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Case Study 2. Patrick Spence, Dustin Kilpatrick & Michael Smith. Background. Serge, who is 60 and approaching retirement age himself, is the sole means of support for his mother, who just turned 85

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Case study 2
Case Study 2

Patrick Spence, Dustin Kilpatrick & Michael Smith


  • Serge, who is 60 and approaching retirement age himself, is the sole means of support for his mother, who just turned 85

  • His mother requires constant supervision. The day care program denied access. She could become bedridden at any point

  • Serge is determined to keep his mother at home

  • Mother receives a monthly disability check from government assistance

  • Serge works up to 60 hours each week to be able to earn some extra money via overtime pay at his job as a printer

  • Serge goes to his local consumer finance branch to inquire about getting a loan to help with his expenses

  • His financial situation has gotten to the point that he cannot keep up with the most basic of expenses, such as his car insurance, which has lapsed

  • This effects his ability to legally register his car in his state, which has legal, and financial implications

Family stress theory
Family stress theory

  • Family Stress Theory is a developmental theory borrowed from family science which explores why some family systems adapt and even grow and thrive when faced with situational stressors or transitional events, while other family units deteriorate and disintegrate under similar circumstances


  • So class, how does Family Stress Theory apply to Serge and his situation?

Serge s expense analysis
Serge’s expense analysis

  • Martine, the credit officer at the consumer finance branch, works with Serge for an hour or so reviewing possible solutions.

  • Serge thought a new credit card might be the solution

  • Serge’s past credit history and credit score are stellar

  • Take home pay is $3,500 a month

  • His mother’s disability check covers the mortgage

  • The rest of the expenses are up to Serge

  • The extra overtime he was working in addition to his 37 hour a week job wasn’t as helpful as he thought, because the net income from that extra income was less than the cost of care for his mother

  • By utilizing a fixed rate debt consolidation loan, which Serge qualified for because of his credit score and history, Martine was able to consolidate his bills and lower his expenses by $900 a month

Goal oriented theory
Goal-oriented theory

  • A goal is the aim of an action or task that a person consciously desires to achieve or obtain (Locke & Latham, 2002; Locke & Latham, 2006).

  • Goal setting involves the conscious process of establishing levels of performance in order to obtain desirable outcomes. If individuals or teams find that their current performance is not achieving desired goals, they typically become motivated to increase effort or change their strategy (Locke & Latham, 2006).


  • So class, how exactly does Goal-Oriented Theory apply here?

  • What strategy(ies) are implemented here?

  • What is the goal(s) for Serge in this situation?


  • The rate on the loan was lower than most of the credit card interest rates he was paying

  • The interest rate on the loan was fixed, too

  • Serge would know exactly how much he needed every month to pay off the loan, principle and interest

  • The loan was approved for a larger amount than his existing debt load so Serge could become solvent on his car insurance and registration

  • This eliminates the chance of an accident or routine traffic stop resulting in even more financial obligations

  • Serge doesn’t have to continue to work the extra overtime in order to make ends meet. He’s able to spend more time with his mother, and keep her in the comfort of her own home

Thoughts discussion

  • Did Serge make the right decision for he and his mother?

  • Would you have taken the same course of action as Serge?

  • Why or Why Not?

  • Would this Case Study be different if Serge were married or single?

  • Any other final thoughts?