Facing Job Loss

Focusing on you:

  • Changes caused by unemployment may bring about feelings of anger, helplessness,
         depression, anxiety, and stress. These emotions are important to recognize because
         they not only affect you but also your relationships with others.
  • Regardless of how challenging or frustrating your experience, make an effort to share
         your feelings with someone close. Talk to your family, co-workers and close friends.
         In addition, check out support groups in your area to find people with similar experiences.
  • Read more about dealing with stress here ».

Finding a new job:

  • Build up a network of people who work in your chosen field and know your job interests.
         Don’t forget leads from friends and family-who knows you best?
  • Contact your trade union or professional organization and let other members know
         you are looking for a job.
  • Be flexible-do not limit yourself to one industry or one type of job.
  • Evaluate your career so far-you will likely be amazed at your base of skills.
  • When you find a company you’re interested in working for, get the name of the
         department head or personnel recruiter for your desired job area and submit your resume
         to that person (you don’t have to wait for a company to advertise.)
  • Check local listings in the local newspapers and in trade and professional papers and
         journals (you will find many of these in your local library).
  • The Internet provides a variety of web pages dedicated to helping you with job searches
         (you can access the Internet at your local library).
  • Your college or trade school also may have job search information and leads.
  • Visit your local public library for additional information.
  • The Employment Source: 330-433-9675
  • Ohio Benefit Bank: 330-454-4650

Take a look at your current financial situation:

  • During a time of unemployment, you should assess your current financial situation to
         determine how you can best manage your funds, until you are able to resume regular
         employment or otherwise replace your loss of income. This guide will offer resources for a
         temporary “safety net” for you and your family.
  • The degree to which your cash flow is affected will depend largely on:
    -    Your available financial resources. These may include sayings, assets that can produce
              quick cash if needed, assistance from families, friends etc.
    -    The length of time between your lay-off and the point at which you are able to regain
              an income.
    -    Your ability to adjust your spending and monthly expenses until your regular income
              can resume.

Developing a financial plan:

  • Managing your income carefully will provide you with more confidence about your
         financial security.
  • Early planning is important and it will be helpful for you to start identifying your current
         expenses, including any regular loan payments, immediately.
  • Creating a budget is a quick and easy way to spot potential problems before they get
         out of control.

Learn about your credit profile:

  • If you have low credit or no credit, you should know that a number of nonprofits and other
         organizations provide financial management, budgeting classes and workshops that can
         help you rebuild or improve your credit. Call Stark County 2-1-1 for more information.
  • Automobile Loans:
    -    Ask your lender about skipping one or two payments and “extending the loan”.
              They will probably require you to pay a minimum fee and perhaps the interest. Ask if
              the loan can be rewritten for lower monthly payments, but be aware that this will
              increase the finance charges.
    -    Lower your car insurance premium by reducing your coverage, or by increasing the
              deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. If you make payments on
              your car, contact your lender. If you own your car, consider dropping collision and
              comprehensive coverage until you have more income. Liability coverage is required
              by state law and cannot be dropped.
  • Creditors
    -    Always contact your creditors immediately: Creditors appreciate hearing from you
              before you start missing payments. They are usually willing to work out payment
              arrangements to fit your budget. Call or write to explain your situation.
    -    Keep a record of each telephone conversation and always follow up with a letter.
    -    Consider services such as gas, electricity, water and phone can be shut off, however
              they may require a reconnection fee and deposit to be started again. Compare costs
              and evaluate them to see if it is necessary action to take. In addition, car, house,
              health, and life insurance policies may be canceled.
    -    Late charges and interest charges may be added to your account. These fees
              can significantly increase your debt. Accounts may cease to exist after 30 days
              of nonpayment. Late charges and nonpayment may affect your credit report.
    -    Don’t stop communicating with your creditors. If they are not satisfied, you could
              be turned over to a collection agency. If that happens, they may be less willing to work
              out a replacement plan with you and may add on collection fees. You are better off
              working with your original creditor as soon as possible. If that is not an option, try to work
              proactively with the collections agency.
    -    At least make minimum payments, to any outstanding credit cards, and then stop using
              them for a while.

Is your housing more than you can afford?

  • Rent or Mortgage Payments: Let your landlord know about your situation immediately.
         Negotiate a partial payment agreement with your landlord for a few months. The landlord
         may be willing to work with you. You may be able to do some maintenance work in place
         of a portion of your rental costs.
  • Look for less expensive housing. Remember to include moving expenses, deposits and family
         adjustments as you calculate costs. Consider moving in with family or friends and
         sub-leasing if you cannot break your lease. In addition, consider searching for a roommate
         or renting out a room in your apartment to help lower costs.
  • Call your mortgage company immediately to work out a payment plan. Some lenders may
          allow skipped, partial, or interest only payments for one to six months.
  • Check your escrow account and if it contains more money than needed to pay property
         taxes, the bank or mortgage company must refund any excess beyond a
         two-month cushion.
  • If you miss three or fewer mortgage payments and then return to work, ask your mortgage
         company if you can set up a “forbearance plan” where you can pay one and a half month’s
         mortgage until you become current. Catch up on the principle first, and then catch up on
         the penalty charges. A lender cannot foreclose over late charges.
  • Contact Stark County Job & Family Services for further assistance.
  • If FHA, HUD, FMHA, or VA federally insures your mortgage, call the insuring agency
         immediately to determine what options are available to you.
  • Contact your Homeowners Association immediately to work out a payment plan if you get
         behind with your dues. The association can initiate foreclosure against you if your dues
         remain unpaid.
  • You may also think about selling your house, but there are many things to consider. Selling
         your house may take a long time depending on the current market. Rent can be higher than
         your existing mortgage and moving can be expensive. Make sure to balance the potential
         gains against potential losses. If foreclosure is coming, attempt to sell your house
         immediately, rent it out, or consider voluntarily giving the house back to the lender if you
         have little or no equity.
  • If you cannot pay your bills, call the utility company’s customer service department. Do not
           wait until you receive a late or shut-off notice. You may be able to work out a payment
         plan or use their budget-billing plan.
  • Moving: Sometimes moving is the only possible way to reduce expenses. Before choosing this
         solution, research rental costs or home buying expenses elsewhere. Remember to consider
         the following costs required each time you move.
    -    Security deposit- The amount of money that the landlord asks for before you move into
              the apartment.
    -    Credit Check Charge- Most landlords will check your credit before they will consider
              renting to you. Often times the potential renter is responsible for this fee.
    -    Cleaning Fee-This fee is non-refundable. The purpose of this fee is to have the apartment
              cleaned by maintenance prior to your move-in date.
    -    Rental Amount- Amount of money paid each month. These amounts may increase
              periodically. Amount varies depending on your landlord.
    -    Late Charge Fee-Most landlords will attach this fee onto the rental amount if rent is not
              paid by a certain date.
    -    Warrant- This is issued if the rental amount is not paid by a certain date and the tenant
              will assume payment. It indicates that eviction proceedings have started. If the rent is
              not paid before expiration date shown on the warrant, you will be physically evicted.
              (Not an actual fee, but useful information).
    -    Lease-The document that you sign before you move into the apartment. By signing the
              document, it indicates that you agree to its terms.
    -    Utilities- A monthly bill that is not usually included in the rental amount. A deposit is
              often needed to have the utilities turned on and this cost varies.

Seek Housing Assistance:

  • Transitional Housing-Housing options for individuals and or/families that are homeless and need
          extensive support. Many times, individuals and families are faced with difficult circumstances

          and need more time than a traditional shelter can provide to get their lives in order and secure
          permanent housing.
  • Subsidized Housing-Low income apartments where the rent is based upon a percentage (%)
         of your monthly income.
  • Housing and Rent Payment Assistance-Rent or foreclosure assistance and, occasionally, first
         month’s rent or deposit.

Simple tips to cut utility costs:

  • Turn off your lights and TV when you are not using them.
  • Replace your light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs. Or replace 100-watt light bulbs with
         60-watt bulbs.
  • Use the washing machine and dryer only when you have a full load; use cold water and air-dry
         clothes when practical.
  • Set the thermostat at 68 degrees in winter and 58 degrees when you are away on vacation.
  • Close the vents in the rooms that you do not use.
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners in the summer.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Scrape your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher and only wash with a full load.
  • Call Stark County 2-1-1 to find organizations that might provide assistance in paying
         utility bills.

Knowing Your Legal Rights

  • People Who Owe Money Have Rights: The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act establishes rules
         for debt collection. It is illegal for debt collectors to use harassment, false statements, or
         unfair practices.
  • Community Legal Aid of Stark County may be able to help. Call (330) 456-8361.
  • If a lawsuit is brought against you, your wage and bank account(s) may be seized and a lien
         placed on your current or future property. A creditor can receive up to 25% of your take-home
         income. Child support can take up to 50% and the IRS can leave you with $100 per week.
  • Only one creditor can garnish your wages at a time.

Assess your healthcare coverage

Seek Financial Assistance:

  • Social Security Benefits: If you are 62-64 years old and have been laid off, you may be eligible
         for Social Security benefits.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Provides financial assistance to families with
         dependent children when divorce, separation, death, disability, or unemployment deprives a
         child of the financial support of one or both parent s. Families who receive TANF are
         automatically eligible for medical assistance and are usually eligible for food assistance.
  • Food Assistance: The amount of assistance a family can receive depends on family size,
         income, and expenses. Single individuals, families with children, and married couples without
         children may be eligible for food stamps. It is also important to note that it is not a requirement
         to register with the Department of Human Services to receive food assistance. If you do not
         already receive food stamps, however, it may be a good idea to ask DHS if you qualify.
  • Food Banks or Pantries: When you go to a food bank/pantry please remember to bring a
         picture ID or a social security card to receive food. Assistance is normally allowed once
         every 30 days. Check with the provider on the number of times you can access food
  • Medicaid: A federal medical insurance program available to low-income individuals. Call
         Stark County Job & Family Services to see if you are available for the program.
  • Veterans: If you or a member of your immediate family has served in the armed forces,
         you may qualify for veteran’s health benefits. Contact the VA’s Health Benefits Service Center.
  • Unemployment Insurance: If you are unemployed through no fault of your own, you may be
         eligible for unemployment benefits. It can take time to receive any unemployment benefits for
         which you may be eligible. For this reason, you are encouraged to apply for unemployment
         as quickly as possible after you are laid off/unemployed. *When filing for unemployment
         benefits, be sure to bring the following information: Separation notice or letter, Social Security
         Card, Name and address of recent employer(s).

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