Kevin Stevens—Pre-file Bankruptcy Counseling

When They Came to Guidewell Financial

Kevin Stevens was approaching 50 and had two kids and a good job. But in 2010, his life took a drastic turn. “I got divorced and was laid off, both at the same time,” he says. “It put me in a financial hole I couldn’t get out of.” Like many people, Kevin hoped his money issues would take care of themselves. “I was in denial. I tried to get out of debt on my own, but it wasn’t working. I wasn’t being realistic.” A friend from church suggested to Kevin that Guidewell Financial might be a good place to get help. “But there’s a level of embarrassment about your bad decisions,” Kevin says. And he wasn’t sure about debt management programs “You hear horror stories about companies that want a big up-front fee, and you still don’t pay off your debt.” After two years, Kevin admitted to himself that he wasn’t going to be able to resolve his financial situation on his own. He liked that Guidewell Financial was a non-profit. He finally made the call.

How Guidewell Financial Helped

Kevin got a good feel from the Guidewell Financial counselor in that first phone call. “There was a good balance of compassion and information I needed,” he says. After talking with the counselor about his options, Kevin decided that bankruptcy would be best for him. The counselor walked him through all the steps, told him what financial information he needed to get together, and what would happen after the counseling session. “My counselor had a list of recommended lawyers they know are reputable. They give you questions to ask the lawyer, things to know before you make a decision,” Kevin says. “When you come with a certificate from Guidewell Financial, that also gives you credibility with the lawyer. They know you have everything in order.” Kevin’s counselor also talked with him about ways to get a handle on his finances in the months to come. “The information from Guidewell Financial empowers you to make your next good decision,” he says.

Results

Kevin has fulfilled all of the requirements for bankruptcy and is waiting for his court date to complete the process. He’s also working on changing his financial lifestyle. “I have to temporarily let some of the niceties go,” he says. He’s trying to work with a budget. With two teenagers now, it’s not always easy, but, Kevin says, “There is an effort to build a repository for emergencies that wasn’t there before.” Kevin compares his approach to losing weight. “Quick fix diets that you can’t stick with don’t work. You need to modify your lifestyle. I’m working on modifying my lifestyle.”

“Guidewell Financial helps you realize there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s there.”

– Kevin Stevens

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