When Life Gives You Lemons: OC Edition

Categories: Chapter 11, Chapter 7, Family Law and Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Modifications, Short Sales

From religion to politics; housing, transportation and food, the epic failures of the economic recession have delivered some real big lemons to the OC [Orange County]. No sector of the economy was left untouched and so many lives have been impacted in this recent wave of sour fruit. In July, the OC Metro Magazine’s (@OCMetro) article entitled, Orange County’s Biggest Lemons highlighted some of the OC’s hellacious failures and explained, “what we learn from failure is often the most important business lesson of all.” I say that it is the hard times that shape us all.  As the Kelly Clarkson song goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you Stronger,” and I agree.

I focus here on the personal lessons that mirror the financial failures my clients face because it’s only a matter of time when a case of lemons is likely to show up on your doorstep.  When it does, what will you do with all those lemons?  Will you delay making any decision and end up with a case of rotten lemons?, or, will you take immediate action to squeeze them all by hand, add sugar and water and enjoy the fruits of your labor when there is lemonade?

Financial mismanagement and family infighting caused the collapse of the Crystal Cathedral dynasty built by Dr. Robert Schuller.  Who doesn’t have family infighting?  Don’t pass on your incredibly successful business to your children, unless they are ready to take over and build upon your success.  The family finance lesson is that the entire family must be on board with a financial plan or you’ll end up with a saboteur in your midst who might sink the ship!  I like to include both spouses in talks about bankruptcy and debt relief because when everyone is on the same page, success happens faster.

The OC Metro article highlights some of the biggest bankruptcies our nation has ever seen and the it seems that the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown happened in Irvine, California where many of the mortgage brokerage houses enjoyed the ride up. We are left with the biggest lesson of all.  There are no ‘get rich quick’ schemes.

Lessons to live by

  1. Live on less what what you make
  2. Save cash for emergencies, not credit cards
  3. Save for retirement and NEVER borrow from it
  4. Don’t tap the equity in your home
  5. Use what you have before you buy more
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