Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Kona Reality Channel

Bankruptcy is a strange process.

Within a week after filing, txrad and I began to get junk mail for all sorts of things including new car loans, and credit card offers. Until now the credit card offers have been outrageously rigged with things like a $300 credit limit, and $39 annual fees.

I have been tossing them all in the trash. I was counting on being able to keep my Discover card which I have had since 1989 based on my excellent payment history, and the fact that whenever I call them, they praise me for being one of their best customers. And during the past 4 years of dealing with the other debts, having credits limits reduced drastically, and interest rate hikes, Discover never touched my $15,002 credit limit. Odd, but that's the fact.

So I did my best to protect them. I quit using the card for 3 months prior to filing bankruptcy so there would be no need to drag them into it, particularly since my credit card debt was 100% business related, and not personal consumer debt.

Lo and behold, txrad informed me today that he was unable to use the card at a store this week. I tried to log into my account and was unable to due to a "special situation" related to my account. Uh oh.

Funny thing is, I had no problem logging in 2 days ago to pay not only the balance due, but all charges since the statement ending date! That's how good I have been to Discover.

So I guess I'll have to get on the phone and see if they still think I'm one of their best card members. I really don't get this. The risk was prior to me filing bankruptcy. But I also understand this is all just a stupid numbers game. I'm supposed to get in line with the others who have suffered misfortune and prepare to pay out the ass for a prepaid credit/debit card to help build my credit, and pay them a monthly fee for the convenience!

What?

Yes, to get a prepaid card, meaning that I give them x amount of dollars every month that I can use to buy stuff, they get transaction fees just like the do on a credit card, but they want an "activation fee" and a "monthly service fee" which exceeds even the $39 annual fee charged by the credit card companies to help folks reestablish credit. I don't get it. (Well, I do; it's called preying on the downtrodden for profit.)

Fortunately, I remembered getting a offer for a CapitolOne credit card this week that had no annual fee. And I know they knew I had filed for bankruptcy for two reasons:

1) They specifically mentioned my need to rebuild my credit, and

2) CapitolOne took a pretty major hit in the bankruptcy!

Fancy that.

I applied online, fully expecting something to go wrong, but it was approved. It'll be interesting to see if my credit limit will be $300 vs. the maximum of $3,000 mentioned in the offer letter, but I'll take it. No annual fee, and presumably I will be able to go online and pay far more than my balance when I have the need to use it for a purchase in excess of my credit limit.

The Discover card situation threw me for a loop today and I had to go see what was set up for autopay on the card and get it moved over to a payment directly from my bank account. The cell phone bill and the garbage collection service were the only two. The last thing I want or need right now is another $24 or $29 payment declined fee. I'm done with that shit.

Yes, bankruptcy is a strange process. It also keeps you on your toes.

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