BiggerPockets Money Podcast 50: Rebuilding Your Financial Life After Bankruptcy with Patrice Washington

by | BiggerPockets.com

Patrice Washington was flying high in 2006, with the multi-million dollar real estate company she had started with her husband practically printing money.

But 2007/2008 came, and things went south fast. A high-risk pregnancy finally pushed her over the financial edge—she came out of the hospital with a healthy baby, but massive hospital bills after her insurance company cancelled her policy mid-stay.

Patrice and her husband did anything and everything they could to avoid bankruptcy, a mentor told them “You can’t nickel-and-dime your way out of $2 million in debt.” Bankruptcy wiped out all debts, wrecking their credit but allowing them to start over fresh.

Fast forward a few years, and now Patrice is America’s Money Maven, teaching others how to get their financial house in order to lead their best, most satisfying lives.

Bankruptcy doesn’t have to define you, and this episode is an excellent example for anyone starting over.

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast, show number 50 where we interview the Patrice Washington.

That debt kept me up. I was constantly trying to figure out what can I do. The mortgage companies that I had given so much business to, not just my own but hundreds of files, those were the same companies that wouldn’t help me renegotiate my mortgages or modify my loans or anything. And I felt like a failure for sure but like what am I going to do?

And the moment we finally even after he told us that it probably took us four or five months to really pull the trigger. And the moment that we started the process, I’m not going to lie that was probably the best sleep I had gotten. Not just because I had a small child, it was literally the first time I felt some sort of peace. Like okay I can move on with my life and accept that this is just a season and this should not define the rest of my life. And I just can’t allow it to.

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Scott: How’s it going everybody, I’m Scott Trench, and I’m here with my co-host, Ms. Mindy Jensen. How are you doing today Mindy?

Mindy: Scott I’m having a fantastic day. It is beautiful outside, the sun is shining there’s no snow. And it’s a good day to be alive. How are you doing?

Scott: I am doing fantastic. I was excited to interview Patrice today.

Mindy: I was so excited. So I had an email from Andre who said, “You should get Patrice Washington on the show. She’s so inspirational, her story is so great.” And I’m like you know what, I bet we could have Patrice on our show. I’m kind of a fan of Patrice Washington because I mean her story is amazing. Her story is kind of unbelievable at how high she got and how low she dropped during that horrible financial crisis that we had 11.5 years ago now.

Scott: Yeah I thought her story was I mean her story is famous and fantastic for a reason. It’s because of the extreme highs and extreme lows that she’s kind of seen throughout her life. The hard times and then the big breaks and then seizing of the opportunities that she’s gone after. And then all of that’s of course driven by her unbelievable charisma that she brings to the table.

Mindy: Yeah and just having that positive energy you know what, this is not going to define me. This really awful little segment of my life is not going to define the rest of my life. And it kind of has in that it inspired her to do her best work, but she’s not someone who filed for bankruptcy. She’s someone who filed for bankruptcy and bounced back. And is now even better than she was before.

And I think that her message of her husband worked at a job that most everybody would find non-appealing. Sub optimal at a rate that was terrible but it provided health insurance for the family and that’s what they needed most. So you do what you have to do to survive and then you continue moving forward. And I really like that message that she brought today is just you don’t let a bad thing keep you down. Push through it.

Scott: No I love it as well. Should we bring her in?

Mindy: We should. Before let’s hear a note from today’s show sponsor.

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Mindy: Okay. Huge thanks to today’s show sponsor. Patrice Washington, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. How are you doing today?

Patrice: I’m fantastic, thanks for having me.

Mindy: Thank you so much for coming on. I’m super excited to talk to you and I want to give a shout out to Andre Morals from Toledo Ohio who suggested that I reach out to you and I’m like you know what, I should reach out to her. She’s the Patrice Washington I’m super excited to talk to her. So can you walk us through where your journey with money begins?

Patrice: Well it was 1981-no I’m just kidding. I would say my big kind of defining moment if you will actually came in my 20’s and it was the thing that helped me look back on my childhood. So I want to fast forward to 19 years old getting involved with real estate, was introduced to real estate by a family member, falling in love with it and then by 21 becoming a real estate mortgage broker. So during my senior year in college I started my mortgage brokerage.

Mindy: Oh wow.

Patrice: And thought I would do that forever, was making great money, this is in the early 2000’s when that was the thing to do and thought I would do it forever I was living the good life, the high life until 2007 when we began to feel the effects of what would become the great recession when I was on bedrest in the hospital.

I had taken a call down the stairs 20 weeks pregnant and went into full term labor and got to the hospital and they said, “I’m sorry this baby is coming any minute now.” And I just felt like oh my gosh everything is over and all I needed to do is pray. But I prayed and ended up being admitted to the hospital. And actually stayed there for 10 weeks on hospital bedrest.

My daughter is a fighter she held on strong. But while I was on bedrest we were starting to see the effects. So at the time I had 16 people, real estate agents and loan officers that worked in my business as well as processors and all these other people. And they were calling me left and right saying, “What are we going to do? This deal just fell out, our client just lost their deposit, like this is happening.”

Every fire that could happen was kind of happening at that point and I found myself stressing out in the hospital watching the news. And every day the banks were shutting down. And there was one day in particular around five weeks after being there, my doctor came in, she could tell where the belt around my waist they were monitoring the baby and all that stuff.

And she said, “Listen if you don’t stop stressing out, you’re going to leave here two years in a row with no baby.” Because they year before I had at 24 weeks and he died after five hours in my arms. And that was it, I made a decision in that moment like I knew that my life was going to be different when I got out of there but I just made a choice to surrender.

I asked them to take the TV off the wall because I could not focus on the mortgage industry and the real estate bubble bursting and all that. I was just trying to bring my baby into the world healthy. So after that another five weeks had gone by and at 30 weeks I had my daughter. And she stayed in the NICU for three and a half weeks.

She was perfectly healthy, no complications with her. But I left with a healthy baby and then a healthy medical debt of about almost $400,000. And all during this time my business was not really bringing in any money. My husband and I own 13 pieces of property at the time and I had tenants not paying rent, they were losing jobs it was a nightmare. Like everything that could happen happened. And it still kind of hits me sometimes just sharing.

Mindy: Wow. That’s kind of a lot to deal with all in like the span of 10 weeks. I mean one of those things is tough to deal with. But wow. Let’s unpack some of that. So you have a healthy baby, yay hurray that’s fantastic. Let’s talk about thee $400,000 was any of that covered with- yeah we don’t have to. This is your show we can just talk about all the highs.

Patrice: No, I mean but the beauty of the story is being able to get through the lows right. So we can’t talk from mountain top to mountain op and not share what happens in the valleys. So actually I was really blessed coming out of that whole experience. So of course I didn’t know in the moment that I was leaving with a healthy baby and a healthy medical debt.

When I went into the hospital I had insurance coverage and I figured that I was fine. It was several weeks after getting home with my daughter when you get the bills like after the fact and the dust is settled, when I realized that I had that medical debt, and that my insurance had dropped me during the season of me being in the hospital.

Because apparently I had exhausted some coverage because I was a high risk pregnancy. I had my babies literally my daughter was born almost a year to the day of my son. So because I was high risk with him and then turned around and got pregnant again and ended up in this unfortunate, I wasn’t necessarily high risk with her.

But I took the fall down the stairs and that created a whole another… wheel so I got dropped by my insurance in the process. And I didn’t know because no one was bringing me mail in the hospital.

Mindy: Can they do that?

Patrice: They did it.

Mindy: Wow.

Patrice: It wouldn’t cover anything that had to do with maternity.

Mindy: I just don’t even know where to go with that. I didn’t know they could cancel your coverage halfway through. I mean I guess if nobody is giving you the mail. So how did you get through that?

Patrice: Well actually I ended up applying for financial hardship with the hospital directly. I instantly went into reactive mode, was calling the hospital figuring out what I could do. And I called started talking to folks. And a woman who I spoke to on the phone said, “Well we have some funds set aside that we only allocate to very special cases and all these things.”

And I literally just told my story. It was probably like two or three pages. This who I am, this is what I was up against, here were the circumstances. I’m self-employed, real estate. The real estate market is tanking, I don’t have any other means of income and all these things and I ended up being forgiven.

They have like a forgiveness program. And I didn’t find out for probably like five or six months. I was just kind of still trying to deal with the rest of life and everything that else was going on. But I got a letter one day that some of the debt had been forgiven and it was about 250.

Mindy: Okay that’s a lot.

Scott: So you still have 150k left at this point of debt that you have to pay off, is that right?

Patrice: I did. I did give everything I could though.

Scott: Well what was your- I mean that’s much better than 400, right. But what’s your position a few months later? The dust is starting to settle, you got that forgiven, what’s your financial income… once you have to pay off that debt from that point on?

Patrice: No, the dust really hadn’t started to settle. It was actually really just getting started because this for me was happening my daughter was born August 2007. So as you guys know by the time we got to like mid-2008, it was really like imploding everything was really going on. So by then, I always say one of the things that I didn’t know how to do at that time was ask for help.

I was used to being this smart kid that could figure it out and make it happen. So I kept trying to shift what dollars I did have to save certain projects or maybe if I just get this done with the savings that I did have, it was like, “If I get this done then we can sell this property and get some cash out and use it to do,” and I just kept robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I’m sure you’ve heard that expression and just trying to finagle things and figure it out. And everything that I tried literally failed in that season. It seemed like nothing would work. I tried to rehab a property that I had purchased after Hurricane Katrina down in New Orleans and they were still looking habitable properties at that time so that they could bring people back in Houston and Atlanta and all this stuff.

And I’d dumped money into a project where the contractor stole the money. He was sending me pictures of completed rooms that were not in my building. So when my husband got there to go finally check it out inspect the work let’s try to get it on the market, open the doors and the pictures we have received for the last month were not from our actual property.

So it was literally a snowball someone said a cluster of things that happened. So it took about a year but after a year we had exhausted everything and shut the business down and went on a payment plan with the hospital for the remaining debt. And eventually ended up having to file bankruptcy four years later because I just never could get out of it.

Between the mortgages and the hospital debt, it was just a losing battle. And I had a mentor finally I opened up and asked for help which is something I just was not used to doing. Besides what I did with the hospital, I didn’t really feel like I had people to ask who had done more than I had done at that point. But ended up meeting someone I would consider a mentor and finally told him the whole story.

And they were like, “Look, you can’t nickel and dime your way out of two million dollars’ worth of debt. You have all these properties that are mortgaged and you have this medical debt and you owe them a $150,000 you’re trying to pay $350 a month. How long are you going to let this go on before you just start your life over?” And I finally accepted it and had to file bankruptcy.

Scott: What year did you file bankruptcy in?

Patrice: 2012.

Scott: Yeah. I think my research on bankruptcy is that it’s something you want to try to avoid if you have 10, 20, even $30,000, $50,000 in debt. But then when you have two million dollars like the way you’re talking you’re piling up hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars. And it just is not possible. I mean that’s intention servitude for the rest of your life.

Patrice: Yeah it didn’t matter what progress I made. Right like it did not matter what I was doing, what progress I made it was constantly like that dark shadow just like that hump on your back that you just can’t get rid of. And when he finally said this to my husband and I, we were like but I have a faith based background and I had just learned that that’s not what you do. Through some whatever just practices I just never thought that I would have to do that.

And because I was the one who was better off financially than most people that I knew growing up or in my immediate circle, there was a guilt and a shame associated with it. But I tell you what, for those four years I was not sleeping at night. That debt kept me up. I was constantly trying to figure out what can I do.

The mortgage companies that I had given so much business to, not just my own but hundreds of files, those were the same companies that wouldn’t help me renegotiate my mortgages or modify my loans or anything. And I felt like a failure for sure but like what am I going to do? And the moment we finally even after he told us that it probably took us four or five months to really pull the trigger.

And the moment that we started the process, I’m not going to lie that was probably the best sleep I had gotten. Not just because I had a small child, it was literally the first time I felt some sort of peace. Like okay I can move on with my life and accept that this is just a season and this should not define the rest of my life. And I just can’t allow it to.

Mindy: I love that comment. So I have kind of a big problem with people who use bankruptcy like Scott said if you’ve $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 you’re like, “Well I’m just going to file for bankruptcy,” I’m sorry that’s not what it’s for. But when your entire industry has crushed and you had nothing to do with it and you couldn’t stop it and you couldn’t foresee it, all of this, you’re fighting a losing battle.

And at that point this is what bankruptcy is for. This overwhelming monumental and you still struggled for four years to try to pay it all off. But how did you get over the whole okay I’m just going to do this? How did you come to terms with that? And did you and your husband have a lot- I’m assuming you had a lot of conversations about this. What was your husband doing at the time?

Patrice: My husband had actually at the time that everything happen like when we first lost everything?

Mindy: Yes.

Patrice: At the time that all of this happened, my husband was actually my business partner. So we were best friends in college and then I guess he started liking me or something and I allowed him. He’s actually my business partner so that was the other thing. Everything that we had was together in the same industry.

It’s not like I had something else to depend on. Everything that we did, we did together. And my husband actually went from we went from this seven figure business to literally scraping up change like a year later. I remember vividly shaking purses out just trying to get two dollars and change for milk for my daughter.

It was literally that bad and my husband who also college educated and had ran a business before we even did our business together, went from tailored suits and travelling all over the place to taking a job at Taco Bell where he regularly had people who would throw food at him through the drive through window.

That was the only job he could get after applying probably two dozen places and going all over the small area that we had moved to, he took a job a Taco Bell I won’t say his salary but it was significantly lower.

Mindy: They could not pay him seven figures?

Patrice: They weren’t, could you believe it for such hard work but they health insurance. And at the time with a small baby who was born prematurely, that was what we needed was health insurance. And he kept that job for 18 months. And during a period of that we went from foreclosing on our home in Southern California to living in this 600sqft apartment in Metairie Louisiana.

Which is where we went thinking we were going to finish the properties as I said. And then kind of got stuck in a town where we knew no one, no friends, no family nothing just the three of us the two of us and our baby. He takes the job at Taco Bell and I eventually left and went to Atlanta and lived on my brother’s couch for three months. By then it’s late 2008 early 2009.

Mindy: Okay. Well let’s get out of this valley and talk about the next mountain that you climbed. I mean obviously coming out of bankruptcy and working at Taco Bell, I worked at Dairy Queen which was not my favorite job ever. So I can’t imagine and I was like 15 or something. That is the hardest job you will ever have.

It seems like the more money you make the less like physically tasking the less difficult your job is to deal with. I don’t know at least that’s my case and yeah being at Taco Bell would be I’m sure very difficult. So you went to your brother’s house, you lived with him for three months.

Patrice: I did but before going to Atlanta what got me to Atlanta was being in this apartment in Metairie Louisiana. And one day just getting to the point where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I mean and I think a lot of people can relate to this especially for me I felt like I was not one of those sleazy mortgage brokers that was putting people in bad loans.

I was actually doing my due diligence and doing things the right way so I thought. And I just felt this moment, my husband had taken my daughter out and I was in bathroom looking in the mirror just having one of those moments where I finally was like, “God I can’t take anymore. Why me? What did I do? I’ve been a good person, I operate in integrity I treat people fairly.”

“Like how does this happen? I went to school I got the good grades I was o Dean’s List at the USC, like I’m supposed to be smart. But how could this happen to me?” and finally it started as just kind of talking in the mirror and having this conversation out loud to a full blown like bawling, snorting, crying. I don’t know if you guys have ever had a moment where you just had to snort and cry. Scott I know you’re 11 so maybe you haven’t had it.

Scott: Not yet, next year.

Patrice: Really you haven’t had that yet and I hope you never have to but really one of those like I can’t take anymore. I was broken and broken right I just couldn’t take anymore. And before I knew it my knees were on the floor in the bathroom and my head was on the linoleum and I was just literally just, “God what am I going to do?”

And I ended up finding a scripture in the Bible that in that moment was for me a defining moment. I feel like it saved my life. And it was Proverbs 17:16 it said: What good is money in the hands of a fool if they had no desire to seek wisdom. And that whole what good is money, like that’s what I was feeling like what good was all the money that I made if this was the end result.

I’m like I’m only 28 well 27/28 years old like this cannot define the rest of my life, this is not. But I felt this urge that was like you got to tell people. You have to teach people this, you have to teach people that it’s not just about money like you have to seek wisdom. It’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to wait until your back is up against the wall to get wise counsel.

I felt this flood of emotion like you’re not the only one and you know that so what are you going to do to contribute to helping people? So I took that passion that I had for financial education when I was doing all my mortgage broker work I was doing a lot of speaking at churches and non-profits and all this stuff all around LA.

And I took that and said, you know what, I did lose my money in this season but my mind isn’t bad. And as long as I know what I know there’s got to be something that I could do to help other people. And in that moment like I made it my life and I was like, this is what you’re going to do. I don’t know who’s going to listen, I don’t know why they will listen but that’s not my job.

My job is not to force people to listen. It’s to be transparent and share what my journey is. And the next morning I got up off that floor of bawling and snorting and crying and started a free blog spot where I would just teach little lessons about money or business. And that free blog spot which is still up to this day is an ugly little blog spot.

I knew nothing about being on the internet or any of that stuff. I come from the background of running a brick and mortar business so I had no concept of it really. But I started that free blog spot and it turned into eventually writing for other websites. And then it turned into writing for magazines and then radio and then books and TV and all the other stuff. But that was the moment, being on that floor saying this can’t be it.

Mindy: What is that blog spot link? I want to link to that in the show notes.

Patrice: It’s seekwisdomfindwealth.blogspot.com and I leave it up in particular because I just want people to remember that you have to start somewhere. And like just don’t forget, like I don’t want to forget. It gets easy to get caught up because people regard me now as America’s Money Maven and all this stuff.

But I know what I was thinking in the moment that I started that. In the moment it came to me on that bathroom floor and like I can’t forget that. It’s why I have the compassion for people that I do.

Mindy: That’s a good point because it’s really easy to sit here in 2018 when we’re recording this and it’s a really great economy, and thinking, “Oh it really wasn’t that bad.” Yeah it was that bad. 2007/2008 I had a brand new baby too so my focus was a little bit someplace else. But it was a really awful time.

And to be working in this industry where literally you’re suffering from the skeezy people that were also in your industry even though you kept yourself in high regard is very difficult to swallow. And that’s just so easy to forget. I’m sorry Scott I cut you off.

Scott: Oh no, I think that’s a great point. I was just going to kind of go and see if we can talk about kind of the nuts and bolts of what you kind of did to rebuild your position following the bankruptcy. And like what does your kind of spending look like?

How did you kind of go about generating more income? Where did you kind of begin reinvesting? Or rather after you have a bankruptcy there’s challenges where you can’t get credit anymore for a little bit. I kind of wanted to kind of walk through maybe that journey a little bit.

Patrice: Yeah. So one of the first things that I really got clear about is the fact that I was sharing with people more and folks were trying to tell me about couponing, and using… boards and using all these different things.

And I tried it for a bit Scott and honestly I was like you know what, with the same effort of six hours on a Sunday cutting out coupons I really could be working on how am I going to really use what I feel like I need to do in the marketplace. So instead of doing that I started to volunteer at financial education nonprofits all over Atlanta.

Literally Googling, finding them and emailing them and saying, “Hey I would love to volunteer, here’s my background, here’s stuff I’ve taught.” Several people ignored me, a couple of people said yes that’s all you ever need. And I really started to make a name for myself just because I was engaging and I used stories more than like hardcore point one, point two point three.

As their curriculum outline I really tried to leverage the stories that I knew of personally or from other people along with their curriculum. And then just became known for doing that. So those types of things started to give me opportunities to make money and then I would take that money, we based everything that we used for expenses only off of my husband’s income.

And then any of those things that came up I would use towards saving and paying off debt. Those are two things I always looked at doing simultaneously. So when we did have to get another car I learned about second chance banking and second chance financing and all these things that I had never had an awareness of.

But again it was continuing to like I got denied by the first credit union where I tried to get a car. When we got to Atlanta we had one car. And I remember taking my husband to Taco Bell 25 miles away from our house and then taking my daughter another 10 miles to a family friend, the only people we really knew there to watch my daughter, because I couldn’t afford daycare at that time.

Only to drive back to the same area to do the volunteering or the odd jobs that I had taken. So we had one car and we did that for several months and then went to apply for a car and got denied of course. And still going back and saying, “Hey I got the letter that I was denied, is there any chance? Is there any hope?”

And someone at the bank saying, “Well we have what we call second chance financing. You’re going to have a ridiculously high rate. But at the time it was like but we need the additional car to get more money to do what it is we want to do. So I learned a lot of kind of unconventional opportunities I guess to kind of stay in mainstream.

And I paid exorbitant amounts for several years. It’s really just in the last I would say three years that I’m back to having normal rates for different products. I still don’t use credit cards to this day, I still only have one credit card. But the most of the debt that was included in my bankruptcy were mortgages they weren’t cards and all that but it’s still.

Scott: Yeah you mentioned something earlier where you were paying off debt. Your husband was working at a job and then you are volunteering you’re taking odd jobs and you’re paying off debt. What debt did you kind of come out with after the bankruptcy?

Patrice: No, so when my husband was at Taco Bell that was before 2012.

Scott: Oh I see.

Patrice: That was like 2011 and that was where all those jobs I was in like a million different payment plans. So it was like 350 to the hospital and it was $200 here and trying to pay off a second mortgage on this random property in Texas. And there were just a series of little things and I would just rotate. And I kept a perfect Excel sheet where I would just allocate things.

And honestly there were some things where I was paying like $50 and $75 and $100 and whatever I could do, I just kept shelling towards it. And then in 2012, is when I learned of filing bankruptcy and that’s what we ended up doing.

Scott: Yeah so after the bankruptcy what did you guys do for work?

Patrice: So by the time of the bankruptcy I actually was starting to do this. So I was already sharing my story so when I got off that like early 2009 is when I started the blog. So simultaneously as I was paying off debt stuff I was sharing that journey. I was sharing here’s what’s going on, it wasn’t a pretty journey but again I was doing it more so locally and through my blog.

And people were interested. And that’s the first time I realized that people would actually have some type of interest in other people’s financial woes because you gave them a sense of like hope as well that they weren’t alone. And that’s when I really started to use my story. So actually by 2012 I had written my first book.

I used the collection of the blog posts to write my first book. That came out June 2012 and it was a book more so catered towards college students. And I think that was the first time that it dawned on me that again in the midst of my own pain that I could still use is purposefully. I could still use what I had experienced because there were especially younger people who I never wanted them to even touch anything I had been through.

Knowing you’re just like it was that feeling of I don’t want other people to even know what this feels like. So if I can offer something that’s preventative let me at least do that. But by then I had about two and a half years of creating content and trying to help other people.

Scott: So this blog, the book all that kind of stuff, was this part of a business that you owned?

Patrice: It became a business yeah.

Scott: I guess what I’m wondering is that you went through bankruptcy with this but they didn’t come out for like the rights to your books or anything like that as part of that.

Patrice: No. and it wasn’t intentionally but the book was published after I filed for bankruptcy.

Scott: I see okay.

Patrice: Yeah and that wasn’t even intentional it just kind of how things lined up. But yeah.

Scott: Interesting. So it sounds like right at the time of this bankruptcy you were able to start a new job, a new business that was able to begin sustaining yourself and your family. Was your husband working at the same time as well while you were kind of recovering from the bankruptcy like immediately following that you were running the business? And then what was he doing?

Patrice: Yeah actually so. In 2012 I was writing a book. I mentioned that I started to volunteer financial education nonprofit. So I became such a star volunteer that they actually created a position for me.

Scott: I see.

Patrice: So also in 2012 I signed on to be the financial management consultant at a nonprofit and I was helping people get through their own financial challenges in counselling and coaching one on one. Probably almost 200 people I left but I was there for about 18 months. So I was doing that and at the same time my husband actually was transitioning out of Taco Bell because I had been offered a job by Steve Harvey who was my boss at 18 years old.

I was his intern. So he found out that I was in Atlanta and just position that we were in and actually offered me a job. But this is where the chase purpose not money comes in. By then I really felt like I am supposed to help other people get through these types of challenges.

And when Steve came around and offered the job, while it was a job that I needed and my family needed and I should’ve jumped on it, it didn’t feel right because it didn’t have anything obviously to with financial education. And I was driving there actually to accept that job when the president of that nonprofit called and said, “Hey we’re thinking about starting the position.”

And we think that it would be great, here’s what it entails. Do you want to do it?” and I was like, “Oh my gosh. Yes like this is perfect, this is totally it for me.” And then he said, “But it doesn’t start for six months.” Like that was the worst thing I could have heard in that moment. I was like I’ve been volunteering for like a year with you guys, what do you mean it doesn’t start for six months?

But I mean I was still on my way to chat with Steve and his manager at the time. And I was going, “Oh my gosh my family needs this money but this is not what I really want to do.” And then in midst of talking to them I blurted out, “I can’t do it.” And when I heard it come out knowing what I’d been through for the last couple of years I was like, “You’re a crazy person. How can you say that you can’t do it?”

And Steve, in sure Steve bashing was like, “Aren’t you broke? Like didn’t you say that you’re like to rebuild? What’s wrong with you?” and I just couldn’t do it. And I said, “But you know who would be great is my husband because the business my husband started before he joined me in real estate was in entertainment.

And I said, “You know what Joe would be great. What about him?” and they talked for a second, they looked at each other and they were like, “Okay he can start on Monday.” It was a Wednesday. And I was like, “You mean you want to interview him or talk to him on Monday?” “No, he can start we’ll make something happen for him.”

They really just took pity on us honestly but luckily we are both technically smart so it worked out. And we burned Gerald’s Taco Bell uniform in the fireplace of our apartment that night. I’m like, “I don’t think this is how you’re supposed to quit a job I think you should give a notice.” But he never went back, we burned all his uniforms and except for one that has clung to this day.

And he started that next week. He started by doing very odd jobs low level kind of production assistant. And then had the opportunity to look over a contract one time that Steve didn’t like understand some stuff and he just wanted an extra set of eyes. And it took several years but he worked his way up to being the president of that company. He just left the company this year but he did that for seven years.

Mindy: Wow.

Patrice: And I didn’t take another job until the other one came available and that was during the time that I wrote my book. That was when I just started writing the book.

Mindy: That’s good. So you had some-I don’t want to say time off but you had some time to really write. I want to go back to Taco Bell just for a minute because I have encountered people my whole life who will say, “Oh I could never do that, I’m not going to work there I’m better than that.”

And I love that part of your story that your husband was like, “Look I need to provide health insurance for my child. So I’m going to swallow my pride and I’m going to go work at a job that is sub optimal at best.” I love eating at Taco Bell but I could not work there.

And I mean of course I could work there if I needed to provide health insurance for my baby and that’s the only option, you bet your butt I would go there and I would work. And I would be miserable every day but I would yes sir and yes ma’am every customer that came in because I would not want to lose the only job I could find in the middle of financial crisis.

So I just want to point out that this is you do what you have to do to survive and sometimes that means working at Taco Bell. And I love your story even more now because you found this guy who was like, “I’m going to do it and it’s going to suck for a while and I’m just going to do it anyway because that’s what you do.”

Patrice: Yeah it was a very humbling time. I remember he would bring home the leftover bags of like lettuce tomato cheese, you would be surprised what you can make with tortilla lettuce cheese. You can make a million different dishes and we were literally living like that several months. There were several months and at the time as well my brother had ran into a bunch of unfortunate circumstances.

And we even took my niece in at that time as well who was already a teenager and who used to living life the way they lived life and then came to live with us and it was an entire different thing. So yeah I applaud my husband to this day for being humble enough because I don’t know many people that would have done it and definitely done it for so long.

And I was there in the Taco Bell the first time, I witnessed someone actually say, “You got my order wrong,” and opening the whole the thing and chucking it, it hit him in the face. And I remember tearing up and I remember the whole process. So when people say things even to this day to us where they’re like, “Well you don’t understand what it’s like.”

I’m like thank God I don’t look like what I’ve been through but trust me when I tell you that I do understand. And that is why I share my story so that people know that there is something on the other side when you don’t give up. And when you keep going and when you keep building relationships and when you keep showing up and when you keep trying to the lesson or the blessing or whatever this experience is.

And we just chose to see this as a time that was not happening to us, it clearly was happening for us. And we just made that distinction in our minds. We made a distinction that okay clearly there’s something that I’m supposed to get from this so let me not look over that or look past it. And my husband has that Taco Bell shirt and his nametag framed.

And he has this little placard or whatever on it that says: This time in my life is called humility. So for all the things that he’s been able to do, for all the things that people who he’s impressed, he’s been an executive producer on shows and he’s done all these things now, he always comes back to that. But humility like I wouldn’t have been here without that season,

I wouldn’t have had the transitions that I’ve had without it. So I know that’s a time that can usually rip couples apart because financial stress like that can do that. And instead we found a way to make ourselves closer, we hang in there together and we created little mantras that we made up. We would see cars going by like we had a BMW at one time, or we had a Range Rover back in the day.

And we would look at them and smile at each other and say, “Been there, done that. On the way back.” And we just had these little phrases and when on one of us was weak the other person would do little stories or we would make jokes. But we refused to let both of us be down at the same time, we both can’t feel that way.

Scott: So what was going on I guess post-bankruptcy, you’re working on this business there’s a nice a break from Steve Harvey for a job opportunity there, a lot of hard work perseverance. What does your personal wealth situation look like? How are you accumulating assets? Are you saving? Are you investing? What does that kind of look like and how is it accelerated over the period following your bankruptcy?

Patrice: Yeah one of the first things that we were really clear on is that we needed to invest in life insurance again. Get a life insurance policy was like one of the first things unfortunately when everything hit the fan that was one of the first things to go. And in particular as parents we were really concerned about that. That we have a baby now and what if something happens how is she going to be taken care of?

So that was one of the first things. We found a financial advisor and to this day she’s our financial advisor but she was an angel because I remember the first time sitting down with her and I immediately went into, “We used to have this and I used to have a million dollar and he used to have a two million dollar policy and then this happened and that happened.”

And she said, “Whoa, I’m not here to judge you. I’m not here to make you feel bad about what you’ve already experienced. I can only imagine what you already feel. I just want to help you figure out what goals are next for you and we’ll just build from there. And we started with I think a $50,000 term life insurance policy.

And now we built over the years but every three to six months she would check in with us see where we were financially. And then we would talk about what increasing that looked like. So life insurance getting back at just even the mindset that we deserve life insurance because when you go through things like that a lot of people feel like, “Well I don’t have enough money.”

“And I don’t have anything to leave to anyone. So I’m just going to direct that bit of money somewhere else to a bill I need to pay off.” But for us that was really important. And really just started saving not really getting heavily into investing. We were saving and as I do now saving with kind of sub accounts or things in mind.

So I’ve always been about kind of naming the money so we have what people would call an emergency fund. One of our first goals was getting back to having an emergency fund. I refer to it as opportunity fund. I just don’t like the word emergency it doesn’t inspire me, it never has. I’ve never been inspired by what if you have a flat tire.

But I was inspired by maybe one day you can write a book and get this book done or maybe one day you guys can actually take a vacation again or maybe you can save up to this. And our big thing was paying off that car that had the ridiculous interest rate, I want to say it was maybe 12 or 13% from that second chance financing that we got.

Our big thing was like paying that off as well as just accumulating some savings. And I always tell people I know that we live in the real world accidents don’t make appointments. Things came up that required the money that I thought was going to be for the book or for this or for that. But I felt like it was better to have that kind of positive spin on the saving.

It was easier for me to get my husband on board with kind of moving money over there and being very intentional about it. And then when life happened we still had the money. No matter what I called the account, I took of care life if it came up. That was what it was. But we were really focused on paying that car off and saving initially and just getting life insurance. That was probably like my first year out of bankruptcy that was all I really cared about.

Scott: What happened after that? What was your kind of journey with money after you kind of paid that car off and got into a better position 18 months later?

Patrice: It was really just continuing to work with my financial advisor and hit different goals. I was very focused on investing in building the business right then. I knew I was onto something with building my brand. So we continuously hit goals for building a website, a real website not my blogspot.com or investing in a coach to help me with that self-publishing process.

Or just doing different things that we felt like would advance the business while still simultaneously saving. And then as time went on we just continue to formalize the business by really making it a business and not a hobby. I was still working at that time, so I was working full time and doing all of this stuff in the wee hours of the morning in the middle of the night.

And the goal became because I was not the best employee, I was excellent at my job by I was not a great employee. I had never really been an employee I’d always been self-employed so kind of clocking in and clocking out was like hard. It was really hard to grasp sometimes. So the next goal for us was as Gerald was starting to get promotions, we still lived kind of at the same rate, just a little above what his Taco Bell salary was.

And we just continued to use the money that I brought in to invest in savings as well as getting my business kind of up and going so I could create whatever that exit strategy looked like. And then Gerald’s income we tried to save as much as we could after our basic monthly expenses. And then in working with our advisor we just kept going up on our life insurance.

We had some friends who had different challenges with their aging parents so we realized we better look into long term care insurance for our parents. So we just continued to look at those buckets. Now our daughter is getting older we got to make sure that we have this by 29 plan for her.

So we just started to continuously every three to six months like I said look at where we were and how do we direct any new income or increased income towards going straight towards those things that matter to us not necessarily upping our lifestyle immediately.

Scott: So it sounds basically like you were living pretty lean for a while and you just continued doing that even as opportunities and circumstances got better and better. You invested pretty much everything in your business of the big opportunity and that’s taken off and paid off very well for you and your family over time. And that’s really how you kind of drove wealth throughout this process over the six, seven years following your bankruptcy.

Patrice: Yeah. I mean I always say I like to stay committed to the vision not attached to how I like kind of get there. But as I started to learn more and I was exposed to more and I saw more examples of what I thought was possible, I made me dream bigger. And then the bigger I started to dream about what I could do, then I knew that I needed to this time around invest in the education to get there.

So to be honest those first few years I probably spent more on coaching and mentorship than people would think. You would think like you don’t have the money to do that but I didn’t see it as optional. I knew that the first time around a part of what happened is that I didn’t have people in place that I felt like I could go to, to get the support I needed.

And for me I just couldn’t imagine starting something new that I really loved and then allowing myself to get back to that place of having no outside support. No coaching, no guidance. So that was a big thing for us, I couldn’t start off in any huge programs.

But if there was a $500 seminar I went to it. If there was an opportunity to join some group and just have a mastermind or something for $1,000 then yeah I was putting $200 aside from a check for several weeks so that I could invest in that. And I do believe that that is a part of what’s paid off like I feel like I bet on myself. I could have just tried to stay it but I don’t think I’d be here.

Mindy: So you said that you spent more on coaching and mentorship and I’m assuming that’s more towards the business. But what was some of the best support that you received and what are some of things you would recommend to people who’re listening that are looking for some sort of financial help? Like what would be a really great first step?

Patrice: So for the financial help, one of the things that I realized early and this came through again the mentor that I told you I spoke to, was not thinking that I needed to have a million dollars to figure out who would be on my financial team.

Like I could have a team based on where I was which was what prompted the conversation with the financial advisor who then introduced us to an estate planner, a great CPA. So I started to not- for me it was not about seeing myself again being in that space forever. I felt like we need to start out how we want to end up and let’s arm ourselves with a great team of people.

And people kept introducing us to different folks that we could have on this team that we could interview and get to know and see if our personalities match. Because I didn’t want to be in a place again where something happens I wait until my back is up against the wall to find whoever these people could be.

And I think it took us probably two years to get to a good rhythm of like finding people that we could trust, that we felt like were not judgmental, and that they had a shared interest in really seeing us succeed and reach our goals. So if someone is going through something I would say, don’t think you have to have a million dollars, don’t think you have to have a six figure income to start having those conversations.

Some things we could not immediately pull the trigger on but we met people that we felt like we had a great vibe with, a connection with. And were like okay when we hit this milestone or when this happens, that’s who I want to use. That’s whose support I want. And then there were some people we were like, “I would never talk to them in my life.” But it was great to know them at that time, right that that wasn’t a fit for us.

Mindy: Right. I like how you say that it took you about two years to find people that you could trust. And that you make it sound like it sound like it isn’t just some instant snap of the fingers all of a sudden I found this great person. But we interviewed Kyle Mast who is a certified financial planner on episode 41 of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast and he had some great tips for finding a financial advisor or financial planner. How did you find yours?

Patrice: I was introduced to her at an event honestly. She was not the first person I met. One of the first people that I met was referred to me by someone who was really further along, older kind of family friend, well established had all their stuff together for like 50 years. And they were trying to introduce us to someone who was not used to working with folks who were in our position.

They weren’t interested in working with someone like us. But they took the call, they took the meeting and I felt very judged. And I felt like there was a condescending tone behind everything. It was almost like wow, so you just let that happen? That’s what it felt like.

Then when we talked about having all these bills to pay and letting our insurance lapse, they were very judgy about it. And to me I felt like this is someone who’s never been in a place where you have to decide am I going to pay rent or life insurance. So there you go. And I knew that wasn’t a fit, I didn’t feel great about it.

And the shortly thereafter just a friend mentioned this woman and I had an opportunity to sit down with her in person and like I said she just made me feel so okay with where I was. That as long as you have the wherewithal and the awareness that you need to start again, that you can start over and you can start small, then that’s what matters for you in this season.

It’s not about comparing yourself to your old self and it’s not about comparing yourself to anyone else around you, what works for you. And because she allowed me to feel that way, it made me comfortable starting over with a $50,000 policy. Who cares I had a million dollar policy before, it’s less. It’s gone. And I have to start with where I am and I was so grateful for that and she continues to work with us.

Mindy: Yeah. I like that comment too that you talked to somebody and they weren’t the right fit. And then you talked to somebody else and then you finally found this person that was a great fit. And I want to encourage anybody who is looking for a financial advisor or a financial planner to talk to somebody, and if you get kind of an off vibe, find somebody else.

You don’t need to sit there with somebody who’s going to be judgy and saying, “Oh well you just let this happen, nice.” Because they’re not going to give you advice that you can use. They’re going to always have in the back of their head, “Oh wow she got into two million dollars of debt and went bankrupt, whatever.” They’re not going to have your best interests in mind. They’re not going to work their best work for you because they’ve already written you off.

And forget them, you don’t want them either. Find somebody that really gels with you because this is your financial future that you’re planning. And you want somebody who understands what you’re trying to do and wants to help you get there. Okay is there anything else that you would like to discuss about your financial journey before we transition over to our famous four questions?

Patrice: I would just say that one of the questions that people have asked me the most over the years now is just how did you do it. It’s like how did you do it? How did you get off your brother’s couch and now you’re on the couch sitting next to Dr. Oz having this conversation or Steve Harvey. And the truth is that I probably have not focus as much on money as people would like to believe.

That’s the truth. I haven’t felt like rebuilding has been all about the right financial advisor. Those things have been a great piece but for me the reality is there are other areas in my life that I have had to work on so that now in this space I could actually sustain the money, amass or the wealth that we’re building at this point.

So on my podcast Redefining Wealth that’s what it’s about. To me wealth is not just about money and material possessions. That is like one indicator but wealth is about wellbeing. And I talk about a lot of other things because I realize for example that my wealth is really being generated in creating relationships that matter.

When I tell that story about Steve Harvey, that was in my late 20s but I met this guy at 18 years old right. It was supposed to be a six-week internship that turned into me working for him for two years. And that fast forward a decade later is a part of what has helped us get these opportunities. I didn’t ask Steve to put me on radio he volunteered.

He asked me, “Do you want to release your book? Do you want to have an interview?” and that interview turned into a weekly segment for four years and it wasn’t because I asked for it. So I don’t like for people to not think about the other areas of their lives that actually impact their money and wealth. Because the truth is that you can chase those things forever.

You can have all of the smarts in regards to what are the best policies and what are the best products and what are the best things. But if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not taking care of the relationships that you’re fortunate enough to have, if you’re not really taking care of the environment around you, there are other ways that you can lose money besides a recession.

There are other ways that you can lose money besides a job loss and the fact of the matter is when I was working down in Atlanta with those few hundred people, more of the conversation became the other things that impact money. So people would say, “Well Patrice I don’t know how to budget.” And then we would get into it.

And I’m like, “You don’t have a budgeting problem you have a people problem. You’re trying to buy love and affection so you’re wasting money that could go towards savings or paying off debt because you want to be big man at the bar. Or you want to impress family members or friends and all this stuff. So anything I would just say that truly I felt like I’m here because one I do believe that this was my calling, it was my life’s work.

It was a super raggedy way to get there but it is what it is. This is why I have the compassion that I have. And that just don’t negate the other areas of your life that do link to you producing wealth. Like don’t be so caught up in working long hours and all this stuff that you don’t invest in the other areas of your life. In particular your physical fitness, you mental fitness, your relationships, your spirituality. Like all those things matter. I think they play a part.

Mindy: Yeah you said something. You said creating relationships that matter. One of my favorite things to recommend to people is to give freely without any expectation of return. Because those are the people and it’s not like, “Oh I’m going to give freely without any expectation of return but really I expect a favor, now you owe me.”

It’s like no, you just but when you do that then people want to give freely back to you. And that is something I think that’s starting to come around a little bit more but I also think it’s really overlooked by a lot of people. And that just helps. You created a relationship with Steve Harvey. If you were a really crappy intern would they have kept you after week six? No.

They would have been like, “Oh all you do is nothing all day. You’re going to be doing that for six weeks and that’s it.” Or maybe even two weeks when they discovered that- but you provide value to somebody simply because it’s an opportunity, it’s a job you’re doing what you want to do. And then things just open up.

Patrice: I agree. I always say there’s always someone watching you who has the power to bless but who are they watching you be?

Mindy: Oh my goodness.

Patrice: Other times the blessing or the opportunity is not going to come from something you did for that person. But they may see it expressed in other ways out there and you’re not even conscious of that. and I think that that’s like the theme of my life like even in my own thing even in my own process of figuring it out, I was just committed to helping other people with what I did know.

And I’m really grateful that I didn’t try to wait to become some MacDaddy expert at everything because it doesn’t require that. Like if you know one thing more than someone else then I feel like at this stage in my life I have a responsibility.

And even I felt then like I have a responsibility to share that one tidbit I know. And those things just snowball and they can snowball into something amazing and I’m really grateful that I have now. I didn’t set out to be this, I just set out to try to help people with my story and that was it here we are.

Mindy: And here we are with America’s Money Maven.

Scott: I love it. I think that that’s the approach to life that leads to success in every single area it just sounds like how do I go above and beyond? Right you did not get past that six weeks internship by saying, “That’s not my job or I’m not going to do that?” it’s, “How can I help you? How can I go above and beyond in every area I possibly can? And do that consistently over a very long period of time and it leads to where you’re at. That’s what I’m hearing at least.

Patrice: I agree. I love that, that’s what I try to communicate especially to like college students when I have the opportunity to speak to young people college students, high school students. It’s like telling people that’s not what I’m here to do is the fastest way to like do nothing after you leave here. Like go above and beyond every time. Even with my 11 year old daughter when she turns in homework I check her homework at night.

I’m like, “Your name is on this. Did you do this in excellence or are you just trying to get done so you can go outside and play?” like your name is on represent yourself, be an advocate for yourself. Be proud of anything that you put your name on, like go all the way don’t half ass things. You’re better than that. And plus there’s people watching so why not show up in the best possible way?

Mindy: That is perfect. I can’t add to that at all. So we’re going to now transition to our famous four questions. These are the same four questions that we ask everybody I’m sorry these are the same five questions everybody. Four questions and a demand. First one is what is your favorite finance book?

Patrice: T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. That would be one of my favorites. It was one of the ones I discovered in college coming out of college.

Scott: I don’t know if I’ve read that one.

Mindy: I don’t, I have not.

Scott: Have you read that one?

Mindy: No, I’ve not. I’ve heard of it but I haven’t actually read it yet. What I should do is make a whole list of all these books that people recommend and then go read them. Some of them I’ve read but most of them I have not.

Scott: I’m just so used to always having the read the book and liking books that people recommend and I’ll have to go check this one out. Alright we’ve probably covered this a little bit but one of the I guess several things that kind of led to the bankruptcy, what do you think was the biggest mistake that kind of went in there was maybe avoidable?

Patrice: The biggest mistake overleveraging myself with the real estate thinking that because I could qualify for a mortgage that I could afford the property. And that was the catalyst. Had we stopped at like three properties I probably would not be America’s Money Maven but getting to 13 I had no business at that time doing that. And that was the biggest mistake and if I had any regrets it would be that, it would be overleveraging myself with real estate at that time.

Scott: I think it’s a great lesson and I think that’s what we’re trying to prevent here with this podcast. Right the podcast of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast is to say, “Hey we know that you the listeners want to invest in real estate in some capacity.

That’s part of the BiggerPockets, right. Get the financial foundation in place before investing in real estate. Real estate can be a powerful tool or it can be a terrible enemy a terrible menace if you can overextend and invest outside of a position of financial strength going in.

Patrice: Yeah and I just got back to real estate investing just in the last few years and just totally different strategies now like completely different than what I would have done before.

Mindy: That was just going to be what I was going to ask you. Did you ever get back into real estate investing? So how many properties do you have now?

Patrice: I have three properties but they’re 50 units, a duplex-

Mindy: 50 units each or 50 units total?

Patrice: 50 units total, 50 doors on the three properties.

Mindy: Okay that’s a story we should dive into on the real estate podcast maybe. Okay what is your best piece of advice for people who’re just starting out? And I think we kind of covered this too but these are the famous four questions so we have to ask them all.

Patrice: For people who are just starting out I would say giving yourself permission to move forward because sometimes we get trapped in that little loop of the story of our failure or whatever may have happened and we start to define ourselves by that. And giving yourself permission to you know it accept this is a season in my life.

It happened but I have the right and the wherewithal and the smarts and the ability to move forward and just start over. And I think unfortunately when I look at a lot of people who I knew during that time in real estate, now everyone has bounced back the way my husband and I have. And even when I chat with people, I moved back to LA and I run into people and when even when I chat with people you could tell that they’re stuck in the same story.

And I think our biggest blessing has been to give ourselves the permission to get out of that story and move forward with our lives.

Mindy: Yeah that’s a huge one. Giving yourself permission to accept that I’m not perfect. Accept that you need to accept it, this was my season and now I’m done with that season now it’s a new season. That’s great.

Scott: Alright. The last and most difficult question

Patrice: Oh my gosh. I’m not a great joke teller.

Mindy: That’s okay.

Patrice: I remember one of my daughter’s jokes I would try to steal is usually-

Scott: That’s perfect.

Patrice: I break the ice with people by telling them something that my daughter told me but she’s full of jokes but I’m really not. I usually steal whatever she just told me.

Scott: One of her jokes would be perfect.

Mindy: Yeah one of her jokes would be perfect. Scott loves these jokes. I think they’re horrible so one of our listeners sent in a list of jokes for us. One of them was what do you call a can opener that doesn’t work?

Patrice: A cant cork no I don’t know.

Mindy: A can’t opener.

Patrice: I was right.

Mindy: You were right.

Patrice: The line of something my daughter would say so maybe that’s why I was like leaning towards it. But usually tell a funny story about things that she says to me about well I can’t cook. This might be funny to something I don’t know.

Mindy: Tell the story.

Patrice: Well cooking is not my thing, I’m not very domestic. I can keep a clean home but I don’t do well in the kitchen so I decided that I was going to do better in that area. And I was like you know I’m going to get one of those little meal prep box things delivered to the door. Like dummy proof it’s foolproof like you can’t mess this up.

Everything comes measured out and proportioned correctly and all this. All you have to do is just read, right you can read so you should be able to do this. So I did one night and I guess my daughter stomached it and then I tried to do it again the next night. And I don’t know what the heck I did, I read it but it’s like my mind shuts off.

So we sit down at dinner my husband was travelling. And she leans over and she’s like, “Mum daddy and I love you just the way you are. But you have to stop doing this.” I’m like, “What do you mean? I followed the directions” she’s like, “This is just, you write books just go write books.” But she was like eight she was so sincere.

But she knew when we sat down she’s like I’m not going to take this crap another night with her. Like I’m not going to eat it just to make her feel good, this is it. So those are the things that my daughter. I always tell her, “I laid on bedrest for 10 weeks for you and look at how you treat me.” She’s like, “Whatever.”

Mindy: Eight year olds are brutal.

Patrice: They are brutal.

Mindy: They are brutally honest. Okay now here is the demand. Where can people find out more about you?

Scott: Tell us where people can find out more about you.

Mindy: Tell us where people can find out more about you.

Patrice: You can find out everything about me at patricewashington.com and you can check out the podcast Redefining Wealth there at patricewashington.com or in your favorite podcast player. And social media I’m really active on Instagram and Twitter @Seek Wisdom PCW that’s my little daily reminder.

Mindy: Okay.

Scott: Awesome. We will link to all that in show notes.

Mindy: The show notes can be find at biggerpockets.com/moneyshow50. Okay Patrice, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. I learned a lot about you and I guess I didn’t realize that you had gone all the way into that really deep bankruptcy valley. But I mean look at you now.

Patrice: I know, I’m grateful. Thank you so much. Thank you for allowing me to share and I feel like sometimes it’s not the prettiest story you know what I mean.

Mindy: I don’t want a pretty story, I want a real story.

Scott: Yeah I think it’s inspirational, it’s something that people can relate to and learn from and in a lot of ways repeat a lot of what you’ve done and go after it. Thank you.

Patrice: Well I’m glad.

Mindy: I agree with that. I agree that there’s going to be people who maybe aren’t did you say it was two million dollars in debts, people don’t have two million dollars or maybe they do maybe they don’t. Maybe they think, “Oh it’s $50,000 but to them that is their whole world and it is this insurmountable giant pile that they just can’t get over,

And well Patrice Washington pulled herself out of even more. So if she can do it I can do it. And she had so much more to overcome and she was able to do it. I should be able to do it too. So I think this is helpful for people in so many different categories across all different spectrums.

Patrice: I hope so. But I thank you guys so much just for the opportunity to share.

Mindy: Thank you for coming on.

Scott: Alright that was Patrice Washington. Mindy what did you think?

Mindy: Oh my goodness I love Patrice. So I feel bad saying I love her story yay she went bankrupt. But like really I love the inspiration that she gives and I really love the I can do it, I am not going to let this keep me down forever positive attitude that she had that really got her through a pretty dark time.

And like I said in the episode it’s a little difficult now in 2018 to sit back and remember just how awful it was. Your mind stops remembering all those really terrible times but she’s not unique in any way. There were so many people that were riding this real estate high and they were buying properties that they really couldn’t afford.

But hey the bank gave me money for it so I might as well or I’m qualified for it is or I’ll be able to rent it out and everything will work because it had been working for so long. And then to crash I mean that was a really spectacular crash. So just to get over that and hope right back up on the horses again is fantastic. I just love her enthusiasm.

Scott: Yeah I thought it was fantastic and I thought her attitude was really what has kind of carried her through. Her and her husband’s attitude are really what carried the family through all these difficult times all these challenges. And have led to the incredible success that she sees today and the career that she’s had.

Mindy: Yes. This episode ran a little long so I think we should get out of here. Scott are you ready to go?

Scott: Let’s do it.

Mindy: Okay. From episode 50 of the Bigger Pockets Money Podcast this is Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench and we are gone.

[End of Recording] [1:09:59]           

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Patrice’s money journey
  • How she dealt with her $400,000 medical debt
  • The reason she filed for bankruptcy
  • The importance of having a mentor
  • How she started her free blogspot while paying off debt
  • What she did to rebuild her position following her bankruptcy
  • The importance of humility
  • The value of creating relationships that matter
  • Thoughts on life insurance policies
  • Tips for focusing on investing and building a business
  • The best support she received
  • Her advice to people who are looking for financial help
  • How she found her financial advisor
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “I can move on with my life and accept that this is just a season and this should not define the rest of my life.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Don’t negate the other areas of your life.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Patrice

About Author

The BiggerPockets Money Podcast is for anyone who has money… or want to have more! Join BiggerPockets Community Manager Mindy Jensen and Director of Operations Scott Trench weekly for the BiggerPockets Money Podcast!
Each week, financial experts Mindy and Scott interview unique and powerful thought leaders about how to earn more, keep more, spend smarter, and grow your wealth.
You’ll get tips for getting your financial house in order and actionable advice from guests who have been in your shoes – and found their way out.

2 Comments

  1. kenneth chen

    Thank You BP, Mindy, Scott, and Patrice for this Incredible Podcast. Unbelievable, An Inspiring love story, intertwined with a Money / Real Estate story. Patrice, thank you for sharing the darkest times, and demonstrating how you were able to respond powerfully with presence of mind, under the most painful circumstances. Profound lessons.

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