February 5, 2009

Suze Orman's tips for safeguarding your money & protecting your family in 2009

Posted: 01:25 AM ET

Your job is at risk. This has nothing to do with how talented and well-respected you are, or the fact that your past three reviews have been gold star. You are at risk for reasons that have nothing to do with you. The double whammy of the credit crisis and an economic recession increases the likelihood that businesses will be forced to cut back on costs, and that could mean reducing staff.

In this environment, just hoping you will be spared is not the right action. You must take active steps today to make sure your family is safe no matter what happens jobwise in 2009. That means making sure you’re saving to pay the bills instead of runing up credit card debt or raiding your retirement accounts. It also means having health insurance no matter what and a game for landing your next job.

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Filed under: Larry King Live • Suze Orman

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bill   February 5th, 2009 3:38 am ET

it is easy to fix the econamy give the 800 billon to normal people and not to the big corp. thay will keep it we will spend it

ed ,vancouver canada   February 5th, 2009 4:48 am ET

More hypothesis.People should start their own business part time if they can afford it.What do you do when you do not make enough to pay the bills?BASIC BILLS That is why there IS credit card debt. for some.Always hoping the future is brighter.What do you do when you sell cars and your child support is more than what you take home because your income is 20% of last year?Get a second job when you work 26 days a month?Very few with the answers are actually involved in this mess. Credit cards are way to easy to get. Of course,
Ripping off those who can least afford it. Maybe the FED should charge the mastercard and visa pimps 25%
Minimum wage should have been 15 dollars an hour and law 10 years ago and the government pay the difference to the business,Then credit cards would not be needed.The government instead spends 120 billion a year on a war.That is what buried the united states.And because there is alot of foreign investment in the U.S.,the rest of the planet.
To subsidize ten million people cost 140 billion dollars,but there is 8.5 billion after tax dollars going into the economy every month, and ,sales tax etc.It all comes back and expands a sector of working poor that have no disposable income after they for someone elses basement suite.Kinds of puts it in to perspective a little.if 1/10 bought a car with the 850 after tax dollars a month,thats a million cars a year
The money is on the wrong end people.The money is going in to a coffee filter and none is coming out the bottom.

Mr. Independent   February 5th, 2009 8:52 am ET

Reminds me of the old line-if you want to be rich, write a book on how to get rich! I have a question about the CEO incentives which is actually a personal lottery for a select group of people who are sure winners as they are robbing their companies and stockholders in the name of competence to cover up the facr they are, in fact, thieves of the highest order-O'Henry spoke highly of them in his story, "The Man Higher Up" that should be required reading in schools along with "the Ugly American!" But to get back to my question-How the Hell are these people getting around the taxes on this money?Why not reinstate the percentage taxes on income that stopped this kind of behavior before Bush decided the poor rich people had too big a tax burden? Of course, our Congress would have to pay more taxes but they could get around a lot of it by hiring more illegals and not paying social security taxes. Incidentally, Social Security could save a lot by having a cut off line on income-more than 10 million in income-no social secutiry checks!

beverly knapp   February 5th, 2009 11:33 am ET

My husband and I are concerned about his Pension check and whether or not we will keep on receiving it!!! How do we find out??
I have never heard Suze comment on how you get this information.

Vincent Nizzardi   February 5th, 2009 1:26 pm ET

Larry-Baby, heres a question for Ms. Orman. With all the onslaught of continuing bad financial news, massive layoffs, bamkruptcies, bailouts, forclosures, etc., do you think the 7900 mark the dow is showing is real, of could they have found a way of "Pro-rating " the numbers? And, what is the method they use, to calculate the current
number the dow is at on any given day ? In other words, is it really at ,
where they say it is? , can it be verified ?

WENDY IN CALIFONIA   February 5th, 2009 3:53 pm ET

my husband and I are in the typical upside ARM. We have been making our payments faithfully every month so we are not in danger of forclosure, we have little if no credit card debt. Actually, the only debt we have is our home. Both of our credit scores are over 780, and we (at this time at least) are gainfully employed. We are 50, neither of us have any retirement packages at our jobs, and while we have some savings, we did this by watching what we spend. We would like to re-finance our home now, esp since the interest rates are low, but because we owe more than our home is worth, no one will help. Do you know of any programs to help us refinance?

Gloria Hutson   February 5th, 2009 4:23 pm ET

Last night I Ms. Orman suggest offering homeowners the option of refinancing their homes at 4% and I thought I saw a grimace from the two other contributors in that hour. What is the problem with giving homeowners a break? I do not understand the concept that "actually" helping the "masses" is socialism.
Help me understand what the flip side to socialism is–capitalism. I'm all for capitalism as long as it doesn't cause ordinary people to be working for someone else's dream without being able to contribute to their own dream. It seems that there is a certain distain for ordinary working folks when it comes to offering a helping hand. The American dream should not come at a price that requires us to work two and three jobs just to stay one step ahead of foreclosure on our homes. Something is terribly wrong when the wealthy owns 7 and 8 homes while other folks are struggling to stay in the only home they have!
Gloria Hutson
Salem, Missouri

mary   February 5th, 2009 5:10 pm ET


We are selling a 2nd home and have a small business which noone right now is buying a thing and we're running out of cash. The 2nd home has nothing to do with our business.

Do you think it is wise to pay our bills for the company out of the sale of this home and also our personal bills or should we save ourselves and pay only our personal bills.

I know what the top CEO's would do and the wall street crooks would do, but what is your opinion?

mary   February 5th, 2009 5:14 pm ET


Another question that Bob raised on last nights log was about giving each family $75,000 and a $25,000 car allowance. Do you think this would be money well spent since it would help the automobile industry and also the business' out there that need to get paid when people are loosing their jobs and need the money rather than the government handing the money directly to the banks which are hiring people overseas to fill their positions and we do not really know where the money is going. I myself, think this sounds like a good plan to me as long as people would really use it to pay their current bills and the remainder they would be spending to bolster the economy. What do you think?

Mike, Zephyrhills, FL   February 5th, 2009 6:51 pm ET

Ms Orman,

I owe $24,000 on my home, have 6 yrs left. Govt going to provide $15,000 for home buyers. What about me???

I pay my bills, taxes, insurances, etc.... They want me to go out and spend money to help our country. Well if had $15,000 I could have my home paid off in 2 yrs or less. Then I could finally buy some things I have wanted or start remodelling my home.

Sad thing is, if I get to where im losing my home, I can give it away for the $24,000 and be homeless.

I need stimulated too!!

Nancy Embretson   February 5th, 2009 7:50 pm ET

When you were on the Oprah show many, many years ago you had a group of college students with credit card debt. All but one girl accepted your offer to rid them of their debt in one year.What you taught them made a lasting impression on me. Thank you.

Kelli from Tampa   February 5th, 2009 8:41 pm ET

What does she suggest all the hard working single mothers do? They could barely afford housing for MANY yrs. (not just this year) Only 40% of fathers pay child support. Groceries are going through the roof. I am going to tell all the single, about to be homeless mothers I work with to pay only their car note and buy a tent.

ALICE PAINE   February 5th, 2009 8:43 pm ET

Suze, Help!
I've had the same credit cards for 20 years. Been responsible, never late and have a rate of 7.24% which i was told was the lowest they offered. I didn't receive my bill this month and phoned them about that and realized that i didn't receive a new card when the last one expired at the end of the year. I called twice, because one agent told me that one had never been sent out the other agent said that it was however could not give me a date. One ordered a replacement card the next ordered a new one with a new account #. The problem i have is that now they said that when i receive the new card I will need to decide if I want to accept a new rate of 14.99% indefinately or keep at the present rate and when my card expires citibank will close down the account. Suze, what is goiing on and can the company do this?

Joyce Frizzell   February 5th, 2009 9:01 pm ET

I recently ordered one of Suze Orman's financial packages from QVC.
When it arrived, across the box, in bold letters, were the words "Made in China." Big disappointment in Suze. For someone who supposedly cares so much about the financial welfare of her country and its citizens, it seems Suze cares only about making money for Suze. If she were to have her items manufactured in the US, she could provide jobs for many unemployed citizens. I am just wondering how she defends this.

Jeff M.   February 5th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

What was the cost, for the President and security, to fly a 747 to Virginia, to visit the spa for a 30 minute speech, to our vacationing politicians? Do they in government not know about conference calls? And these fools have the nerve to feel superior to the private sector? Change? I think not....

Ralph (Houston)   February 5th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Suzi... With all due respect, please tell us how we can save money in case we get laid off??

The biggest problem we as every day Joe's', is that the financial houses have pushed 'easy credit' so much for so long that most all of our earnings are spoken for in monthly bills... That's why we are hopin that the stimulous plan can 'reset' our financial failings of the past and give us Americans a second chance.

4% (max) Mortgage refinancing (regardless of credit score) by the Government will cost the taxpayer nothing, yet give us the break we need to pull the economy back on track.

james anderson   February 5th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

It is very unfortunate that people have financed houses which are now worth considerably less than they paid for it. I am reasonably successful and have chosen to be a renter over the years. If these people whose houses are under water have lost their jobs, they need help. For those whose houses are under water but can still afford the payment, why do they need help. There were no guarantees as to what their house would be worth down the road when they purchased it. If they continue to make their payments, they will own it one day. One person invests in a house, the value goes south and taxpayers and banks need to help them out of the situation. Another person invests in a few stocks, some of which are down 80% or more; where is their help? Help me understand the difference Suze. Not on the same page with you on this one.

Pat in New Jersey   February 5th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Isn't the very thing that Suzie's preaching, save your money, waiting for a castrophe contributing to the escalating national economic fears and encourage a further slow of the economy????????????

John Hardin   February 5th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

What does Suze think of putting a 4 percent cap on both mortgage rates
and credit card rates?

Kelli from Tampa   February 5th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

She is right about Tampa...we have THOUSANDS OF LUXURY CONDOS (origionally priced between 5K and up) with bankrupcy signs on them. Who did the demographics for these banks and builders? Why should WE have to pay for their mistake? (By the way all this overbuilding took place under Jeb Bush- ya know W's brother)

Kelli from Tampa   February 5th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Sorry I meant 500K and up

rhonda   February 5th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

If you have extra cash where should you invest it in this economy? Perhaps real estate? Tax free bonds?

Peter   February 5th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Hi, Ms. Orman
I am two months behind on bank loan and 5 months behind on my SBA loan on my small motel. I got my first notice from bank for default. I would not be able to keep going till next season picks up in April 2009. What should I do. I am totally blacked out I can't think off anything. Two kids in teens mom and dad retired staying with me and my wife.

john   February 5th, 2009 9:25 pm ET


Eileen McGowan   February 5th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Suzi said "you are responsible for your debt and need to pay it off". It seems that many people who are unaware of how credit works; are ignorant, etc. have been taken advantage of and therefore banks, credit companies are also responsible for their debts. What can she say about that. In other words, the debt is not only the responsibility of the person, but of the greed that has gone on within the institution.

Diane Backherms   February 5th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

I will receive a lump sum buyout from my company after being laid off. I have talked to 3 financial advisors two want to put in index annuities and one wants to put me in variable anniuity Which one is the best option I am so confused

Georgia   February 5th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Hi Larry and Suze:

I was recently laid off last week in January (I admit I didn't see this coming) nor did I realize the enormity of layoffs affecting the legal secretary industry until after it happened to me. That said, rather than ask myself why me - I said why not me? Now my attempts to be proactive don't appear to be working (I sent out 60 resumes and made 20 cold calls with no results to date).

I watched President Obama's speech tonight and I agree in principal. Like Suze its what I'm not hearing that is concerning me. Everyone isn't living in homes - some of us are renters. What I'd like to hear would be included in a stimulus package of any amount - is

1. Moratorium on apartment evictions (local and municipal)
2. Double the amounts provided in weekly unemployment checks based on whatever formulas are being used today
3. Food stamps for anyone affected by layoffs, etc.
4. Prevent the IRS from 'intercepting' stimulus payments (they do this when an individual owes back taxes
5. Emergency cash assistance for utilities, rent, etc.
6. Have Mayors and Governors give a real-time report on the needs its constituents have and put a price on it (this is an emergency, a crisis and Americans need help now!)

I know this may seem too much of a hand out however if Americans are expected to repay the exorbatant amounts we find outselves facing - then at the very least - let's ensure that the bulk of the money is actually received by those who really need it. Thank you.

Patrick from Benson, AZ   February 5th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

I am 25 and have already lost half the value of my IRA, should I continue to put money into my IRA?

ZAK   February 5th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

I have owned the house for 8 yrs and have good credit. I lost my job for nine months and have found a new one but had to move 150 miles. At this time my house is 100K under water. I have rented the house but am paying 1100 from my pocket for that house and have also got a rental at the new place.

Should I just let the other house go as I am now living paycheck to paycheck

Bernard Licata   February 5th, 2009 9:32 pm ET


What are your thoughts about allocating a portion of this bail-out bill along with the dollars sent to the banking sector to fund lower mortgage intrest rates across the board. (To perhaps 3% or 2.5%)

Would this not provide significant relief to those who are upside down in their mortgages or at least make it more palatable than simply walking away from their homes and turning the keys over to the bank?



Beth in Southern CA   February 5th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

Everyone is saying how there hasn't been a better time to buy real estate since '97. i live in a small town between Palm Springs and Los Angeles and our housing prices are still so inflated from 2003. i am grateful that i am in a position to buy a rental and a new primary residence and i'm so afraid of making a mistake buying now in case prices go down further. Especially when prices are still so high. please help

Cindy   February 5th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

I have a question, many companies are now pulling out of matching 401k investments as a replacement for a pension plan. My sisters company is one as well as my son's. With out this what would be a good thing to roll your money over into in these trying times. My sister is thinking of putting hers in a fire proof lock box, she is ready to retire. She heard that CD's are not paying out good, and the best thing to invest in is a Roth IRA. Is there a annual cap on a Roth IRA? My son is young in his late twenties and has been investing since he was eighteen. I told him then that if he just kept putting a little money aside each pay day at his young age he would be financially stable in his older years, and he listened to me. I am worried that without having it come right out of his pay check he might not invest it with these hard times.

E. Montanez   February 5th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Mr. King : Sir what a sad day in Washington, when you hear the President doing everything he can to bring the Republicans into the circle. The American people are watching and listening to their crying and complaining. They had eight years to dig the Country into a mess now they want to resist the American people voice. We need there help to pass the package, but if they choose not to listen to the American people will vote them out of Office the next go around. The point is WE are without a Jobs in this country, WE are not concerned about who is right. Republicans get on board or be jobless in the next few years. President Obama has done more in two weeks than the previous President has done in eight years. I am very grateful that Preident Bush keep us safe, but that was it. President Bush should have paid more attention to what was happen to our country, but now that he is home sitting down enjoying his " GOOD LIFE" that WE have given him. Mr. King to all those that have done well in our country need to remember that WE are the ones that have have blessed them, WE are the ones that have purchased their products to become rich. To all the NBA/NFL players WE are the ones that have made you rich, WE are the ones that buy are kids your signuture shoes/Jersey. So why don't those that are doing great reach into their wallets and help the poor out. If everyone of those players would help two or three families out through this hard time, what a difference this would make.

addy   February 5th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

She may be a good financial planner but financial planning is not what Americans need now. We NEED a stimulus package. Good financial planning by individuals won't fix the credit markets, the unemployment rates, or the foreclosure crisis not to mention the cuts in services by strapped state and local governments.

kalani   February 5th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

i think that the guy was very brave and im happy that everybody was safe.......GOD IS GOOD

Carol Duermit   February 5th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

I often disagree with Suze Ormond when she discusses the mortgage industry, as do many of us who listen to her rants on the particulars of a business she so obviously does not understand fully.
This time, she has again given out information that is incorrect.
The most recent caller inquired about the .25 points that are "added" to the pricing of a loan should a borrower wish not to escrow. Her advice to "call around until you find someone who doesn't charge that" is extremely misleading to the caller and will no doubt create a small havoc among listeners who escrow.
The correct information is this:
There is an inherent discount, if you will, built into a loan for the customer who escrows, mainly because the investors who buy the loans (and all loans other than portfolio loans are purchased) are more attracted to a loan that is escrowed because they do not have to worry about taxes being delinquent or insurance lapsing, both of which can cause huge problems for all involved. There is always a 2 month cushion built in as well, so that should taxes or insurance be due and the customer is behind, the bank will pay the bill regardless of whether or not the customer is current. This is good for ALL involved. And of all people, Suze should realize that interest earned on the relative minor amount of money we are talking about here amounts to nothing for the customer over the course of a year. Should the kind caller find a lender who claims to not being adding the additional .25 percent for the non escrowed account, I can almost guarantee that the cost had been built into the loan and just not disclosed. Contrary to popular belief, most lenders are honest with their customers and give them the option and are upfront with them about the cost benefit of escrowing, not to mention 80% of people (that is not scientific, just from my experience) including ME, want to escrow. The interest I would receive cumulatively on the combined 3,000 or so a year that would add up incrementally over 12 months doesn't amount to that much. I wish she would have a person who actually WORKS in this field consult with her before she riles peoole up with her fanaticism on certain topics that she doesn't really "get". But then, she does sell books. And I'm not taking away the good she has done, especially empowering women to handle their finances. It's just maddening to hear my industry spoken about with such disdain, and to continually hear her counsel people incorrectly about such matters. She is NOT an expert on mortgages. She has time and time again proven that.

kalani   February 5th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

Larry King is the best and i loved you in bee moive

c.r. nichols   February 5th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

its the housing industry stupid!! this is my message to the congress.
if people can pay their mortgages, then more houses will be built putting the building industry to work, then the timber industry etc. . then
the auto industry.

Kelli from Tampa   February 5th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Sully rocks, that plane landed smooth as silk. He and that entire crew are awesome. Can we make pilot requests when booking flights? Ha!

Nantadla Abinader   February 5th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Larry,we have tolerated Repoblicans and Democrat's bickering like children for to long and also drive this country into the ground.I blame both parties.They have their jobs and homes.I do not want to hear that they know how Americans feel.I want them to get out of the way and let the President do his job.If banks got us into this can they be force to temporary reduce interest rate of home mortgages as a state of emergency.

frank   February 5th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

i currently have a secured and well paying job (utility). I tried to refinance my home but could not get an offer from my bank due to past bad credit history prior to getting the job. i pay my bills monthly but my variable loan rate is about to kick in. my existing lender will not even try to modify my loan because i'm not in default. they are just waiting for the new rates to kick in. is there any government assisted program for someone like me who is trying to get back on track.

Stephen Shumaker   February 5th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Love your show.
I am glad you are having the pilot and crew on Tuesday. Please, consider including someone form the air traffic controlers side as well. It should be noted how quickly and completely they handled everything on their side to provide support for the captian.
The ATCs have a very stressful and important job that makes air travel safe.

John Hardin   February 5th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

On the stimulus subject. The president tonight, however well intentioned, did not mention what this spending bill will do for the general population as a whole. The restructuring projects proposed provide jobs, that in the past were always handled by unions. What about the self employed? Or those too old to run a jack hammer. Or the retired stuck with a huge mortgage rate? What's this bill do for small businesses that drives 70 percent of the economy? Will we get SBA business loans? What about the millions buried in credit card debt because they raised the rates? Visa just showed profits up 35 percent. They are raking it because people are not able to make payments on time. Banks are getting all the TARP money plus extra money in percentages from those falling behind. Of 800 billion I hear of nothing in long term relief that can help everyone. A federal 4 percent cap on mortgage rates and credit card rates costs tax payers nothing and would greatly help almost everyone. A country of rich bankers and breadlines. Why are the practical solutions so utterly unthinkable to this administration?

Rusty   February 6th, 2009 12:25 am ET

Suzie I have a question.
I live in Tampa, FL have owned my home for 10 years Bank of america gave me a second mort then also gave us a creditline of over 80k We had to use the entire CL to survive after loosing my job.

If i stop paying on the CL only can and or will the forclose on our home.?

Denise Patterson   February 6th, 2009 12:29 am ET

Dear Suzie,

I just got laid off 2 weeks ago. However I was at my job 20 years and will receive a good severance package. My question is what is the best way to manage the lump sum they will be sending me. It adds up to about 10 months worth of pay. How do I make it last?

Dawn   February 6th, 2009 12:40 am ET

Here's a stimulus idea! Rather than providing billions to car companies and CEO's, give working middle class tax filers $10,000 on a debit card to spend in the US – see how fast the economy is stimulated!

ed ,vancouver canada   February 6th, 2009 12:42 am ET

The subsidy for 10 million americans to get 15 dollars an hour versus minimum wage is 140 billion a year.However,there would be 8.5 billion after income tax put back into the economy.There would be taxes on everything sold,and taxes on the business that produced it.These people now at 30k a year could buy cars and apartments and small homes.If 1/10 bought a car it would be a million cars sold.and a million apartments.Thats only 1/10.If the average person that could afford it saved the 850 a month after tax,the banks would get it on deposit to lend out.The government now can collect for medical costs.and the unemployment payment will go up.
These people need everything because they do not have at minimum wage.This would get other people laid off back to work.
The government is spending over a trillion dollars to the wrong end of the chain.It is not that complicated if you think about it,spend the war money on the economy.It will not cost a dime extra.

ed ,vancouver canada   February 6th, 2009 1:36 am ET

globe and mail reported today that credit card debt in canada is 80 billion dollars.that is not good news,it is up 40% since 2004
there is only 33 million people...for 10 million adults that is 8000 each.
if the ratio is the same in the u.s. that means 800 billion dollars.
makes sense now why there is a mortgage lending crisis.
People borrowed against the home to pay off the credit cards,but racked them up again.Now you can't borrow against the house to pay off the cards because there is negative equity from the collapsed market.,so you are stuck with thousands of dollars worth of high interest cards. And refinancing seems tough to do.
The banks can't charge 25% for mortgages but are making that on the cards to make up for the real estate losses..By not lending out,they keep the market collapsed.10000 of credit card makes the same as 50000 worth of mortgage.Don't expect to see alot of mortgage money until the credit card debt comes down.If the government was to impose a 5%cap on credit cards,you would see a whole lotta mortgage money pop out of nowhere and drive the prices up.
The banks are using the bailout money to make a huge spread on credit card debt.

ed ,vancouver canada   February 6th, 2009 1:50 am ET

Here is a quick and easy fix for the government.A trillion dollars.It is either that or pay 800 billion in credit card losses.CARS SOLD.
Give 100,000 to 10 million americans.Mortage problems,loan and credit cards gone.Get them out of trouble,and increase taxes slightly to pay for it.Alot of people can start a small business with the money,electricians and carpenters etc.the money will be saved on unemployment insurance costs. bailed out banks will burn in up in gulfstream jets at 4600 dollars an hour.The CEO bank jobs should be auctioned off for the bailout banks.At 500000 a year anyone can lose money.

ed ,vancouver canada   February 6th, 2009 1:57 am ET

Rusty,the credit line is secured by the property.Look at the agreement,unless you have an unsecured line of credit.
good news is the bank does not want the house,they want the money.
Tell the bank to give you a job and you will pay them.
Credit card debt=not making enough money.

ed ,vancouver canada   February 6th, 2009 2:06 am ET

Read the story on ING direct. yesterday.The parent company in europe announced selling 1.75 billion of shares at around 26 dollars to raise cash.Shareholders were upset because they are trading at 33 dollars.Today their shares drop 15% to 28 dollars.If that happens again tomorrow,the shareholders that complained will have shares less than 26 dollars. Then they will be happy that someone else paid too much, because that would put it at 23.80 a share.No wonder the stock market is a mess.

ed ,vancouver canada   February 6th, 2009 3:15 am ET

God bless Larry King and CNN for giving me a place to practice my typing.

ed ,vancouver canada   February 6th, 2009 3:19 am ET

Do not buy real will lose 20% next year.
rentals will come down.
This mess is a long way from over.
NORTEL is 11 cents. it was over 120 dollars once.

Chetak Patel   February 6th, 2009 7:47 am ET

hi, larry
Please tell me,
what is the home seated exemption means?

Chetak Patel   February 6th, 2009 7:54 am ET

Hi Larry
Please tell
What is the meaning of Home seated exemptiom ?
Is that first time home buyer Tax Credit money need to return IRS?

Stephanie Jones   February 6th, 2009 10:12 am ET

I completely disagree with Suzi Orman's advice with regards to the gentleman that was $70,000 in debt and asked her about Debt Settlement and/or Debt Consolidation. I have worked in finance and with credit for over 10 years and her information to your viewer was inaccurate.

First, she recommended Consumer Credit Counseling (CCCS) and stated that "it will NOT effect your credit". This is absolutely false. If you were in CCCS you would NOT be able to for example, refinance a mortgage or obtain a car loan. CCCS does effect your credit.

Secondly, her views about Debt Settlement are way off base. Debt Settlement is a hardship based program engineered to assist people in AVOIDING bankruptcy. Is it better to file a Chapter 7 and pay nothing or to settle the amount for less than the current balance? Most of the settlements are simply getting rid of increased interest rates and excessive late charges and over the limit fees. The settlement company works with the loss mitigation departments of the creditors so ultimately, it is the creditors' decision what they will accept in order to bring the debt to a zero balance. It is not an ideal situation for a consumer, but it is better than filing bankruptcy.

People in this country have families to support. They've lost their jobs, had their hours cut and have even had pay cuts. They are at a loss of what to do. The creditors not only refuse to work with them, but they've increased their interest rates so it is impossible for some to keep up. For this reason, they seek out other alternatives, i.e., Debt Settlement, CCCS and Debt Consolidations loans. These services are out there to assist consumers in getting back on track financially.

Suzi needs to get her facts straight...she misled your viewers.

Stephanie Jones
Irvine, CA

Dave San Jose California   February 6th, 2009 3:41 pm ET

Suze, You obviously have a lot of influence, so it is depressing to see you taking an alarmist point of view on the current economic situation. No doubt the situation is bad, but I thought it was a given that recessions are fueled by consumer fears. You said that people who have a good job and a secure mortgage (which means the vast majority) should "hunker down" and save, don't spend, assume the worst. This is exactly the wrong approach if the recession is to end as quickly as possible. As an example of this, look at car sales in the last quarter, down 40%, but the number of people in distress financially is nowhere near that. So a large part of the drop is from people who can afford a new car, need a new car, but are panicked into not buying one now. As we see this then becomes a snowball effect with the huge car industry falling apart. Please Suze, stop playing Cassandra. It may get you headlines, but you are not helping!

GL in Thousand Oaks   February 6th, 2009 5:49 pm ET

Suze Orman was right on last night regarding those of us who are underwater with our mortgages yet current in payments and (luckily, thankfully) have income. We can pay the current mortgage on the devalued asset, but why would we want to? My husband and I are left with no equity between our home and our 401k devaluation – God Forbid major financial catastrophe were to strike. We bought our home at the market peak in California in 2005, our mortgage is $2900 per month on a $500,000 loan for a townhome currently appraised at $300,000. It is oh-so-tempting to consider (dare we?) using our current good credit to finance a new (and bigger) home at today's value and then simply walk away from the old loan. And yet, we worked darned hard to build our good credit and do not want to ruin it. Feeling victimized and helpless is not good. Banks really could help by re-negotiating or re-financing homes at their current market value to help. Lowering my mortgage and paying fair market prices will loosen up my spending habits and help the economy.

Ellen   February 6th, 2009 6:25 pm ET

Last night I heard Suze talk about a person in Tampa who purchased a house for $700,000 and it now worth $200,000. I think she missed a perfect opportunity to point out that the person who made that purchase probably was caught up in the frenzy of the market and did not do their homework. I would bet that they were planning to flip that purchase and made it strictly for profit and not as a home to live in for a number of years. Greed created this situation and frankly I do not think the tax payers should be responsible for bailing out these investors or banks that extended themselves purely for their own profit. It is however affecting all of us in the most negative ways. I like Suze and have been a long time fan of her show. I would like to hear her talk about the good that has come out of this situation (housing prices going down, people being forced to pay down their debt, companies becoming stronger) and also how many people are doing just fine in this recession. Positive news would be appreciated.

Shirley Pearson   February 6th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Maybe the government needs to look at expenses we can cut back on. Two come immediately to mind: 1) supporting illegals and their families and 2) the various costs of criminals on our streets. Reasonable reactions: 1) stop the illegals at the borders and send the others back. Stop supporting them lavishly. They have more now than most Americans without jobs or senior citizens. 2) Allot some federal monies to build prisons, have the prisoners learn a whole variety of trades by making them build the prisons with outside supervision. Both create jobs and take our expensive criminals off the streets. What about chain gangs to build bridges, roads, clean up and build our parks, free housing for those who don't or won't work. Make welfare recipients earn their checks. Stop paying welfare checks to people or more than one child. It's become big business to keep having babies and sitting on your butt collecting checks. People who do that become fat, lazy and sickly...which costs us in medical care.
Another way to increase jobs: Build schools, hire teachers and bring the standards of our educations back to where they belong.
There are MANY ways to cut expenses AND create jobs. Our govt needs to get serious and stop playing silly games with the very CEO's that created this mess.

Will Schmidt   February 7th, 2009 2:09 pm ET

Hello from Canada: I heard a comment made by Suze Orman that was so out of touch with reality it made me sick!
To blatantly state that the "everyday" working person should stay away from Debt Consolidation because " it is your responsibility to pay back your debts" is obsurd!!
I for one am sick and tired of hearing people suggest through their narrow minded view of what is morally or financially responseable, that the everyday working person is obligated to carry the weight and contradictions of a failing economy themselves, when huge corperations and financial institutions get bail outs and a free ride.
If I had the money and the media access as you do Larry I would not only condone; I would advise everyone in debt to "consolodate" or file for "bankruptcy" just as these huge corperations have>
It is corperate america's responsibility to carry this economic system, be financially responsible, provide jobs and fair wage opportunities..... not the everyday working stiff alone!!!!

Jeff   February 7th, 2009 7:13 pm ET

Used to work for a mortgage company as an underwriter. I can tell you for a fact if "Consumer Credit Counseling" was on the credit report, we would decline the application right away. We gave no loans to people using or had used CCC. Nobody.

Geno   February 7th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

I recently read that Larry King was included in the name list being connected to the scams of Madof...

So how is Larry coping and how much money did he lose?

It maybe a good show to have Larry interview Madof... maybe not, there may be some fireworks, eh?

Carol Duermit   February 7th, 2009 10:41 pm ET

Regarding Consumer Credit Counseling. I work for a major bank, name associated with that big huge orange ball of fire in the sky, and FHA will allow a borrower who is in CCC to get a morgage...provided they have paid the payment on time for 12 months AND the CCC agency writes a letter agreeing to allow them to take on the mortgage debt. I did a loan for a couple a few months ago who had this situation, and had paid their consolidated CCC payment faithfully, and the agency agreed to let them do a mortgage. I am not sure of Fannie Mae's position on this. But it is possible with FHA. I agree with you; a few years ago it was not. And as fast as things are changing, it might not be again tomorrow. (Just letting you case.) Thanks!

Carol Duermit   February 7th, 2009 10:45 pm ET

Stephanie and Dave,
Suze Ormond gives out a lot of bogus advice. People who actually work in the industry cringe at her alarmist, loudmouthed, obnoxious comments that are way off track, and, just plain WRONG. She misleads a lot of people and it's very sad and frustrating to hear. I wish Larry King would have a point/counterpoint with someone who actually knows what they are talking about. Maybe she'd shut up about things she is ignorant of, and stick to what she knows. Although I'm not really sure anymore what that is, exactly. Except how to run her mouth.

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