I have good credit because I worked on it. I raised my score over two hundred points in four years by hammering away at it. I should add, I didn’t pay anyone to do it for me – I did it for free, all by myself, and it worked. But the reason I had a terrible score in the first place was partially due to the collections accounts placed there when my ex-boyfriend, Big Scary Mike, failed to pay the bills in the apartment we shared in 2002. I cleaned those up, piece by piece, by disputing the debts constantly with the credit agencies. Now, in 2010, all but one of those black marks has dropped off, either due to unanswered dispute (as the debts were re-sold to other collections agencies and lost in the system) or due to the time elapsed (seven year max, and if they try to resurrect it and start over by re-reporting the debt, you can push to kill zombie debt, too). I may yet write a one-page site on how to clear up credit, so people stop paying credit clearing agencies – predatory sharks that they are.
But now that I’ve done all this work, the last thing I want is for Mike’s parking tickets to show up on my account. Because I was registered on the car (despite him telling me in 2004 he’d had my name removed), all his tickets from 2004 to 2007, plus collections fees and interest and fines, are my responsibility. There is no way I”m paying $1400 of my savings (that’s a month of daycare!) to pay it…unless it goes on my credit report. Mike knows this. Which is why he’s being such a dick and refusing to address the situation. Hence, it’s now my battle to fight.
I’m fighting it with Alliance One first. I’m going after them for failing to follow the Fair Debt Collection Act – I haven’t seen a scrap of writing about this debt in eight business days. I’m also going after they for refusing to disclose the items that make up the debt – the interest, fees and so on. I’ll continue to attack them as much as possible, to buy time and try to get them to negotiate with me for a settlement. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the City of Seattle to take me off this file, to make it Mike’s responsibility. My preferred solution is just to extricate myself from this whole sorry mess.
The second fight I’ll have to take it to, if that doesn’t work, will be to get Mike to either pay it or re-pay me if I have to pay it. And that will be UGLY. Obviously, this is his problem – but he doesn’t believe HE should have to pay it, and therefore, if I’m stupid enough to do it, that’s my problem, not his. I don’t want it to get to that kind of horrible personal level – and I don’t want to have to try to get blood from a turnip (ie. money out of someone who likely doesn’t have it).
In the meantime though, this is making me miserable. I’m going in to work late today because I have to make phone calls related to this whole sorry mess. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was stressed out about it. I’ve been too angry to get a good night’s sleep – angry with AllianceOne for failing to send me anything in writing, for making me feel helpless, angry at the system that trapped me because I was too stupid to go up to Seattle and make sure that paperwork was done to extricate me from that car in 2004. And I”m angry at Mike, for having the sheer gall and self-importance to get me into this, and then, instead of apologizing that I have to take hours and hours of time and energy to deal with it, makes horrible remarks about me “needing my meds” and being “mentally lazy” in the one email response he has sent me to date.
Originally, I posted this as a status update to Facebook, and then took it down – it’s too much to be contained in a status update. And I’d tagged it “FML” And now, I’m not going to accept it as a “FML” thing. I’m going to fight like crazy. “FML” is short anecdotes from people who have something bad happen to them, and they kind of accept it as part of their general crappy lot in life. But my life is actually really awesome, and this is an anomaly. And I’m not accepting it. I’m going to push back…and when I push back, I usually get what I’m pushing for. I’m going to do the work to turn this around as best I can. FML? F-that. This siege will end eventually, and when it does, I intend to be proud of the battle I waged to get it to go away.