Law Office of Eric Kornblum October 2017

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OCTOBER EDITION Kornblum Chronicle

Scary Debt Can Be

But Bankruptcy Doesn’t Have to Be

Growing up, my mother was always a big fan of scary movies. My son is the same way, but it must’ve skipped a generation, because it’s a genre I have no interest in exploring. With “It” in theaters, my son has been asking me to take him and his friends to go see it. If I accept, I’ll probably get them all situated then make a direct walk to the exit before the trailers even start. Two hours with a killer clown is not something I need in my life. Maybe my aversion to horror movies comes from the fact that I encounter real-life frightening situations every day in my work. Now, being a bankruptcy attorney doesn’t involve dealing with any axe murderers (fingers crossed), but financial difficulty is one of the scariest things a person can experience. Dealing with debt isn’t just a matter of dollars and cents. Emotions and fears are also a natural part of the process. The other night, I got a call from my answering service. It was a Wednesday, and a client had received a message that day from the bank letting them know their house would be foreclosed on that Friday. With less than 48 hours notice, they were understandably scrambling. This was the home this family had been in for over a decade, the place where they raised their kids. I called them back that night at around 9:30 and said we’d get them in as soon as possible. We were able to hash out a solution under the gun, and by the time Friday rolled around, we were able to save their home from the banks.

Sometimes, the pressure put on by financial stress can lead people into making bad decisions. There’s no shortage of boogeymen on the internet promising to take care of debt. These people are often in a different zip code. They have no idea of a person’s specific situation, and they only want to turn a quick buck. Like a character in a horror movie who takes a wrong turn because they’re being chased by a killer, these people end up on a path that offers only a brief respite from their troubles. Eventually, though, these so-called guides leave innocent people high and dry, with the threat still hot on their trail. Here’s my advice to people that feel the chills and break into a cold sweat when a financial surprise comes up: Don’t play in the dark. Gilded promises from an anonymous source may sound like the solutions you’re looking for, but they very rarely turn out for the best. Most of these people are not certified in any capacity, and they have no responsibility to do what’s best for you. Being scared of what might happen to you when you’re experiencing financial difficulty is normal, but you should take the time to clear your head and avoid making a rash decision.

Bankruptcy doesn’t need to be a scary word, and an attorney will look out for you. Know that even when it feels like the walls are closing in, there’s always a way out of trouble.

– Eric Kornblum Attorney at Law

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Fresher, Cheaper, Tastier The Benefits of Seasonal Eating

“We’re sitting ourselves to death!” Dr. James Levins of the National Institutes of Health made headlines when he announced, after 15 years of research, that “sitting is the new smoking.” Dr. Levine determined sitting for prolonged hours leads to obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and can increase the likelihood of developing certain forms of cancer. To many people, the answer was clear: Just stand up! Standing desks have become all the rage as office workers everywhere switch from sitting in one place all day to standing in one place all day. And the benefits have been … almost imperceptible. While you do burn more calories standing than you do sitting, the fact remains you’re still not moving. Keeping your body in the same position for hours is what leads to all of those health risks Dr. Levins warns about, whether you sit or stand. It would be more accurate to say, “Sedentary is the new smoking.” Now, don’t think you can erase the damage from being sedentary at work by hitting the gym when you clock out. Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that, among individuals who spend most of their day in a sedentary position, those who engaged in regular physical activity were only 30 percent less likely to die from sedentary- related health problems than those who didn’t exercise at all. So, what are we supposed to do? Seventy percent of Americans have jobs that require them to remain confined to a desk. If switching to a career that keeps you up and moving all day isn’t a possibility, how can we cure our sedentary problems? The answer isn’t standing; it’s moving. Human beings are meant to be up and moving around! That’s why staying still all day hurts us so much. A desk job doesn't have to destroy your health. If you need to send an IM or a brief email, walk over and deliver the message in person instead. Take phone calls while walking around or, better yet, conduct meetings while on a walk outside. Even periodic desk exercises can be beneficial. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if you sit or stand. Make sure to move around at least once an hour to avoid serious damage to your health. How to Fight the Negative Physical Effects of Your Desk Job

The nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables hardly need explaining. While the stock of protein, carbs, and fat seem to rise and fall at random, the value of fruits and veggies never wavers. These health staples, though, can put a dent in your wallet if you’re not making the right choices at the market. One way to feed your family healthy and delicious produce on the cheap is to eat seasonally. Not only will this save you money, you will also vary your diet, support local farms, and put the freshest foods on your table. Ever wonder why tomatoes cost so much more in December than in July? The answer is simple: shipping distance. The shorter a tomato needs to travel to make it to your plate, the less it will cost. Transporting produce long distances is expensive because it needs to be protected and temperature-controlled. Eating seasonally means you’ll save a ton on fruits and veggies. Even better is to cut out the middleman entirely and buy directly from a supplier. In his exceptional cookbook, “Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables,” Joshua McFadden writes, “The best way to eat with the seasons is to frequent and support local farms, markets, and grocery stores that are doing good things.” Farmers markets have exploded in number and popularity recently, and the USDA website (ams.usda.gov) has a directory of markets that you can search for by ZIP code. Learning what’s in season at a given time might seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of tools to help you. Again, the farmers market is your friend here. You can ask what’s in peak season now and what to look forward to in the coming weeks. Apps like Farmstand will also let you know the freshest crops in your area and alert you to deals on produce. Even if you opt for a grocery store rather than farmers market, you can still save by eating seasonally. You’ll be shocked how much you save by buying what’s on sale. And guess which items are usually on sale? The ones that are in-season and abundant. Getting the nutritional benefits and great taste of fresh produce doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Eat seasonally and locally, and the savings will pile up.

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Not All Debt Companies Want to Help How to Spot Danger

When you are struggling with debt, it can seem like you have few options. It’s not an issue people talk openly about, which creates a smokescreen surrounding what should be a transparent issue. All of a sudden, you see a commercial for a debt settlement company that comes packed with promises. With those promises, though, comes a lot of fine print you need to read. Let me be perfectly frank. A lot of debt relief companies do not care about you. They care about profits. Of course, the more reputable companies make money from actually helping people. The worst companies, however, see you only as an avenue to line their pockets. If they make some money off of you, do you think they’ll care if you’re still tangled in debt a few years down the road? Furthermore, debt consolidation companies are not bound by the same regulations as lawyers. As an attorney, I have an ethical and legal responsibility to put my clients’ interest first. If my honest advice is using a method other than bankruptcy, I will advocate for it. A debt company has no such responsibility.

For the worst example of this, you just have to take a look at the payday loans industry. These companies operate more like mafia loan sharks than financial professionals. By offering you a little money when you’re in a pinch, they know they’ll have you stuck for interest down the line. Their goal is to put you on a treadmill you can never escape from. Honestly, I can’t believe some of their tactics are legal. There are a few tactics, however, that will signal that you’re dealing with a legitimate company that is invested in helping you. A company should take the time to get to know you and your situation. If not, they are probably applying a cookie-cutter approach to every client. Similarly, if a company is promising you the moon, odds are they’ll never deliver. You should also screen every company through the Better Business Bureau to avoid getting scammed. If debt settlement is right for you, you need to carefully choose the company your work with. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, and it can have ramifications for years. You might have more options than you think when it comes to resolving debt, but that doesn’t mean every option is a good one.

have a Laugh ON US!

Winning Ingredients

Apple Crisp

• • • •

1 cup all-purpose flour

• •

1/2 cup butter, softened

• • • •

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup rolled oats

4 cups chopped, peeled apples

1 cup water

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract Vanilla ice cream, optional

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Cut in butter

2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, and vanilla. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or

3. Bake 60–65 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

until crumbly. Press half of mixture into a greased 2 ½ quart baking dish or a 9-inch square baking pan. Cover with apples.

until thick and clear. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.

(Recipe courtesy of tasteofhome.com.)

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

94 N. Elm St. Suite #402 Westfield, MA 01085

1. Debt Can Be Scary 2. Fresher, Cheaper, Tastier 2. Can a Desk Job Be Part of a Healthy Lifestyle? 3. Not All Debt Companies Want to Help 3. Winning Apple Crisp Inside This Issue

4. America’s Spookiest Locations

* We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code.

Spookiest Locations America’s

Halloween is, without question, America’s spookiest holiday. Traveling haunted house experiences crop up all over the country beginning in October, but they can’t hold a candle to locations that have long been believed to be home to paranormal inhabitants. If you’re feeling extra brave this month, check out these “haunted” locations. Winchester Mystery House San Jose, California A medium from Boston told Sarah Winchester that her family was haunted by every person ever killed by a Winchester rifle. Given that her husband and infant daughter had recently passed away, she took his words to heart. To build a home for the spirits, she began construction on what is now known as the Winchester Mystery House. She continued building the house for her entire life, 24 hours a day for 38 years. The home features many design choices that lend themselves to a spectral presence. There is a seance room, doors that open to brick walls, staircases that lead directly into the ceiling, and acoustics that channel sound into secret listening places. During the Halloween season, the house offers candlelit tours that are sure to send shivers up your spine. Pine Barrens New Jersey A heavily forested area dotted with ghost towns and abandoned mills is going to be creepy as a matter of course.

New Jersey’s Pine Barrens has all of this, plus the added fear factor of it being the spiritual home of a local legend: The Jersey Devil. The myth states that the Jersey Devil was born in 1735 and quickly grew horns, wings, and hooves. It has been spotted in the forest ever since, even lending its name to the state’s professional hockey team. Campers in the Pine Barrens claim to hear a ghastly presence, and some even observe mysterious drifts across the cedar swamps. Stanley Hotel Estes Park, Colorado When Stephen King checked into the Stanley Hotel on vacation with his wife, he wasn’t looking for inspiration, but he found it. Their stay in the hotel inspired “The Shining.” The book, along with Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, quickly turned the Stanley into a destination for thrill-seekers and paranormal investigators. The hotel has played into its newfound reputation, offering ghost tours late at night. Recently, the proprietors even created a hedge maze to allow visitors to recreate the harrowing chase scene from the movie. At last check, there were no Jack Nicholson impersonators on-site, but who knows what the future holds?

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Dealing with debt is stressful.

But that stress doesn’t need to last forever.

You deserve peace of mind, and you have options.

Learn more about your options in attorney Eric Kornblum’s new book “Stress Ends Here.”

Eric Kornblum has been helping families achieve freedom from debt for over 20 years. His

approach isn’t about quick fixes. He wants you to experience financial success long after you’ve filed for bankruptcy.

www.DebtFreeMA.com • Call us at 413-650-6660

If you or someone you know is suffering from the burden of financial debt, call (413) 241-5187 to request a copy of “Stress Ends Here.”

This book could end up being the most

important gift you ever give,

the gift of an end to financial suffering.

Don’t prolong the pain! Call today!

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