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Wealthy also struggle financially in tough economy

It's a humbling and stressful situation for many, but due to the recession and the economic downturn, many once considered wealthy are now the same people who are relying on government assistance and struggling to find work.

One father who used to make a six-figure salary as the senior vice president of a bank, shared his story of how his family went from having kids in private school and going on lengthy vacations, to foreclosure, food assistance and Medicaid.

According to the 56-year-old, in December of 2007 he accepted a position with his employer to work as the senior vice president at the company's home office. This required the family to move, but his employer agreed to pay the rent on a home until the family became more grounded.

At the time everything seemed to be running smoothly, but all that changed in 2008 when during the financial crisis the man lost his job, and was unable to find a position in the banking industry -- or one that would pay him six-figures a year.

However, the financial hardships of the family were further cemented when tenants renting out their old home also lost their jobs and stopped paying rent. This caused the family to default on their mortgage, and the home was eventually lost to foreclosure.

During this time, the man's former employer also stopped paying their rent, and the family ended up being evicted. They did move into another rental, but when the owner decided to sell the place, the family was once again without a home. Now they live with in-laws.

Throughout this entire ordeal, the 56-year-old has been taking any kind of work he can, with past odd jobs including housecleaning and golf caddying. His wife -- who has complications from a double mastectomy -- at one point also found a seasonal job at a sporting goods store.

Right now the family is still financially struggling, but thanks to in-laws and government assistance, the family does have a roof over their heads. However, in general their story does highlight how these hard economic times have affected people from many different backgrounds, from the poor to the rich.

Because of this, if you are a person who is in jeopardy of losing your home or struggling with debts, do not be ashamed, as many are in the exact same situation. Instead, contact a qualified professional to see what debt relief options may be available to help your current financial situation.

Source: The News Observer, "For formerly wealthy, poverty comes as a shock," John Keilman, Oct. 4, 2011

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