Rose McConnell, author of Shun Student Loans, founded the FIT Institute in 2018 to speak to debtors. She is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. She has over 30 years of experience representing small and Fortune 100 firms in diverse industries such as commercial real estate, telecommunications, healthcare, education, retail, and non-profits.
Her interest in debt and credit began in 2008 when her clients were exclusively involved in real estate development, investment, and leasing. After the 2008 market crash, they either declared bankruptcy or stopped doing business. Not only did she lose the opportunity to practice her profession full time for many years following the 2008 financial crisis, but her retirement fund investments declined by roughly 50% in 2008-2009.
As she recollects: “I met with my investment advisor in summer of 2009 to review the carnage, he waived my portfolio at me and said, ‘This was all your fault.’ I sat in stunned silence for 10 minutes, then said, ‘I cannot listen to anything else,’ walked out of the room and went shopping. Looking back I can see how transformative that moment was. I had entrusted my life savings to people and a system I did not understand. As a result (and having nothing better to do with all my free time) I became curious about the source of the economic crisis. Consequently, I read extensively over the next several years about finance and the economy. Reading in economics led me to realize that there were economists that had predicted the crash, that there was an explanation that was comprehensible, one that I could grasp and one that was definitely not ‘my fault,’ but one that would come roaring back at me and all Americans unless we woke to who is running our financial system and for whose benefit it is being run.”
During my son’s years in college, I learned that his classmates had no more understanding of the true cost of their student loans and their years in college than I did about the impending financial crisis in 2008. Just as almost all of us thought the good times would largely continue, they think that the debt will not be too big a burden. Some people even think it will be forgiven by the federal government. Further, just like we were reassured that the real estate boom would continue, they are assured by their teachers, parents, guidance counselors and peers that all will be OK with their debt. Perhaps one day someone will tell them that “it’s all their fault” that they cannot repay their debts.
This podcast is for those listeners who want to understand the real cost of college and what to do about a debt that may be far from manageable. You are responsible for cleaning up your debts even if incurring the debt was not “all your fault.” We will be talking about creditors rights, why you should never sign stipulations presented by a creditor’s counsel and what to do if you truly have no means of deferring or repaying your debt.
While we cannot provide individual legal advice, it is our intention to provide general information on a variety of topics of interest of debtors. Please sign up for our emails and to contact us with topics you would like covered on future podcasts.