No Money, Now What? Part 1

14 Oct No Money, Now What? Part 1

“I’mbroke.” One day you realize it – I have no money. Now what? This article and successive parts will cover the basic options that apply to just about everybody.

The first step is to consider what happened to make you realize that there was a problem. What was the triggering event or wake up call? Was it just that your bank balance finally reached zero or gone negative? Or did you get laid off? Or are things even worse, like your house is about to be auctioned in foreclosure? Taking a quick look at what is going on around you will help determine what needs to be done first. Obviously if your home is about to be auctioned off, you need to stop reading this article right now and call an attorney. There is no time to waste.

You can deal with everything else in due time. The second step is to not change anything until you know where you stand. Take stock of your situation. Write it all down. What do you own and what is it worth? What do you owe for debts and to whom? What is the monthly income from all sources? What are your living expenses? It is important that when you are considering your expenses that you do not mix debt payments with necessities like food, lights, heat, shelter, health care and clothing.

Once you have listed the basics, flesh out what you know. Get the specifics. Who are your creditors? What are the account numbers and terms for repayment? What can you expect with regard to your income? Will it go up or down in the near future? How do you know what your stuff is worth? IF you own a home, call up a realtor and get a market analysis to see if your estimate of value is real. You can check car, motorcycle, RV and boat values online. Look around the house, do you have anything that is really valuable?

So the first step is to take a deep breath and take stock of where you are now. This will be your starting point. From here, everything else will fall into place. I promise.

“ConnecticutGene Melchionne is a bankruptcy lawyer covering the entire State of Connecticut. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.

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