Matthew Dunaway October 2018 · 205-705-3590

October 2018

BEYOND HERE LIE MONSTERS Taking Stock of Our Fears

By the time most people call my office, they’re afraid. Their wages are being garnished, their car is being repossessed, they have a lien placed against their house, or there’s some other immediate threat on their doorstep. They’re panicked, and they have to do something right now because something bad will happen if they don’t. This type of fear is called terror, and it jolts them into actually picking up the phone and dialing my office. But terror rarely springs from nowhere. While our worst fears can sometimes hit us unexpectedly, in a lot of situations there’s buildup, a period of time when we allow our fears to grow into terror because we ignore them.

phone calls or the debt we’re in because it’s unpleasant. We don’t want to think about it, so we do something else. Sometimes we can go years like that and nothing bad happens, but the fear is always there, looming in the background. One day it will come back to haunt you, and that’s when the terror kicks in. Obviously, it’s better to address a fear rather than face a terror. To continue using finance as an example, would you rather deal with a debt collector calling or have your wages garnished? The phone calls are preferred, of course, but as humans, we resist dealing with even small problems due to fear. Why? A significant source of our fear is not understanding what it is that we are afraid of. Our discomfort with the unknown or unfamiliar will always make our fears far worse than they really are. Map makers of old would carefully chart their world, but when they reached unfamiliar territory, they would write, “Beyond here lie monsters.” They did not know what was out there, and that fear manifested itself as “monsters” to keep others away. We do this same thing today, though sometimes our modern fears are more intangible. When terror drives people to call my office, I find a lot of their greatest fears come from misinformation regarding the debt collection process. They’re afraid of going to jail over

their debts, being sued, or losing everything. These are all reasonable things to be afraid of, but when I look at a client’s situation, more often than not, it’s clear these aren’t things they need to be afraid of in that moment. Experiencing fear is not a bad thing. Being afraid can help us avoid unnecessary danger and keep us safe. It’s when our fears run wild and we let ourselves act impulsively due to terror that we get in trouble. There are two steps in overcoming fear. First, you need to understand what you are looking at. Examine what it is about your situation that is causing your fear. Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of exactly?” Then get informed. If you are struggling with a financial fear, talk to a friend who has been through the same process. Or better yet, reach out to an expert. If you’re afraid of the debt collection process, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. Get real answers and alleviate those made-up fears. Understanding your fear and having answers doesn’t mean that fear will magically disappear, but it can help you learn how to deal with the situation and move past it.

When terror drives people to call my office, I find a lot of their greatest fears come from misinformation regarding the debt collection process.

–Matt Dunaway

We’re all guilty of ignoring our problems and hoping they’ll just go away, especially when it comes to finances. We ignore the

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COSTUME SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS Best in Show or Halloween Hazard?

For many kids, picking out a costume is the best part of Halloween. Will they be a spooky witch, a wildcat, or their favorite superhero? There are so many options! But in all the fun, it can be easy for parents to overlook certain risks that Halloween costumes can pose. Here are important safety tips to remember when choosing the best Halloween costume.

Sudoku Look for fire-resistant costumes. Candles inside jack-o’-lanterns and other open flames are everywhere on Halloween night, so make sure your child’s costume isn’t a fire hazard. Most store-bought costumes are made from fire-resistant materials, but you should still check the labels on all costumes, wigs, and accessories. The same goes when you’re buying fabric for homemade costumes. And remember, fire-resistant is not the same as fireproof . While fire-resistant material takes longer to burn and can be put out quickly, it can still catch fire and cause serious injuries. Remind your child to use caution around open flames and avoid costumes with flimsy, hanging components, like flowing sleeves, long skirts, and capes. Test makeup first. Halloween is a great time to have fun with face paint, and makeup is a good alternative

to masks, which can obscure a child’s vision. However, a lot of costume makeup isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Before letting your child cover their face in makeup from the Halloween store, test their skin for allergic reactions by putting just a little bit on the back of their hand first. Practice prop safety. What’s a Jedi Knight without her lightsaber or a wizard without his magic wand? The right accessories can really bring a costume together, but it’s important that props — especially weapon props, like swords, knives, or guns — are not mistaken for the real thing. Choose props that are obviously fake, with round edges made from soft, flexible material. And if your child wants to wear their Halloween costume to school or some other event, check the rules on props beforehand to avoid any trouble.

Halloween is a night for ghosts and goblins to come out to play, and with these tips, your kids can safely dress up and join in the fun.

“I am so grateful for the help I received from Matt. The service I received was outstanding. He is obviously very knowledgeable, but also kind, understanding, and quick to reply to all my questions and concerns. He also delivered an outstanding outcome. I highly recommend using Matt Dunaway.”

Nikki B.



The Truth Behind Debt-Collector Fearmongering ‘WE’LL SEND THE SHERIFF!’

Debt collectors can be very aggressive. It’s their job to get people to pay the money they owe and they aren’t afraid to use fear to get the job done. Many people have gotten a call from a debt collector and heard this line: “If you don’t pay us today, we’ll have the sheriff come to your house and we’ll start garnishing your wages.” This is the kind of threat that will send people into a moment of pure terror. They believe that within hours, they could be arrested and lose their paycheck all because of some unpaid bills. But this is misleading fearmongering used to force people into paying money they don’t have. Here is the truth behind these threats.

company. The sheriff might come to your house to serve you a lawsuit from the debt collector, but that amounts to little more than handing you a piece of paper. In this situation, the sheriff is just a mailman with a badge.

that will happen in a single day, so if you are worried about having your wages garnished, you have time to reach out to a bankruptcy lawyer and get help. Being in the crosshairs of a debt collector can be scary, and the situation is made worse by these kinds of half- truths that debt collectors tell to frighten you into paying them. Get the low-down on these dirty tricks and learn how to protect yourself by calling 205-705-3590. Bankruptcy attorney Matthew Dunaway can help you deal with debt collectors and get yourself out of a scary situation.

“We’re going to garnish your wages today !”

While debt collectors can garnish your wages, they can’t just snap their fingers and make it happen. Unless your debt is related to taxes or student loans, you must first have a judgment against you in order for your wages to be garnished. This means that, in order to garnish your wages or your bank account, the debt collector has to sue you.

‘The sheriff is coming to arrest you!’

If a debt collector threatens to send the sheriff to your house, you don’t have to worry that you’ll be dragged off in handcuffs. You can’t be arrested for owing money to the credit card

That’s not something

‘Headless’ Apples on Horseback Recipe of the Month

Good News

A take on the classic “devils on horseback” hors d’oeuvres, this recipe requires only three ingredients. These little bundles of flavor are the perfect finger food for your next get-together.

John 14:27

Ingredients • ●16 very thin slices of pancetta (or cured, unsmoked bacon) • ●2 pink lady apples Directions 1. Core apples and cut each into 8 wedges. Remove rind of manchego cheese and cut into 2-inch sticks. 2. Heat a grill pan or skillet to medium-high. 3. On a cutting board, lay pancetta or bacon slices flat and place an apple wedge and piece of cheese in the center of each.

• ●3 ounces manchego cheese, • 1/4 inch thick • ●Toothpicks for skewering

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

4. Roll pancetta tightly and skewer with toothpick. 5. Grill until cheese is melted and pancetta or bacon is golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. 6. Drain excess grease on a paper towel and serve hot.

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Inspired by Food & Wine magazine


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NSIDE What Are You Afraid Of?.............................. page 1 What Parents Need to Know About Halloween Costumes .................................... page 2 Our Clients Say It Best .................................. page 2 Debt Collectors’ Favorite Lies ...................... page 3 ‘Headless’ Apples on Horseback ................. page 3 The Stories We Tell ....................................... page 4

‘Classical Mythology’ Presented by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver A Page FromMatt’s Bookshelf

Recently, I finished listening to “Classical Mythology” on Audible. Now, this isn’t an audiobook so much as it’s a 24-part lecture series covering the timeless classics of Greek and Roman mythology.

Take any book you read or a movie you watched that made you think, “Wow, that was so creative!” If you go back to the

marriage? What does it mean to be a good person? Can we make a difference?

Many of these stories look into the essence of our being, encountering the unknown and trying to explain things we don’t understand. We can better understand our own culture and what it means to be human when we look at where our stories come from. Sure, technology has advanced a lot in 2,500 years, but people haven’t changed. We are still asking questions and telling stories to help find the answers. The thing I love about reading books or listening to courses is that I learn things I didn’t know before. “Classical Mythology” is one of many entries in The Great Courses series on Audible, and it’s one of the best ways to learn something interesting while you’re sitting in traffic.

ancient Greeks, you’ll see they were telling that

Here’s the part where I remind everyone that I am a bit of a nerd.

story long ago. The characters may be different and the settings

These lectures are presented by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver, and

she does an amazing job of exploring not just the old stories themselves, but how we continue to tell those stories today. Every culture throughout human history has told stories. These stories shine a light on what society fears and values, but what’s really interesting is that all these stories are the same.

may be updated, but the plots haven’t changed. Now, this doesn’t mean people aren’t creative or that there are no new ideas. These stories illustrate humanity’s fascination with questioning ourselves. How do we view love, death, and


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