We all know about the Grinch. The curmudgeonly green guy with a severe dislike of Christmas. After stealing Christmas from the people of Whoville and driving it up a mountain to push it off, he hears the people celebrating nonetheless and ultimately has a change of heart and returns the trimmings of the Christmas holiday to the people of Whoville.
That’s not the Grinch I’m talking about this holiday season. I’m talking about a Grinch who will take Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years and anything else that you value as we enter the holiday season. There are lots of those Grinch’s out there, lurking in the shadows, just waiting to have a chance to swipe everything you need to pull off a memorable holiday season with your family.
The inflation Grinch
Gas is up over $1.00 a gallon. Beef is up an average of about 35%. Real wages have declined 1.9% since January and the consumer price index is up 5.4% this year. In real terms, inflation is costing the average American family about $2,100 extra this year alone. This doesn’t account for the fact that we haven’t even gotten to the cold part of the year when heating bills (natural gas is up 180% year over year) are expected to soar.
In other words, times are tough right now. Families all over the country are having a hard time making ends meet. Inflation makes the dollars you do earn worth less. The pound of beef you bought last month for $3.25 is now $3.99. It’s costing you an extra $20 to fill up your tank every week. It’ll probably cost you double this winter to heat your home. In other words, your wallet is being stretched thinner and thinner every day.
The garnishment Grinch
Creditors have been extremely aggressive. Garnishments in Georgia are among the highest they’ve been since the great recession. Remember, in Georgia, a creditor can garnish 25% of your pre tax income EACH TIME YOU GET PAID. That means if you make $2,000 a month, EACH creditor with a garnishment order can take $500 a month from your check, before you pay taxes, insurance or anything else.
With inflation being what it is, losing 25% of your paycheck can be the difference between keeping a roof over your head and food in your belly or not. If you’ve been served with suit papers, the time to act is now. The garnishment WILL happen sooner or later, and it’s much easier to stop before they actually take money from your check.
The repo Grinch
Do you have a car payment? If you’re like me you do…and it’s a big expense every month. With inflation taking a chunk out of every paycheck and the potential for a garnishment taking 25% more, you can easily catch yourself missing a car payment. In days past, missing one payment wasn’t a big deal so long as you caught it up quickly. Now, that’s a different story.
Along with inflation hitting literally everything else, used car prices are up 32% over this time last year. Guess what…your finance company knows this and they’re in a hurry to cash in. We’ve seen cars be repossessed for being just 1 payment behind. Why? Because finance companies see an opportunity to pick up a vehicle that has a lot of equity in it right now, selling it quick and pocketing the cash. Leaving you with little to nothing to show for all those years of car payments.
The foreclosure Grinch
Do you own your house? Fantastic! You’re creating generational wealth to pass on to your kids and grandkids. The problem… you took a COVID forbearance and now your bank wants those payments caught up now or in the very near future. Chances are, you took that forbearance to survive during COVID. Your job was cut or at least your hours were reduced. Now, you’ve got to come up with an extra $5,000-$10,000 to catch up the mortgage. You know what else is a problem…the bank knows how much equity you have too. Home prices are up an average of 15% since 2020. Just like the repo Grinch, they see an opportunity to foreclose on your house, sell it, and make a tidy profit.
Stopping the Grinch
Now that you’ve read this far, let me give you the good news. We can stop the repo, foreclosure and garnishment Grinch dead in their tracks. The inflation Grinch, not so much, but when everything else is going your way…you can probably manage. Bankruptcy is the law, not a suggestion like debt consolidation. When you file bankruptcy, it puts the full force of the United States Federal Court system squarely behind you. That means the repo man better not mess with your car and the foreclosure sale of your home is stopped dead in its tracks. Oh, and that lawsuit seeking to garnish your wages…it’s toast. If you’re finding yourself in a tough situation, now’s the time to act. File today and you could be debt free by Christmas.
In the story, the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day and he realized the error of his ways. Your creditors won’t be so altruistic.
When you’re ready to stop that Grinch BEFORE he can load your stuff on that sleigh, give me a call.