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Waiting for March 4

I got a frantic phone call today from Theresa.  You may have seen her and her husband Sheldon on Today with me, Carmen Wong Ulrich and David Bach a few weeks ago during a supersized Money 911 segment.

Theresa wrote me originally because she felt like she was going in alone as far as her money was concerned. 

Together they had bought a life too big for their wallets (big house, big expenses), now the piper wanted to be paid, but this couple — like so many others — had trouble talking about it to each other.  I went through their monthly bills, advising them which things to eliminate (DirectTV) and which to reduce (cell phone bills).  And we talked about which assets could be sold to raise cash.  They got off to a much better footing.

But today when Theresa called she had another concern: She was trying, as I had suggested, to talk to her mortgage lender and cut a deal that she could afford and they were refusing to work with her.  Why?  BECAUSE SHE WAS ON TIME WITH HER PAYMENTS.  I am not kidding.  One look at Theresa’s finances and this lender would have seen that she was on the precipice and yet, there was no relief available for her — or anyone else like her — because she hadn’t missed a payment.

We have been hearing from Washington that this is going to change.  That on March 4, we will have a new plan that will allow lenders and mortgage servicers to give — finally — some relief to responsible folks like Theresa and her husband.  I am hopeful.  On March 4, I plan to make a phone call with her to see exactly what is on the table for people like her — and people like you — and I will let you know.

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