“Money makes the world go around,” or so says the popular song from the musical CABARET. Certainly, greed and the power that wealth brings are formidable motivations and temptations that know no boundaries in terms of geography, race, religion or creed. With the world feeling the economic crunch in recent times, the effect of money – or the lack thereof – has been keenly felt by people everywhere. I would like to bring this issue to the forefront, and open discussion to various areas of concern so that we can all vent, offer encouragement and perhaps even learn some valuable information that can assist those who aren’t sure what to do about their situation. That being said, I’d like to offer the following topics – please feel free to add others of your own that interest you. This is a no holds barred discussion, so don’t be shy! Offer your rantings, your questions, your tidbits of knowledge – anything you like that connects to the not-so-almighty dollar (or whatever form of currency you use). Here we go:
The mortgage crisis: You can’t pay because you’ve lost your job, your income or the family provider has died without leaving the means to support the family afterwards. You’ve approached the bank for a modification only to be given the runaround and then led down the smoke and mirrors path towards eventual foreclosure. You’ve asked for a forbearance but were told you don’t qualify for that either. Or the bank blames it on some mysterious “investor” who won’t cooperate. No one will help, and you and your family shudder at night waiting for that knock from the sheriff that forces you out of your home. What can you do?
The debt collector: You can’t pay your mortgage, so paying your credit cards or other bills isn’t happening either. You’re doing all you can just to keep food on the table and the lights on. You wince every time the phone rings, afraid to answer because it might be from a debt collector who will stop at nothing to intimidate and threaten you. You’ve tried to call the company you owe the debt to, but they won’t talk to you. You are overwhelmed and despondent. You’d like to work things out, but no one has the patience to work with you nor do they seem to care about whether you can feed your kids. How do you get these people off your back so you can rebuild your life?
The credit debacle: Now that the banks and credit card companies have done their damage, your credit score is in the toilet. You couldn’t get decent credit if your life depended on it – you can’t even find a landlord that will rent you an apartment because everyone seems to check your credit score nowadays. And the few offers for credit cards you do get in the mail are at APRs so high you’re not sure if they’re from a bank or a loan shark (hint – they’re often the same thing!!). How do you get your credit back on track so you can start living a normal life again?
The health scandal: You can’t afford the “good” insurance so you either have a huge deductible that you never seem to meet or you’re with an HMO that makes you feel more like a piece of meat than a person. You’d better stay healthy, because if anything happens you will be put into the “mill” and probably get ground up in the process. Your friend who is also with the same HMO has been waiting nearly 4 months to get that MRI she needs for her torn ligament. Your other friend has been waiting 2 years for the right treatment to be given to her for her tumor (you secretly wonder how she survives – hint, the insurance company is hoping she won’t!). You wonder why you pay what little money you have for the health insurance, because all they seem to do is come up with reasons NOT to cover your expenses or deal with your medical issues. You’ve kept up your end of the bargain – how do you get them to keep up theirs?
Alright, let’s do this! C’mon everyone, let’s put our heads together!