Financial Fresh Start
Your Five-Step Plan for Adapting and Prospering in the New Economy
Author: Shari Olefson
Pub Date: February 2013
Print Edition: $26.00
Print ISBN: 9780814432297
Page Count: 320
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432303
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The real estate crash and near collapse of the financial sector had profound and rippling effects across the country: 11 million homes are underwater, 12 million people are unemployed, 43 million have poor credit scores, trillions of dollars have disappeared from retirement accounts. It’s a battered landscape where even the pillars of long-term financial health—your home, your IRA, the promise of social security—seem like relics from a distant past.
While federal bailouts saved banks and other industries, many people are unaware that assistance is here for everyone. The sweeping Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2011, as well as a multitude of other new laws and regulations, are packed with provisions for helping people get back on their feet financially and securing their long-term prosperity. Financial Fresh Start will show you how.
Written in accessible language by an expert in real estate, law, and finance, Financial Fresh Start helps you make sense of the new economic realities of the bubble, bailout, and Great Recession, and delivers a five-step action plan for making your own fresh start: (1) adapt your banking and borrowing (2) fix your credit and debt (3) protect your savings, investments, and retire-ment (4) decide if home ownership is right for you (5) earn more, spend less. You’ll learn specific tips for correcting missteps, avoiding common blunders, and practicing sound strategies, including:
• How to avoid hefty overdraft fees, now a $24 billion business for banks
• How to get a new Qualified Residential Mortgages loan
• Ways to avoid escalating interest rates on your credit card debt
• How to dispute errors on your credit report
• Ways to protect yourself from aggressive collection firms
• When it makes sense to hang up your hat and declare bankruptcy
• How to ensure that your 401(K) is being managed with a “fiduciary” standard of conduct
• How to reduce your taxes on payouts from retirement accounts
• What foreclosure alternatives are available under the Making Home Affordable refinance program
• Ways to cut your home, health, life, car, and disability insurance payments
Complete with an overview explaining how we landed in this mess, self-assessments for gauging your own financial picture, and links to the author’s proprietary data online, Financial Fresh Start is your one-stop guide for getting your financial life in order today and building peace of mind for the future.
SHARI OLEFSON is a certified real estate attorney and Florida civil court and supreme court qualified mediator, with degrees in law, journalism, and psychology. She is an attorney with The Olefson Law Firm and founder and director of The Carnegie Group, a Florida-based think tank. In addition, she is a trusted journalist, news commentator, speaker, and the author of Foreclosure Nation. She is frequently quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and USA Today, and appears weekly on CNN, CNBC, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, and CBS. She lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
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