The following posting was originally on my Livejournal page back in March. Since I'm a full-fledged Blogger now, I decided to put it on here. I made a few changes, but the bulk of it is still the same. Read on my fellow Bloggers...
I've been living with my aunt since 1993 after my mother's death. It was just the two of us until 1996, when she decided to (finally) get married. Back in 1999 or 2000 (when I was still in college), she came to me and asked if I would put my name down on a finance plan for some dental work that she needed done. Her credit was too bad (and so was her husband's) so, as a good and caring family member, I agreed to do it. Back then, my credit was excellent, so I saw no problem. And she told me that she was gonna keep up with paying the bill so that it wouldn't reflect negatively on my credit report. Hell, she was the one who instilled in me the importance of having good credit, so no worries.
Things were going well at first. The bill came every month, and I would pass it along to her so that it could be paid. For the first year or two I just assumed everything was fine. A few years ago, I noticed something weird that showed up on my credit report, then gradually the bills and phone calls from the collection agency came. I had my first discussion with her about it, and she again promised me that she "would take care of it." Me being naive (or just plain fuckin stupid!) took her at her word and didn't mention much about it again.
Earlier this year, the dreaded letter appeared in the mail....it was a letter from the Somerset County Courthouse, and I now was being sued for the full amount (about $2,700!) I found out that she did not make ONE SINGLE PAYMENT since 2001!! As if I don't have my own damn bills to about, now I gotta worry about this one. I walked my pissed-off ass into her bedroom and showed her the court letter. When I asked her why the hell she didn't take care of it before, she simply replies, "I forgot." You forgot???? You ain't forget to ask me to put my name down for this fuckin bill!!!!! I couldn't believe it. I don't think I ever felt more used and taken advantage of in my whole life. And to add insult to injury, she calls herself being Christian and gave herself the title of "Evangelist." Hmph! All she did was apologize to me, but I was in no mood to hear any apologies. That shit was for the birds a long time ago! All I wanted to see was money being exchanged. This is definitely going to affect my apartment search (since landlords look at credit reports), which is further adding to my frustration. I'm worried I might get stuck living at home even longer, at a time when I'm really tryin to change that. * Big sigh*
UPDATE: I ended up going to court this summer on my own (cause my fuckin aunt told me that she "wouldn't be able to make it") and speaking with the law firm that was suing me. (The law firm paid the bill to the collection agency, and now they were looking to recover that money from me.) With the help of a mediator, I agreed that I would pay them 80% of the total payment (roughly $2,200), which will be broken down into monthly installments of $300. After the bill has been paid in full, a letter will be sent from them to all 3 credit bureaus informing them that this bill has been satisfied. (This is the only thing on my credit report that is seriously delinquent.) What a hard lesson this was for me. I should've gotten something in writing from my aunt agreeing that she was going to pay the bill, cause I didn't have a leg to stand on by the time I got to court. They are not gonna wanna hear shit about how I thought my aunt was taking care of it. My name and social security number is on the bill, so that makes me (and me alone) responsible. Case closed. (Oh, did I mention that she has worked for various law firms for 30 years???). I love my aunt but I am disgusted by what she did. I have made it my top priority to get this bill paid by mid-2008 and not let anything like this happen to me ever again. Nice to have family, right? Right?!