Post Number: 150
|Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2002 - 11:41 pm: ||
In August 1992, my husband and I filed for Bankruptcy. It was not an easy decision. My husband had just left the Army, and work was difficult to find.
We worked very hard over the next 5 years to rebuild our credit. My husband became a Police Officer for the city we live in, and I worked at a Nursing Home as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
In May 1997, we qualified for a home loan and purchased our first home.
I had been having some problems with my knees for some time, and decided to see a Doctor. In fact I saw several before I was referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon. After many tests, the Doctor informed me that I had advanced osteoarthritis, not very common in people my age. We tried Cortisone and Synvisc injections, and I was fitted for a brace, all to try and avoid surgery. But my job at the Nursing Home required a great deal of walking, as well as lifting and transferring of the residents.
In January of 1999 I was told I needed Arthoscopic surgery on my left knee. I had a torn meniscus, a bakers cyst, as well as bone spurs.
We had begun to fall behind on our bills already because of the treatments I had required, tests, knee brace and Doctor visits. I really began to panic, knowing I would be out of work 6 to 8 weeks because of the surgery! After working so hard to restore our damaged credit rating we would destroy it once again!
I saw an ad for Genus Credit Management, and decided this was an answer for us. We would continue to pay our creditors. I was told the interest charges would be reduced or eliminated, and the late fees that were keeping us from ever catching up would be eliminated.
I had initially contacted Genus to start the program in February, but my surgery was scheduled for that month, and I had to pay a portion of that. I called them back while I was home recuperating from the surgery. I wanted to start the program as soon as possible. I just was not prepared for the financial hardship my not being able to work would cause. I had to postpone enrollment until May 1999.
I did have to contact Genus and reschedule payments, because of unexpected expenses following the surgery. I had to have 4 weeks of physical therapy because during the surgery there were some muscle pulls, and I could not return to work full-time as I had hoped.
When I returned to work, I started to receive phone calls from a collector with NCO Financial. He called me at work several times, even though he was asked not to. He told me that was the only way he could get my attention. We decided to settle that account, anything to get that man to stop harassing us!
I eventually had to quit my job. My Doctor advised me that to avoid a total knee replacement, at that time, I could not continue to put the type of strain on my knee my job caused. He felt so strongly about this that he suggested I apply for disability and wrote a letter describing my condition and his belief that in order to delay a total knee replacement for 5 to 7 years that I put as little strain on my knee as possible. The Doctor I was referred to to qualify for disability benefits was a Family Practice Doctor. She wasn't even qualified to determine if my knee was bad enough to require that I use it as little as possible! No X-Rays were taken while at her office.
Needless to say, I was denied disability, and an attorney suggested I apply again and go to court if necessary. I was made to feel guilty for applying for disability when I have worked for years and pay money towards it!
I started a childcare business, and limited myself to caring for two children, knowing that caring for children requires lifting. My husband took on an additional job.
In 2000 I started to experience back pain. I saw a Chiropracter for months, he suggested that it was more than pulled muscles. I saw my Doctor and he ordered an MRI. I had a cyst that was pressing down on my lower spine. He told me I had to have surgery right away. So I had back surgery in December 2001.
I was told to not work for 8 weeks, the Doctor knew I had to pick up the two babies I cared for. I returned to work after 6 weeks, I really didn't want to fall so far behind on our bills.
As difficult as things were while enrolled in Genus Credit Management, we continued to pay Genus each month, even though our Mortgage was most often late. We managed to pay off three of our creditors while on the program.
In January of 2002 I wanted to know our balance on our Capital One accounts, all of our other creditors on the program were either paid off, or very close to it. That is when I contacted first NCO Financial, and then Capital One and was told that we owed virtually what we owed when we started the program in 1999! To make matters worse, Capital One informed us that they had NEVER accepted the proposals Genus had submitted on our behalf!
I must admit, we were totally uneducated about credit cards and "charge-offs". We thought if we paid the accounts through Genus Credit Management on their repayment program, the accounts would be paid. We also thought that if we "settled" the one Capital One account it was considered paid, and would not be a factor on our credit files.
All of our good intentions, and hopes of saving the credit we had rebuilt are gone!
Our credit is destroyed.