Innovative lending needed to help ease financial crises

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Melissa Kimmell didn’t expect to be in the spotlight as the voice of a middle-class family pushed into financial crisis by the challenges of autism, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and job loss. That changed, however, as her family navigated the turbulent financial waters of an endless line of medical bills. She decided to lend her voice to bring attention to the difficult choices that sometimes have to be made in times of financial crisis. More

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Innovative lending needed to help ease financial crises

PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
MEDICAL SUPPORT: Melissa Kimmell said that the “Spent: Looking for Change” – a documentary that focuses on the financial problems caused by medical costs – “is definitely shining a light on something that we ourselves are struggling with.”

By Rhonda J. Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 7/7/14

Melissa Kimmell didn’t expect to be in the spotlight as the voice of a middle-class family pushed into financial crisis by the challenges of autism, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and job loss. That changed, however, as her family navigated the turbulent financial waters of an endless line of medical bills. She decided to lend her voice to bring attention to the difficult choices that sometimes have to be made in times of financial crisis.

Kimmell and her family are featured in the new documentary “Spent: Looking for Change,” produced by Davis Guggenheim, known for addressing social causes in his films “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman.” The new documentary, sponsored by American Express, is intended to spur innovation in financial services. The film is being distributed for free at www.spentmovie.com

PBN: What made you decide to take part in the film?

KIMMELL: I think it is a conversation that needs to be had. This film is definitely shining a light on something that we ourselves are struggling with. We felt that there’s a need for people to be aware that there are people out there who are hard-working and trying to make ends meet and taking care of their family, and they have limited options. We’re hoping the conversation leads to innovation or more financial options.

PBN: What kind of options do you envision or hope for?

KIMMELL: I think it would be wonderful if there could be accessible financial counseling for families faced with a crisis. We went from a family of four on two incomes down to one income. That was very drastic. We’ve had health issues that have caused a lot of expenses we weren’t anticipating. If we had someone who could have counseled us and or helped us figure out strategies, that would have been very beneficial, and we wouldn’t have felt so alone.

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