Leslie Tayne is a debt resolution attorney based in New York City with a passion for helping people tackle (and eventually) love their debt. Her book, Life and Debt, inspired the interview as I couldn’t imagine anyone truly LOVING being in debt.
Freedom and flexibility are passions for Leslie and her business as a debt resolution attorney was founded on helping people thrive financially. As such, her business is focused on keeping individuals and business owners out of bankruptcy, sometimes through “unconventional” means. Her strength is in resolving debt and reallocating funds to make life happen more efficiently.
When Leslie graduated from law school, she had $80,000 in student loans AND a child — now realizing she didn’t know the first thing about her student loans when she took them. After figuring out how much she had paid over time in interest and fees (10 years later), she found herself in a position to eliminate the rest of her student loans.
That experience humbled Leslie and gives her the humility and the empathy to handle client situations from all walks of life.
In Leslie’s book, she talks about loving your debt and talks about the analogy of being in a relationship with your debt. In a relationship, you focus on the relationship and make it work well, or you ignore the relationship and find yourself in dire straits. (15:00)
I loved Leslie’s take on how she teaches her kids money. Whether your kids are 10, 12, 15 or 17 or as Leslie says 40(!), you are empowering your kids to either make good financial choices or poor ones. Kids having a fit in the store who’s parents eventually give in and purchase the item causing the fit are creating not only negative behavior, but negative FINANCIAL behavior!
Leslie plays a closet psychologist with her clients (21:00). Trying to understand the psychology of her clients is imperative — sometimes bad financial behavior is the result of programming you received as a child. She calls credit card marketing the greatest marketing success story out there as some people really believe the only way to buy things is by using their credit cards.
Love and money are not the same thing. (25:00) For most people, just making a payment for a child is like a band-aid over a dam. The problem is cash flow in most cases. Want to truly love your child, help them solve a problem, don’t solve it for them!
Around the 28:00 mark, we talked about what to tell parents who want their child to go to an expensive school, but haven’t saved the money for it. Leslie’s no-nonsense advice to a parent like this is SPOT ON!! It’s not the college you go to, it’s what you do at college that will set you apart.
Leslie says 95 times out of 100 she can fix a credit card issue, so declaring bankruptcy due to $20-30k in debt is ridiculous. (35:00)
Books Leslie Recommends:
Find out more about Leslie at http://attorney-newyork.com/
Leslie will talk to anyone over the phone for free. So if you have debt or a debt problem, give Leslie’s office a call at (866) 890-7337.