Out of Work session to offer some new answers

by Britt Aamodt
Special to the Star News

Say you have a job. Say you go to your job and find out — that very day —you’ve lost your comfortably regular income. You’ve been downsized, laid off, outsourced, fired, whatever term of the hour seems to fit the occasion.

What’s your first thought?

Probably something along the lines of: Oh, heck. Other words might come to mind, but they’re probably not suitable for print. Let’s just say you’re in panic mode.

At some point, after the dust settles, you’ll also start to contemplate the big three: home, auto and health. That’s when your thoughts really start to spin the hamster wheel of worry. “What am I going to do? What am I going to do?”

Tuesday, Feb. 15, a panel of experts will convene at Rockwoods Bar & Grill in Otsego to lay out your options, whether you need those options now or are gathering information “just in case.”

“What About My Home, My Car and My Health Insurance?,” session three in the free five-session Out Of Work series, will provide guidance on health insurance (COBRA, MN Care, individual and short-term plans), and on dealing with car loans, rent and mortgage payments.

Representatives from the insurance and banking industries will share the floor, providing advice and taking questions from the audience.

“You can say, ‘Well, I’ll find another job in six months,’ and then determine how much money you’ll need for six months and set that aside,” says Stewart Wilson, director of communications at The Bank of Elk River and one of the three speakers scheduled to present. “That’s the simple answer. But everyone’s situation will be unique.”

And not everyone has the financial means or foresight to plan for several months, if not years, of unemployment.

So, Wilson will gear his talk to the what-ifs. What if you can’t make your house payment?

“The first step is to contact your lender and explain your situation,” says Wilson, who has spent 35 years in banking.

“Be sure to document everything.” Every phone call. Every e-mail.

For those confronting foreclosure, Wilson will also map out the foreclosure process, including the six-month period following the sheriff’s sale, when a borrower still has the option to redeem the mortgage.

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