Roger Schlesinger

First of all, let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! I appreciate the opportunity to share with you the experiences that I have collected over the years in my profession, and I am even more grateful for your listening ear. I have enjoyed our conversation over the last six months, and I look forward to continuing it as we roll into 2007.

Now, I spent most of the year in 2006 talking about rolling your debts into a new mortgage on your home and winning in several ways. I am finding that most of the major lenders who advertise on television are now saying the same thing (almost) and setting people up to lose. Why would they do that? Well, to be blunt, P.T. Barnum said "there is a sucker born every day", and while that's an easy assumption to make, I am not of that school. Based on my observations of the people I interact with on a daily basis, I believe people are hurting and either can't or don't want to search for the solution but instead will take anything that will appear to alleviate the pain. I believe this is the basis for drug addiction (not my field). In any case, it is time to take a look at the various ways to tackle the same problem.

There are three main ways to tackle the problem many people find themselves facing: too much debt and not enough of anything else (liquid assets) to make it disappear. I am particularly aiming this discussion at homeowners who at least have one asset that can help: their home. The most obvious solution when the bills are becoming too large to handle (as defined by the payments you need to make on them each month) would be to roll them into a new mortgage, in most cases, and hope this is the answer. Your second choice would be to seek help from a credit counseling institution or the likes and, in many cases, running the risk of ruining your credit. Your third choice would be to cut out your desire for using plastic and do nothing to remedy the problem immediately. If I were to stop here, I can tell you a certain segment of the readers would opt for the third solution--hands down! I am not quite sure that they could do it for themselves, but they always tell me that that's what they should do--always!

Let's look at the solutions in reverse order. People in the United States of America have increasing amounts of debt as new records are set monthly in the credit card industry for the ever increasing debt burden we place on ourselves. What's the reason? We, without exception, and definitely including me, are susceptible to advertising which comes at us from every angle. We now have sponsors for everything including football games: the (blank) Orange Bowl game, etc.

Roger Schlesinger

Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.