Hello this is bankruptcy attorney Jeff Kelly and Today is April the 24th 2020. Yesterday Bloomberg reported that major credit card companies are lowering credit limits because of this Corona outbreak. And what I want to talk about today in this podcast is why it is so important that you establish an emergency fund of cash for your family and not rely on a credit card to get you through rough times. I’ve heard many many clients say over the years that you know we’re that are filing Chapter 7 wiping out the debts we’re getting them a fresh start, and people will say I just cannot lose my credit card because I need the credit card.
In case of an emergency, and that is a wrong way of thinking, in my opinion. What you need is cash in case of an emergency. Because if you’re relying on a credit card to help get you through a rough time, what are you going to do when the credit card company cuts your limit off and you can no longer use it? Credit cards are not and should never be considered your emergency plan the sole basis of your emergency plan, you need cash. So as we’re going through this tough time here, there are 26 million people who are unemployed today through no fault of their own because of this Coronavirus quarantine.
So, what should a person do who has zero dollars in their emergency fund right now? Well, my advice is, as you do get your as you do get your hands on cash via unemployment payments or working part-time, whatever the sources save that money. I think an average family needs a minimum of about $5,000 in their savings account for an emergency fund. So does it make sense to pay credit card companies the minimum payments when you have no cash? It doesn’t make sense to drain your savings down to zero to make minimum payments on your credit cards? Absolutely not. That makes no sense. You’ve got to be able to have enough money for emergency food for your your utilities. So during this emergency time, food and utilities have to be number one. You’ve got to have money the setback for medicine for your family.
The next line of importance is going to be rent or your mortgage payments. Now, I talked to a lot of clients and honestly, most of us make, including myself, we make a lot of major financial decisions based on emotion. And when you are going through a tough time if you’re unemployed, you have got to throw emotion out the window because the math has to work. Math trumps everything. It makes no mathematical sense to take your desperately needed cash to pay towards debt that you’re most likely going to end up wiping out and eliminating. In a bankruptcy case. If things get bad enough, you have to eat, you have to pay the electricity, you’ve got to pay rent, you’ve got to pay mortgage if you’re getting into a city Were rent and mortgages are not getting paid and things are heading south, then you have to come up with a new plan. There’s got to be a backup plan. And I know a lot of people aren’t going to want to hear this. But, you know, I remember back in the 2008 crisis, I saw a lot of families living in one house, there were quite a few cases where there were three generations in one house. And I hope it doesn’t come to that I hope we have a a fast recovery and people are able to get back to work. But you know, worst comes to worse, we may be seeing a lot of that happen again. And we will get through it just like we got through the last crisis.
It’s very, very important that even as you deal with all this stress, and you know, dealing with the frustration, somehow you got to maintain a positive attitude, you got to stay positive, you got to keep your head up. We’ve got to march forward is the only way we’re going to get through it. And together we can. We are here to help.
If you would like to take advantage of a free consultation, we’ll be happy to talk to you go through your income and your budget and we’ll be more than happy to give you our two cents worth. You can call us at 770-881-8449. More thing I want to mention real quick. Also is community it is very important that you are not isolated as you’re going through a tough economic time. Reach out to family. Don’t if you’re suffering and the math isn’t working. You got to tell people you got to tell your family. You’re not supposed to go through tough times all by yourself. If you don’t have family close by, I advise people you know Reach out to your church. If you don’t have a church, find one, call one. Personally, I go to First Presbyterian, and downtown Rome. It’s a great church. pastors are a wonderful, fantastic resource for life wisdom, they, they help a lot of people get through tough times. And I strongly believe that as we go through this recovery, we’re going to have to lean on each other. We’re going to have to lean on family, we’re going to have to lean on, on churches. But whatever you do, don’t. Don’t be isolated.
If If you want to learn more about chapter 13 and chapter 7, I have written a book on it and I would like to get you a free copy. So go to my main website, www.kellycanhelp.com scroll down to the bottom. Type in your email address and we will get you a copy delivered to your inbox. If you prefer hardcopy. We’ll be happy to mail you one while supplies last. You can reach us at 770-881-8449. Thank you for tuning in today. Have a good one.
Here is a link to the article I refer to in this podcast.