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Beyond Bars: My past is still catching up with me, but that’s OK

By Brian Wood, Beyond Bars Columnist - | Jul 9, 2018

The other night a woman rang my doorbell. When I answered, she asked in her best non-threatening voice, “Hi, are you Brian?” Of course, I said, “Yes.”

However, I was not fooled, this lady was not a friend. I knew exactly what this was, this was my old life catching up with me. As soon as I gave my answer she scribbled something on the papers in front of her and in a different tone said, “Here,” and then handed me the papers. I was being served with a subpoena.

She said something about it being really old, and I thanked her and wished her a good night as she turned and walked away. She probably thought I was an idiot, or at least thought I didn’t comprehend what had just happened.

I owe somebody money. I probably I owe quite a few somebodies money — I don’t know for sure. I pulled my credit report and a less debts are being reported than I thought would have been. This particular creditor, that summoned me to court, was a payday loan service I had used back in 2011. I do not remember the specifics, but I can all but guarantee I used the money to get my fix that day. And I can 100 percent guarantee that when I borrowed it, I had no intention of paying it back.

It’s not the first or last bill relating to the mess I made years before. It is the first one that has requested my attendance in court. I have to say, I prefer this style of invitation to handcuffs. I was hoping to be on a vacation during the time I am set to appear, so that is unfortunate. Hopefully I can get that changed. What does not bother me in the least is the fact that I have to climb out of the hole I dug. It’s just where I am right now.

I’ll follow the court’s orders and make things work the best I can. My restitution was priority number one, but this payday loan place kind of cut in line using the courts. That’s actually how it works with creditors: first come first served, as in the chronological order in which judgments are made determines the order in which they may garnish my wages.

I can and will be garnished up to 25 percent of my income by creditors other than the Office of Recovery Services, aka child support. ORS can and will garnish my wages up to 60 percent of my income for child support and back support accrued during my four year incarceration.

I’m at the rebuilding stage where I literally have to pay for a lot of my mistakes. I imagine a lot of people let a judgment or subpoena ruin their day. I closed the door as the process server walked away, and grinned a bit. It feels pretty good to be able to take care of some of this stuff. No doubt, I’m still in the hole, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Reach digital producer Jessica Kokesh at 801-625-4229 or jkokesh@standard.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @JessicaKokesh or Facebook.com/ByJessKokesh.


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