Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.

12.02.2008

Screwing the Little Guy

This is a guest post from my childhood friend, LR. She and her husband were moving on up, ala George Jefferson style, when they got tripped up with a bank that yanked the rug out from under them. Things are getting worse and not knowing how much I can help, I told her that I'd share her story with whoever I could get to listen.

This is LR's story in her own words:

I am a friend of Army of Mom and she wrote an article about me and my husband last year about how we lost our business when our bank called our note unexpectedly. Suffice it to say, we were not late on any payments, but banks can call notes pretty much whenever they feel like it.

All that happened 21 months ago and we are still living the nightmare.

Today was, literally, one of the worst days of my life. The bank just received a defiency judgment against us personally, as we personally guaranteed our notes (not an unusual practice). Now that all the assets of our estate have been sold (I mean been given away by the bank and the bankruptcy court), we are left with a debt of $579,000 give or take. We only owed $1.2 million to begin with.

We had to go to an asset hearing where the bank has their attorney try to see if we have millions hidden a Swiss bank account. *what a joke!* We were happy to go to an asset hearing because we literally have lost everything already. We had to sell our home, we cashed out life insurance policies in order to have money to live on, etc… We had nothing to hide.

Well, we did have one thing left of value … MY WEDDING RING. They had an order to seize my wedding ring. I never would have believed this could happen in America.

This debt was the banks doing. We weren’t behind on our payments. They called our note and we couldn’t ante up $1.2 million that fast. They wouldn’t even give us six more months to try to secure alternative financing. So, they cost us our business, cost 25 people their jobs and then (they and the court) gave away all of our assets and NOW they have stooped to taking a woman’s wedding ring … Is nothing sacred?

*LR wasn't going to name the bank, I encouraged her husband to name them unless they were concerned the bank could do anything else to them*
Oh, and FYI, without naming the bank, (it is the Bank of Oklahoma) I will tell you that a member of this particular bank’s Board of Trustees took $180 million dollars from his company and invested it personally and lost. His company is billions in debt and in Chapter 11. This one person almost broke this bank LITERALLY … and they are coming after a Mom and Pop and taking the wedding ring off my finger!

Well, I lost it! I would not let them have my ring. And I ended up being put in handcuffs and taken to a jail cell. I have bruises all over my arms and upper body. Funny, I didn’t think we had debtors' prisons in the good ole’ US of A … I did finally end up relinquishing my wedding band because it was that or be formally booked on resisting arrest and contempt of court.

I was once a pillar of this community. I was a member of the Junior League, for God’s sake (should I send thank yous to all the deputies?) I am the only person I know who can honestly say that I have never used drugs … not even pot! I am so goodie-goodie. Before this, I had a 750 credit score … Now I have to get a co-signer to pay cash! And what has all that gotten me? It got my wedding ring taken from me after I was dragged through the courthouse in handcuffs.

I would love to answer any specific questions anyone might have about my story. I am sure Army of Mom can put you in contact with me or forward me your questions.

My closing advice to any reader is be leery of banks and bankers. And if you ever have to go to court, leave your jewelry at home. Marriage is not sacred to these hyenas.

*if you have anything useful to offer to my friend, please feel free to email me and I'll put you in touch.*

9 Comments:

  • At 9:41 AM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wish that I had something constructive to say, but I do not.
    I can only offer my sympathy as someone who has officially Been There and Done That.
    At one point in my life I was ready to walk into a local B of A branch and go "postal". The only thing that stopped me was the full realization that those particular people were not responsible for the utter hell, complete lack of accountability (in multiple senses of the word). I lost my house due to their poor accounting. They did not care that I had cancelled checks and ceretified letter recipts and copies of all paperwork with their signatures. They took my house. My lawyer (once you have lost that much, what is another few measly thousands) sat down and explained that yes, we were totally in the right. BUT. fighting it would cost more money than we would ever see in return. So, we lost our house.

    Now, we have pared our debt down to next to nothing. No credit card. two small bank accounts with debit cards and enough balance to use the debit cards for rental cars and hotel rooms. Banks can now kiss my ass. All of them.
    I keep my money in cash, on hand, in the safe. (not much, most has been going to pay off debts, so that I can tell the banks to kiss my ass.)
    I am sorry for the diatribe, but it, even after 7 years is still a raw, bloody and pulsing nerve.I hate the banking industry with a passion, and share it with whomever bothers to listen.
    I wish your friend well. Please let her know of our best wishes, and sypathetic support.

    Rob

     
  • At 9:56 AM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is so sad. I'm not sure what to say either. I know from my work with a non-partisan tax policy group that this is a major hidden issue in America.

    I'm conservative leaning on most issues but on this one, if this is a worry for folks, the only thing I can say is to do everything you can to get behind the Democratic party. Honestly, they are the only ones truly fighting for the little guy and battling financial institutions and such consumer abuses.

    From my work, and opinion surveys going directly to these banks and financial institutions, I can tell you that these people are running scared that there's going to be a major clampdown on their practices
    now with the change in leadership.

    JM

     
  • At 10:25 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger WPDunn71901 said…

    "Honestly, they are the only ones truly fighting for the little guy and battling financial institutions and such consumer abuses."

    I think the shenanigans of Barney Frank and Harry Reid have put this tired lie to bed.

     
  • At 11:29 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Gadfly said…

    Mother of freaking God ...

    How can that be allowed?

     
  • At 11:35 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Gadfly said…

    It's kind of telling when the phrase "bank of Oklahoma" and "foreclosure" returns 29000 hits.

     
  • At 11:52 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger El Capitan said…

    Oklahoma... a nice place to visit, but I'd never, ever live there.

    Texas has its faults, but it also has personal exemptions that keep creditors from seizing everything you own, including heirloom jewelry.

     
  • At 9:34 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Five years ago, I gave up credit. ALL credit. I had paid everything off, sold my house because we had a balloon payment coming due and I couldn't afford to refinance, and went to a cash-only existence.

    Best thing I ever did. I don't owe anyone anything. No bank has any money they think I need to pay them. I don't have any kind of consumer credit. My money, what little I have, is kept solvent and safe, and I pay for everything, including cars, with cold, hard cash. We have debit cards but no credit cards.

    I do not trust banks. One ripped me off about five years ago when my purse was stolen and they left TWO debit cards open in my name in two different accounts and when they finally figured it out I owed close to a thousand dollars for their mistake. NEVER AGAIN. I checked out my current bank thoroughly before giving them my business after the debacle at the other bank, and I will never borrow another dime from anyone again as long as I live.

    Credit is what got this country in trouble, in my opinion. Banks and mortgage lenders have been able to do what they want, and have stuck it to everybody they could except for themselves, where the blame should rest.

    And now everyone wants a bailout. Well, they can use their own money. Mine's spoken for, thank you.

     
  • At 11:54 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Holy sh!t. I wouldn't have believed this story if I'd heard it from someone else.
    These effin banks have ZERO accountability. Did you hear the latest with the bailout BS? The Feds "forgot" to include a way to track how the bailout money is being spent. The banks were "required" to lend this bailout money, but they've failed to do that so far. This whole economic situation is FUBAR. I pray the country turns around soon. But most of all I pray for peace and help for AOM's dear friend!

     
  • At 11:05 PM, December 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is LR's husband and I want to just post an update. I have seen in the court records on-line that BOK is preparing to garnish my wages. The debt went from 579,00 to 623,00 because of attorney fees. (GO FIGURE)And of course they now have my wifes beautiful ring that took me over a decade to fulfill the promise I had made her when we got married of getting her a ring like that. Anyway, with what they are allowed to garnish(25% of my net income), this would be a death sentence for me. If you were to calculate the interest accruing at an avg of 9% on the balance. I would literally be paying the rest of my life. BOK has written this debt off already so therefore this garnishment means nothing in the scheme of things. Kind of hard to wake up every morning and get pumped to go to work huh, knowing that any extra will go to a bank that have destroyed our lives. When will this nightmare end and as I tell my wife, I WILL make a new future for our family but I will refuse to pay those Pr--ks one red cent from here on out. There is always more than one way to skin a cat and I will be determined to find it. If any of you pray out there, I ask that you pray for my wife that she remain mentally strong and keep the attitude to fight so we can make a new and better future for our kids.

     

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