116) Losing Everything

The $22,500 we lost through our business deal with Merrill, and the slowdown in the semiconductor design sector, turned out to be catastrophic for us in 2008, even before the global meltdown in the financial markets in September of that year.

I couldn’t find work anywhere in the country.

And although Nadine was still employed full-time, her salary did not even cover our mortgage payment, which was around $4,000 per month.

After three or four more months of this we got so far behind on our payments, I decided our best shot was to seek protection through the courts in our county and declare bankruptcy. If not for the concept of “debt forgiveness” in our bankruptcy laws, our situation would have been far worse. We did not walk away from our house but instead took the more difficult path of a short sale. I am grateful these two strategies were available to us and to a lot of other families during the years since 2008 – more on that later.

Ironically, during the worst time for our little company, Ocean View Marketing,  the parent company Wealth Miners, was undergoing fundamental changes in its approach to marketing. Recognizing that their automated marketing system was not working as its marketing partner Carbon Copy Pro had claimed – at least in our opinion – Wealth Miners went back to basics and began urging its members to begin hosting home parties.

Nadine and I took the training and notified our community that we had something brilliant to share – The Ultimate Wealth Formula – as we called it at the time.

We prepared for 3 of these home seminars; complete with a big-screen multimedia show, flowers and refreshments. We advertised on Meetup, invited our friends and neighbors and posted signs. We sure looked the part with our large, new house, soaring ceilings, and beautiful furnishings.

But we were anything but prosperous. In fact, our greatest achievement during those 3 events was hiding how desperate our personal financial situation actually was.

A total of six people showed up for those three events. Apparently, they were too polite to refuse our invitations.

One of  the hardest things I had to do was call to have my motorcycle repossessed. We simply could no longer justify the payments.

In a cruel  twist of fate, during the time the repo man was duck-walking my Suzuki V-Strom motorcycle from the garage and walking the bike up the ramp on to the trailer, he made the following comment:

“Most guys aren’t honest enough to call us to make pick ups like this. We have to track them down, and even then they never admit their mistakes,” he told me.

Yes, I was honest.

But a failed business and disposing of our house and possessions in full view of our neighbors was humiliating. I felt so badly for Nadine.

I had made some rookie mistakes with Ocean View Marketing. But I had made a worse one buying a large house with a risky loan in a questionable economy.

I was down but not out.

And I had no idea of the events that would transpire between the years of 2008 and 2013, the 58th to 63rd year of my odd and wonderful life.

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