DANCING WITH DEBT

We wake up one day and realize, somehow, we’re swimming in debt. Sometimes it’s our own doing and sometimes it’s just circumstances.

Our own doing is the thing my dad warned be about, when I was entering the world of money making (supporting myself). “Spend a dollar more than you earn and you will always be poor, no matter how much you earn”. He also said, “Spend a dollar less than you earn and you’ll always be rich”. These are lessons that somehow, many of us have to learn the hard way.

Circumstances beyond our control are things that all our lives are filled with. Life has its own way of throwing curve balls at us, when least expected.

Whether it’s our own doing or circumstances, either way, the bottom line is that we have to deal with the problem of ‘Debt’ when it comes our way. The kind of debt I am talking about is, ‘Debt Collector’, debt. Too well, many of us experience, at some time in our lives, those situations.

Debt collectors – First their annoying letters come, telling you to contact them immediately. Now of course you don’t contact them, because you know they’re just going to pound you mentally and emotionally. To begin with, if you had the money to pay the debt, you would have done so, long before it got to a collection company. A few letters later, assuming you haven’t contacted them, their threatening letters come. Most people, as soon as they see from whom the letter has come, have their hearts start pounding. I can understand why the physical reaction. It isn’t the most fun thing to be receiving. What you need to understand though is that it’s just a piece of paper (a boiler plate letter – meaning a standard form letter with just a change of the names, etc.). When I say “it’s just a piece of paper”, I really mean just that. It’s a piece of paper with words on it. It’s not a poison pen letter or an explosive that goes off when you touch it, or contains sharp pieces of glass to cut you to pieces – NO! The physical letter itself can do nothing to you. It strictly carries an intention. That intention is to press as many emotional buttons in you as possible. To make you physically shake, give you heart palpitations, non-stop nervousness, sleepless nights, on edge all the time until you cry ‘Uncle’ and will do anything to stop these pieces of paper from coming to you.

Now, let us say, you get past these letters and you do not contact them, as they are instructing you to do. Then, the telephone calls come. At first you don’t recognize the phone number (assuming you have caller ID) and you answer the phone. OH NO! IT’S THEM, and before you know it, they are slamming you with questions and statements of what can happen to you if you do not pay them. – Why aren’t you paying? Are you working and if so where? Can you borrow money from relatives or friends? Your credit will be hurt if you do not pay. You know that you do have a legal obligation to pay this. It’s not only a legal obligation, it’s also a moral obligation. We can garnishee your salary, put liens on anything you own, have judgments against you and on and on with the threats and intimidation.

Next week, we are definitely going to continue discussing this matter that is so pressing to so many people.

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