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Taking a Second Look at Third World America

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In previous posts we’ve mentioned the findings of Third World America, Arianna Huffington’s new book taking an up-close-and-person and personal look at those hardest hit by the ongoing economic crisis: individuals, families and even whole communities.

In the process of capturing this unwelcome slice of American life, Huffington’s own news and information website The Huffington Post has “mapped the areas hardest hit by home foreclosure, unemployment and bankruptcy this year.”

To give you an idea of the depth and scope of the damage done by the financial meltdown, here’s an overview of how hard people are being in hit throughout a state like North Carolina.

Rocky Mount, NC
Named one of the “America’s Ten Most Impoverished Cities” by Forbes Magazine, Rocky Mount, NC, is a city where its citizens face unbelievably low median incomes, a crumbling infrastructure that means many pay more in utilities than their mortgages, and, according to HuffPost’s map, staggering 13% unemployment. Most surprisingly, these dramatic jobless figures existed even before the recent recession.

Cornelius, NC
In addition to recording the stats of a struggling nation, HuffPost is also accepting its stories. One of these telling tales hails from Cornelius, NC, where Army vet, Kent Walker shared, “I'm a 20 year Service Disabled Veteran with 2 lifetime benefits: (VA Disability and Army Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC). After a[n] Army helicopter crash I was medically retired in 2004 and bought a house in Charlotte NC (Bank Of America headquarters) to complete that American Dream with my wife and 2 girls. Four years later, thanks to Wall Street, my Commercial Real Estate business was busted and I was in foreclosure. I paid into the HAMP program and was dragged along for almost 12 months before being denied last month. My two girls (age 4 and 8) and I sit here waiting for the Sheriff to show up with the “Notice of Eviction” while my wife is away deployed in the Army.” Unfortunately, the denial of this type of American Dream is common—even in places like Cornelius in Mecklenburg County, one of the wealthiest in a struggling state.

Youngsville, NC
In places like the tiny Triangle town of Youngsville, NC, citizens are facing their own unemployment and mortgage meltdowns. One anonymous victim of this uncertain economic era told HuffPost, “It feels as though the bank is doing whatever it can to move a foreclosure along. There is no working with us…homeowners who have been promptly paying the mortgage for 10 years.”

Do these stories sound familiar to you, your family and your friends? Have you been impacted by the financial crisis? In what ways are you bouncing back? What are you doing in your neck of the woods to keep from losing your shirt in “Third World America?” Click here to add your facts, figures and recent fortunes (or not) to The Huffington Post map.

Once you’ve shared your story—like so many others in North Carolina—it’s time to turn to someone who’s got your back when you’re in the process of bouncing back. That “someone” is inevitably a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can help you to conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond our own “Great Recession.” The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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