- “Tommy, don’t ever buy anything with a credit card, or you will pay for it twice” Tom Nardone Sr. (my father)
These are the words of my father. I heard his words and I heeded his words for many years. I got married and that changed pretty quickly. I told my now ex-wife one day that we wouldn’t be getting a credit card. We eventually did. It was not so bad though because we did not ever use it. Then it was a little here, a little there, then eventually, maxed out. Then it was more cards and then debt, shit, what the hell? We were in the fucking credit zone.
(Fast Forward) Sunday February 29th 2004. My wife left me. While that was a truly unexpected gift in and of itself, she did not take everything. She did take the money, the car, all of her miscellaneous bullshit, but she did leave me with the first and second mortgage, all of the credit card debt, and all the bills. Yes. I know. What a bitch.
I determined that things would have to change. I knew I would have to sell the house, and get an apartment.
It came time to pay all the bills. I was alone in the house one day. I sat down at the kitchen table and went through everything. Just for fun; I added up all the minimum amounts that I could get by with. When I realized how much I would need I just started laughing. I don’t mean a little giggle. It was full on fetal position on the kitchen floor laughter.
I got up off the kitchen floor, and I went out and bought a new laptop. I cannot tell you how good that felt. I decided that nobody gets paid except me. I remember thinking to myself, hell maybe they won’t even care. I was wrong. Apparently there are people who will call you when you don’t pay your bills.
Many of you have gotten a call from a bill collector, and you probably did not enjoy the experience as much as I did. In fact I don’t think anybody enjoyed it as much as I did. I had already decided to file bankruptcy and done all the paper work. My attorney said “Tom, the only thing left to do is pay us the $969.00 dollars, and then we will go ahead and pull the trigger on this thing”. I had the money and I could have just written the check. I decided “hey, what’s the rush? I can milk this out for a while.” The amount of calls increased and that is where the real fun began. I want to share with you some of the conversations I had with my bill collectors. It is my hope that you will adopt some of these methods, and turn something you fear or dread into something that you will perhaps look forward to.
Toms Chosen Accent: “Deep Southern”
Discover: Hello Mr. Nardone, How are you today?
Tom: Bill, I am fantastic. I got up this morning and had really good breakfast. I am off work today and I thought maybe I might go and see a movie. I don’t know if anything good is playing but I probably need to get out of the house anyway becau….(Bill interrupts)
Discover: Yes Mr.Nardone that is great but I need to tell you that there is a problem with your account.
Tom: there is a problem?
Discover: Yes, we did not get your payment for March or April. I am sure it must be an oversight, but we would like to get this cleared up today if possible.
Tom: Bill, there is something I got to tell you but I don’t want you to be mad at me. You seem like a nice guy, and I am afraid that if I tell you this, you won’t like me. If I tell you something do you promise that we can still be friends?
Discover: uhhh yah sure
Tom: No Bill, do you promise?
Discover: Yes Mr. Nardone, I promise.
Tom: Bill I suck at paying bills. I have always sucked at it. I will mess it up and make everybody down there angry with me. So I decided rather than to upset you and your bosses that I would just save you a bunch of time and aggravation, so just cancel my account. I am glad that me and you can still be friends. Listen I am gonna let you go before I get upset, and start crying. Maybe this movie will cheer me up. I like you bill and I would love it if you would stay in touch. Bye Bye now.
Discover: Hello Mr. Nardone this is Jenny with Discover Card how are you today?
Tom: Jenny I am just wonderful, How are you Jenny?
Discover: I am fine sir, listen the reason I am calling is because your account is past due.
Tom: Jenny, I already know all this, there was a feller called me last week and he is already handling it for me. I am sorry nobody told you about that, and made you waste your time. Hey! Do you know Bill? How is his mama?Man he is a really great guy, you know me and him is friends now because of all this?
Discover: Sir that is really nice but we do need to take care of this right now
Tom: Oh wait sorry, I gotta go law and order is on. Call back in a hour.
By the end, I knew two or three people with Discover. They were actually the nicest people. The southern accent was a lot of fun too.
Toms Chosen Accent: “none”
Capitol One: Hello. Is this Mr. Nardone?
Capitol One: Mr.Nardone, this is peter with Capitol One how are you today?
Capitol One:Mr. Nardone the reason I am calling is because we have not received a payment from you in the past 90 days so I wanted to call and see if we could clear this up?
Tom:Peter, I am not going to pay you shit.
Capitol One:Excuse me?
Tom:I don’t have to pay this bill so why should I?
Capitol One:Mr. Nardone this will be a negative entry on your credit file.
Tom:My credit is already turned to shit, what else have you got?
Capitol One:Mr. Nardone you owe this money.
Tom: Yah I sort of got that impression when the bill came. I assume it was a bill. When I see Capitol One on an envelope I just throw it in the shit-can with the rest of the bullshit I get in the mail. Peter let me save you some time. You should pretend that I am a turnip, and you are in search of blood.
Chevy Chase Visa
Toms Chosen Accent: “none”
Visa: Mr. Nardone your account is past due by 120 days. We really need to set up some sort of a payment plan. How much are you prepared to pay us for this today?
Tom: Hey do you believe I can fit an entire pear into my mouth. I was just about to try it when you called. Hold on.
I would then just talk into the phone with my fist in my mouth for the rest of the conversation, until they hung up.
Sometimes I would just sing songs right in the middle of them talking. I was always impressed with how long they would actually stay on the line. One guy stayed until the end of a song. As soon as he started talking , I went into another song. He actually said “Oh Fuck this deadbeat” and then hung up.
Sometimes I would answer the phone and say my name was Vinnie from a local bank, and that I was in Tom’s house stealing shit to pay the debts that he owes. I would even urge them to get here before everything was gone, and be shit-out-of-luck.
I once asked a bill collector this; “What do my TV, my stereo, and my computer all have in common?” he said “I don’t know sir” I said “They are all things I bought with your money, that you will never ever see again”
I do not feel the need to discuss the immoral banking practices that are at work every day in this country. If you own a credit card then you know about them.
I did file bankruptcy and at no time during the process did I feel any guilt or any remorse. I had been taking it in the ass for years, and just decided that it was over. Bill collectors eventually got nasty. They would make threats and talk about all kinds of things in an attempt to scare me.
I walked out of that court room with a big smile on my face. I felt as if I had struck a blow against the criminals of this country who hide from sight under the guise of a legitimate business. The only thing I have left to say to those people is “Go Fuck Yourself, and thanks for the free shit”
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.
- You can join the I Am Tom Nardone Facebook Group by clicking HERE.
- Or you can enter you email address at the top of this page and click the button that says “BE AWESOME”
- Or you could risk never hearing from me again and go through life without the benefit of my counsel, but what would be the fun in that?
IT WILL FEEL GREAT!!!