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Thank You For Your Compassionate Help You Provide Others. – Barbara

“Steve,

Thank you for the compassionate help you provide to your readers. Your extensive knowledge of financial matters and the integrity and honesty with which you answer readers, telling it like it is with no beating around the bush, is a rare commodity.

Keep up the good work!

I have read your website extensively and found that your answers to many other readers questions pretty much address my situation. Unless I can substantially increase my income, I see no other choice but to file Chap 7 bankruptcy early next year.

I am a leading edge baby boomer, single, no kids, who wants and financially needs to work full-time for the money and insurance benefits. Was laid off from the last full-time and part-time jobs in my field and have not been employeed in my field since the layoffs. Forced into “early” retirement by the intersection of the economy and my age (early 60s). Unemployed / underemployed / lived on savings and credit cards the last 2 1/2 years. Started receiving early social security in July 2010, 1 year after exhausting my savings. Things are slightly more stable now, so I can start dealing with digging myself out of the credit card hole I have dug myself into.

Not exactly how I planned to spend my early retirement, but life is what it is, so I am attempting to make lemonade out of the lemons coming my way.

I am starting a small microenterprise business out of my home doing what I used to do as an employee — computer software training, but as anyone who has started a business knows, it takes time to generate consistent cashflow that you can live on.

I am grateful for what I do have — things could be much worse and there are so many struggling with worse situations — but the reality for me is that the modest resources I have / had are being overwhelmed by long-term chronic un / underemployment.

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Duh, I get it — to live within your means you have to either increase your income or decrease your expenses. I have always lived modestly and frugally, even in better times, and have the discipline and skill to track my income and expenses carefully (Quicken software). But as my minister always used to say, “in the realm in which money works, there is no substitute.”

I understand that when I actually file Chap 7 I must not have any funds on deposit at the bank where the credit cards are. I am in the process of finding another bank to transfer my checking accounts to. Given the state of the banking industry in the last several years, how can I make sure the bank I choose is stable?

(1) I will be reaffirming my mortgage. I assume that moving my checking accounts to the credit union that holds my mortgage is not a good idea?

(2) Are there any websites available that provide ratings of banks, that will help me evaluate the financial stability of the banks I am considering?

(2) If #2 is no, if I provide you with the names of the banks I am considering, can you provide help in evaluating them?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

Barbara”

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

Dear Barbara,

First off, thanks for the kind words. I can definitely tell by some of the things you’ve mentioned that you have read a number of posts and listened to what I had to say.

I would not be worried about any bank that is FDIC insured. The FDIC does an amazing job of transitioning any bank that fails to new ownership. It truly is a process they have perfected and it runs smoothly.

If you want information on any bank you are considering you can check them out on the FDIC Institution Directory.

Bottom line, pick any bank as long as it is FDIC insured.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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