Mike Hoggan, branch director of Rural Dynamics consumer credit counseling services in Billings, Mont., worked with a husband who had a gambling problem. He had gambled away the couple's life savings, but Hoggan was able to help him become debt free and begin saving for a home. The husband decided to "go big" and win back their savings in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he came back to Montana with more than $160,000 in debt. The couple is now divorced.
In Stillwater, Minn., Linda Humburg, a counselor manager with FamilyMeans consumer credit counseling services, says a wife found out that her husband was in a debt management program only after they applied for a mortgage refinance. The husband had used credit cards to pay for his gambling addiction and then had spent 18 months on a debt management program to repay them.
Bankruptcy was not an option because they had plenty of home equity, but the wife refused to refinance and take cash out to pay the debt. In the midst of the counseling session, the wife punched her husband in frustration.
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