Rosemary Frank Financial, LLC
Rosemary Frank is the Principal of Rosemary Frank Financial, LLC, a fee-only Registered Investment Adviser. As such, she provides services in the areas of wealth management, divorce financial consulting, and other attorney support services. Bound by the fiduciary standard, she always puts the client's best interests ahead of all other considerations.
Her wealth management services are dedicated to helping individuals and families understand how money really works. A large part of her practice is focused on meeting the needs of women with attention to the specific challenges they face. She provides both financial education and guidance throughout all stages of life, but particularly following divorce, death of a loved one, or job loss. These can be extremely difficult times when the special patience and understanding she provides are appreciated.
As a divorce financial practitioner, Rosemary has worked on hundreds of divorce cases providing litigation support, expert witness testimony, or financial neutral consultant services. She has extensive experience with high net worth situations as well as highly contested divorce. Rosemary has emerged as one of the leading divorce financial practitioners in the country and regularly contributes to the development and refinement of professional procedures, protocols, and advanced thinking at a national level.
In addition to divorce-related attorney support, Rosemary is able to provide investment advisory services which are in support of and complementary to legal services in the areas of estate planning, business protection, litigation award management, inheritance management, and trust fund management. She is also an approved provider of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) on financial topics.
Prior to her career in financial services, Rosemary held a number of management and executive positions in the corporate environment. During her corporate tenure, she completed extensive business research and opportunity evaluations for a number of publicly traded firms in a variety of manufacturing and service industries. The focus of this work was on markets for new products/services and/or new geographies, new adaptations and uses for existing products, and merger and acquisition analyses. She also managed a host of ongoing activities to monitor the respective industry trends of key customer/client clusters. She regularly prepared critical presentation content for C-suite executives to deliver to public, professional, and investor audiences, as well as market and business outlook discussions for inclusion in SEC filings and annual reports.
Rosemary received her B.S. degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and was awarded an MBA by the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She holds the designations of Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), Advanced Divorce Financial Analyst (ADFA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF). She is also a TN State Supreme Court Listed Rule 31 Family Law Mediator, specially trained in domestic violence. As an educator, she has authored several Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses, on the financial and tax issues of divorce, which have been approved for credits by the TN Commission on Continuing Legal Education for attorneys and the TN Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission for mediators. In addition, she previously held an active General Securities licenses as well as a General Securities Principal (supervisory) license for a number of years before transitioning to the fee-only advisory service model. Most recently, she was approved as an Arbitrator, for securities transactions disputes, by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
BS, Business, Rochester Institute of Technology
MBA, Business Administration, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Assets Under Management:
Rosemary Frank Financial, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Rosemary Frank is not an attorney and does not provide legal advice.
You say you "discovered accounts on my credit report," so it doesn't sound like you are hearing from debt collectors. These may just be reported in error. You should not be payng debts you know nothing about. In any event, because you are involved in a divorce, your situation becomes more sensitive. In most states, as soon as a divorce is filed, both parties are under restraining orders to not deviate from daily financial practices. This includes paying debts off in lump sum.
Most importantly, you need to discuss this with your attorney and get legal advice on how to handle it. These debts may be marital and require consideration in the division of the marital estate. The funds you are contemplating using to pay them off with may be considered marital and need to be preserved in the marital estate for division.
I would hope that, again with your attorney's gudance, you can establish a minimum monthly payment that would be acceptable to the creditor as well as not violate your restraining order to maintain the financial status quo during the divorce. This should preserve your credit rating as best as possible.
An additional thought: These may be debts that your husband incurred in your name. This really needs to be fully understood with the assistance of your attorney and/or a financial forensic. I am a divorce financial consultant and financial forensic. Let me know if I can help you further.
You have the right idea to focus on your own credit worthiness. Continuing on your mother's card is hurting you as indicated by a poor credit score of 580. Apply for a new credit card, or two, in your own name. After you have secured them, have your mother remove you from her card. At that point your credit utilization will drop to 0% and your credit score will begin to rehabilitate. Use your cards responsibly, for convenience, and pay off the balance in full and on time each month. You should see an improvement in your score within just a few months. After you have your new cards for one year, request an increase in the credit limits so as to make your utilization even lower.
Remember, a credit card is simply a convenience and not a free ticket to buy things for which you cannot pay. And there are some great cards available with up to 5% cash rebates on purchases. Also, I recommend cards with no annual fees unless there is a very compelling reason to accept the fee in exchagne for mega bonus points and/or rebates. I recommend having at least two, preferably three cards to your name because they are so suseptable to compromise, at which time the bank will immediately shut the card down and you have no use of it until you receive a new card in about 10 days.
I wish you the best.
I encourage you to preserve and protect the 401(k) funds. This is critical as you are more near to retirement than you have ever been. Stick to the original purpose for the retirement funds and keep them in place. Do not let strangers (credit card companies and faceless lenders) derail what you have been able to save. Also, any liquidations would be taxable, so you do not get to actually use all that seems to be there.
Let's tackle the debt. Resolve that, for the next year or two, you will live on an austerity budget and buy only the barest necessities. I suspect the credit card interest is the highest and that needs to be paid off first. You might transfer the balance(s) to promotional offers that provide 0% interest for 12-15 months. Know that if there is likely a transfer fee, that will essentially amount to interest but is usually only 3-4%. It is possible to find some with no transfer fee. Then aggressively pay off the principal of the $30,000 debt so it is clearly eliminated before the promotional offer ends. The personal loan is the next priority. Explore ways to refinance at a lower rate. Perhaps you can join a credit union that offers loans to members at less than the 9% you are currently paying. In any event, the money you are not spending by being on austerity goes to paying this down.
The 4% mortgage is acceptable and you need a place to live, so I would not consider this a problem. If there was equity in the home, I might suggest cashing it out and renting for a few years, but that is not the case. The kids need to each take their own student loan responsibilities and everyone pull together here. Not sure how much that leaves for your wife's loan, but it should be less than the full $100k.
As a final consideration, you might want to borrow from the 401(k) to pay off some of the debt, but that will just create another payment for you. And the removal of funds from the 401(k) will inhibit its ability to grow as it otherwise would. There is also significant risk associated with the possibility that your employment may end and the full loan will become due or be considered a taxable withdrawal.
Hope this helps and I wish you the best.
It strikes me that the 80-20 option is an "all or nothing" alternative with no down payment at all. Talk to lenders about taking a first mortgage for 80%, avoiding PMI, then a Home Equity LIne of Credit (HELOC), not a structured loan, for the $45,000, which is only 7.35% of the home value. The HELOC should have flexible terms, interest only payments, and you can voluntarily pay down the principal as quickly as possible to improve your future monthly cash flow.
I am not fond of 401(k) loans for several reasons. First, there is significant risk because if you should leave your employer, for any reason, any unpaid balance would need to be repaid before your next income tax return is due, perhaps with 10% penalty if you are under age 59.5. Secondly, the interest would be paid with after-tax dollars which would be subject to repeat taxation when ultimately withdrawn from this pre-tax account (or any future rollover IRA). Double taxation is never good and you need to consider this as a real cost of this loan. Third, you loose out on the tax-deferred growth of the funds you borrow for the time they are not invested. Even if you believe that growth would be less than the interest rate of alternatives, your comparison is for the current year(s), but your loss is actually for the compound growth on these dollars for many years to come. You need to remember the original objective for the 401(k): to save for retirement. I encourage you to stay the course on that one goal, not do anything to hinder its progress, and deal with other financial issues separately. If you think you have other needs now, consider the improtance of having food to eat when you are 80.
Some general suggestions: try to delay this purchase until you are able to make a greater down payment; buy a less expensive vehicle even if it only lasts a couple years, you need some time to recover from the bankruptcy; explore credit unions, they usually have favorable credit terms if you join by opening a small account. No matter what your ultimate choice is, I suggest you also make extra payments on this loan to pay it off in less than the scheduled time because, while the higher interest rates are understandable at this time, they will not be appropriate for you a couple years from now, although you will still be bound by them in this loan. You do not want to extend your "punishment" any longer than necessary with high punitive rates. Also, paying it off early will effectively lower the overall cost of this loan in its entirety.
I hope this is helpful and I wish you well.