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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 8 years ago

Apply to win a complete financial makeover

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by: Gabriel Burgos

Financial instability continues to plague countless Americans. The Florida unemployment rate remains more than 10 percent, and there is talk of a double-dip recession and a period of deflation that could last for another 10 years. Whether people have been laid off, have homes in foreclosure or have unforeseen medical conditions, many are struggling financially.

Maitland financial firm Burgos & Brein Wealth Management, in partnership with the Gradient Gives Back Foundation, invites Central Florida residents who have fallen on hard times and are struggling to recover from one of the most challenging economic environments in history to apply now for an opportunity to be awarded a comprehensive financial makeover.

Gradient Gives Back Foundation launched the Gradient Gives Back Community Outreach Program in 2009 in response to the economic crisis. The Gradient Gives Back program is an opportunity for families in the Central Florida region to receive 12 months of mortgage payments as well as long-term financial planning from the Burgos & Brein Wealth Management. Other services include home mortgage planning, tax planning and filing and other financial assistance support as necessary for the families.

Since 2009, the Gradient Gives Back Foundation has received more than 3,000 applications and awarded six families with financial makeovers. The financial support has helped families stay in their homes because of loan modifications that allowed for lesser payments. In 2010, the Gradient Gives Back Foundation successfully obtained a loan modification for one family, which reduced their monthly mortgage payment by $249.51 per month. The reduction was more than 30 percent, which will save the family $119,764 over the remaining life of the loan.

The goal of the foundation is to offer families who demonstrate need a hand up, not just a hand out. Through the application process, the foundation seeks to identify past behaviors that indicate an applicant’s ability or lack of ability to make a lifetime commitment to a healthy financial future. Specifically, the foundation seeks to answer and identify specific examples for the following questions:

• Does the applicant illustrate an ability to learn and apply the education provided by our expert financial team?

• Does his or her overall financial situation lend toward a healthy long-term financial future?

• Does the applicant and his or her family unit display behavior that will result in positive achievement? What is the character of each family member, and what is the composition of the family unit?

• Is the applicant and his or her family willing to help themselves?

• Are there other financial indicators, including ability to articulate positive financial direction and goals, that may be important to assessing eligibility?

Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, Nov. 1. Apply today or nominate a family in need by visiting www.gradientgivesback.com/burgosandbrein. Applicants will be chosen based on need. Gradient plans to award financial makeovers to two deserving families.

Gabriel Burgos is founder and managing partner of Burgos & Brein Wealth Management in Maitland.

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