How To: Overcome Financial Stress and Get Your Finances in Order

Before the Great Recession, financial stress was the number one worry of over 70% of Americans. Since the Great Recession, money issues have become increasingly depressing for some people. With the loss of a job or a decrease in income, many people can have a prolonged stress that sits like a ton of bricks upon their shoulders. This chronic financial stress is extremely detrimental to the body, and you will begin to affect the lives of those around you. Before you know it, you may start to rely on bad habits to relieve your stress. How can you get a foot in the door of overcoming your financial stress and straightening out your money matters? Well, it obviously doesn’t happen overnight, but if you keep reading, you may gain some insight as to how you can begin.

Setting Goals. 

Though you can’t control all of your circumstances, you can initiate steps towards improving them. One of the most important first steps is setting a goal. This might sound simple, but that’s because it is! Before you can even think about your goals, you need to take a step back and review your finances. Doing this on a monthly basis could be beneficial for you, and don’t forget to check out your budget to know where exactly your money is being delegated.

Once you’ve had a chance to look over and get really familiar with your debts and income, set some goals. We are always setting goals in life – (financial, fitness, education, etc) and this goal is just like the others. It should have a purpose and a particular plan of action that will help you to attain the goal. Rather than setting a broad goal, attempt to set specific goals. Maybe your goal is to have $5,000 in your bank account within the next 2 months. You can break that broad goal down into smaller goals, like making yourself more valuable to your employer or improving your business plan. No matter the goal, review your financial state, set a goal, and clearly define the parameters and steps needed to reach it.

Make it measureable.

As covered in the last paragraph, clearly defined goals will be of more benefit. A goal such as “having a lot of money” does not have clear parameters. Some financial professionals suggest keeping 3-6 months of expenses in your bank account. Rather than setting a goal of “I want to always have 6 months of expenses in my account, sit down and put an actual value to that 6-month amount. This will focus your mind on a specific number instead of a vague sum.

Realistic and Reachable.

When you are setting your goal, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s one that you can actually attain. If you don’t have a good chance of reaching the goal, what was the point in setting it? Since you’ve already reviewed your finances and budget, you know whether or not a goal is realistic. If the goal is realistic, in your mind, you know that it’s attainable. Maybe your goal is adding $500 to your savings account each month. If you’re currently struggling to pay rent and have a low income, that goal may be a little out of reach. Work with what you have.


If you have no time limit on your goal, it might take you forever to reach it, which in turn makes setting the goal a waste of time. Part of defining a goal is listing a deadline so that you are able to separate your one big goal up into smaller chunks. Focusing on reaching your goal week to week can be mentally easier than seeing a huge number in front of you and stressing about how to climb that mountain.

Financial stress can take a toll on your mental, physical, and emotional state, which is why it’s so crucial to alleviate at least a small portion of that worry. Now that you have a few pieces of advice on how to overcome your financial stress, don’t wait until you find yourself in a desperate financial state. If you aren’t sure how to go about everything on your own, don’t hesitate to get in contact with a professional debt resolution/credit repair expert. They will be able to help you in setting a proper budget as well as raising your credit score and negotiating with any creditors to whom you may owe outstanding payments.


Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner on a Tight Budget

While everyone around you is hyped about the upcoming holiday(s), you feel an uneasy sense of dread anytime you so much as think about how much money the months of November and December are going to cost you. Living on a tight budget is particularly challenging when holiday festivities are in full gear, and you want desperately to join in on the fun.

While Thanksgiving isn’t quite as costly as the gift-laden holidays coming up in a month or so, there are without a doubt some hefty expenses that go into planning a family feast. If you’re on deck to host this year, your head is probably swimming with dollar signs and question marks.

Your best option here would have been to preemptively (and gracefully) bow out of hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house. Most families would be understanding of your money struggles, and in general, there’s always someone eager to take on the task. With that being said, Thanksgiving is almost here, so if you’ve already committed to making the big meal happen in your kitchen, take the following tips to avoid spending more than you can afford.

Create a Thanksgiving budget

Take stock of what is most important to you and your loved ones on this holiday. Is it more important to be together and share quality time with those you may not see very often? If so, the food may be less of a focal point (and therefore less of an expense.)

On the other hand, if your guest list includes people who you see on the regular, maybe you’d all like to get creative this year and start some new traditions.

Once you’ve determined what is your main focus for the day, you’ll be better equipped to determine how much money you’ll need to make it a reality.

Become an even savvier shopper

Some grocery store chains offer a free turkey, ham or game hen when you spend a certain dollar amount there during the months preceding Thanksgiving. This is an easy, and somewhat obvious way to cut a nice chunk of money from your budget.

If you aren’t able to get your main dish free – consider going meatless. Meat is very expensive, and there are plenty of vegetarian options that are quite delicious. Even if you aren’t strictly vegetarian, it can be an adventure to try something new, while saving money at the same time.

Stock up on all of your sides and necessary ingredients over several months prior to the big feast. Only buy items that are on sale – this is why starting early is important. BONUS: If you hit some spectacular sales, buy two of everything non-perishable on your ingredient list (less expensive items like canned vegetables, bread crumbs, gravy, brown sugar, etc) and donate the extra items to a local food pantry or shelter.

Consider making your Thanksgiving a BYOD meal

Bring Your Own Dish meals, or potluck-style gatherings, can actually be really successful and fun. Not only does it take the financial pressure and performance anxiety off the table for the hosts, but it can also be an adventure for your taste buds.

Give everyone ownership of the meal by asking them what they’d like to contribute. What dish is their “specialty?” As the host, you can be in charge of several dishes as well, and you can all come together to taste test what everyone brings to share!

How to Invest in Your Future When You’re Broke

If you find yourself “barely” living paycheck to paycheck, the worry of not having any money saved can eat away at you. The concept of planning for future events like sending your kid(s) to college, helping them get married, and enjoying your own retirement can feel impossible when you can hardly afford your current lifestyle.

Although it may seem completely unimaginable, you can make a plan for your future; in fact, strategic financial planning may be the one thing that also helps you live better now as well.

The main reason most people don’t have a real savings plan in place is because they simply feel they don’t have enough money to do so. The change that needs to happen isn’t in making more money (although that is obviously not a bad thing) but in getting a new mindset.

The first step in getting a new money mindset is to change your inner dialogue from “I’m broke! I can barely even pay my bills!” to “Let’s see if I can find ways to improve how I spend money.”

While you may feel that you are barely able to meet the financial demands of your life, most people find that they’re spending too much in at least one area that can be cut back. Take a good, hard look at where all of your money goes for at least one complete month. Write down each and every cent that’s spent, organized into three categories:

  •  Necessary/survival: Housing (mortgage payment or rent), utility bills (electric, gas, water/sewer, trash removal), all forms of necessary insurance (homeowners/renters, car, health, life), food (for eat-at-home meals only), vehicle payment(s), vehicle maintenance, gas.
  • Debt: College/student loans, credit cards, personal loans, and any other forms of debt.
  • Luxury: These are things that, while dearly beloved by many of us, can be eradicated without causing you extreme hardship. Examples include: cable/satellite tv packages, streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Now), high speed internet connection, Xbox Live membership, restaurant meals, magazine/newspaper subscriptions, cell phone(s) and their service plans, gym memberships, satellite radio, hair/nail services, frivolous (unnecessary) purchases like new electronics, expensive clothing/shoes, and other items that you simply don’t need.

Once you have a clear picture of exactly what you’re spending all of your money on, you will be able to create a plan to start saving money – it’s that simple!

Your mindset must remain steadfastly dedicated to saving money in order for this to work, however. See that list of luxury items? You are going to have to decide which of them you can either cut out entirely, or scale back. You will likely be surprised at how many companies will be happy to work with you to lower your monthly bill when you explain your situation. They’d rather keep your business at a lower profit than lose you altogether.

Instead of having your nails painted professionally, invest in the supplies needed to do your nails at home. Listen to the (free) radio in your car or pop in a CD rather than paying for satellite radio. Cut out your cable tv and keep your streaming services. Cancel your gym membership and get outside to exercise or start an indoor workout program – there are a multitude of free exercise videos on Youtube.

Even something as simple as not stopping before work to get a coffee and breakfast on-the-go can make a difference. If you spend $5 every day for a breakfast to-go, you can put that money directly into your savings account by eating breakfast at home. This habit can save you over $1,000 a year!

Another potential way to save money every month is to negotiate your interest rates with any lenders or credit card companies. You may also qualify for a loan modification (even for your mortgage loan) wherein the terms of your loan would be adjusted in order to make your monthly payments lower.

After you have found several good ways to save money each month – be sure to put the money saved into the right place! The best way to make sure this happens is to put a set amount into your savings account before you pay any bills or spend any money. That way you will train yourself to live on the money you have left after you’ve already invested in your future.


How to Tell if You’re Living Beyond Your Means


The recent popularity of YOLO-based thinking (You Only Live Once) has encouraged many people to take life by the horns. Learning to stay in the present is beneficial for so many reasons. After all, everyone’s living on borrowed time, so really appreciating life’s little moments is a key factor in living a fulfilled life.

Some YOLO enthusiasts take the concept one step further, however – following a “Treat yourself!” mantra that goes beyond staying present and moves toward the idea that since you only live once, you might well “live it up.” This mentality can very easily lead to spending more money than you actually have on things that make you feel good – that new pair of shoes, the latest tech gadgets, getting your hair professional styled, a new car, etc.

Of course, you can find yourself living beyond your means even if you never knew what YOLO stood for until now. Even spending slightly more than you have over a period of time will eventually catch up with you. Regardless of how you’re spending too much, when you reach the point of no return, you’ll realize that you don’t want to spend the rest of your life digging yourself out of debt. THAT is definitely no way to live.

You might be wondering, “Do I spend too much?” It can be difficult to know for sure if you’re living beyond your means, especially if you haven’t hit any significant bumps in the road thus far. You’re house isn’t in foreclosure, your credit’s ok, you’re not late on your car payments, and there’s always enough food on the table. Even when it seems as though everything’s alright on the money front, there are still some signs that should send up a red flag to indicate that trouble is coming.

  • You have zero savings. Many Americans today don’t put as much effort into growing their savings as the generations before us did. The problem with this behavior is that no one really knows what their future holds. Your steady job may not last until retirement. You could become disabled or experience any number of truly stressful life events that will limit your income potential. Without any nest egg to fall back on, any hiccough in your life plan could have disastrous consequences.
  • You charge everyday items to a credit card. Things like gas and groceries should be factored into your monthly expenditures and paid for with real money. If you regularly pay for necessities by credit card, it’s time to take a harder look at your spending habits.
  • The balances on your credit cards are headed up. Ideally, you should be working to pay down anything you’ve charged to your credit card(s) recently, which should only be more expensive purchases. If, instead, you find that your credit card balances just keep rising, you’ll be heading for bankruptcy sooner rather than later.

Get back within your means by cutting back on unnecessary spending now. Take a good hard look at all of your monthly bills and expenses compared with your monthly income. If you can find several areas to reduce spending – great! On the other hand, if literally all of your monthly income is earmarked for life’s necessities – you may need a professional’s help to get back on track.

Image credit: Cafe credit

How the Business of Debt-Buying Affects Consumers


Collectively, American consumers are currently over $12 TRILLION in debt. Out of that $12 trillion, more than $400 billion has been deemed ‘seriously delinquent.’ Outside of a library fine I once racked up because a book that fell into the crack of my couch, I get pretty panicked if someone tells me I’m seriously delinquent. Just the sound of the phrase rolls off the tongue in a negative way, doesn’t it?

As it should: debts don’t get earmarked as seriously delinquent until they are 90 days or more overdue. That may not seem like a long time in the grand scheme of life, but in the world of debt, three months of failing to make a payment is long enough for lenders to get good and fed up.

What is debt buying?

Because of the whopping trillions of dollars of consumer debt in this country, an entirely new industry has spontaneously developed, and it’s more than a little shady. Lenders don’t want to wait to get paid. Seriously delinquent debts are often sold by lenders to companies whose sole purpose is to buy debt for pennies on the dollar in order to make at least a tiny bit of money rather than none at all. This process is part of the dubious debt buying industry – where debt is bought and sold, bought and sold ad infinitum, potentially transferring hands a veritable profusion of times.

Astoundingly, debt buyers can collect on the full amount of an original debt, even though they will have paid a supremely small fraction of that amount when they purchased it from the lender.

What does this mean for indebted consumers?

The debt buying blitz in the United States is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, many original lenders don’t supply debt buyers with much information about the debts that are switching hands. Compounding this issue is the fact that debt buyers are often unscrupulous about whether or not the debts they purchase are even valid. That means that they may purchase debts with missing or incorrect data that can lead to them harassing you for money you don’t even owe.

Ruthless debt buyers and collectors typically don’t care whether they’ve got the right person on the phone or whether the debt has been discharged via bankruptcy. They don’t even check to see if the statute of limitations to collect on a debt has passed. They’ve got a list of names and contact information, and often times millions of dollars they can potentially pocket if they can convince enough people to fork over the money.

Fueled by a strong desire for money, when debt buyers set out on their mission to collect, they’ll frequently go to unimaginable lengths in order to get you to pay. Threats, lies, scare tactics, cursing, impersonation, degradation, and humiliation are just a few of the strategies employed by people in the debt-buying and debt-collecting industry.

If you’ve experienced any of the above and feel that 1) you don’t owe the debt in question; or 2) a debt collector has acted illegally – you have recourse. Veitengruber Law helps people like you every day, and we’ve grown quite adept at dealing with distressing debt collectors. Want to find out if we can help you? Call us now: (732) 852-7295. We will not overcharge you and we’ll consult with you for a full hour free of charge. Best of all – we’ll put an end to your debt problem once and for all.

Image credit: Pat Pilon

Frugal Friday: Memorial Day Party on a Budget


If there’s one thing that all of us here at Veitengruber Law all have in common, it’s finding ways to save money. Often this comes in the form of us working to help a client: apply for a loan modification, get a fresh start with bankruptcy, negotiate outstanding debts and learn how to budget so that their financial future looks bright.

When it comes time for us to leave the office each evening, we then turn our attention to our personal lives, and part of that involves how to best keep our own finances in order. We are constantly on the lookout for money-saving life hacks, which we love sharing with our clients and blog readers.

As we approach the end of May, many people have started planning for Memorial Day parties. A day to remember and memorialize those who died while serving our country in the armed forces, Memorial Day has also become the unofficial start to summer. Although summer doesn’t technically begin for several weeks, the last weekend in May now sees a plethora of pool openings, family gatherings, cookouts and beach trips.

This year, if you’ve been nominated to throw a Memorial Day party at your house (voluntarily or not) – why not see just how frugal you can be while hosting an unforgettable party at the same time? Try implementing some of these party hacks to see just how little of your own cash you have to part with this year:

Avoid the “party store.” Buying pre-made party supplies and decor adds up fa$t. Making your own patriotic decorations and party favors is not only a great way to lower your party costs; it can be a lot of fun, too! Check out this site for some really cool money-saving patriotic decoration ideas.

Prepare your own food. It is undoubtedly a lot more convenient to fill up a shopping cart at the warehouse store with pre-packaged food – from burgers and buns to snacks and desserts. Just like the “party store,” however, you’ll pay a premium for that convenience. Instead of forking over hundreds of dollars at BJs or Sam’s Club, roll up your sleeves and get cooking.

In addition to putting your own culinary skills to good use, enlist the other party attendees to each bring a food item with them. This will enable you to focus only on the main dish(es) yourself, while your friends can bring sides, snacks and desserts. Consider making it into a challenge to see who can bring the tastiest goodies.

Make it a BYOB shindig. You may be thinking: “But I already asked them to bring a food dish. Now they have to bring their own drinks, too???” Well, sort of. As the host, you should have the basic bar necessities on hand (if you plan to serve alcoholic drinks). If you don’t already have them stocked, consider a visit to the liquor store for an affordable bottle of: vodka, gin, scotch and rum. Add in a few mixers and you’ll be able to stock your home bar for around 50 bucks.

Alternatively, you could come up with one signature drink for the party that fits in with a patriotic theme, and serve only that drink. For example, a drink called the firecracker settles into layers of red, white and blue. Let party-goers know that if they want to drink wine or beer, they can bring their favorite bottle(s) along. This alone will save you a significant amount of money.

BE the entertainment. The merriment of any good Memorial Day (or any summertime) cookout should center around good conversation with friends and loved ones. If you’re looking for something a little more organized – toss out some brain teasers or get several card games going. Alternatively, crank up the volume and turn your picnic into an instant dance party (talent not required).

One of the keys to living a life free from debt is to plan ahead for special events just like this. Waiting until the last minute will give you little choice but to swipe your credit card more times than you’ll want to admit in order to acquire the party supplies you need.

Proper planning, budgeting, and getting help when you need it (in this case, asking your friends to contribute food and drinks) will keep the cost of a party from getting out of hand. Aside from a slight headache from too many firecrackers or wine, you won’t have any regrets the morning after you throw a penny-pinching Patriotic party.

Image credit: JD Hancock

Living on a Budget: Frugal or Free Summertime Activities

36353934_e998f5943f_zImage: Dmitry Kichenko

Whether you’re single, coupled or a family with young kids, living on a budget during the summer may seem daunting. There are so many tempting ways to spend money while the weather’s warm and sunny, and the kids (if you have any) are out of school complaining of instant boredom.

If you’re having trouble planning affordable, fun, family-friendly activities for the quickly approaching warm-weather months – read on to find some ideas that should definitely get you started. Each suggestion will be marked as either ‘Frugal’ or ‘Free’ with notations on what costs you should expect to incur (if any).

Beach day – Living in New Jersey makes it significantly easier to stay cool during the dog days of summer without paying for an expensive pool in your back yard or investing in a costly public pool membership every year. Close proximity to the beach means you can enjoy the ocean and all that the Jersey shore has to offer without even paying for a hotel room. Pack your meals, snacks and plenty of cold drinks to avoid buying expensive boardwalk food. Throughout the summer, many shore towns also put on special free events like craft shows, music festivals, air shows, movies on the beach, fireworks and more! [Frugal: You’ll need money for gas to get you there and back, and you may end up spending a little money on the boardwalk or at any of the shore’s special summer events.]

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Take a hike – It surprises many people to learn that New Jersey is actually chock-full of beautiful hiking trails. Check out to find an interesting trail system near you. Bring along a picnic lunch, and don’t forget your camera! New Jersey is beautiful! [Free]


Backyard camping – This summer activity is great for families, couples, and just about everyone who loves enjoying the outdoors without paying for said enjoyment. If you don’t already have a camping tent, try borrowing one from a friend or making your own! The fun to be had is nearly endless: chasing fireflies, making s’mores, telling (ghost) stories, making shadow puppets with a flashlight, and simply listening to the sounds of nature as you giggle yourselves to sleep. This can also be a great romantic change of pace for couples who are watching their pennies. [Frugal: You may need to buy materials to build a tent (very affordable), and supplies for S’mores, of course!]

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Get thee to a library – Hustling out of the heat and through the library door to be greeted by cool, book-scented air is something that should be included on everyone’s To-Do list every summer. Get your kids (and yourself) temporarily away from screens and into a good page-turner. [Free, assuming you return your books on time.]

4609210182_84e0c07e7f_zImage: C. John

Get crafty! [Frugal: Requires a one-time investment in craft supplies; however, many crafts can be made using recycled items like: empty soda bottles, milk cartons, tin cans, old magazines, toilet paper rolls, bottle caps, candy wrappers and more!

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Plant a vegetable garden – Not only is this a very affordable project, you’ll get a huge return on your (very small) investment! [Frugal: You’ll need to buy seeds and maybe a few gardening tools, but you may be able to borrow tools from a friend or neighbor.]

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Enjoying the summer on a budget can be done. Don’t let the warm weather steer you away from your budget. Of course, it’s ok to spend a little money once in awhile, but in general, appreciate what life offers up naturally. You (and your bank account) will be better off for having made it through a frugal summer, and you may enjoy it so much that you’ll do it again next year!

Budgeting After Retirement: A How-to Guide

budget jar

As millions of Americans who were born in the Baby Boomer era reach retirement age, many of them are surprised to discover that retiring isn’t as stress-free as they imagined. For Baby Boomers who are trying to retire but are finding it difficult, there are some easy ways to get a handle on your retirement budget so that you can once again enjoy your golden years.

Although there are many things that will affect your retirement income (taxes, inflation, investments, part time income), there is one factor that you have total control over. How much money you spend, especially early in your retirement, is something that you can easily control. One of the biggest mistakes made by retirees is spending too much money very early in their retirement. This can happen due to the excitement of finally being retired – a “let’s celebrate” attitude that goes on for too long. Excessive spending can also continue beyond the early part of retirement, becoming chronic, which will eventually deplete all of your retirement funds while you’ve still got a lot of years of living left to do.

The smartest move for all retirees regarding their finances, is to set up and stick to a budget. Your retirement budget may look different from your budget during your working years if you are bringing in less money, but the payoff is in the fact that you no longer have to go to work every day!

In order to create a spending budget for yourself, you’ll need to know exactly how much retirement income you’ll receive each month. Add to this any money that you make from a part time job and any dividends you receive from investments. Combine these with any income your spouse (if applicable) is expected to earn monthly. Make sure that the numbers you are working with after taxes. After you have a good handle on how much money will be coming in each month, you’ll need to do some calculating.

How to Calculate Your Monthly Expenditures

  • Start with all non-negotiable expenses. These include your house payment or rent, utility bills, any car payments/car insurance premiums, food and clothing, and the cost of health care. Health care includes the cost of any medications you take every month, co-pays for regular doctor’s visits, and of course the cost of your health insurance*.*A note about health insurance: Do your research on the cost of health insurance after you retire. Your cost may be higher if your employer had been paying for part of the expense. Many retirees forget this fact, and this causes major problems with their post-retirement budget.Medicare: Many people wrongly assume that Medicare is free. While Medicare A is free, it only covers hospitalization. The rest of the benefits you’ll receive via Medicare aren’t free, and you will pay premiums just like you did for previous health care plans. Recent estimates show that, overall, Medicare will pay for approximately 60% of a retiree’s medical costs. The rest will come from your pocket.
  • Take a look at your ‘other’ expenses. After you’ve added up all of the non-negotiable expenditures, then you’ve got to take into account all other expenses you’ll encounter. These include the cost of leisure activities (going to the movies, eating out, vacations) gifts and luxuries (cell phones, cable, gym memberships). Basically, what we’re talking about here is the “fun stuff.”At this point, you’ll need to take into consideration what type of lifestyle will make you happy during retirement. If you will require more leisure activities than your budget allows for, you’ll have to start thinking about supplementing your retirement income with a part-time job. On the other hand, if you are willing to give up certain things that you previously enjoyed (such as a cell phone or an extensive cable tv plan), you’ll be able to cut your budget and spend more time relaxing instead of taking on a part-time job.

It can be difficult to create a budget for yourself, and it is also something that people often avoid doing because they’re afraid of what the reality may be. However, it is in your best interest to create a retirement budget as soon as you possibly can, so that you don’t run into significant financial problems during a time in your life that’s supposed to be your chance to finally kick back a little.

Need help creating a retirement budget? Let us know here, and we’ll happily consult with you FREE of charge.


Image credit: TaxCredits


Foreclosure in the Golden Years: A Real Problem in America

old couple

The baby boomer generation has reached their golden years, and for millions of them, life isn’t quite what they had envisioned. In fact, many elderly Americans are finding themselves suddenly homeless and without a place to go. Their dire living situations have been brought about by several factors combining to create the “perfect storm.”

Over the past 20-30 years, many employers have been eliminating traditional retirement pensions. Many baby boomers simply didn’t save enough money on their own, or have outlived the savings they amassed. People are living longer, but they aren’t making and saving enough money to take care of themselves throughout their extended retirement period.

On top of outliving their savings, today’s older Americans have lived through the housing bubble which caused a recession second only in severity to The Great Depression era. Many elderly people ended up using their homes as a bank, which kept them afloat temporarily through refinances that allowed them to essentially take money from their home.

The result of all of this is nothing short of dire for a huge number of older and elderly Americans who should rightfully be able to retire but have to keep working into their 70s, 80s and 90s in order to keep their homes. All of the baby boomers who reverse mortgaged their homes (took out loans for much more than the value of their home in order to have some cash to meet their living expenses) are now facing lenders who want their money back. Unfortunately, these lenders aren’t taking no for an answer, and many banks refuse to negotiate with the elderly to stretch out their payments, because of the possibility that the debtor will pass away before repaying in full.

For the most part, baby boomers who took reverse mortgages on their homes figured they would just work a little longer to pay off a growing mortgage. However, as often happens in our later years, many people fall ill and are not physically or mentally able to continue working. Disability checks, VA benefits and even help from grown children is often just not enough money to hold on to homes with swelled mortgages that resulted in sky high monthly payments.

What that means for many older Americans is falling behind on the mortgage payments, which leads to them eventually facing foreclosure. The thought of being evicted from your home in your golden years is unfathomable to us here at Veitengruber Law. We want older Americans living in New Jersey to know that they have options, and that we are here to help.

Lenders may not want to negotiate with elderly Americans, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. By law, no lender can discriminate against a debtor because of his/her age. Simply choosing not to work with elderly borrowers BECAUSE they are older and may not have a lot of years left, is irresponsible and illegal.

Working with our team at Veitengruber Law means that you will no longer have to deal with discriminating lenders – WE will negotiate on your behalf. Our most recent success story involves a disabled veteran who had fallen behind on his mortgage – 83 payments behind! Although he had attempted to modify his loan on his own, his mortgage company (surprise!) wanted nothing to do with him and offered him no solutions other than foreclosure. By working with Veitengruber Law, this disabled vet was able to stay in his home, making payments he can now AFFORD, without putting out any lump sum.

If you need help averting your home from foreclosure, please call us today at (732) 852-7295 for your FREE consultation. We live to keep people like you in your home!



Image credit: Ulbrecht Hopper

Can Bankruptcy Get Me Out of Credit Card Debt?

scrabble cc debt

Annie had always been diligent about staying current on her mortgage payment and utility bills – it was important to her to be able to remain in her home and she was proud of paying her bills.

About 18 months ago, Annie incurred a demotion at her place of work, and started bringing in only about half of her former paycheck. Over that period of time, she prioritized her monthly payments and continued to stay current on her home loan and utility bills.

However, the cost of those bills quickly ate away at her new (much smaller) paycheck, and Annie found herself charging many of her living expenses to one of several credit cards. All the while, as she continued to use her credit cards for things like groceries, toiletries, gifts and miscellaneous expenses, she had only planned for this situation to be TEMPORARY.

Ever since her change in job status, Annie had been tirelessly applying for positions that would see her making the money she needed to finally pay down her credit card balances and start using real money for her expenses once again. Unfortunately, due to a challenging job market and her lack of a college degree, she was passed over for all of the higher paying jobs she applied for, and her credit card use continued.

She had been unable to pay her monthly credit card minimums for awhile, and tried to put the rising balances out of her mind until she reached a place in her life where she could adequately deal with them. Still stuck in the same lower paying job a year and a half later, she finally decided it was time to sit down and add up all of her credit card debt so she at least knew what she was dealing with. Imagine her surprise when the total amount was a staggering $25,000+. What she wanted to know now, was:

How can I get rid of this debt and still manage to live my life?

Many people don’t fully understand bankruptcy. It is still taboo in many areas of the country and among certain groups of people. In fact, some people like Annie don’t even realize that credit card debt can be erased by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Not just lowered, but ERASED! (It is possible to repay your credit card debt on a modified schedule with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy – but this requires that your income will allow you to do so.)

If you’ve found yourself in a credit card situation that you never thought you’d be in, do not be ashamed. It happens to A LOT of people! You did what you had to do to make it through a tough situation. Perhaps you made some less-than-optimal money decisions. The important thing is that you now recognize that there is a problem and that you are taking steps to rectify it. Contacting an attorney should be the next thing on your To-Do list, so that s/he can discuss your case specifics with you, and create a plan of attack that will see you with the brightest financial future possible.


Image credit: GotCredit via Flickr