The sluggish economy has affected every segment of society in New Jersey and beyond. Middle class people have lost jobs they thought were secure and have then faced issues with mounting debt that they never imagined would befall them. The question is what to do about it, and many families do not know where to go for help.
One organization in New Jersey that can help with debt relief is the Jewish Family Services of Metro West. JFS appears to recognize that the problems facing many people require a variety of support services. Take the family whose father lost his job and found his wife and children upset with him. Behind on mortgage payments, they turned to JFS for debt counseling and referrals to benefit programs that helped them get their feet back on the ground. The wife has since found temporary employment as a teacher’s aide and their daughter is babysitting.
Last spring a single mother of a 7-year-old lost her job through no fault of her own. She depleted her savings tying to hang on as she looked for a new job, and her daughter began having difficulties at school. JFS was able to provide emergency funding to help save the family from eviction, as well as subsidized counseling for the mother and daughter. The situation is improving, and the daughter is again performing well in school.
Unfortunately, not all stories work out so well. Those who see no end in sight to their money problems may benefit from seeking the protection of the bankruptcy court to stop creditors in their tracks. There is no shame in filing for protection, and a successful petition can take advantage of bankruptcy options, and may lay the foundation for a return to financial security.
Source: The Star-Ledger, “Holiday Fund helps struggling parents get back on track,” Nov. 24, 2011