Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Renewed trust for tough times

Does it feel like trust is one of the major casualties of the economic meltdown of 2008 – followed by the “Great Recession,” the “Jobless Recovery” and now the threat of a “Double Dip Recession?”

Weren’t we assured that home values were destined to go up and up and up?

There have been lots of promises that help is on the way—and lots of warnings of scams and schemes that have only served to confuse the matter. So where’s a homeowner who’s underwater or overleveraged to turn?

Here’s the bottom line: the choices that homeowners make when they feel they are at the end of their rope will have ramifications for years to come on their ability to qualify for credit, their job prospects, their security clearance and their overall finances. When a family’s financial trajectory is rapidly heading in a negative direction, there’s no substitute for the helping hand of a knowledgeable expert who has the integrity, the experience and the training to reverse the course—someone who is tapped into regulatory initiatives and can separate fact from fiction.

It is my mission to serve as a credible source of information and perspective to homeowners who have found themselves in a tough situation and need help sorting through their options. That’s why I sought out the Certified Distressed Property (CDPE) designation—the most renowned and recognized credential in the distressed property field, and it’s why I continue to stay on top of regulatory and industry developments that impact options available to homeowners who are struggling with their current financial situations.

My message to homeowners who do not know where to turn: there is hope. Foreclosure is not inevitable and neither the government nor your bank wants to see that happen. No one expected to find themselves on the brink of foreclosure, but I have worked with countless clients who have managed to turn their financial trajectory around and get on a path of financial recovery.

It CAN be done! And it would be my privilege to help.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Handling the Stress of an Unaffordable Mortgage Payment

Whenever I research the latest foreclosure and distressed property statistics, the sheer number of Americans facing the stress of losing their homes amazes me. It is my goal to help as many homeowners I can either stay in their homes or relieve the burden of their mortgages. Knowing that there are so many that need my help is a driving force for me to continue doing what I do.

In fact, I just released another report that I’ve made available on my website today. It explains the CDPE designation and lists 10 options that homeowners can take advantage of to relieve the stress that comes with owing their mortgage lenders more money than they can afford to pay. You can find it at www.amyhelps.info.

The report also draws a contrast between short sales and foreclosures. Unfortunately, there’s a growing trend of “strategic defaulters” who think it’s smart to let their home go into foreclosure. As any one who follows this blog knows, there is nothing strategic about foreclosure; it’s one of the most long-lasting, negative financial challenges you can go through.

I’m excited about acting as a resource for more homeowners who have questions about what they should do. As always, if you know homeowners who may need my help, have them contact me immediately! Together, we can put them back on the path to financial stability.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Contentment - What's That?

As many of you know, I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan. I was a Financial Peace University leader when he first brought out the program and I currently serve as one of his Endorsed Local Providers. No one has so consistently taught debt-free living like Dave Ramsey. But not only does he teach it, he lives it out.

Our entire office was laughing in the Spring when we were making reservations on-line to see him live in Portland. I was buying tickets for my whole team, so it was an investment I wanted as a tax write-off. As you would expect, I normally use my business credit card for those kinds of things. We burst into much raucous roaring laughter when Dave's system would not accept my card - it would only take a Debit Card! Now that's integrity living.

Dave recently started a movement called the Great Recovery. You can access information about it at www.greatrecovery.com. Included is a video from his kick off event that I would strongly encourage you to watch. In these times, all of us need Dave's positive kick in the pahtootie! I warn you; prepare yourself to be inspired.

In the meantime, as a person participating in the Great Recovery, I received this email from Dave, and I wanted to share it with you.

Recovering Contentment
Becoming content and stressing less.

It's tough trying to keep up with the neighbors. They have a newer car and a brand new SUV. They have kids in the best private school in the state.

The only time you see them is when they're talking to the landscaper or carrying bags in both hands into the house from their daily trip to the mall. You half-heartedly smile, wave and glance back at your 10 year-old car that needs a few repairs and a good washing.

"We are holding our own GREAT RECOVERY in the small town of Morrisville, Missouri. I am the Class Coordinator and we have 50 attendees in the class!"
—Troy from Facebook

Appearances are easy to maintain, until the truth catches up. Ken and Barbie next door with the "perfect" life are in debt up to their eyeballs. Ken is stressed beyond belief at work, trying to close every deal because he needs each one of them to make his payments. And Barbie's migraines are back because she's losing the fight to keep up with the other private school moms, who are fighting to keep up with their neighbors.

Peace is a beautiful thing. Resting in who we are and what we have is worth far more than we imagine. How can we be content? How can we rest? Trust. If we trust that God loves us completely and unconditionally, and He'll provide no matter what, we can be content. Consider the lilies and the birds. Remember?

"Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.'"
— Luke 12:15

In Hebrews 13:5, we read this. "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" He won't leave us! We can be content. We have money, but we don't love it. It doesn't have us. The kids aren't being tortured taking their PB&J to lunch and wearing hand-me-downs from their cousins. And we're not really missing anything at the theater anyway. Let's approach life like Paul.

Philippians 4:11-12
"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

What Now?
Are you trying to keep up with the neighbors? If so, why?
Are you making a payment on something you can get rid of?
Are you actively trying to educate yourself on how to get out of debt?

If you haven't committed to learning how to handle money God's way, find an FPU class near you.

To Your Contentment,