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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Debt is a subject I think many of us would rather not mention. But the fact is America is more than $12 trillion dollars in debt at federal, state, corporate and personal levels. The typical family now spends more than 34 percent of their income to service debt.

And bankruptcies are at an all-time high. During the 1930s Depression, there were 70,000 bankruptcies. Today, there are over a million. It’s a serious problem, and the message is simple: it’s time to get out of debt.

Well, lucky for us in Utah, there is company that specializes in this very thing. It’s called the Franklin Foundation. For 10 years now, the Franklin Foundation, which is based in Ogden, has helped many people choose the right path to help them overcome their debt problems. The company provides its clients with detailed, easy-to-use analyses of their current financial and debt structure. The initial consultation is free. Then the first step is a detailed analysis. It requires a complete and thorough review of all of a family or individual’s finances, which means defining objectives, recognizing solutions and establishing goals. Then, they assist their clients how to get on the right track to financial freedom.

Now, most people would think that financial freedom is achieved by simply changing spending habits. But Chris Stevenson, the Franklin Foundation’s president, told me that it’s much more. He said his company can not only help clients get out of debt, it also helps them avoid paying excessive interest, it increases their purchasing power and increases their long-term investment potential. The Franklin Foundation’s process helps clients to eventually take the money they were using to make minimum payments on debt and put that money toward investments. But it takes time. As we all know, paying off debt doesn’t happen overnight, which is why the Franklin Foundation offers ongoing service and support, including credit management through the entire process.

Well, avoiding debt isn’t easy, but at least we know the Franklin Foundation is here to help.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.

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