Beginning in 2007 I experienced the most devastating time of my life in almost every way -- personal bankruptcy, financial ruin, embarrassment, and self-doubt. At the end of the worst of it, I found a new direction.
In recent weeks, three California cities have filed for bankruptcy: Stockton, Mammoth Lakes, and San Bernardino. If you live there, should you get out of town? And if you don't live there, should you worry that your city is next?
Both experiencing the emotional loss of a loved one and the emotional loss of your financial life are similar in some distinct ways. However, the emotional stages of debt also have two additional components that a mortal death does not.
As someone who answers debt-related question every day for people, I understand the reality of bankruptcy is one many are confused about. They discount it out of a perceived stigma without evaluating the logic and math of the solution.
Bankruptcy is not on anyone's list of fun things to do. The promise of relief that comes from stemming this negative tide is the deciding factor for most people. If you've filed bankruptcy, and are still being bothered by your creditors, there are some things you can do.
I speak of the debt-collector alchemists who can turn seemingly worthless defaulted credit card debt into pure gold. It's an absolutely brilliant contortion of our justice system, if you care more about profits than justice.
We are doing everything halfheartedly, taking part in a frenzied campaign to keep ourselves heartened, to convince ourselves not to give up.
It's been ten years since I filed for bankruptcy, and although I'd like to be able to say I learned a lesson about money, that would be a bit of a lie.
Of course, there are Latino libertarians out there. But in general, talking Hispanics into espousing the Ron Paul agenda is only slightly easier than getting the pope to show up at the Stonewall Inn for a drink.
Bain's handling of Ampad illustrates how the rich extract money from these deals and leave behind wounded workers and Main Street shops.
What is so abundantly clear is that the lack of transparency in derivatives trading, and the sheer complexity that is a by-product of that lack of transparency, really can make them "financial weapons of mass destruction."
In another lifetime, I was chief marketing officer for Dewey & LeBoeuf's predecessor, LeBoeuf Lamb. I was fired by a key player in today's drama back in 2007.
While it is a least somewhat positive that the Republicans appear not to have embraced Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul, the problem is that they have instead selected a Thurston Howell III Ken doll that simply repeats Republican dogma.
Student loans, unlike almost every other kind of loan available, cannot be escaped through bankruptcy. It wasn't always this way.
Even if you've been through difficult credit problems, it's important to establish current, positive credit references that can boost your credit scores over time.
When it comes to finances it's best to take the airplane oxygen mask approach -- secure your own before helping others.