In an attempt to avoid filing for bankruptcy and the stigma that goes with it, Knoxville man Howard Bean sought out other alternatives. “I had really run up a lot of credit card debt,” Bean explained, “plus, the first and second mortgage added up to more than the value of my house and my car loan payoff was three times the value of the car. I saw red everywhere I looked and needed help!”
Many people in his situation immediately file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and be done with it. Folks that do so find they can almost immediately go buy the new car, house, or big screen TV of their dreams. “But even so, telling people you filed for bankruptcy really makes you look bad, especially when the neighbors find out about it. And I just couldn’t bear the smug looks from those bastards,” Bean went on to say.
Another alternative to filing for Chapter 11 is to consult with a non-profit credit counseling agency. “Once again, there’s that stigma. And using one of them makes your credit report look worse than if you had filed for bankruptcy,” said Bean.
“At first nobody would stop laughing long enough to help me out. But finally, I discovered that if I could get my case in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California, I was sure to succeed,” Bean recalled. And While researching, Bean came across references to the benefits of being a Third World Country, and that got him thinking. “Over at the Hodges Library, I discovered that many Third World Countries receive relief from around the world,” Bean exclaimed. That was when he decided to investigate legally changing himself to a Third World Country.that is precisely what he did.
On Monday, December 1st, 2003, Howard Bean became the first human Third World Country, with the designation Howardnopia.
“And that’s when it all started happening,” he said. He was immediately able to apply to the UN for grants and aid. Bono, the lead singer from the Irish rock band U2, visited with the leaders of Citi Bank, GMAC, Ditech.com, Chase Manhattan, Home Depot, Sears, Discover Card, AT&T Universal Card, American Express, First Tennessee, Home Federal Bank, BB&T, and Capital One to have his debts forgiven. “Bono was simply amazing! He got all my debts forgiven, and those companies actually sent me letters of apology and checks to cover my pain and anguish,” Bean said.
Financially secure, Howard Bean bought a 500 acre ranch in South Knoxville where his primary exports are tobacco, beef, and small arms. Other than the fear of being invaded by a neighboring tribe or Western Country, he no longer worries about anything. The UN check, carefully delivered by Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself on a monthly basis, has already paid for his entire ranch and a down payment on his new Hummer.
When asked if he felt being a Third World Country carried any stigma, he said “No way! This is a cakewalk compared to declaring bankruptcy, working with a credit counseling agency, or following a step-by-step book. I would recommend other folks following in my footsteps, but unfortunately they’ve changed the law.”