DEAR BRUCE: My boyfriend lost his job a few months ago and has used his savings and credit cards to live off of. He is in the process of filing for bankruptcy.
He has about $50,000 in equity in his home. Is there any product he can get to use this money to pay bills (home equity line, refinancing)? Keep in mind that he still doesn't have a job and is having trouble finding one. -- K.T.
DEAR K.T.: Unless your boyfriend has a horrible credit history, there is no reason he can't get a mortgage with a legitimate $50,000 equity in his home. But (and it's a big but!) if his credit is bad, he may very well have to pay a substantial amount of money in interest and fees.
In terms of choosing to pay a high interest rate or going bankrupt, it's a no-brainier: Choose the high interest rate. Keep in mind that he doesn't have to have a job, but when he does find one, he should let the lender know. That may make a difference in the interest rate, or may even allow him to recast it, which would be very much to his advantage.
DEAR BRUCE: President Donald Trump is being criticized because some of the people he wants to run government agencies are billionaires. Do you feel billionaires should be disqualified for public service due to their savings and successful business careers? -- Reader
DEAR READER: Why in the world should someone be disqualified for being successful in their career? It makes no sense. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're qualified because they are billionaires, but they certainly shouldn't be disqualified for public service for their success.
By and large, I am pleased with Mr. Trump's choice of Cabinet. There are some who are weak who I think we would be better off without, but nonetheless, he's doing a reasonable job so far.
(Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)
(The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at www.taeradio.com. It is also available at www.brucewilliams.com.)