The fear of poverty

I know apartment complexes need to enforce the rules, but whenever I see a car being booted, I feel really bad for the owner. This photo is from last year:

DSC00604 (3)

My car registration was due in December, but I couldn’t afford to pay for it until January. I was nervous about it, thinking my car would be booted at any moment. I don’t know how aΒ tenant can rectify this problem with a freaking boot on the car.

Ever since I received the eviction notice (which is actually a notice to vacate, but it may as well be an eviction notice), I’ve been on edge. Waiting for a knock on my door, with the police on the other side, forcing me out of my apartment. I’m very thankful for my friend, Payne Hertz (Sean), who explained that I can’t be thrown out of my apartment until March 31st.

And then this morning, I hear a large vehicle outside, which is getting ready to tow a blue car (that looks just like mine):


I’m not what you would call presentable at this moment in time, but that didn’t stop me from hopping to the front door, slipping on some shoes, and high-tailing it outside. Not that I could have stopped this guy if he was actually towing my car.

I don’t know what I would do without my car. As I’ve said before, if or when I become homeless, it will be the only home I have.

Still, I was surprised at my acute reaction. In fact, I’m still shaking. I’m feeling that kind of fear that people who suffer from anxiety must feel all the time. That kind of fear that can make your head throb and your pain worse. I suppose it’s a fear of poverty, although in my case, there’s a little more to it.

Since I’m not a doctor, I can’t diagnose myself with PTSD. But I think my anxiety comes from my past as a pain patient. For those who are interested, that part of my story is here:

Since I’m so shaken up, I decided to do some packing today. Downsizing means deciding what’s worth keeping and how much I have to let go.Β Remember all those cute (but useless) nicknacks you bought at Pier 1? They were the first to go. (I don’t know what I ever saw in nicknacks — sure, they’re cute, but all they do is collect dust.)

Remember those clothes you thought you would fit into someday? Yeah, those have got to go now, too. I’ve been hanging onto my medical records for 30 years, so no doubt there’s plenty to get rid of there also.

It’s hard to worry about taking care of myself when I’m faced with eviction. I’ve already tried chocolate therapy today, but it’s not working. The only good news is that bud is currently helping me cope, along with all of my blogging friends, of course. Can I say “thank you” too much? πŸ™‚

27 thoughts on “The fear of poverty

  1. I’m not a lawyer and I only know what I’ve read here and I don’t know where you exactly live but something seems amiss to me on your “eviction”. I’ll ask the obvious question that is “Have you Googled free legal aid for your area?” An actual eviction is a legal proceeding which does not happen over night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t believe you have until March 31st unless it says so on the notice. Normally if you don’t renew the lease you have to be out on the day the lease expires, but since they gave you 30 days you should have 30 days from the day the notice was posted. Does the notice give a specific date? You are still under the old lease. You are not month-to-month yet. Only if you stay after the lease expires and the landlord takes rent for that month will you be month-to-month. The relevant section of the New Mexico Renters Guide is on page 71.

    “The length of the notice required depends on how often the tenant pays rent. In a week-to-week tenancy the notice must be given seven days in advance (NMSA Β§47-8-37 (A)). A thirty-day notice is required in a month-to-month tenancy (NMSA Β§47-8-37 (B)). Remember, however, the notice periods mean seven or thirty days before the next rent payment is due, so if the landlord gives a notice on May 10 to a tenant who pays rent on the 1st of the month, the notice will not be effective until the end of the next full month (June 30). Notice given on the day rent is due often is not sufficient because a full thirty days will not pass before the first day of the next rental period. Notice should generally be given on the day before rent is due, except for February which would require notice by January 28 or 29.

    For fixed term leases, for example, a lease running from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011, there is usually no notice requirement because the lease simply ends on August 31, 2011. However, notice is still customarily given on such leases so there will be no question about an automatic renewal. A provision for automatic renewal may be contained in the lease, and the tenant should check for such a clause.”

    You should definitely see if the lease is automatic renewal. Your best source of info on this is not me but the local Legal Aid which I was told is called “Law Access.” I tried calling to day but couldn’t get through You might just try going to their office and see what happens. The address is:

    5121 Masthead NE
    Albuquerque, NM 87109

    Their number is:
    998-4529 or

    Not sure of these numbers or the names of these agencies as the people I have spoken to so far didn’t know their ass from their elbow, which you will find is common dealing with community help agencies.

    Their website lists some of their partners which includes “Legal Aid” so this might actually be a separate agency so it’s worth contacting all four.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dude, you just made my heart drop to my stomach. My notice says “Thirty Day Notice to Vacate effective March 31, 2016.” It says I have until that date. I would think that all lease agreements have the automatic renewal language, putting tenants on a month-to-month, but I’m not sure if you’re saying that could help or hurt me.

      Right now I’m disposing of picture frames. I’ll check out my lease later today. But since I worked mainly in the legal field (when I was working), I’d have to say that I’ll probably be better at figuring this out than anyone at a legal aid agency. I’m trying to compose a letter to the landlord, as I have questions only she can answer, but I’m having some difficulty. If I wrote the email at this moment in time, I think too much anger would still show through. Seriously, I believe this woman hates me, and it won’t matter what I say or don’t say.

      However, I think I will need legal aid after I move, as I know that CUBS will sue me for the late-fee balance they say I owe. One of the notices taped to a neighbor’s door (who moved to another state) described the process for the lawsuit. Of course, that woman isn’t around to defend herself, but I will be. πŸ™‚


      • If it says you have to March 31st then you’re good until then. If you have a renewal clause that might help you, as they already sent you a notice saying they were willing to renew and it may have been too late for them to have sent you a notice saying they now want you to vacate. That needed to be done 30 days before the expiration of the lease, which would be like January 29th. Legal Aid and the other people they list may be hit or miss, but I am willing to bet they have a lot of experience with evictions given the general level of poverty in New Mexico. They are the ones who wrote the New Mexico Renter’s Guide which is way better and more comprehensive than a similar publication by the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Don’t underestimate them. They may be able to point you to someone who can help as the law is tricky here. Don’t be stubborn and assume anything try to use every resource you can find. You are in a survival situation and have to reach for anything in the water that might keep you from drowning.

        From page 20:

        “A lease may contain language that provides for the automatic renewal of the term of the lease. Such a provision usually states if the lease is not canceled in advance (usually thirty days) of its termination date, then it will renew itself for another term, or it may turn into a month-to-month lease. The tenant should be aware of the language in the lease or rental agreement. Such language may commit the tenant to stay an extra year, or whatever term is in the agreement, when the tenant might not want to stay that long. The tenant should also remember this language when the lease term is about to run out. The tenant must decide whether to stay over for another full term. If the tenant doesn’t want to stay, written notice must generally be given to the landlord.

        Most leases renew on a month-to-month basis. This means that either the tenant or the landlord can end the lease by giving at least a thirty-day notice.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • I admit, I haven’t read through that document yet. But I now see the list of contacts, thanks. Here’s the problem: “free legal advice for low-income.” I’m pretty sure I won’t qualify, as “low-income” pretty much means destitute.


        • When someone needs an attorney, that usually includes representation. If I was just as powerful as the landlord, I could resolve this on equal footing. But no, I need the help of a “professional” for anyone to listen. And how will I know if their answers are correct? You may think that I’m just trying to avoid making these extra trips, but if I thought it was worth the (even cheap) gas, I would definitely consider it. πŸ™‚


  3. I know about that fear of getting your car booted… I had mine taken to the pound. waking up to see that your car was kidnapped really fucked me up. and knowing exactly why, and it was so embarrassing at the time. and debilitating, since I wasn’t the only one to rely on using the car. I really stopped liking the idea of owning a car after that, especially being a person that forgets street sweeping rules pretty easily.

    I also may know of the relief that a bud can provide. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fear of losing the last thing I own, too, I guess. I was one of those people who leased a car every three years, but this one is bought and paid for. It might be 12 years old, but it’s only got 32,000 miles on it. I’m hoping it will last me… forever. πŸ™‚

      I’m sorry to let you know that Bud is really my best friend, not you. Sorry. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good lord did you only drive it to church on Sundays? πŸ™‚ No one would believe that mileage if you went to sell it and it is amazing considering how you get out and about for your photos. A well-maintained car will last forever in the Southwest. No rust to kill the frame but make sure you wash it well if it has been out on a road that’s been salted for the snow.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Like I would go to church. And like I have the money to visit the car wash. One of the reasons I decided not to try for Colorado is because I need two new tires. And an oil change. And I suppose the rust on the top isn’t a good sign, but it does keep vandals from being interested in taking it. πŸ™‚

          I don’t really get out and about that much to take pictures. I usually take them while I’m running errands. Although, there was this spider one time that I traveled to see on more than one occasion. Of course, the spider lived in an apartment complex that’s just around the corner from me. Unfortunately, I took so many photos, I haven’t even gone through them all yet.

          You know, we talk a lot about me, what about you? Are you still breathing? (My usual response when someone asks me how I am.)


  4. don’t ignore the resources people here are finding for you. just because you have a legal background, you still do not know it all. use the available resources to delay the vacate, to try to get back into that lease they offered you before their sudden about face. try to get more money, more help and more services during this period to help you when you come out the other side of this. i see people here have really looked into some help for you. i worry for you like i would for me,…and i would try every tip no matter how silly it sounded because of that pure fear.

    sending you every one of my best thoughts (happy, strong, resilient, etc.) so if you feel you lack the ability to do something, just remember you have my best thoughts for those times, and i know you can get thru it.

    Liked by 1 person

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