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Andrew K. Johnson
Communications Manager/GreenPath Financial Wellness
GreenPath Financial Wellness Announces 2011 Clients of the Year from Michigan
Jackson, Michigan couple merges families, overcomes debt
(DETROIT, MI. – June 2, 2011) GreenPath Financial Wellness, a Michigan-based nonprofit financial organization providing consumers with financial education in housing, debt management and bankruptcy concerns, recently announced its 2011 GreenPath Clients of the Year from Michigan.
Jerry and Sue Bailey of Jackson, Michigan, overcame obstacles in paying off more than $92,000 in credit card debt in a little over five and a half years, through GreenPath’s debt management program. During the plan, they endured physical setbacks, took on additional work to help with their plan and made family sacrifices. Watch the video: Meet the Baileys.
The blending of two families
Jerry moved to Michigan some twenty years ago as a widower, when he met Sue, a single mom of ten years. They married and brought together a literal “Brady Bunch” family of six kids. Jerry recalls coming home from their honeymoon and seeing six noses pressed up against the living room window awaiting their arrival back home.
Jerry said that at the height of their credit history they had 17 credit cards in rotation. “It was so easy to get a credit card with a high limit at the time,” he said. Debt started to pile up across the cards. Sue realized, in hindsight, that something might be wrong when Jerry asked her to put their two daughters’ wedding receptions on credit. “That should have been a clue,” she said.
Years went by and Jerry found himself at his local credit union, looking for financial assistance to get his debt under control. After discussing different options, including bankruptcy, it was suggested that the Bailey’s reach out to GreenPath for assistance. “We felt that bankruptcy was not an option, as it was our Christian duty to pay back our debts,” Jerry said.
A plan put in place
Once they met their counselor, a five-year plan was established. The Bailey’s recall that the first few years of the plan were difficult, as the decision was made to take on more work to pay back their debts. Jerry got a second job at a local hospital and put off fixing a second family car, to stay on track. Partway through their debt management plan, Sue required extensive foot surgery and was unable to work, which caused their income to drop severely, even with Jerry working a second job. “We went to our GreenPath counselor, who worked with our creditors in getting our payments adjusted for a few months, while Sue healed and got back to work,” Jerry recalled. “That extra bit of help from GreenPath really made the difference.”
After about five years, the Bailey’s received the phone call that their debt management plan was completed and they paid off more than $92,000 in debt. “I was floored to get that call,” said Jerry. “I had to ask them to repeat that we were truly done.”
Sue summed up their GreenPath experience by saying, “GreenPath saved our lives financially, and gave our lives back to us.”
For more information or to make an appointment for face-to-face counseling, please call (866) 648-8122.
GreenPath Financial Wellness is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt and bankruptcy concerns. Their customized services and attainable solutions have been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1961. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, GreenPath operates more than 55 branch offices in Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Vermont, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona and Wyoming. GreenPath also delivers licensed services throughout the United States over the Internet and telephone. GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). For more information, visit www.greenpath.org.