How to Survive and Prosper After a Financial Misfortune: A Complete Guide to Your Legal Rights After Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Repossession, and Eviction, by Tracy A. Carr, 336 pp., Atlantic Publishing Group.
Posted on June 4, 2010
Reviewed by Tammy A. Harrison, vice-president and trust officer, and IRA specialist, for the Trust and Investment Management Division of Carolina First Bank and Mercantile Bank, of the $9.7 billion-assets The South Financial Group, Inc., Greenville, S.C.
From time to time ABA Banking Journal reviewers look at books of potential interest to business or consumer customers, for the insights they may give on the customer mindset and for the ideas that bankers may glean from them towards helping their own customers. It’s also good to know what’s out there that customers are reading. This is such a review.
Communicate, communicate, communicate! This is the encouragement the author gives throughout this entire book, which encompasses every financial misfortune you could think of.
Financial misfortune could rear its ugly head in the form of an unplanned illness, job loss, death, divorce, judgment, disaster, bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, or eviction. A long and unhappy list, and nearly every one of those events involve a bank and bankers somewhere along the way.
How to Survive and Prosper discusses each these financial misfortunes and how to work around them. Embracing the fact that a great deal of research will need to be done in order to make decisions is a key point to making it through one of these tough situations. Author Tracey Carr warns that people caught in such calamities must dedicate themselves to making these situations right again. They will need to set goals (getting out of debt, refinancing your home so it isn’t foreclosed on, paying off high balance credit cards) and have checkpoints along the way.
Guidance in the form of questions to ask, benefits to consider, where to go, and what to say is given freely throughout the book.
Carr has included multiple tables and websites throughout each section, referencing help and guidance that can be found on each financial misfortune. She encourages anyone suffering through a financial misfortune to talk to people that can encourage you along the hard paths that must be taken. The author also strongly admonishes the reader to not ignore the people to whom they owe money, because ignoring those people or entities will only make financial misfortunes worse.
The author encourages the reader to try to negotiate with creditors and to remember that life decisions can and will affect one’s credit score. One’s credit report will set the tone for one’s financial life and will affect things such as loan eligibility and interest rates. However, any financial misfortune can be overcome with dedication and patience.
Suffering through a financial misfortune can often lead to social stigma. However, Carr encourages the reader to remember that not everyone is perfect and that certain disasters can actually make you stronger in time. Structure helps, and a key feature of this book is a great plan on how to know one’s financial circumstances inside and out. This can help the reader create their own plan for taking control of debt. Steps on where financial recovery can begin are included.
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[This article was posted on June 4, 2010, on the website of ABA Banking Journal, www.ababj.com, and is copyright 2010 by the American Bankers Association.]