In the recent months, I have been embarking on a credit repair adventure. It's been taxing on my marriage, and consuming a lot of what was my "free" time. Time that would be used with the family. On the order of protecting my family, and providing for our well being, I tend to apply my focus on the threats that seem imminent, and stand in the way of my achieving my goals.
Currently, I am employed with a car dealership as a line technician. I have been in the field as a professionally certified ASE technician, also maintaining credentials with two major auto manufacturers, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz (currently). I used to be a desk jockey, but eight months after uprooting my family from our home and taking a new job in a different state, I was laid off. At that time, my wife and I decided that my interest and aptitude in repairing cars would be sufficient to support us until we could move back "home". My wife's father was ailing, and we decided it would be prudent to return to our home state.
In the midst of job hunting, house hunting, etc and all the other nuances that accompany a move, I decided that work wasn't about the money. I have made over $70K in a year being behind a desk, but with that come the costs of playing politics. I don't kiss a$$, and I never will. I refuse to suck up in order to advance my position in a company. I firmly believe that my moral convictions and my work ethic cost me my job. I decided to stick with a career that I enjoyed, and I still do to this day. Every day has something challenging, and there is not one day that goes by that I am thankful for the blessings that God has given to me.
My mother told me, when I was a teenager, that I was "One of the most compassionate person"s that she had ever met. Sometimes this is a detriment, but not as one would see it to be all that bad to have. I sometimes tend to over commit myself to helping other people out. Now that I'm in my 30's, I find myself wanting more and more to capitalize on my experiences in helping those in need. I have volunteered in the community, with non-profit organizations, Special Olympics, etc. Sometimes at the expense of my family, and my finances. Which leads me to where I was a couple of months ago.
After having a blood-pressure raising conversation with a CA, I started researching about what I could do to fight back against, for all intents and purposes, a corrupt industry. All one must do is briefly scan the boards; the violations of federal law that are heaped upon the uneducated consumers are rampant. I had a friend of mine refer me to Creditwrench, where it seemed interesting, but the outline confusing, and the information a bit far-fetched. I gleaned some information off of his site, and began to think about what I can do to fight back. I equated it to coming to a gunfight, and I needed ammo. Armed with the information I, had a newfound cause. I am going to fix my own credit! Hell, I can fix cars, I can fix my credit!
You ask, "What does that have to do with becoming a consumer advocate?" EVERYTHING. Even though I have been successful with the methods implemented over the past couple of months to get me to this point, I don't want to jump into the proverbial Colosseum with the lions and not have someone to represent me. I spent half of a day calling attorneys in my area, and found 2, of which they are booked up for the next few weeks. That tells me that there is a shortage of attorneys who can help consumers fight back. I saw two mentions of "Debtors Rights" in the entire section of our Yellow Pages. This was out of about 400 listings. Sounds like a good case of supply and demand!
This past Monday, I was over at my friends' business, and he showed me a forum post, turned website, that brought me to tears. http://zrxoa.org/03Z1Rthreads/hitandrun.htm
I read this message, and I could sense his frustration about the hopelessness of his situation. I felt his pain and desperation, although not to the magnitude that he was experiencing. I cannot believe that with the billions of dollars that financing and credit card companies and hospitals make as profit every year, NONE of them can find compassion in this situation. ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC AND APPALLING.
I feel that in this instance, for the tragedy he was dealt, a creditor could eliminate the burden that an overburdened person was dealing with. I mean, if he had a $4,000 balance on a Cap One card, wouldn't you think they could forgive it? Absolutely not. Instead, they want to exacerbate the problem. "Let's pour more salt in your road rash."
I'm not saying that I could have helped his situation, but if more consumers knew their rights and more of the CA's were taken to task, perhaps the industry would become more compassionate to the plight of the unfortunate. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But mark my words, I will not tolerate it. I vow to help those in need, with whatever knowledge I gain, wherever I gain it. I'm re-enrolling this fall at our local state college, where I matriculated in years past. I will finish my undergraduates and purse a career in law, becoming a consumer advocate. Woe be unto those who dare stand in my way.