Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chris McGinty - Enemy of Debt - Episode Thirteen

Welcome to Episode Thirteen of: Chris McGinty – Enemy of Debt

For an explanation of this feature, and disclaimers that talk about how I’m not a professional money anything, go to Episode One. If you are caught up to speed though, we’ll begin discussing my friend who called me in financial desperation on July 10, 2011. Out of some, perhaps slight respect for his privacy, I’m not using his real name. I am instead referring to him as Genghis “I Just Can’t Believe All the Things People Say” Controversy.

I was probably a bit bleak last time, but the incident of Genghis calling in was irritating. He currently owes me $85, but I did stick by the part about not paying off the payday loan. His rent ended up being more than he expected. He’s on housing assistance, so it adjusts sometimes. The loan covered it exactly with him getting 96 cents extra. We paid the payday loan, and I told him we would play his electric with his guard check. I also ended up putting $30 into his gas tank.

We get his guard check tomorrow, and we’ll find out if he’s still on the schedule. If he is, we’ll find out whether or not they’re giving him the same hours. I will probably hold on to whatever money doesn’t go to his electric, so that when his main check comes in we can try to pay off one of the payday loans. He says he will be getting a bonus on this check of around $500. If that’s the case then we’ll probably knock out almost all of the payday loans this time around. It would be very helpful.

And it’s a couple of days later.

We got his guard check. He paid me back. He paid his electricity. We put gas in his vehicle. For the first time since this started, he has a surplus of money, at least for the time being. I’m holding on to $80 for him, and one week from now, when he gets his main check, we’ll attack one of his payday loans. We might attack two if he gets that bonus. At least for the moment things seem to be going well.

It’s a couple of weeks later. I told you it would probably slow down up in here.

If there is anything particularly interesting to talk about it is how one of his payday loans got paid off. It all starts with a bonus he got at his regular job. Most of the time I meet him at his work the day he gets paid, and we pull all the money out of his bank account. This has been to keep the temptation away for him to spend it on anything but his bills. This time there was over $900 in there, so I wasn’t about to walk around with that much in my pocket. I knew how much was in there, so he was under obligation not to touch it as long as he wanted my help.

We discussed what to do. We decided to pay off the big payday loan and the small payday loan. I told him to call the big payday loan though. I wanted to see how long we had to pay it. If we could put it off until his guard check, we might try to get the third payday loan taken care of too.

He called. The woman claimed that she was out sick for three days, and was unable to flag the account to postpone until we came in. Go figure. The first time he had enough money in his bank account they cashed the check that covered his loan. The upside was that we planned to pay it anyway, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. I just wonder if it was really an accidental occurrence, or if they got nervous.

That night, I discussed the rest of his budget with him, and it was at this point that he decided to tell me that his mother-in-law was unable to renew the insurance on the vehicle she gave them. He was driving around on a suspended license with no insurance when the reason his license was suspended in the first place was no insurance tickets.

Having had this happen to me a few years ago, I can tell you what the problem with this was. He was risking losing his license entirely. After thinking this over, I called him back and told him that rather than paying the small payday loan off, we needed to take care of his driving situation. I decided to give him a To Do List for the next day so that two days from that night we could do the driving stuff.

I figured this would be good for two reasons. The first was that he would be taking some responsibility for his own situation, and the second was so I could see if he could be trusted to do that much. He followed the directions exactly, so I didn’t have to beat him.

The following day, he called and took care of the suspended license. He didn’t have to pay the full amount, so he had enough left over to get car insurance. Because of the suspended license, his wife had to get the insurance, so she and I went to do that, after he and I went and emptied his bank account. The total payoff for six months was $30 less than if they paid it off each month. She was willing to cover the one-third of the cost of the six month payoff from her child support money, so that worked out.

Let’s cover a couple of loose ends before I finish this episode out. The certified letter turned out to be the impound lot for the van. We haven’t heard from the title loan place yet.

I talked about how he feels the need to use up all his vacation days. He’s put in for a ten day vacation in October. In his defense, he’s going to try to max out his hours at the guard job those two weeks. This is technically a good idea, since he will get a full check from his regular job and a bigger than normal check from the guard job. I’m just amazed that he is so insistent on not having any paid time off left.

I talked about how he got the stock cash out in one of the early episodes. He claimed that the bank required that he leave five dollars in the account. The thing is that that was the only time that that seemed like an issue. There were four “thats” in the last sentence. I’m sure that means the sentence was poorly written. He was trying to convince me that he had to leave five dollars in there. Who knows why? I told him to ask about it. The teller said that the only thing he could figure is if there was a pending charge for about four dollars and they wanted five in there to cover it. Four dollars. I knew a pack of cigarettes was involved somehow. That fucker.

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