Advisers
Justin Harelik

Bankruptcy Adviser

Justin Harelik

Justin Harelik has been working with English- and Spanish-speaking clients in the personal finance industry for close to a decade. He has worked as a bankruptcy attorney, credit manager, debt negotiator and student loan adviser. He has applied his financial and legal skills to managing the estates of high net-worth individuals, and to helping improve the financial well-being of hundreds of people living below the poverty line. Currently he is a practicing attorney in Los Angeles with Price Law Group, APC.

Harelik earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree from the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He spent a year studying in South America, and speaks fluent Spanish.

He is a native of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, Melanie, and daughter. He is also a volunteer Big Brother for the Los Angeles Division of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Have a question about bankruptcy? Ask the Bankruptcy Adviser.

Janna Herron

Credit Adviser

Janna Herron

Janna Herron covers credit cards, credit reporting and scoring, and credit card debt management for Bankrate.com. Her coverage includes blogging about the latest happenings and trends in these areas along with writing articles offering advice and tips on managing credit cards and navigating the world of credit reporting and scoring. Before joining Bankrate in June 2011, Janna was a business reporter for more than five years at The Associated Press. She’s won several awards for her reporting including the Peter Lisagor Award for Business and Consumer Reporting and two SABEW Best in Business awards.

Janna graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Drama. She lives with her husband, son and two cats in Manhattan.

Have a credit conundrum? Ask the Credit Adviser.

Steve R. Bucci

Debt Adviser

Steve R. Bucci

Steve Bucci is former president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England. He is the founder of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rhode Island, developed in the wake of the 1991 Rhode Island banking and credit union crisis. Steve also founded and was the former managing director of the University of Rhode Island Center for Personal Financial Education. The center is a joint venture with the University of Rhode Island to raise the level of financial literacy through innovative mass education programs and research.

Steve is the author of "Credit Management Kit for Dummies" and co-author of "Managing Your Money All-In-One for Dummies." His weekly column is distributed nationally by the Scripps-Howard newspaper syndicate.

Steve graduated from East Providence Senior High School and the University of Rhode Island at Kingston, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees. He and his wife, Barbara, live in the seaside community of Narragansett, R.I.

Drowning in debt? Ask the Debt Adviser for advice.

Tara Baukus Mello

Driving for Dollars

Tara Baukus Mello

Tara Baukus Mello is a full-time automotive writer, who has been published regularly since 1987. With over 3,500 articles published, her work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Autoweek, Woman's Day, Parade, Automotive News, Woman's World and Westways, as well as on cNet.com and Edmunds.com. She is also the author of 10 nonfiction chapter books for children, seven of which are on automotive topics.

A passion for automobiles brought her to Petersen Publishing (now part of SourceInterlink), where she was the editor of the special interest publications in the automotive performance group, producing a new magazine every three weeks. More recently, she was the former news anchor for Motor Trend Radio, writing and recording the show's twice-weekly broadcasts.

Originally from Cape Cod, Mass., Tara graduated cum laude from Harvard University. She and her family reside in the Los Angeles area, where she enjoys cruising year-round in the '32 Ford street-rod pickup that she built with her father in 1992.

Have a car question? Ask Driving for Dollars.

Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP, ChFC, CASL

Ask Dr. Don

Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP, ChFC, CASL

Dr. Don Taylor has been in the business of finance for more than 20 years. In 2014, Don launched a financial planning practice focusing on providing second opinions for individuals on financial plans and portfolios. Don has written the "Ask Dr. Don" column for Bankrate since 1999. As an adjunct faculty member at Arcadia University, he teaches International Finance in its MBA program. Over the past 10 years, Don was in the "train the adviser role," teaching finance and financial services coursework at Penn State Brandywine and The American College of Financial Services. He co-edited the first three editions of the textbook, "Financial Planning: Process and Environment."

Don has professional experience as a treasurer, financial consultant and debt analyst. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance, is a CFA charter holder, a CFP certificant, a Chartered Financial Consultant and a Chartered Adviser in Senior Living. His professional affiliations include being a member of the CFA Institute, the Financial Planning Association and the Financial Management Association. He is on the editorial review board of the Journal of Financial Planning and the Journal of Financial Service Professionals.

Have a personal finance question? Ask Dr. Don.

Jack Hungelmann

Insurance Adviser

Jack Hungelmann

Jack Hungelmann has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance business. He operates a practice providing both fee-based risk management and commission-based insurance services, and he's regularly hired as a consultant by consumers around the country seeking help solving every type of insurance-related problem.

Jack is the author of "Insurance for Dummies" and is a co-author of "Managing Your Money All-in-One for Dummies." For more than two decades, he has written an insurance and personal risk management newsletter for his clients.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and has had more than 2,000 hours of insurance education. The Minnesota native currently lives in the community of Chaska, about 20 miles outside of Minneapolis.

Seeking guidance on an insurance issue? Ask the Insurance Adviser.

Steve McLinden

Real Estate Adviser

Steve McLinden

Steve McLinden has written on virtually all aspects of the real estate world for the past 15 years. His writings have appeared in newspapers around the country on the Scripps-Howard and Knight-Ridder business wire services. A resident of Arlington, Texas, McLinden spent seven years covering real estate for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, winning multiple writing awards. At present, he is a correspondent for National Real Estate Investor, Shopping Centers Today and REO magazine. He has also written for Urban Land and Tierra Grande, a quarterly published by the Texas A & M University Real Estate Center, plus covered real estate beats for business journals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

McLinden is a native of Peoria, Ill., and a graduate of Bergan High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Western Illinois University.

Wondering about your property? Ask the real estate adviser.

Liz Weston

Retirement Adviser

Liz Weston

Liz Weston is an award-winning, nationally syndicated personal finance columnist and author of five books, including the national best-seller "Your Credit Score" and "Deal with Your Debt," which recently came out in a second edition. Her question-and-answer column "Money Talk" appears in newspapers throughout the country, including The Los Angeles Times, The Palm Beach Post, the Portland Oregonian and others. She’s also a regular commentator on public radio’s "Marketplace Money" and has appeared on "The Dr. Phil Show," the "Today" show, CNBC and "NBC Nightly News," among other outlets. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and is a graduate of the Certified Financial Planner training program.

She lives with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles and blogs at AskLizWeston.

Have a retirement question? Ask the Retirement Adviser.

Judy O'Connor

Tax Talk

Judy O'Connor

Judy O'Connor has been a practicing CPA for more than 25 years in the South Florida community and assists her diverse client base in all aspects of tax compliance at a local, state and federal level. Her clients consist of individuals, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and estates.

Prior to being in private practice, she worked for five years in the tax department of KPMG's Miami office. Her focus at KPMG was on resolving Internal Revenue Service matters for clients and assisting on Florida state tax issues on a firm-wide basis.

She began her tax career working for the IRS as a revenue agent in South Florida, where she worked in the special enforcement program.

She graduated from Florida State University with bachelor's degrees in accounting and finance. Upon graduation, she worked for FSU in the controller's office as an accountant.

Will you owe the IRS? Ask Tax Talk.

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