I had to go to court this morning for a credit card. I opened it up a long time ago to help build my credit. For a while it did help me. I was paying more than the minimum payment due every month. Eventually they raised my credit limit from $300 to $500. It didn’t take long for me to spend that extra $200.
That’s when we started having financial problems and I got behind on my payments. They reduced my credit limit back to $300 and started charging me over-limit fees and $50 per month late fees. The balance got out of control faster than you can say “krabby patty!” and I stopped paying because it was a losing battle.
As you probably already know, credit cards sell their overdue accounts to collection agencies and, eventually, they sue you.
I was being sued for $1,197.00.
I got to the courthouse a little early this morning and failed the metal detector the first time. They dug through my purse, left the two Bic lighters that were in there, and found a corkscrew! Ooops! The nice policewoman told me that I could take that out and leave it in my car or they could confiscate it right then, but I wouldn’t get it back.
I brought the corkscrew out to the car and went back in to try again. This time I passed! Yay! With the policewoman’s, “Much better,” I was on my way to find my name on the docket.
My courtroom was on the 6th floor at the end of the hall (boy am I glad I can walk again!!!). I checked in and the Plaintiff’s attorney wasn’t there yet. It passed 8:30 and the attorney still had not arrived. I sat on the edge of my very uncomfortable seat with my fingers crossed, hoping that he wouldn’t show up! He did get there, 20 minutes later, and called my name up to talk to him.
He was tall, blonde with light blue eyes (the kind with the deep blue ring around the outside of the iris) and had a receding hairline. His hair was buzz-cut and he had on a light brown suit with just a plain light-blue Oxford underneath. He had a very modest dark-brown tie that went very well with his ensemble. The thing that stood out the most for me were his glasses, though. Since I wear glasses it’s one of the first things I notice when I meet someone. They were also dark brown and light blue, but it didn’t look like the glasses matched the suit intentionally. The rims were square, heavy rim on the top and none at the bottom. They ‘suit’ed him nicely. His name was Brent. (He was cute!! I think I will look him up on Linked In tonight and “make a connection’ 😉 )
Brent pulled up a chair for me and I sat down explaining I have no idea what to do, I’ve never done this before… What he told me was that I could call the number on my summons and make some sort of payment arrangement today. Then, when I finished with the payment arrangements, I was to go back and speak with him.
I called and made an arrangement. I explained my situation and that my husband is sick and at the doctor a lot and also that I just broke my ankle and the surgery/hospital/doctor bills have started to accumulate on that… Also, I am paying the IRS $400/month for back taxes. I explained that I didn’t think that I would be able to reliably follow a payment plan but I would be willing to settle right here and now for $400. The nice man on the phone, Todd, said that he thought that number seemed low, but he would discuss it with his supervisor and get back with me. Could I hold for a minute?
And that’s all the time he took. One minute later, Todd came back on the line and told me that they would take $600 today to clear the debt completely. I readily agreed… Originally I was going to offer $500 to start, but that wouldn’t have given me very much play in case they wanted more… I am glad I lowered my offer to $400.
Todd took my debit card information over the phone and put me on hold again while he waited for the transaction to clear. It did – YAY!
I returned to the courtroom, with Todd still on my phone, and handed him off to Brent. They spoke briefly to confirm that I had made a payment and that everything was good to go. Brent then told me that the case was settled and we could file with the court clerk and be done.
That was totally awesome! I got my printout from the clerk and left the courtroom earlier than I had anticipated, and much happier…
I got on the elevator to go back down and guess who hopped on right after me? Brent. Ooooooohhhh……
I am not one for uncomfortable silence, so on the way down I made small talk with him. Asking him if I was the only person he had to see today, “Yes” and then I responded that must be nice on a Friday. Was he disappointed that I actually showed up? “No, your case went very fast and we got it taken care of early. I have something else much later in the day though, up in G……”
I told him to drive carefully coming back from there because it’s supposed to snow and G….. is pretty far away.
We arrived at the first floor and both of us exited the elevator saying have a good weekend…. I turned to go to the parking lot and was starting to walk in the opposite when Brent grabbed my elbow gently and, at the same time, said my name. It sounded nice…
I turned towards him, his hand still cupping my elbow, he asked me “Would you like to join me for a cup of coffee?” With his other hand he motioned towards the coffee shop in the courthouse.
I think I blushed, but I sweetly declined his sexy invitation for coffee because I had to go to work (when I got to work and told my boss she said I should have gone with Brent to see what happened!).
I left that place walking on Cloud 9! Not only had I settled a debt for 1/2 of what I owed, but the plaintiff’s attorney asked me out after it was done! The rush from this will probably get me through the entire weekend — I hope no one comes along and bursts my bubble (like Mr. Doom-n-Gloom, the husband…)
The first thing I did when I left that building was call Loverman to tell him! I figured he would get a good laugh about it because he keeps telling me that I am sexy and guys are watching me all the time. I didn’t used to believe him. I thought he was having fun with me and trying to help me feel more pretty — at the time I had just started losing weight and he was very proud of me, I thought that was his way of motivating me.
Loverman laughed his ass off when I told him and said, “See I told you. Guys are forever checking you out! What did you wear today? Are you in one of your fuck me dresses?” (he calls ALL of my dresses fuck me dresses – they’re not. They’re just professional dresses that happen to look very flattering on my body)
I told him that I am wearing a purple button-up shirt and my Lee jeans. He’s seen both and neither are anything special, just good for business casual Friday at work is all…
He said, “That’s my girl! I kind of wonder what would have happened if you said yes…” We talked a little longer and he kept going back to that statement over and over again. Enough times that I eventually said, “Next time I will say ‘Yes’ and let you know what happens then.”
Loverman was quick to respond to that comment with a resounding “No, that’s okay. I was just wondering is all! Gees…”
Now I am regretting saying no, just a little… I wonder what would have happened…