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Three Things To Know About Credit Card Use When Filing Bankruptcy

Chances are, if you have filed bankruptcy or are considering doing so, you have a substantial amount of credit card debt. The interest charged by most card companies is high, making it nearly impossible to pay off credit card debt if all you are able to do is make the minimum payment each month. When you file for bankruptcy, you should stop using your credit cards, and most companies will put a hold on your account to prevent future charges. For those companies that don’t block charging ability, proceed with caution.

Fox Business offers the following advice, with these top three things to know about credit card use when filing bankruptcy:

  • Any credit card you have included in your bankruptcy will no longer be available to you, but the chances of receiving offers from other companies after your bankruptcy is over (or even during the pendency) is high.
  • If you decide to open an account with a new credit card company, be sure to keep the balance low and pay it off monthly. This will prevent you from incurring debt that spirals out of control and accumulates large amounts of interest to be repaid.
  • Opening a new account can help you to re-establish your credit, as long as you act responsibly and make the payments on time and as required.

Other options for credit card use include opening a secured account. This type of credit card is one where you pay a certain amount to the card to secure your repayment of future charges. It is not uncommon for those in a bankruptcy to be made this type of offer, but accepting the offer must fit within your budget. Bankruptcy offers you a fresh financial start, and taking steps after your case is over to keep on track is important to your future finances and budget. Once you have received a discharge of debts, the last thing you want to do is find yourself in financial distress again. If you have questions about bankruptcy, credit card use, and how to get out of debt, call our office.

 

If you have questions about bankruptcy and credit card use, contact our office for help. We will explain your options, so you understand your choices and can make a decision that meets your needs. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.

 

 

How Creditors Are Given Notice Of Your Bankruptcy Case

When you have overwhelming debt and are receiving calls from creditors, it can be difficult to know where to turn and how to stop the calls. Bankruptcy is a very real option for many people, and the moment you file your creditors are prohibited from contacting you in an effort to collect their debt. If this seems too good to be true, it might be because it seems like a burdensome task to notify countless credit card and loan companies that you have filed. The logistics of getting notice out to all of those that you owe money to seems like a lot of hard work, but bankruptcy is designed to help the honest but unfortunate debtor. So, when you file and when events take place in your case, your creditors get automatic notice.

As you prepare to visit with a bankruptcy attorney, you will need to gather your debts and income. For your income you can bring copies of your pay stubs and tax returns. For your debts, you will need to list out everyone you owe, the amount, and their address. When you file your case, the list of creditors you owe money to is uploaded to your electronic file. Notice of your case is then sent to everyone on your list of creditors. Other things that your creditors are notified of include:

  • The date of your first meeting, so your lenders will have the opportunity to come to that meeting and ask questions regarding your intent for their debt.
  • Notices of all the activity in your case, including when the discharge is entered.

Giving notice of your filing will put your creditors on notice that you have filed, and they will then know that they cannot collect the debt. Notice of your discharge will give creditors notice that their debt is no longer considered due. Any action taken to collect the debt during the case or after the discharge is a violation of bankruptcy law. For more information about the bankruptcy process and how your lenders will know that you have filed, call our office today.

 

If you have questions about bankruptcy, let an experienced attorney help you. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.

 

 

Establishing Long Term Financial Goals That Are Attainable

It is well known that setting goals is the first step to achieving what you want. If you fail to establish a goal, it is difficult to get there. But, it can be difficult to figure out what you want, in a way that makes sense and doesn’t seem overwhelming. In order to be successful with reaching your goals, there are some steps you can take that are helpful.

The following steps are meant as a guide, and can help you to establish long term financial goals that are attainable:

  • Identify what you want, and write it down. Start big, the sky is the limit on this step and thinking about what you want for your future and putting it down on paper will help you to start setting the wheel in motion to get there.

●          Once you have identified the bigger picture, break it down into smaller components.

  • After the key pieces of your goals are established, figure out which ones mean the most. Make those your priority. It is unreasonable to think you can reach all of your goals at the same time, so make a list of what is the most important and dedicate yourself to working on that goal first.
  • Take action! This can be as small as saving $5.00 a week, or as large as selling your home and downsizing. Whatever works for you and is within your comfort zone, do it!

Every time you consider making a purchase, consult your list. If the purchase doesn’t get you closer to your goal, walk away. Sometimes all it takes is a cooling off period for the “need” to buy something or spend money disappears. And, in many instances, a few days later you will have forgotten all about the item. Once you start making progress towards your goals, it becomes more exciting. Be sure to consider other options as well, maybe there are lesser priced items available that get the job done just as well as a more expensive product. Do your research and spend wisely. When you do, you will be on your way to reaching long term financial goals that have a positive impact in your life.

 

If you need help with your finances, call our office. We can offer solutions, legal and practical, that meet your needs. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.

What Is An Emergency Fund?

Perhaps figuring out what an emergency fund is can best be accomplished by looking at what it is not. An emergency fund is not for a new dress or pair of shoes, it is not for a lavish vacation, and it should not be used for daily trips to the spa or golf outings. An emergency fund is a fund of money, set aside for use when your car breaks down or when your roof springs a leak. Life has a way of throwing us curveballs, and the more you are prepared, the better.

An emergency fund is something everyone should have. Some things to remember when starting an emergency fund are:

  • Continually contribute to the fund, on a regular basis. This is the only way you will be able to grow an account that is there for you in the event of an unplanned event.
  • The fund should contain enough money to pay your bills for 3 to 6 months.
  • Opening a separate savings or investment account is a good way to keep the money earmarked for emergency uses.

Setting up an emergency fund should be a part of your financial plan. The money can be used in times of unemployment, natural disasters, or other unexpected circumstances. Having an emergency fund allows you to maintain your lifestyle, without going into debt. It is no fun to make monthly loan payments, and never see any progress. Using funds from an emergency account will help you to avoid falling into that trap. If you have questions about how to start an emergency fund, or need help managing your current debt load, call our office.

 

Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information about emergency funds and why you need one. We can help you develop a budget that works, and explain your legal options if your budget has fallen apart. We can also put you on the path to financial success, starting with saving for emergencies.

 

 

The Importance Of Sharing Financial Goals With Your Spouse

We’ve all heard how money is one of the leading causes of divorce. This is because when there is not enough money to go around each month, tensions rise and bring out the worst in people. Not being able to pay all the bills can cause arguments between spouses that quickly escalate, and sometimes there seems to be no turning back. In order to maintain peace at home, you have to make peace with your finances and make sure your spouse is on board.

A couple will benefit in more than one way when they share financial goals. Take a look:

  • Setting goals together builds a sense of commitment to each other, to the family, and to common goals.
  • Working together to reach financial goals gives the feeling of a true partnership, and strengthens the bond between a couple.
  • Talking about money reveals what’s important to each party, and can help to make sure your philosophies are in sync.

No one likes to talk about money, but it must be done in order to make workable plans. Bringing the subject up is the hardest part, once the topic has been mentioned the conversations that follow become second nature. It is especially important to talk about financial goals if you are not yet married, but contemplating a wedding. Starting off on the right foot helps to ensure you stay on the right foot, and will give you the confidence to help steer a wayward spouse back on track. It is also equally important for both parties to a relationship to recognize when help is needed. If you and your spouse are having financial difficulty, don’t let it ruin your relationship. We can help you sort out the money problems, which just might save your marriage. Call today for more information.

 

For assistance with finances, call our office. We will help get you on track, and can offer legal options when you’ve exhausted all other efforts. We understand how sharing common financial goals with your spouse can help get you where you need to be, and can help make sure your interests align with your mate’s. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.

 

 

How Recycling Can Help Save You Money

It seems everywhere you turn these days people have gone “green”. Catchy slogans like “reduce, reuse, and recycle” show up on just about everything and the push for environmentally friendly products is at an all-time high. Recycling does more than just save the earth though, it can really help you to use less and save. The idea of recycling has reached such gigantic proportions, that many businesses and companies are taking part, to do their part.

An article on Virgin’s website offers these tips on recycling, and how they can actually save you money:

  • Ask your city if the recycling bin you set at your curb for pick up every trash day comes with any incentives. Some cities and towns are now offering vouchers for recycling, which can be used at local eateries or shops.
  • If you can take bottles and cans in for cash, do it!
  • Shopping second hand can save you money, plus you get the added benefit of being able to recycle your own goods when you go to the store. So, go clean out our closet and take clothes you aren’t wearing anymore to a consignment shop. You’ll get paid, and just might find a hidden treasure while you are there, saving money on your clothing budget.
  • When it comes to gift giving, reuse gift bags or use an old piece of scrap fabric for wrapping paper.
  • Rather than invest in pricey food storage containers, save empty ones for leftovers.

If you adopt just a few of these habits, you will be surprised at how fast you can save money. And, most people find doing these little things becomes a way of life and is fun. The money you save can go towards paying down debt, putting funds aside, or replacing the worn tires on your car with cash rather than credit. For more money saving tips, and for advice on what to do if you have too much debt, call our office. We can help you get out of debt, save for the future, and stay out of debt!

 

If you need help with your budget, contact our office. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information and learn how recycling can help you save money, as well as other helpful money tips.

 

 

Characteristics Of Debt Free People

Getting in debt is the easy part, but getting out is hard. Being saddled with an unbearable amount of debt can negatively impact your life though, so it is important to take control of your finances and find ways to cut back and eliminate debt. Doing things like brown bagging it, brewing your morning cup of coffee at home, and eating in more are steps in the right direction. But to become totally debt free takes dedication.

Here are some common characteristics of debt free people, which can be applied in your life as well:

  • People with no debt tend to be detail oriented. You don’t have to rush out and take a course on how to organize your office, maybe starting with getting a shredder for documents with sensitive information is a start. This will allow you to remove the clutter so you can focus on getting things in order.
  • Debt free people are practical, foregoing luxury and impulse buys and opting instead for purchasing only what is needed.
  • It takes patience to get out of debt, and if you lack the ability to wait to see results you may end up in a deeper hold. Take a breather and a step back, things may appear different after a short break from the situation.
  • Debt free people use credit wisely, only in emergencies, and pay it off in full monthly.

Adopting some of these practices can help you to become debt free too. However, if you are already in over your head, you may need help getting to the starting line. We can offer advice on how to achieve a fresh start where money matters, and get you on track to a bright financial future. Call our office today to find out more about how you can take charge of your budget, and get out of debt!

 

Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information about money management techniques and learn how to get out of debt for good. Schedule an appointment to learn more.

Tips For Successful Debt Consolidation

It would be nice to be debt free, and have no monthly obligations to meet. This would free you up to save your money for a rainy day, to take a trip, or to make repairs to your home. But, this is simply not the reality most of us face. Perhaps the next best thing is to have a simplified debt program, whereby you make one monthly payment for all of your monthly expenses. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.

Debt consolidation can be done in or out of Court. Here’s how:

  • Bankruptcy: A chapter 13 bankruptcy takes all of your debt and puts in a plan of repayment. The Court will review and approve the plan, and depending on what you owe, you will make one payment to the Trustee each month. The Trustee will then pay your creditors, some in full and some only a portion of what you owe. This results in substantial savings to you, and also makes paying your bills easier because you only make one payment that covers nearly all your debt. There will be a few things that you have to pay separately, such as utilities and living expenses, and perhaps your house payment.
  • Consolidation of debt: there are numerous companies out there that offer services to consolidate your debt. The typical arrangement is that you allow the company to negotiate lower payments on your behalf, and you then make a monthly payment to that company for disbursement to your creditors. This is similar to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but takes place without actually filing bankruptcy.

The choice is yours, and should be made after careful thought. Keep in mind not all creditors work with debt consolidation companies, but are required to accept a Court approved bankruptcy plan. There are also consolidation companies out there that prey on distressed consumers, and offer no real help. Do your research before making a commitment, and let us help you with that task. We have experience helping to get people out of debt, and can help you too!

 

If you have questions about debt consolidation and whether it will work for you, call our office for answers. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.

How To Take Full Advantage Of Your 401(k)

No one wants to work forever, and most people look forward to their retirement years. But, in order to fully enjoy your retirement, you must be financially prepared. Social security will only go so far, and for many working Americans there is a real threat social security will not be available. So, what do you do? Making wise investment choices and spending less are good places to start preparing for the day you clock out for the last time.

One important place to look for beneficial savings is the very place you are looking to leave; your job! If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, take full advantage by doing the following:

●          Begin contributing as soon as you are eligible.

  • Contribute as much of your paycheck as you can, this will ensure you receive the maximum employer match and will grow your account faster.
  • If you are starting at a later age, be sure to contribute more than your younger co-workers. After a certain age, you are eligible to put more into your 401(k) and still receive the same pre-tax benefits your younger counterparts receive for contributing less.
  • Make wise choices on which investments to include. Having a good mix of moderate to more risky investments is usually best.

If you aren’t participating in your company’s 401(k), you are leaving free money on the table and hurting yourself. We understand deciding where to put your money for the future is confusing, and can help you make these important choices. Our goal is to save you money, get you out of debt, and plan for your future. We can help you accomplish your financial goals by stepping in to advocate for you with creditors, help you to avoid a wage garnishment or foreclosure, and seek debt relief on your behalf in the form of bankruptcy or by negotiating a debt consolidation or other workout plan. Call us today for help.

 

If you have questions about 401(k)’s, or other financial and debt related questions, call our office for answers. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.

Savings Strategies That Work

Putting a little money aside every month can be hard. This is especially true if you are already on a tight budget. But, with a little discipline, you can quickly accumulate a nest egg that will be there for you in the case of an emergency. The peace of mind you gain by cutting back here and there in order to save is well worth the effort.

Some savings strategies that are tried and true, and actually work, are:

  • The $5.00 Plan: this strategy requires you to save every $5.00 bill you receive. Whether it is change for a purchase, or a gift from grandma, put it aside. In about a year’s time you can save close to $2,000.00 with this strategy.
  • Save every week: on the first week of this plan, save $1.00, on the second week put aside $2.00, and so on. By doing this, you are able to set small amounts of money aside, but those amounts quickly add up to significant savings.
  • Go to trade schools for dinners out, haircuts, and other professional services. Many schools offer discounted or free services, because they are performed by students. This is a win/win situation, you get to save money and the students get to learn.

The key is to pick a plan that works for you. If you are unable to commit to saving every $5.00 bill you receive, try something else. You can also combine more than one method of savings. The benefit to having a savings is that when something unexpected comes up, you do not have to resort to credit or go to family and friends to borrow money. For more information on savings, budgets, and how to take control of your finances, call our office. We are here to help you reach your financial goals, and can offer legal solutions when you have exhausted other remedies.

 

If you facing collection of NSF fees, call a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your options. We can help you understand your choices and make a decision that works for you. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.