Just Breathe

I have learned that when you think things could not get any worse, pour yourself a drink and sit down because it’s gonna get ugly.

Yes, Carl was an attorney in San Antonio. Yes, he was really great at it, but like most attorneys he was not organized, so to say I had to “clean things up” is putting it mildly.

I was scooting along, one day at a time, sending out death certificates, and looking at bills and reviewing all kinds of documents. I thought I was making a dent in the work that needed to be done.

When Carl first passed I contacted banks, one of which was a credit union. His banker there told me he had four loans. Two business and then the two car loans. She instructed me not to do anything on the business loans. So, here I was in October, November, December calling into the bank to make the car payments from Denver.

I was transferred over to a lady who in a very rude manner asked me why my husband had stopped paying on his loans. I sat back and said are there no notes in your system? He died September 28th . She barely took a breath and said, “well then it is your responsibility to make the payments on his debts.” And in another breath asked me where the vehicles were because they wanted to repossess them. I was stunned. I sat back and thought, “what is going on here?”

I asked her what her name was and why she thought the cars could be repossessed if I was making payments, then she said what many people don’t know, “we are a credit union and cross collateralize against all the loans, your vehicles are ours.”

My jaw dropped and when I told her I was in Denver, she asked me if I had permission to cross the cars over state lines. Okay, I am smart, but this lady was under my skin and she was just plain rude.

I hung up and called my attorney, no answer, of course it’s Christmas then called the original banker I dealt with who had retired, she was appalled at them. Then I called a few other bankers to ask them the question, “is this right?”

I was in tears and fuming. Now what? I called up a dealership and asked them to run a title search, they called me back and let me know that I was ok.

Then I called my financial guy, “this is going to hurt but I need to get moving over here.” He calmly said, “Esther you know it’s Christmas, right?”

I hang up and realize nothing can be done. I need to wait until after Christmas to talk with my attorney and move on. The next few days are torture. Holidays....what holidays?

Christmas is a fog. All I can think about is this dumb car situation. What else can possibly go wrong?

Finally on December 30th my attorney calls me back to “get moving.” In other words, I need to get to the car dealership. Instead of a much anticipated trip with friends for New Year’s Eve I am now looking at used cars for my kids. The cars their dad had bought for them are no longer ours.

Just pile this one on top. It adds insult to injury. Nothing about Carl passing away has been easy. After a long day of cars, and car dealership people, we drag home to our friend PJ grilling steaks for us. “I figured you guys needed to eat! Happy New Year!”

I smile, and half heartedly and say, “Thank god this year is over, Happy 2015.”