You have fallen behind on your loan, whether it be a car loan, a student loan or a Mortgage loan, because of an event in your life that perhaps you had no control over. You are overwhelmed with a feeling of defeat and have anxiety of the unknown. The easiest thing to do would be to put your head in the sand and hope it will all go away. Unfortunately, the bill collectors never seem to go away.

Recovery from a Financial Storm: A personal and professional viewpoint

The key thing to remember is that no matter how difficult the situation becomes your bills are not the end of you. You can be in control and YOU WILL recover. The question is, how fast. That answer depends on you. If you bury your head in the sand, the problem will be there when you raise your head again. The best way to face a financial storm is to sail right into it, take control immediately and get through to the other side.

I realize as you read this you are probably thinking “easier said than done”. Well, these words are not given lightly nor empty. I have been handling foreclosure matters for well over a decade.  This includes representing homeowners who found themselves in situations they never believed would happen to them.  Additionally I can say, without shame, that I faced foreclosure with my own home due to circumstances beyond my control, along with a mountain of credit card debt and student loans that seemed endless. I have experienced the feeling of shame and failure each time I went to the mailbox and knew that I couldn’t pay those bills that were waiting for me.  What I can also share is the fact that those bills did get paid, on my terms, and I still have my home.

As for those clients I have been privileged to meet and represent: while I entered the litigation arena and defended their rights, they also took the financial fight head on with some education and knowledge I was able to provide them. After so many years it is gratifying to say that those clients received the options they chose, not those chosen for them by their circumstances.  With these words, I wish to convey to you the most important things to do to weather your financial storm.

How to Speed Up – The Recovery: 

Set a Time Limit

The first and foremost thing you need to do is face it, face it all. Get the calculator and add it all up. Look at it. After that moment, you should allow yourself to react. Get scared, get upset, get anxious.  But give yourself a time limit. Allow yourself to dwell on the unfairness of it all for say 24 hours. Have what I call a pity party. But once those 24 hours are over, the party is over. Now it’s time to take control and find solutions, and there are solutions. It is my philosophy that the longer a person dwells on the problem, they can’t begin to see the solution. And again, I say this from personal, as well as professional, experience.

Understand the Problem

I know this may sound ridiculous, of course you know the problem: too many bills and not enough money. Well, that really isn’t the problem. The problem really is that you cannot meet your contractual obligations. You borrowed money for that car, that house, or that education. You promised to pay it back. Well, that’s a contract. In that contract you agreed to pay the money back a certain way.

As an Example…

You agreed to repayment by making a payment every month over 30 years for a mortgage or every month over 5 years for a car.  Your lack of money is making it difficult for you to meet the payment terms of your agreement. How does this understanding help? Well, if it’s the repayment terms you are having a problem meeting, one option you have is to contact your bank to renegotiate the repayment terms.  If you can get a reduced rate or perhaps extend the loan that would bring down the monthly payment without increasing your income. There may even be a forbearance option for such loans like student loans which would allow you to put a hold on your repayment obligation for a period of time. Wouldn’t that be a help.  The key here is understanding that the core of the problem is not money, it’s the inability to meet a contractual obligation.

Do Not Hide From the Situation

The last key advice I will offer is not to hide from the situation. Sometimes it gets darker before the dawn. Things may get worse before they get better. No matter what, do not hide. For example, when dealing with your mortgage you may find yourself in Foreclosure. This means that the bank is seeking to get their money back by asking that your house be sold.  DO NOT BURY YOUR HEAD. If you receive a complaint, don’t set it aside. Your power comes from you action. You must answer that complaint. You do have rights in the court system, including when you are facing foreclosure. Get to an attorney immediately to discuss your options, and there are many options including modification; short sale, reinstatement or perhaps refinance.

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

Hiding from a situation decreases power and prolongs the recovery. Facing the challenge immediately and head on increases power and control, thereby creating solutions.  For instance, when my client finds them self in a foreclosure litigation, I utilize what I like to call my superpower. This power stems from my client’s direct approach in dealing with their circumstances as soon as they occur by coming to me at the very beginning of a case.  Confronting the situation early on allows me to create leverage by litigating the case and exposing its weaknesses. With this leverage, the bank is more willing to agree to the option my client and I found that benefits them the most.  However, if my clients had just buried their heads and not sought me out, they would have forfeited their defenses, waived their rights and allowed the bank to be at the helm.

I have applied this same philosophy and strategy to all types of financial situations my clients have faced.  What is an even better strategy is to find an option before litigation and try to arrive at a solution early in the game. For instance, credit debt can easily be handled, and WITHOUT a credit consolidation agency, just by calling the bank to renegotiate your contract.

It’s Easy; It’s Not Easy

Again, I know this sounds easy. It is yet it’s not. It is because there is a solution to every problem, including financial storms. It’s not easy because the emotional feelings can and do overpower our ability to take control. But don’t despair. The above are well proven tips for resolving this situation. Likewise, if you do find yourself being sued in foreclosure or for financial debt DO NOT HIDE. Immediate action is necessary.

If you find yourself in a financial storm, take control and take action. Call me at The Law Office of Maggio & Meyer. Let my experience help you.

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