The Friendly Society of the Filk Community

Signal boost: Filker In Need: Joe Bethancourt
Via osewalrus here:

Some of you may be familiar with Joe Bethancourt, also known in the SCA as Master Ioseph of Locksely. Unfortunately, Joe and his wife Cher have suffered a terrible tragedy. A fire has burned down their home. They saved their pets and Joe's musical instruments, but lost everything else.

The musical community associated with AMAZ radio online is putting together a benefit concert for the Bethancourts. If anyone would like to donate to help Ioseph and Cher they may do so at the
AMAZ Radio web site:

Please feel free to signal boost and distribute on all appropriate SCA and filk related lists.

A bit of help requested
Heyo. I've been busy. Been dealing with shit and having my own bundle of problems, namely of which I'm still unemployed and may be about to lose my place to live.

Living here is starting to become increasingly painful, not to mention a lease being increasingly expensive. I've been unable to find a job, I've been unsuccessful at learning to drive and have probably another 3 months to attempt that before needing a new learner's permit/lessons that I can't afford. I have a car that I may need to sell since I can't drive the damn thing (and have to get new tags for that I don't know if I can afford).

2 of my room mates had a semi-falling out. N has (finally) moved out, and we'll probably be losing the current place end of March due to neither me or L having means to make rent. T doesn't look like he's making enough of an effort to better the situation, and for the most part I am trying not to be completely useless. I've been looking for work almost every single day and have been trying very hard to maintain my sanity and optimism while doing so. We're covered rent-wise through end of March, after that I feel I'm screwed and will be either moving back to California with my parents but hopefully not. I'd like to stay in Washington for as long as I can, without moving back to Starport. Not that I don't love my parents dearly, but they've asked me to avoid moving back in if at all possible.

If you can advise me or help at all, I would love to hear from you. Thanks.

Well, I did not expect to be needing help any time soon. However, I've ran into a problem. As some of you know, I had surgery last June and had a reduced workload for a while after that, reducing my income. We contacted our mortgage company both before and after and have been working on a workout plan. The latest information I had from them was in my account information on their webpage, which said "Your Loan Modification has been approved, and all collections activities have been suspended as a result of this approval." I've been making the payments on time or early for the amount requested while they reviewed the workout.

This week, I received 2 phone calls from them indicating that they wanted a chunk of money right now and that our loan was in default. Today, I received a "Notice of Intent to Accelerate," which is the first step towards foreclosure. It gives us until March 14 and wants the missed payment around the time of my surgery and the accumulated difference between the amount that they asked me to pay during the evaluation of the workout information and regular payment. This adds up to about $5k, possibly lest (depending on how they dealt with the payments that I've sent since their balance calculation; the person on the phone today used a number around $3k). I asked about the approved workout and he tried (or said he would try) to connect me to a supervisor. After a lengthy hold, it switched to a busy signal and disconnected me.

I'm hoping that this is just a case of the left hand not talking to the right hand, and it'll get sorted out and we'll have an appropriate workout plan. However, I believe that due to the tight deadline, I need to do contingency planning.

I think what I need at the moment is moral support and any information any of you have about fighting this kind of problem. A referral to an inexpensive lawyer in California that has experience with this kind of thing would also be helpful. If we wind up with no option but to pay them the money they are asking, I'd like to know if there are any resources I can tap. Our old house in Wells, Nevada is still for sale, so I would expect to be able to pay back the money when/if that house sells.


Bob Laurent

Watch this space?
I'm planning to start posting outlines of some of the questions we might want to discuss, in deciding how to form a Friendly Society that will work for us, with safeguards for the issues that concern people most. I haven't yet because it's been a messy few days at home and I haven't had the brainpower for it, but please don't wait on me! We have more than thirty members now, and I'd be grateful to any of you who start us off by posting ideas, concerns, questions, suggestions, or anything that will get the ball rolling. I will do it when I can, probably in another couple of days, but nobody needs to wait for me to begin. I'm just the one who initiated this idea, I don't consider myself "in charge of" it, and I'm not by any means the only one supposed to start a thread here. I will if nobody else does, and I will post my own thoughts like everyone else (I hope) will, but I hope someone starts by the time I can.

Signal boost posted

Hi -- I just posted a signal boost on mdlbear.

... Let's get started!

This is the organizational list for the Filkers' Friendly Society, which is my arbitrary name for what can be renamed at the members' discretion when we've got a definite group of members. For now, what we have are a lot of people who are interested in organizing a mutual benevolent association of some sort, within the filk community, to help each other through these difficult economic times in some kind of organized way which ensures that those who give support when they can, will also receive support in their turn when they need it. As a community, we have done wonders for some of our members who had horrible emergencies that would have been financially devastating without the outpouring of support from the group. We're good at that. What we have not done so far, because it wasn't necessary, was to organize that to make sure that nobody fell through the cracks. That's what I want to do now.

The overall structure, as I've envisioned it, is pretty simple: a group of households (can be individuals, families, multi-family clusters, what-have-you) commit, in writing, to help support each other in times of economic catastrophe for a minimum period of X years. It needs to be longitudinal because that way each household has opportunity both to be able to help others and maybe in need of help themselves. Otherwise it becomes a charity, and that isn't the purpose; the purpose is to address the worries of people who, however momentarily secure they may be, are aware that in the current climate of economic and health-care uncertainty, there's no telling whether or when they may need to be on the receiving end.

There are a lot of questions attached to this. Do we want to have regular dues and fund members' emergencies out of that, or a system of levies when an emergency arises or just a system of publicizing and accepting voluntary contributions? How do we decide what constitutes an emergency which qualifies for assistance? Who can join? Who holds onto the money? What happens if someone wants to leave? Do we want to do anything else in the spectrum of the work that such societies have sometimes done (which include charitable activities as a group, fundraising through members' donated talents or services for supplementing emergency funds, buying medical or life insurance on a collective basis and passing the savings on to members or even fully self-insuring, barter-coupons for services or goods among members, direct service/aid offered among members, such as taking sick members to doctor appointments, and a half a hundred other things I haven't studied up on yet)?? And how do we legally organize ourselves to make all of the decisions we make about the previous questions hold up when challenged... because no matter how well we like each other going in, they sometime will be?

This forum is, for now, where I invite people to raise, discuss, and get creative about those and other questions. Welcome!


Log in

No account? Create an account