Service members do not have it easy in this country, either while they are still in uniform or after they retire. They face obstacles such as post-traumatic stress disorder, other unique health disorders, strained family lives, a sparse job market, and other tough financial situations. This article will focus on the last item on that list, financial troubles. There are many theories as to why service members and veterans experience money issues. Some say that many veterans left the service during troubling times for our economy. Others point to veterans having difficulty transitioning their military skills to the private sector job market. While people might disagree as to the “why,” no one can deny the problem.
In 2014, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling conducted a study, looking in to the financial lives of service members (1). The study revealed:
- 77% of service members have financial worries, more than half (57%) say they are very worried about the potential loss of income and job security
- 28% are now more worried than they were 12 months ago about their future financial situation
- About 60% of service members had to look into alternative, non-traditional lending to meet their financial needs
- Nearly have of service members had to take out loans in the past year
- Twice as many service members as civilians applied for new credit cards in the past year
- About 60% of service members carried credit card debt from one month to the next, compared to only 34% of civilians
- Twice as many service members paid less than the minimal payment required than civilians in the past year
- Service members were twice as likely to obtain a cash advance from a credit card in the past year
The numbers are staggering. These men and women put their lives at risk for our freedom, and then they have to deal with worse financial woes than civilians encounter? Something does not seem right there. The shift from military to civilian life can be extremely difficult (2). Two thirds of veterans experience a difficult transition. Fortunately, people are starting to bring light to this issue. Companies such as Walmart have pledged to hire 100,000 veterans by 2017. The government has created programs to help veterans as well, but so much more help is needed.
We all owe a debt to our service members. At Berkowitz & Myer, we want to do our part to help pay that debt back. Therefore, effective immediately, we are offering attorney fee reductions for active duty service members and for veterans (3). We know that both active duty military life and veteran life is extremely stressful and while no one company can solve the problem on its own, if we, as a community, all pitch in to help, we can soften the financial blow that is hitting our men and women in uniform and our veterans. If you have questions about our service member/veteran fee discounts, call Berkowitz & Myer today. This is not a promotion or limited-time offer. This is Berkowitz & Myer’s policy moving forward.
- Just show your military I.D. or proof or your military service. The fee savings are as follows:
- $300 off of the customary fee for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- $600 off of the customary fee for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- For personal injury cases, fees calculated at 28.33% rather than 33.33% for pre-litigation cases.
- For personal injury cases, fees calculated at 35% rather than 40% for cases where an Answer has been filed in court.
- For foreclosure cases, take 25% off of our customary fee.