Out of Money, Out of Options, Out of Hope

Last Updated Jun 2, 2011 3:18 PM EDT

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.
  • Free ebook. I wrote an ebook a couple of months ago called Plan Z: How to Survive the 2009 Financial Crisis (and even live a little better). It's a no-nonsense approach to surviving the next 12 months. Download Plan Z ebook now for free.
(Cliff image by ino paap, CC 2.0)
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    Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with inspiring others to create and empowering them to live life to the fullest by radically changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of Richer Life, a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work. He is a Certified Financial Planner and the president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors, a boutique wealth management firm serving sudden wealth recipients and affluent individuals. He has appeared as a financial expert on 20/20, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew's Lifechangers and many others.