“The Shame Of It All” is about the price we pay for debt. A client from a small town, but with a large circle of friends and family through church and school activities came to me for counsel after seeing an attorney who recommended bankruptcy first, then put the family into a debt consolidation program.
This is not about attorneys, and at this point I won’t go into details on ‘debt consolidation programs’. “The Shame Of It All” is about pride.
The entire globe is aware of American’s poor money management skills. Conversations no matter where they are held, easily come back to the economic times we are all experiencing. And no matter what the nightly news announces, the statistics show unemployment is still rising and more families are still facing foreclosure due to the hard times. Yet, due to pride, families like the one who recently came to me has been drowning in debt and despair and would not seek help because of pride.
Once you get that feeling of ‘danger’ in the pit of your stomach, you should seek counsel of a trained specialist in debt, credit and home ownership issues. Bad things happen to good people, a counselor doesn’t judge. A counselor appraises the situation and looks for solutions and provides resources and options. This family went to an attorney, an attorney’s first option is bankruptcy. The very last option a debt counselor offers is bankruptcy.
A counselor will offer ways to maximize on what is available to pay down the debt. To structure a plan for efficiency. To assist the family in re-evaluating their priorities, and making a commitment to necessary changes. A counselor will understand the strength it takes to overcome years of bad habits, and weaknesses. The human element is recognized, not stuffed further back in the closet and ignored with a quick fix or patch job.
Pride is expensive when it takes you into bankruptcy which is damaging for 10 years. Debt consolidation is on your credit report 7 years. But the option that is good for your pride and your credit score is available to those who want to learn how to take control of their finances. There is a program that will allow a family with a 30 year mortgage to pay it off in 10 years or less and raise credit scores at the same time.
The Debtor Club has millions of members. The shame of it all is that some members still think they are alone, and don’t want anyone to know that they are not in control of all aspects of their life, especially their finances. Employment, illness, unexpected events, all are bad things that happen to good people, the single most important reason for preventive measures. Don’t try to keep up with the appearances of the Jones family. Be smart, because the Joneses today, are most likely having financial woes as well.
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