Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Spotlight: Financial Fresh Start by Shari Olefson

Born in New York and raised in New York and Florida, Shari Olefson can’t recall a time when she was not passionate about reading and writing. She began writing FINANCIAL FRESH START in 2009, shortly after the release of her book, “Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream” (Prometheus).

Billions of your taxpayer dollars have been spent on new “consumer financial protection” rules and reforms in Washington. FINANCIAL FRESH START helps you get your money’s worth by breaking it all down into easy, actionable guidance. In her book, Olefson demystifies the new rules and reforms enacted in the wake of the economic meltdown to help struggling Americans take full advantage of the opportunity to rebound from financial setbacks and improve their long-term prospects for prosperity and peace of mind. After years of economic uncertainty, massive foreclosures, collapsing banks, and the Great Recession, the federal government has enacted sweeping reforms to help millions of struggling average Americans. We now have hundreds of new rules—more than 400 under the Dodd-Frank Act alone—as well as new laws, programs, investigations, and even new authorities such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These changes touch the banking, borrowing, credit, debt, savings, investments, homeownership, earning, spending, and retirement of just about every citizen. Unfortunately, few have the time, patience, and expertise to confidently navigate the new economic landscape, seize the opportunities for recovery and prosperity it offers, rise to its challenges, and steer clear of its pitfalls.

In FINANCIAL FRESH START: Your Five-Step Plan for Adapting and Prospering in the New Economy, legal, financial, and real estate expert Shari Olefson simplifies it all—Dodd-Frank, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act and many more reforms—so that average Americans can take back the power of our own finances. “You and your fellow Americans are living in historic times,” Olefson tells readers. “Maybe you’ve heard that the rules and reforms enacted in response to the Great Depression brought about some of the biggest changes in the history of our country. The new long-term rules and reforms included in Dodd-Frank and other legislation and programs will likewise have tremendous impacts on you, the country, and future generations,” she assures those reeling from a financial blow, like a depleted retirement account, or wracked by worries over bad credit, overwhelming debt, or looming foreclosure. Starting with the big picture, FINANCIAL FRESH START succinctly explains what the heck happened in America, and around the world, in financial markets to provoke a meltdown in banking, real estate, and the economy in general. It introduces major new rules and reforms, with accessible lessons in what they mean, why they matter, and what to expect next. From a brief overview of the new financial landscape, chapters move on to specific strategies for leveraging the new economic rules to get out of financial trouble, regain financial stability, and achieve the still-possible American dream of a comfortable income and secure retirement.

Based on accurate and actionable information, FINANCIAL FRESH START presents a practical, workable plan for rebounding and thriving in the new economy--in five simple steps:
1. Adapt your banking and borrowing.
2. Fix your credit and debt.
3. Protect your savings, investments, and retirement.
4. Decide if homeownership is (still, now, or someday) right for you.
5. Spend less and earn more.

Along the way, readers will learn how to repair their credit score; get a low-cost car loan; find safe, socially-conscious, high-yielding investment options; explore alternatives to foreclosure; save on “biggie” expenses, like real estate tax...and much more. They’ll also find answers to sleep-robbing questions, like “Is there any legal way to avoid repaying debts?” and “Will our home ever be worth what we paid for it?” Packed with helpful tools and inspiring real-life stories, FINANCIAL FRESH START offers the vital knowledge and reassurance so many Americans are seeking to reclaim their lives, their dignity, and their faith in America.

Olefson, a Bar Certified Real Estate attorney and a Supreme Court Certified Mediator with degrees in journalism, finance and psychology, was inspired to write FINANCIAL FRESH START by the countless average folks who reached out to her for help following the real estate bubble and Great Recession that followed and by her personal drive to help make sure her generation leaves a legacy they can be proud of for America’s next generation (which includes her own daughters). A lawyer who served on the front lines of the real estate bubble, the bailouts, and the Great Recession, she is also a trusted, news commentator, and speaker-educator on cultural trends, government intervention, foreclosures, credit, saving and investments, and other tremendously timely, life changing money matters. Since launching her legal career in 1989, Olefson, a member of the Florida, District of Columbia, and New York Bars, has focused on her role as an expert witness in complex litigation, regulatory compliance, business and commercial real estate transactions, mediations, and work outs. In addition to her law practice, she has served as the CEO of a fortune 300 real estate services JV. Not only recognized for her unique expertise in the law, real estate, and business, Olefson is also widely sought out for her ability to translate complex subjects into easily-understood and actionable solutions and passion for re-engaging and empowering average Americans. She is frequently quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and USA Today, and regularly appears as a guest expert on CNN, CNBC, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, and CBS, as well as national and regional radio programs. Her television appearances can be viewed here Along with writing numerous articles and professional reports, she has worked on training programs for some of the nation's leading lenders, brokers, trade associations, government agencies and corporations. Shari Olefson is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at, Yeshiva University and the University Of Miami Masters Of Law Program.

Readers can purchase FINANCIAL FRESH START from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Read more about Shari Olefson, ask her your own questions at or subscribe to her newsletter “Your Week In A Minute” at . Follow her on Twitter @shariolefson and on Like her on Facebook.

Olefson’s next endeavor is fulfilling her responsibilities as Director of The Carnegie Group, a think tank dedicated to framing and facilitating dialogue between industry, government and the media on issues impacting average Americans

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