May 05, 2005
where's the money, lebowski?

Well, it looks like I'm totally fucked.

For those of you playing at home: a few years back, I helped my cousin get into school by co-signing some student loans for him. Well, he went to school, got a degree in music something or other, and is now living somewhere in northern California, doing... well, I really have no idea what he's doing, but as far as I know, it has nothing to do with any music degree. Anyway, after several delays and forbearances and what not, he still has not made a payment on those loans. So, the nasty letters and phone calls from Sally Mae come to me. My (otherwise spotless) credit has already taken a huge hit from a series of missed payments last year - that I didn't find out about until too late, and there's nothing I can do about it now - and the final forbearance ran out in April, at which point my cousin assured me that he would be ready to start making payments, so as not to fuck me further. Well, it's May, and I just got another call - there's about twelve hundred dollars of delinquent payments and late fees due, like, today. Plus another forty grand and change after that. I call my cousin, and find out that his phone's been disconnected.

I call my mother, who helped get the loan set up, and her number is no longer in service. I call my grandmother, who got me the original paperwork to sign (as I jumped off and on a train that had stopped for literally two minutes, passing through Buffalo in the middle of a winter night), and as far as I can tell, her line is now a fax machine or something. I finally get through to my Aunt Sue, who is cousin Mike's mother, and she says that she can't get in touch with him either, because his deadbeat housmate stopped paying their phone bill. So, she's going to ping me back the next time he calls her, whenever that might be. I talk to the loan people, and they say that they've been calling him and sending him nastygrams as well, with no reponse, no payments.

So, the upshot is, my credit rating is all the way down the shitter right now - I can't even get a crappy business credit card, and I'm pretty sure that I'm well fucked if I try to get another mortgage when we decide to move. I've got no way to get in touch with anyone that I need to, and as far as I can tell, there's no money coming out of anywhere on that side of the deal. Unless someone - and that looks like it means me - starts making payments to Sally Mae immediately, it's just going to keep getting worse. The fun part is, of course, that we're not exactly rolling it it at the moment - my consulting work has been picking up some, but we're still running just about even, and we're trying to plan for events in the next year or so that may entail one of us being zero-income for a stretch. So, I've basically got two options: suck it up, and start dumping my own money into the hole, with basically no expectation of it ever coming back, or sit back and see if my cousin comes around to kick down before the credit weasels start tearing into whatever I've got left, and who knows what else. I've basically got about five hours to decide one way or the other, so, either way - totally fucked.

To top it all off, I had to go back into the dentist yesterday, because my temporary crown came off of my most recent savaged molar. It was a close grind, and it's been really sore for the last three weeks or so, but he says that's normal, and that I should wait to see if it gets better before he either cements it on permanently, or decides that I need another root canal there. Again, for those of you keeping score at home, that'd be three of those in the last few months, plus a lot of other toothy unpleasantness. Keep in mind that, being a self-employed freelance contractor, I have no dental insurance - this is where basically all of my cash has been going for the aforementioned previous months. Well, the crown coming off, and the temporary re-attachment aggravated the exposed nerve quite a bit, and I spent most of last night in the worst dental pain that I can remember since my first emergency root canal experience. Since I was out and about at meetings and whatnot, I relied on ibuprofen to take the edge off some, and finally got home to knock it out a bit with some vicodin and valium that we've got on hand for just such an occasion. It's not so bad today - except for the times I forget and bite down on it, which causes the tooth goblins to give me a good zap - but I'm just whooped from the adrenalin and muscle tension and whatnot. Dentist says that this is normal for the kind of nastiness I've got here, and to give it another while or so, to see if it calms down before he does anything else, but after a month of chewing on the left side of my mouth and overdosing on advil, I'm ready for my root canal, Mr. DeMille. Maybe I'll get a freebie for being a frequent flyer or something. Just make it stop, already.

(May 05, 2005 03:28 PM)
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