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(ARGH! I did it--wrote this whole post and lost it!!! Here I go again if I remember!)

Most of April was like any other month until I got the letter affirming what Legal Aid had told me but before that it was movie, theatre going and eating ou as usual. Movie wise I saw Mae West (Yes! Mae West!) in "The Heat's On", 'Scotland, Pa.", "Second Skin" (it was THE movie I fell in lust with Javiar Bardem), an excellent documentary "Trembling Before G-D", "Panic Room", "Y Tu Mama Tambien","The Rookie", "Frailty" and "Changing Lanes". I went to the Broward Performing Arts Center with Gino to see "Mamma Mia" plus later on the stage version of "Saturday Night Fever" and the Parker Playhouse to see "Dirty Blonde" then West Palm Beach to the Florida Stage where "Bee-Luther-Hatchee" had its premiere. Bob, Jim, 'new' Bob and I went to a local production of "Sweet Charity" which wasn't too bad.

Along with movies and shows there was the eating out at Bennigan's (closed), Tico Taco (closed), Tarpon Bend (open), Royal Buffet (closed). Federal Chinese Buffet (closed) and the Super King Chinese Buffet (closed). Betsy and Bob were in from Michigan, Bob Igizi came down from New Jersey and Pierre joined us in West Palm. Things were moving along.

I've already talked about getting the birds and, in addition, I bought a second hand recliner from Povarello's Thrift Store that takes care of AIDS patients. On April 12, 2002, I told Sheila and Sergio that I was retiring as of the 26th and I was flattered that they asked me to stay on and that I would be welcome back anytime I wanted to come back.

The week before I met with Jimmy, a lawyer friend, and talked about bankruptcy again. Whether it was that old guilt trip or not I really didn't want to admit failure a second time. Jimmy spent 5 hours with me (no charge!!) showing me that what I owed the credit card company was only extra interest, that I had paid all the principle back plus some interest so they weren't losing any money on me. He also showed me that it had been the same before. Whether I was just rationalizing the guilt wasn't as great as it was before I spoke to him.

On the 17th I met with a paralegal from Legal Aid and on the 25th I received a letter affirming what we spoke about. He had said that if a company sued me they could garnish me bank account unless I only had social security or other federal pensions deposited in it but they could harass me by filing legal papers to garnish it. They, called judgment creditors, couldn't take my home--that wasn't a problem--and my car if they wanted to pursue it but since the judge had valued it at $1,000 (to me it was worth a million dollars!) when I had filed bankruptcy there wasn't a chance they would. He said most credit card companies just file for judgment which they usually win and if I win the lotto they could collect but until then I was 'judgment proof'. I was being sued for over $6,000 by my former landlord for unpaid rent though I found out he had rented it out within 2 months.

The paralegal said most creditors will threaten lawsuits but very few follow through as it doesn't pay unless it involves huge money. It wasn't until June 1 that I stopped paying my credit card bills and it took 6-8 months for them to stop calling and writing me but in 3-4 months I was already getting credit cards from other companies!!! For a change I was smart and cut them up. It would be a few years before I got new credit cards but by then I knew how to handle them. Only took 66 years to learn that lesson. I was to find out that not only did the previous bankruptcy and now not paying the bills affect my credit rating but it would affect my car insurance and cause me to lose my car but that was in the future.

I was retired and didn't know how much my life would change if it would at all.

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