As I mentioned before, I was $2.4M in debt after 9/11 and all that was left of my business was a larges crater and a high body count. This was a very stressful time. I hope none of you have the burden of debt like I did. but I can tell you with some time things heal. I had several things to survive.
- Time is your best friend in repairing debt and credit. I had never had debt before and never new what it was like to deal with creditors and have no money. There are resources out there. In my case I did not qualify for unemployment and my most of my problems were too big to ask anyone for help.
- How to deal with creditors. Unplug yourself and do not deal with creditor until you are stabilized. For me it was about 2 years. Little by little I negotiated with what I could handle and afford. If creditors get aggressive I’d threaten bankruptcy or tell them I owe $2.4M, “get in line or give me a discount I can afford.” Being self employed they could not garnish my wages. This turned out to be a huge advantage for me and gave me leverage.
- Emotional support. Please have good people in your life. In my case it was my family and friends. They may not understand completely, but they can support you even if it’s a warm meal and a good conversation. I had a couch to sleep on and a warm meal until I could leave the nest again. My parents took care of me for about 3 months. I never planned on being a boomeranger but it happens.
The emotional support was the most important key to my rebound. Having my basic needs met allowed me to maintain my sanity and not wallow in depression over my problems. I could standup at rock bottom and begin my climb.