Over the last 16 years, I’ve seen far too many people financially over-extended. Fortunately, I’ve helped countless clients consolidate their debt utilizing strategic equity management strategies and have placed them in a situation to both save and payoff their remaining housing debt (or accumulate enough money to payoff if needed) in 10 to 20 years. Many clients did just that and today are financially set; however, some didn’t and ran up their debt again and again and again.
Since early in my originating career, I always kept in contact with my clients and in doing so, discovered both success and the not-so-success stories.
The not-so-success story clients came in two different categories. Both had run-up their debt (again) and had over-extended themselves (again). Yet, there was a key distinction between the two:
1. One realized the behavioral pattern that put them in this situation and were truly ready to take personal responsibility to make the appropriate corrective action; and
2. The second group while some times recognizing their consumptive behavior pattern, were still not ready to take personal responsibility to make the appropriate corrective action.
Believe me, I realize people can make mistakes and sometimes need a second (or third) chance, but how many times it too much? There were times I felt like Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon…how many times does a person need plastic surgery? When do you say no Michael, enough is enough?
While I understand even if you say NO to a client, there are unscrupulous originators who will still do a debt consolidation loan for the client that is addicted to spending…even if it means putting them into a neutron loan*.
At what point do you say no? To tell you the truth, since every particular case is different, every particular answer is different. However, I am thoroughly convinced sometimes the best thing I must do is say no. I have to use common sense and your conscience to guide you. Over the years, I’ve developed five important questions to ask myself:
1. Does it make sense?
2. Have I fully counseled your clients?
3. Is there a reason to think they will make the appropriate corrective behavioral changes?
4. Would I be doing this loan only to make a commission?
5. Is my conscience clear?
Strategic Equity Management strategies are fantastic and I believe in them to my core, however just like any tool, are they being used appropriately?
I love Mark Twain’s definition of insanity:
“Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!”
Below are two links related to this subject:
* Neutron Loan – Much like the Neutron Bomb, these loans leave the home intact yet destroy the homeowner financially, eventually putting them in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy court. The last thing I want for any homeowner.