday for Part II -Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jann says:

    This story hits home and so many levels but it can feel like such an overwhelming wait to be in the financial pressure.   My daughter works for a company called pay off.com that specializes in helping people pay off credit card debt. It’s been amazing to watch people dig out of this kind of struggle I’m excited to read more.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Jann for your comments and sharing that information – check back in Monday for Part II – appreciate you stopping by!  🙂  🙂

       

  • Megan Adams says:

    I’m really interested in how it all unfolds. I have struggled with getting out of debt. Thankfully God has provided ways for us to pay of most of it over the past few years. It can be such a burden on your health, marriage, family… Good topic.

    • Clare says:

      Yes yes – what a struggle for many of us – good news – Part II is on Monday – thanks for following!  Tune in Monday!  I appreciate it!

  • Shannon P says:

    This is such a sad and touching story – it’s scary how fast it can all add up and fall apart on you!

    • Clare says:

      Happier conclusion though Shannon – tune in Monday for Part II and thanks for your comments! Live can be tough – but Jessica stayed in faith!

  • Sarah Ann says:

    Wow!  What a story!  I think it’s easier to get behind than one thinks, and most people think it won’t happen to them.  I so look forward to reading the conclusion!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I agree Sarah and appreciate your thoughts!  My husband and I have both been downsized (we are middle age) and lost jobs unfortunately more than once so I can certainly relate to “Jessica’s” story….. stay tuned for Part II on Monday!  Thanks for stopping in!  🙂  🙂

       

  • Carol says:

    Wow.  I am really interested in how this turns out.  Great story.  We can all relate on some level.

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