When we started our freefall descent into disaster, our debts totalled $2.4 million. We hadn’t even been counting because we were counting on the real estate cash flow carrying the debt effortlessly. It didn’t.
There were massive real estate liabilities (i.e. mortgages owed to the tune of almost $1.8 million), credit card debts (primarily used to rehab the properties), personal debts (i.e. owed to family), medical bills and miscellaneous other debts.
Both Dennis and I were self-employed and it was a 7-year run that simply wasn’t working. We were living in an $887,000 mansion and barely scraping by as we juggled the enormous debt.
Dennis got up one morning and said I’m going to get a job.
I got up the next morning and started selling off everything we owned. This included personal items and every property we owned, 14 in total.
At this moment, almost 5 years later, we still owe $91,824 of the $2.4 million. Almost 96% of the way since we decided to turn around the Titanic. It’s been torturously painful, hideously humbling.
We’ve been sued 3 times, once by my own Mother.
We’ve declared bankruptcy and asked for a Voluntary Dismissal from the court and got it.
We’ve gone without lights for 9 days.
We’ve borrowed from our children.
We’ve screamed, yelled and blamed each other.
We’ve lived in our daughter’s guest room and basement.
We’ve robbed from Peter to pay Paul.
We’ve lost 4 duplexes to foreclosure.
We’ve prayed without ceasing.
We’ve learned more in this last five year period than we did in the previous 45 years.
We’re still together. Our covenant to each other is still intact.
And this I know. You can make mistakes and still succeed. You can stumble and falter and still win.
I’m counting on it.