Out of Money, Out of Options, Out of Hope

By Robert Pagliarini – Columnist for CBS MoneyWatch

I wrote a post recently titled, "Are the Unemployed Lazy?" and received a heartfelt comment from @AlekKirstein. He shares his situation and his fears. He's living on the edge, and feels like he is about to fall off at any moment. Unfortunately, @AlekKirstein is not alone. There are literally millions of hardworking people have become victims of this economic crisis. If you were living on the edge and then, because of a layoff or other event, find yourself pushed over the edge, you must take immediate action. I shared these tips and a few others with @AlekKirstein and I want to share them with you to:

Hope for Homeowner's. Contact your lender to see if they are participating in government-sponsored Hope for Homeowner's program (www.hud.gov/hopeforhomeowners). HOPE NOW. HOPE NOW is an alliance between HUD approved counseling agents, mortgage companies, investors and other mortgage market participants that provides free foreclosure prevention assistance (www.hopenow.com). MakingHomeAffordable.gov. Easy to use website to determine if you are eligible for loan modification or refinancing (www.makinghomeaffordable.gov). Bankruptcy. Obviously, this is not a first choice, but sometimes it's the only choice. Don't expect to get a fair opinion from a bankruptcy attorney or similar service since they have a vested interest in you filing for bankruptcy. If you can scrape together $75 or $100, spend an hour with a fee-only financial advisor who can run some figures and let you know if it makes sense or not. You can find an hourly financial advisor through the Garrett Planning Network at www.garrettplanning.com.

Free/Reduced Cost Health Insurance. Did you know that each state has a program that offers free or reduced cost health insurance? If you or your family is uninsured, you are exposing yourself to serious risk. Go to www.insurekidsnow.gov or call 877-KIDS-NOW right now.

(Cliff image by ino paap, CC 2.0)

For a limited time, you can download several free resources (assessment, poster, audio interview, video, and more) at www.other8hours.com and learn more about my new book, The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose.

Copyright © 2009 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.yourother8hours.com

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful