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by Marc Rouleau
It’s been well documented that more than 100,000 public servants were either over paid, under paid or not paid at all since the federal government decided to migrate to a new payroll system last winter. While some of the problems have been worked out, thousands of families are still in limbo and many are struggling to keep up with their bill payments and expenses. Many are taking on debt they cannot afford just to make ends meet.
A situation like this is completely out of the employees’ control. Same could be said for mass layoffs or employees that must leave their jobs due to health concerns. We rely immensely on regular and consistent cash flow to fund lifestyle choices. When income is suddenly cutoff, it is not unusual to feel insecure, vulnerable and scared. When will the collection calls start? How will I pay the mortgage or rent and put food on the table? These are real questions that deserve practical and realistic solutions.
Here are some tips to help plan for or deal with a sudden cash flow cutoff:
- Immediately find out what your employer can do to replace the income lost. For example, temporary fund advances to replace Pheonix pay problems, severance and employment insurance if you are laid off or disability payments could be available if health concerns have caused you to leave your job.
- Keep records and notes of the problems from the start. Don’t rely on your memory. Whether you have been laid off or if Phoenix has cutoff your income, keep track of meetings, calls, copies of pay stubs, errors, collection letters, etc. This will ensure you don’t get shortchanged once the issues are resolved. You may need this later if you decide to file a claim for damages or make a settlement request.
- Reduce variable and leisure expenses to a bare minimum. Focus must be on necessary lodging, food and transportation expenses until you can rebalance your budget.
- Request a temporary deferral of mortgage, vehicle or other large monthly payments.
- Speak to a professional financial adviser. For example, you may want to speak with a lawyer with a practice in employment law and a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who can offer immediate assistance with collection or garnishment issues, help you prepare a realistic budget and provide solutions to deal with excessive debt.