Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This summer started out with much stress. I self filed for bankruptcy. If you are considering filing your first step might be to check the bankruptcy courts web sites. They list the forms you need for a chapter 7 filing. well, I copied the forms from the web and then read the guidance information. Number one piece of information that hit me was, regarding exemptions it is adisable to consult an attorney. Now the reason a person self files is to avoid paying for an attorney. Attorneys cost often at least $2,000 and in addition there is the cost of filing which is about $300. For some strange reason about this time I started experiencing stress, a tight neck, aches and pains in my neck. Just to liven things up, I filed in Arizona using Washington State exemptions. I discovered several things. It is almost impossible to phone the bankruptcy court and speak to a live person. If you have any questions, if you in some way managed to talk with someone, you would be informed, sorry, I cannot answer legal questions. During the process, I went to Washington State where I am spending the summer. I visited the bankruptcy court in downtown seattle and talked with the bankruptcy clerk, and used the bankruptcy court library; everyone was friendly. Although they would not answer legal questions they let me look up the filings of other filers. Note: in a bankruptcy filing nearly all questions are legal questions. I also had some of the other filers filled in forms printed out. At that time, I thought, ah ha, now I know how to do this thing. I followed the same approach and then sent in my completed forms. After the passage of time I received word from the bankruptcy trustee saying I had not included enough information about my exemptions. Also, some information I had sent to the trustee by way of a friend never reached the trustee and had to be resent. Now, this was all done while I was on the move. I used the computer of my close seattle friend. It had a defective keyboard. whenever by mistake I hit the shift key on the right side everything I had written on the fill in form was deleted. After it got deleted I turned into a raving maniac, sitting at the computer pounding my head on the keyboard. eventually I lugged my files to the local library and used their computer. I was limited to one and one half hours. It had a beautiful shift key. finally I got the forms filled in and sent to the bankruptcy court and the bankruptcy trustee. When some of the forms were sent by mistake (due to my ignorance), to the wrong place, such as the trustee instead of the court, they had to be resent. And I was on the move. I learned, this summer, how to vigorously hate a variety of PCs, and printers. the printers were all running out of ink. the computers were all crashing. I learned to hate Vista. XP was better. None of my friends had Macs which I love. my files were continually getting mixed up. one major thing I learned. Arizona had different requirements regarding forms than Washington. Arizona has huge differences in what is allowed as an exemption. You can exempt lots of books in washington, and very few books in arizona. Arizona will let you deduct $5000 for your car. the folks in arizona have different ethical standards. Towards the end of the process I went to a seattle bookstore, Elliot Bay, and bought a magnificent book on the process of filing for bankruptcy. I should have had that book from the beginning. I also learned not all of my friends supportted my filing for bankruptcy. One friend is very critical of me. He claims that I am the reason the costs of government are so high. He and I have stopped e-mailing each other over this and other issues. Now, I assume everything has been sent to the courts and to the trustee. Now it is up to me to wait until the court determines what will happen to me and my possessions. Regarding yourself, look about your house, or your apartment, and think how you would like listing all your things. And then imagine going through the process of waiting, not knowing if the court will say, we want the following, which we will have trucked off to someplace for sale. Meanwhile, I am now staying with a close friend and two goats, two dogs, and four chickens. My neck again feels good. I am relaxing. Relaxing and waiting. In another month I shall return to Arizona where there is a distinct possability that the other members of my artist's colony will form a circle with me in the center, for the ritual stoning or hissing. All is not dark however. Everyday in the mail I receive offers of low interest loans for an automobile offered by seattle car dealers. After taking two counseling workshops, I will be more adept in the future with my finances. No longer will I buy BMWs, trips to Italy, cruises in the Caribbean, or expensive chocolates. I will continue to delay needed dental work due to a lack of money and the purchase of a hearing aid. At a Unitarian Church service this past sunday during a joys and concerns session I stood up and said, my joy was declaring bankruptcy. My glass is more than half full. Life is good. I am content. Soon the plums and cherries will be ripe. The rivers have much lovely swirling green water. I saw a bald eagle on sunday. It is a good summer.