A ribbon cutting was held for Attorney Dawn Kennedy on Thursday. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
A ribbon cutting was held for Attorney Dawn Kennedy on Thursday. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – The law office of Attorney Dawn Kennedy, located at 110 N. Washington St. held a ribbon-cutting on Thursday afternoon for the expansion of a new phase of her law office, providing consumer resources for general consumers rights questions.

“We want people to know that there are many ways to get through financial difficulties,” said Kennedy. “Most people in financial trouble will struggle for three years before getting help. I want to tell them that we can make plans and help them get back.”

Kennedy said that the goal of her business is to answer general consumer rights questions. She can provide consumer resources from the Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Ohio Attorney General and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“We can help you file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, Ohio Consumer Affairs and Consumer Financial Protection Agency,” said Kennedy.

“We can provide information on budgeting, free credit report requests, free credit report freezes, student loan national database access and verifying a debt,” said Kennedy.

“I want people to come in here and ask questions,” said Kennedy. “I will never be judgmental of somebody else’s financial problems. I want to be a safe resource.”

Things that Kennedy can’t do is access your credit report or student loan information, send a verification letter to collectors or provide legal advice on any matter,” explained Kennedy.

Kennedy said that one of the most important aspects of protecting financial resources is by prioritizing your bills.

“Seventy-eight percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck,” noted Kennedy. “It is no surprise that sometimes unexpected expenses can throw the family budget into disarray.

“Many people have found themselves with more month left than money at some point and had to decide who gets paid that payday,” continued Kennedy. “That is very frustrating, and definitely does not feel good. To protect your four walls, you must prioritize what you need to survive until you can sort out the other bills.

Kennedy suggested that four walls of prioritizing bills include food for the family, the utilities such as gas, water and electric, the rent or mortgage, transportation and optional items such as clothing and uniform for work.

“It may be tempting to make the VISA payment first, but it will add even more stress if the water gets shut off or you don’t have gas to get to work,” continued Kennedy. “I know, ‘the late fees,’ but those are minimal compared to utility reconnect fees or getting behind on the mortgage on a car.”