How To Escape The Shackles Of Debt
Andrew (changed his name to protect his identity) was like most people, he worked hard and wanted his piece of the American dream.
Andrew and his wife Michelle had 2 children and wanted a home of their own instead of living in a 2-bedroom apartment so when they came across a real estate agent offering rent to own opportunities they were really interested. The way the rent to own deal worked Andrew and Michelle would need to come up with a $5,000 option fee that would let them buy the house in 2 years time based on an agreed upon price, the home was assessed at $400,000 and they agreed to pay $445,000 which was the price the homeowner wanted in exchange for the rent to own agreement.
Andrew and Michelle were really happy to take this deal and while $50,000 was a large sum of cash to come up with they were going to be homeowners and that made everything better. Fast forward to two years later, when it came time to buy the house both Andrew and Michelle were caught in the economic meltdown of 2008 and had to come up with a $445,000 payment for the house they agreed to purchase 2 years earlier but there was a problem, none of the banks were lending and the property seller was going to sue Andrew and Michelle for $30,000 in penalties for breaking the deal.
The real estate agent who offer Andrew this rent to own deal conveniently forgot to mention the penalty should Andrew not be able to secure financing but to be fair this was when security guards could buy million dollar mansions so everyone was happy with cheap mortgages.
The Fallout Of 2008
After the seller sued Andrew and Michelle they were stuck with a $30,000 lien against their bank accounts so Michelle left Andrew and moved back with her mother taking the kids with her. Andrew promised Michelle that he would try to get work and help send money to her and the kids but during the economic collapse of 2008 jobs were really hard to come by. It was at the end of 2008 and start of 2009 when Michelle did the unthinkable and sue Andrew for child support payments based on his income before the economic collapse, the state law (not mentioning the state to protect Andrew) was that child support was calculated based on what was reported to the I.R.S. so Andrew found himself sinking even further in debt. With both the liens from the homeowner and Michelle weighing down on him Andrew thought about declaring bankruptcy but sadly these debts could not be discharged so he was stuck with them.
The Straw That Broke The Camels Back
Andrew was working manual labour jobs here and there that paid cash but he needed a way to break free and get away from this debt so he decided to purchase a life insurance plan where he put his 2 children as the beneficiaries of the policy. The policy was hurt $250,000 and was payable after 1 year waiting period. Since Andrew could not commit suicide he decided fake his own death which would get rid of his debts and provide some much needed income for his children. He relocated to New Orleans and was hanging around in an area notorious for crime.
His family was under the impression that Andrew was drinking, doing drugs and living in New Orleans for quite some time as a drifter. Since New Orleans did not fully recover from Hurricane Katrina there was a large number of vagrants running around. Andrew looked for a person that matched his body shape and size then he bought a large amount of alcohol and had that person drink and drink until they passed out. Andrew then proceeded to set the house on fire, when firefighters arrived they would report the person who died is Andrew and he would be able to start his new life but Andrew encountered a small hassle, he would need to assume a new name.
What he did was go to a local graveyard and look for the name of a small child who was born around the same year as Andrew but died at a very young age so that child would not have a social security number. What Andrew did was write to the government saying his name was that of the child and he needed a social security number and new birth certificate since his was lost in Hurricane Katrina, all of this was a lie but completely plausible so he was issued the documentation.
Once Andrew received his new documents and lease on life he moved forward with his plan and set fire to the place where the person who looked like him was unconscious due to alcohol poisoning. While this situation may sound horrible it goes to show just how much of an impact debt can have on a family.
We cannot judge Andrew because we are not in his position but we hopefully you will sleep easy at night knowing you do not have to make such a tough decision like Andrew had to make.