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02/28/2010

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Walter L. Zweifler, ASA

This failed Employee Stock Ownership Plan hits the workers and offers an escape for the "buyer" - Zell. Even at 50 the asset coverage is problematic for this distressed debt. Notable among the assets, the last time I saw a balance sheet - were the LA Times - Chicago White Sox related assets - Internet cash flows, among others. - If the Receiver gets bids above 25 he ought to "give it very serious consideration". The real question is, How many other situations mirror this one?
As President Hoover said in 1930 "Now is the time to buy" - and we know that was a bit premature. We want to talk to others who share our contrarian perspective - and want to harvest the paradise before us!
Walter Zweifler, ASA - zweifler.com - 973 763 5534

Sarah

I have not heard of any valid debt grants. Debt cdtiolsoanion is real; however, you are often not saving anything from this service. Your monthly payments are lower because they spread the payments over a longer period of time (and you'll pay more interest) plus, the majority of these services charge a price (up-front) of at least $500.00. My sister looked into consolidating her debt recently and was happy until I did the work on Excel to show her that she would actually end up paying more back if she went through with the cdtiolsoanion (her car is due to be paid off in 6 months and they extended the payments another 36 months). As for food stamp income eligibility if you post her state and number of household members I will look for you google the state plus Food Stamp income eligiblity and you can usually find it. You can also look at the 2010 federal poverty guidelines to get an estimate on if she would meet criteria for those in poverty for a family of 3 the poverty level is $18,310/year and for a family of 4 it's $22,050/year (Hawaii, Alaska, and DC residents not included). Many states will allow you food stamps if your income is 130% of the federal poverty level or below (provided that you meet the other criteria). This is the site for the 2010 federal poverty levels: . For Indiana, here's the income chart: . Some states have information that is easily accessed on the internet and other states are harder but if she's under 130% of the federal poverty level, she will likely qualify. There are many people who are the working poor and really the only answer is to either make less money and qualify for benefits (but you can never really get ahead this way) or to pick up a second job to earn more and pay off debts (which will then free up some money each month). How many children does she have? Would it be more cost effective for her to rent a smaller home or an apartment? Has she put her house on the market to sale it does she have an underwater mortgage? Good luck to your friend.Edit: Luckily VA is an easy one to find. For a family of 5 the maximum annual income (gross) is $32,664.00/year. She could calculate if it would benefit her family (with her husband of course) for one of them to accept a lower-paying job (provided that one could be found) in order to qualify for food stamp assistance. $793/month would be the maximum food stamp allottment for a family of 5 and they may only receive $500 $600 (it will depend on income). So, they would possibly have to lose $8,000/year in income, but may be able to receive $7,200 in food stamp benefits (annually) they could weigh their options. I'm not sure what debts she has, but getting those paid off should be the biggest goal (because that frees up the monthly money). Encourage her to cut all the costs that she can (canceling cable or switching to basic cable, cancelling internet, switching to pre-paid cell phones, carpooling to work to save on gas, shopping at thrift stores, eating at home, and even visiting the local food banks if necessary) in order to put as much as she can towards debt. If she or her husband can pick up extra shifts or a second part-time job that will help or if any of her children are older, they could mow lawns, dog-walk, or babysit and help pay for their items. Good luck again to your friend. I do know how your friend feels I was receiving food stamps last year and a raise took me over the income limit by $2.00/month luckily another raise as brought me up enough that I'm not struggling anymore, but it's difficult when you feel like you're working and still cannot afford to pay for food and bills.

Dana

Si what if you can't buy "stuff" for awhile just throw EVERYTHING you can at the debt. Dave Ramsey is a fool to tell ppleoe to pay a lower balance account so you can "Feel Good", attack the one with the highest interest first that way you do not throw away money even if it is only a few dollars a month that you have to tackle the debt.Next get a second job for 6 months and put every dime you make and have to spare toward the debt.Get rid of your cell phone and cable for awhile, stop going out do anything to get rid of the debt then you can turne the cable and cellphone back on.Good luck oh and pay the debt and on time yourself FORGET any kind of consolidation/repair services.

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