23 April, 2009

[insert favorite curse word here]

So here's a brief run-down of everything wrong in my world right this second:

  • Scott is on the way to the vet with ZoePig. She hasn't eaten in two days, didn't drink at all last night, and isn't quite mobile. I don't think she's coming home.
  • I got a collection call at work last night from some company saying I owe them $8,000.
  • I found out this morning that I have a balance of $2,520 with PSU Housing & Food Services for my Spring '00 room & board.
  • Maybe my car - I have an appointment at the dealership today.


So...Zoe. Yeah, that sucks. We've been horrible caretakers to her and while I'm sad that she's sick, I'm sadder that she had a crappier life than she deserved.

The money? I nearly threw up at work last night. I sobbed at my desk for at least an hour. Aside from the stafford loans that I completed paying off a few weeks ago (enter a feeble "yay me" here for that), I've been paying down an account of $4,900 since January when a collection company said they were collecting on a PSU account. And now I find out that there was another $4,900 account that somehow ended up in the hands of Debt Collectors from Hell (DCH).

It turns out that the original amount I owed was a bursar account, for tuition. The one I'm just finding out about is a defaulted Perkins loan. Apparently the government guarantees Perkins loans, and when I didn't pay back the school, the Dept. of Education bought back my loan. The DoE, of course, has the right to garnish my pay, take my tax refund, etc. The worst part? They've probably already dropped a collection record into my credit report. That's the worst part because you can't qualify for a FHA loan unless you have no new entries in your credit report within 12 months. That unfortunate situation last April was just about to drop off Scott's report, and now my 7-years-clear report has THIS.

DCH is also being really douchey. They are refusing to put me on a payment plan. They're willing to take about $2,000 off the fees and interest if I can give them $6,095 by next week. They may as well ask me to shit a golden egg. When I called the DoE, they said that I have the right to be put on a payment plan, and told me to call another company that acts as a mediator between me and the DCH. I did try to get a loan through the credit union (of which I have been a member for nearly 12 years with no incident at all). The automated system couldn't pre-qualify me, so I anticipate a rejection letter some time in the next 2 weeks. I guess I owe it to myself to call and beg to a human being.

I called PSU this morning to find out why they employ different companies to do their bidding, and whether I could expect another company to contact me in a few months time with yet another thing I owe money for. That's when I found out about the money I owe to Housing. The only silver lining to that cloud is that now I know about it. I asked the 19-year-old work study girl to send me a bill and she replied, "I can send a copy of the bill you've already been sent." "Fine, thank you, that would be lovely."

And before anyone out there feels compelled to leave me any comments that are remotely snarky, I would just like to say I KNOW. YES this is my fault for defaulting. YES this is my fault for not informing everyone I ever owed money to that I moved/married/changed phone numbers. NO I'm not asking anyone else to take responsibility for any of this. NO I'm not asking for a hand-out. (and possibly to my detriment, NONE of the money in our house fund will go towards this debt. if we have to wait another year, we'll deal with it, and we'll have more money for a down payment...which we'll need because the market isn't going to offer $100k houses forever.)

The timing just sucks. I sure could use a freaking break. Hopefully when I take my car to the dealership today, whatever they do won't cost more than a couple hundred bucks.

UPDATE (11:15): Zoe isn't coming home. sigh...


Minima said...

Yikes, that is a Very Bad Day. I'm sorry about ZoePig & the rest of the stress. I wish I could do something more than offer sympathy.


mamajoy said...

I'm sorry about ZoePig.

Start DVR-ing Dave Ramsey. There's a law called The Fair Debt Collection Act which prohibits collectors from contacting you at work. It's a call-in show, and a couple of times a week people call in with the harassment you're dealing with right now.

And don't beat yourself up! OK you're responsible. That gives collectors the right to payment, IT DOES NOT GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO MOVE INTO YOUR LIFE! THAT IS AN ILLEGAL PRACTICE THAT THEY COMMIT EVERY DAY. YOU CAN REPORT THEM AND SUE THEM ... AND WIN! They back off really fast when they find out they're dealing with someone who knows the law.

You can repay your debts without their illegal tactics. And if something shows up on your credit report, you have the right to add your comment to it ... and simply saying you didn't realize this debt existed, and you're now paying it down regularly will make a world of difference ... maybe not to FHA (I don't know about them) but it certainly can't hurt!

It may look bad today, but your integrity will win out in the end. But make them stop calling you!