Gail Donaldson

  • Americans Struggling to Make Ends Meet

    A new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau show that about one in five Americans struggle to pay for life’s basic needs to include food, shelter and medical care. It further states that while roughly one-third of consumers have a hard time making ends meet. The research asked respondents 10 questions that were answered on a scale of 0 to 100.

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  • What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Student Loans?

    Americans are drowning in student loan debt. More than 3,000 people default on their federal student loans every day. It takes around 20 years for the average student loan borrower to pay off their loans. Today, there are over 44 million Americans with a total student loan debt of $1.4 trillion. But what happens if you can’t make the necessary payments? Missing a student loan ...

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  • Is Credit Card Debt Stressing You Out?

    The Center for Financial Services Innovation study recently reported that nearly half of Americans say their expenses are equal to or greater than their income. For those ages 18 to 25, the percentage is over half, up to 54%. In my practice, I see this time and time again with my clients after reviewing their income versus their expenses. The bulk of a client’s income is spent on housing.

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  • What is the Real Cost of Student Loans?

    College tuition continues to increase every year! I cringe to think how much it will be when our youngest goes to college. The reality for most families includes getting student loans to finance college. The harsh reality of borrowing via student loans hits when the excitement of graduation comes to an end in four short years.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • Beat the Deadlines if You Need Financial Help for College

    We have a high school senior this year and with graduation festivities around the corner, our focus has been how will be pay for college for our daughter the next four years! Whether your student has applied for scholarship opportunities or not, you need to be aware that there are school-based financial priority deadlines for Alabama’s four-year colleges.

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  • How a Bankruptcy Started With a T-Shirt!

    Why do clients end up in my office every day? Today, a client told me it started innocently with a t-shirt. He was in college and offered a credit card with a $200 limit. How much trouble could he get into with that small of a limit? Well, about twenty years later, that credit card debt grew and grew and snowballed into a lot more.

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  • Recent Study Shows Slight Decrease in Alabama Medical Debt

    Many clients who come to discuss their financial hardships are a result of unforeseen medical debts. Many times, a simple slip and fall accident results in unexpected medical expenses or time off from work without pay. A recent study by Urban Institute report stated that nationally, almost 24 percent of non-elderly Americans have past-due medical debt as of 2015.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 11 readers -
  • Wells Fargo Incentives Program Produced Bad Behavior

    Last fall, Wells Fargo admitted it had created over 2 million phony accounts as a result of an incentives program that rewarded employees who increased their sales numbers. Some employees who tried to report these wrong activities were retaliated against and fired. Wells Fargo says that they have now learned that some of these whistleblower reports do have merit.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 19 readers -
  • Is Pride in your Way?

    This time of year, many people make New Year resolutions to exercise more, eat healthier or reduce their social media time. For many, getting their finances in order is one of their “New Year-New Me” priorities too. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard through the years after I have explained bankruptcy options to clients, their first reaction is “I wish I had come her ...

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  • Should You Convert or Modify a Chapter 13 Plan?

    Many clients who file Chapter 13 may find their circumstances change as the years tick by in a five year Chapter 13 plan. They may get a divorce, have a new baby or their child may head off to college. With those life changes, the financial picture changes too. What Options Are Available? The best thing you can do is call your attorney.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 18 readers -
  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, have delicious food, hunting for deer and watching football in the south. We have so many things to be thankful for this year and we hope you and your family’s Thanksgiving is filled with lots of love and fun memories this year. Thanksgiving is also the trigger for holiday shopping across the country.

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  • Bond & Botes Thankful for Our Military

    Last week, I had the honor of attending my friend Lori Rasmussen’s change of command ceremony at Maxwell Air Force Base here in Montgomery. While commander, Lt. Col. Rasmussen was in charge of Detachment 12 of the Academy of Military Science Officer Training School. This detachment is one of the Air Force’s preeminent officer commissioning squadrons and annually produces over 8 ...

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 19 readers -
  • America – Land of the Poor and Hungry?

    As I picked up the office mail, I noticed that the window to the building was in the mist of being repaired. I asked the post office employee what happened and heard the saddest story of the day. A homeless man threw a brick through the window and sat down and waited for the police to arrive—so he could have a meal in jail.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 16 readers -
  • Fresh Start with Your Mortgage – Post Bankruptcy

    The goal every debtor has after filing bankruptcy is simple—a fresh start! Chapter 7 Bankruptcy offers a fresh start much quicker than Chapter 13 simply because the unsecured creditor’s debts are erased and allows you to pay for the debts you want to keep direct such as a mortgage or car payment. In Chapter 13, a plan typically is five years where you repay all or part of the debt you owe.

    Gail Donaldson/ Bond and Botes- 18 readers -
  • Montgomery Public Schools Employees Not Paid Due to ‘Human Error’

    We have a number of clients who are employed by the Montgomery Public School system who will not be paid on time due to a ‘human error’ with the direct deposit pay system. A majority of our clients live pay check to pay check, so this error puts them in quite the bind. Some have payroll auto drafts that may incur additional fees due their wages not being paid as it should have been.

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