The Right Help at the Right Time

Overcoming unemployment and adjustable mortgage rates to achieve success.

We sat down with Nadine and Gerald Ehrlich to talk about how their counselor Barry R. helped them find solutions and regain financial control after Gerald’s job loss left them facing severe financial distress.

I’m Nadine Ehrlich and I’m Gerald Ehrlich.

I got let go of my job after being with them for 24 years, and they were downsizing and they had to let me go.

We were devastated. We thought that was the end of the world.

All roads led to Consolidated Credit. I was fortunate enough to call up and got Barry on the phone and from then on he advised us every way to go. But everything was coming due at the same time.

He’s the optimist, I’m the pessimist so I did more crying than he did.

She was worried.

He’d say, “Calm down. We’re going to go from here.”

You gotta go each step. This is what we’ve got, then you go to the next one – and he was right all the way down the road. And I said he was better than a psychiatrist. Absolutely.

He just put our minds at ease. We sat down, we talked to him – I mean everything changed because I wasn’t in that percentage rate anymore. I was out of a job.

It qualified us for a lot of programs that Barry explained to us in detail and told us what to expect. We were doing better because we had changed a lot of things in our budget, but we still had this albatross around our neck which was the mortgage payment that was going up, and up, and up.

We went down to $804 and some-odd cents – 27 cents – and we were amazed. And it’s also for the life of the loan and this was through HAMP: Home Affordable Modification Program. And again, it was a lifesaver.

And I got a call on a Friday, saying, “Do you want to accept the offer?” I was in tears.

Every day, I come home from work and go through the gate and I smile, because I know this is ours and that is a great and wonderful comfort. I’m just so thankful to him, to Consolidated Credit, I couldn’t do enough for you guys in return for what you gave us, and that’s how we feel.

Although the root problem of financial distress for the Ehrlich family was Gerald’s job loss, it cascaded into a series of financial issues that each had to be solved, starting with addressing the challenge of not being able to make their monthly mortgage payments.

The situation the Ehrlichs faced with their mortgage is common – people often use adjustable rate mortgages because it’s good for them at the time they purchase the home. However, when the rates adjust – usually after five to seven years – the monthly payments can spike significantly. If you have a steady job and lots of extra cash flow, your budget may be able to handle the increase.

However, in Gerald’s case he lost his good, steady job and then the rates and payments on his mortgage increased. The situation was unsustainable. Their counselor Barry’s solution for them was to go through the Home Affordable Modification Program because it was the best option to prevent foreclosure in the Ehrlich’s situation. In other cases, families who are struggling may use other options, such as their state’s Hardest Hit Fund. A HUD-certified housing counselor is there to help you find the programs that are best for you.

The next step for the Ehrlich family once they addressed the mortgage issues was to establish a new budget. People often fail to redo a budget following job loss and unemployment. As a result, overspending occurs easily because you haven’t adjusted your standard of living to meet your current means. Often this leads to credit card debt because you use credit cards to cover gaps in your budget caused by lack of income.

The process the Ehrlich family went through to take control and achieve financial stability is what we do for clients every day. Solving financial issues is often a matter of finding a combination of solutions for various debt problems you may be having and/or custom-tailoring solutions to fit your needs. Every situation is different, which is why a certified financial counselor can be such a benefit to getting the help you need because you need someone that knows what’s available and how to make it work in your situation.

If you’re struggling with your finances, whether it’s with credit card debt or issues with your mortgage, we can help. Call Consolidated Credit today at to speak confidentially with a certified credit counselor. If you’re in need of mortgage payment and foreclosure avoidance specifically, call 1-800-435-2261 to speak with a HUD-certified housing counselor.