Let me start by saying that I am overwhelmed by the number of people who have expressed their support to Catherine and me since yesterday’s post. It’s such a humbling feeling to experience genuine care and concern from so many people, most of whom we’ve never met. (Click HERE for background.)
After seeing all of your encouraging messages yesterday, I knew I needed to catch you up on the latest news and give you an accurate time line as soon as possible. I received the scary news that there was a judgment with my name on it Monday night and I wrote yesterday’s blog post Tuesday afternoon. As I wrote the post, I had no idea how this all would shake out but I was certainly bracing myself for the worst case scenario. I delayed posting the blog entry until yesterday because my lawyer was working on the case during the week, and I wanted to err on the side of caution just in case the post itself could somehow affect his work.
So here’s how it went down: as soon as I got the bad news in the Home Depot parking lot, as Catherine will tell you, I had a slight freak out moment. Catherine kept asking me what was wrong and I just couldn’t get the words to come out of my mouth to explain it all. After 30 seconds or so, which probably felt like days to her, I managed to tell her the situation as I knew it. I learned of the judgment because we are in the process of selling our home and the title company discovered a lien on our property (unpaid judgments can turn into liens). So after sitting in the car for about ten minutes and having a minor meltdown, I called my attorney Jeremy Anderson who just happens to be one of my best friends and also a great business litigation lawyer here in Dallas. As attorneys often do, Jeremy told me not to panic and that we’d get it all figured out, but he didn’t exactly fill me with a ton of confidence either. Attorneys by nature are usually not the most optimistic people in the world. Jeremy told me he’d call me the next day once he heard anything from the opposing lawyer.
Needless to say I didn’t get a ton of sleep Monday night and I spent most of Tuesday staring at my phone waiting to hear something from Jeremy. It was during this time that I decided I’d give my worries and anxiousness over to God and decided to write the blog post. That afternoon around four o’clock, Jeremy called and told me he had good news. He informed me that I was dealing with a fraudulent lien. In short, the judgment was clearly against my defunct company and not me personally but they somehow placed a lien on my house because I was listed as a registered agent for that company (which basically means mail goes to me). Someone at the Dallas County Clerks Office failed to catch that minor detail and issued the lien anyway.
In short, Jeremy spent a lot of time getting everything straightened out for Catherine and me over the next few days. I’m so grateful for his time and hard work, which he performed pro bono for us (he said I could pay him back by buying him a cheeseburger). I decided to go ahead and post my original thoughts on yesterday’s blog post in present tense because I felt like the honesty and realness might carry some weight and help others trust in God’s plan during times of difficulty. It felt a little weird posting it without giving you guys the outcome yesterday, so I apologize for the delayed follow-up.
But the point I want to leave you with is this: even if it hadn’t of all worked out in the end, even if Catherine and I had been put into a crappy situation financially, I’d still trust that God had better plans for me. I know that I serve a God who loves me, despite my tendency to screw up frequently (see Catherine for a long list of specific examples), and wants the best for my life. And the best certainly doesn’t mean financial prosperity but instead the best means true peace and joy by having an intimate relationship with my creator.
Lastly, I usually don’t recognize negative comments but I feel like it’s important to clear a few things up.
First, almost all commercial leases require a personal guarantee if your business doesn’t have significant assets. At the time of signing our lease, we knew there was uncertainty pertaining to the longevity of our business model, so we paid a hefty upfront cost to ensure no one would be personally liable if we had to break the lease. The office building’s management team was okay with that because the upfront money meant they’d have sufficient time to find a new tenant if that ever happened.
Secondly, I’ve seen a couple of you say that as a Christian, whether legally responsible or not, I should repay my debts. I don’t disagree with that at all. But what you don’t seem to grasp is that we didn’t finance company with loans, we financed the company by selling equity in our start-up company to accredited investors. These accredited investors knew it was high-risk (which was detailed in a private placement memorandum) but invested because they understood it had the potential to produce a big return. I would equate it to investing in a tech start-up today- high risk but big upside. With that said, the number one rule when brining on investors is to protect their principal and I failed to do that. I sat down with each one of them and offered my heartfelt apologies and as investors seem to do, they accepted the situation and moved on to other investments.
Finally, I believe I saw a comment or two about Catherine and I flaunting our money. If I’ve given you that impression, I’m sorry. As Catherine will tell you, I’m the cheapest man she’s ever met so there’s a little bit of irony in there. I’m thankful for what we have and I try every day to humble myself and not let pride seep into my life. As for that Porsche I used to drive, it was given to me from a car leasing company here in Dallas in exchange for doing some radio ads. Sadly they took it back. I’m almost positive Jesus would drive a free Porsche too if it was offered to him so I feel okay about that one.
Once again, thank you so much to everyone who truly cares for Catherine and me. It really is a humbling feeling.
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