Phoenix, Arizona (PressExposure) November 20, 2009 -- When Scott Lamar decided to remodel his home to accommodate his growing family, he had no idea increasing the square footage would bring him close to financial ruin. Lamar, 57, remarried a few years ago, and he and his wife have two energetic little girls, aged four and two. "We needed more room," he said. "Adding onto my home seemed like a good idea." With the help of friends with building skills, he did much of the work himself. It's the story of many American families, a story we expect to end happily.
In Scott Lamar's case, it almost ended in disaster. "I'm a very steady guy," said Lamar. "I've worked for the same company for forty years, and I've always paid my bills on time." When he started work on the house, it appraised for $665,000 and his mortgage was for $350,000. He'd done business with the same bank for most of his adult life, so Lamar expected that getting a loan to buy supplies would be fairly simple. "I was really surprised when my banker turned me down," said Lamar. "I had no credit card debt, so he suggested I charge my expenses." Trusting the advice of his banker, Lamar started work on his home. When he was finished, he had doubled the size of his home. He had also charged $115,000 on six credit cards.
That was when the nightmare began. "I was finished with the house, and I was ready to pay off my bills," said Lamar. "I thought I could refinance the house and pay off the credit card bills with the equity in my house." For the second time in the process, he was unpleasantly surprised: the mortgage company turned him down. What did he do? He kept paying his bills. "Initially the rate wasn't too bad," he said. But then the credit card companies starting raising their interest rates on Lamar--to 29.5% and even to 40%. "I was paying $3,000 a month," he said, "and at the end of the year I was further behind than when I started. I was throwing good money after bad."
So Scott Lamar began to look for help. First he tried a mortgage modification. "That process is still dragging on," he said, "but through it I met Steve Arthur, and he recommended RAM Financial Services. I talked to them and decided to sign up for their Debt Solutions Program." That was in June. By the end of November the debt he enrolled with RAM Financial Services had been eliminated.
"The process was very straightforward," said Lamar. "When I enrolled, the procedure was explained thoroughly. The forms are clear and easy to understand, so there wasn't anything mysterious about what was going to happen." In addition Scott Lamar found the people at RAM Financial Services easy to work with. "Sierra Aires is very personable, but she tells you the truth," he said. "I always knew exactly where I stood." Of course, it's no fun to be battling debt you know is impossible to repay, but the people at RAM Financial Services smooth the way as much as they can. "Holly has a great sense of humor," said Lamar. "She and Sierra are able to take the edge off a tough situation."
Scott Lamar is very happy he found RAM Financial Services. "I probably saved half of my debt," he said, "but I'm not ever going to borrow money again. It's too easy to get into the position I got into. I'm a conservative guy, but the financial system in this country is broken. I strongly recommend RAM Financial Services to others who are caught in situations they can't get out of alone."
Written by S.J. Bratcher