For our family the meltdown did not happen overnight. First it was the ridiculously high gas prices and I'm in Sales so that has hit us hard for quite a while. Then I was laid off from my job because of the economy and my husband was dropped down to 32 hours a week. We have borrowed against my husbands 401K and have depleted my 401K just to be able to pay our monthly bills. Both 401k's had taken a huge hit so we didn't have the money we thought we did. Then I got sick and there went our savings account to pay for medical bills and prescriptions. We are about ready to be evicted from our home and I'm several payments behind on my car and our gas and electric is about to be shut off. We can't get a loan because of the banking industry and have now resorted to cashing in savings bonds and our change. We have nowhere else to go. We are down as far as we can possibly be. We lived thru the recession in the 80's and that was nothing like what we are facing now.