The Allmand Law Firm, PLLC Difference

Unlike most bankruptcy firms in the Dallas / Fort-Worth area, Allmand Law Firm, PLLC spends the time to understand the complete financial picture for every one of our clients. We provide resources, tools and advice to address the unique needs of North Texans.

Recent Posts in Managing Your Finances

  • 6 Financial Spring Cleaning Tips

    Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLLC || 6-Apr-2016

    Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. In fact, your finances will benefit from a yearly cleaning, too. Wondering where to start? Consider the following tips to spruce up your finances and improve your financial health in 2017: Run a free annual credit report. Did you know that the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows consumers one free credit report per year from each of the three major ...
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  • How Can I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy?

    Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLLC || 23-Sep-2015

    Many people believe that bankruptcy permanently destroys your credit, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, bankruptcy may even save your credit in cases where an old debt kept your score down. Now that you have gotten a fresh financial start, there are a number of steps you can take to begin rebuilding your credit. How Does Bankruptcy Affect my Credit Score? The purpose of ...
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  • Can Student Loan Debt Affect Our Nation's Future Economic Growth?

    Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLC || 9-Sep-2015

    Students across the U.S. have accumulated so much student debt since the 2008 recession that it now poses a threat to our nation’s economic growth. Americans laboring under the assumption that they could pay back their loans after college are now finding that they have to put off important life decisions like getting married, starting a family, or buying property because of student loan debt ...
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  • How Can I Avoid Getting Sued for Past Due Debt?

    Posted By admin || 6-Sep-2012

    Getting Sued for Past Due Debt? Being sued for unpaid debt is a possibility but you may be able to avoid legal action. It's common for debtors to forget or ignore the fact they owe money on an old or past due debt until a summons is received catching you off guard. Avoiding a lawsuit requires you to take action but also keep in mind you should review your legal rights as far as paying debt ...
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  • Texan Opposition To Payday Lenders' Loan Shark Interest Rates Yields Progress

    Posted By admin || 9-Aug-2011

    More Texans are standing up to the loan shark interest rates of the state's payday lenders. According to a survey commissioned by the AARP, more than three-fourths of Texans oppose payday lenders charging up to 500% APR interest and almost two-thirds support the licensing and regulation of payday lenders (64%). The opposition has apparent gained some supporters in the Texas legislature. The past ...
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  • Debit Card Hold After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 4-Aug-2011

    If you're like most people, then you're probably using your debit card for many everyday transactions such as shopping for groceries, paying a restaurant bill and putting gas in your car. But many more merchants are beginning to practice placing a "hold" on bank accounts so that they can insure that they can get their money. For a debtor exiting bankruptcy, who is on a tight ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Making The Most Of Your Financial Fresh Start

    Posted By admin || 2-Aug-2011

    One of the biggest reasons that some post-bankruptcy debtors fail to financially thrive after their bankruptcy discharge is that they don't understand the basics of personal finance. At first, some post-bankruptcy debtors are extremely frugal to a fault; but within a few years they begin making the same mistakes and need to consider bankruptcy again. So how does a post-bankruptcy debtor avoid ...
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  • Federal Trade Commission Bans Online Payday Lender's Unfair Business Practices

    Posted By admin || 29-Jul-2011

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has banned Swish Marketing, Inc. and their affiliates from promoting payday loan products (or any product) with a "negative-option" program and ordered the company to pay consumers $4.8 million because they trick payday loan applicants into paying for an unrelated debit card. The FTC charged that Swish operated websites advertising short-term, or "payday," loan ...
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  • Three "Financial" Products You Should Avoid

    Posted By admin || 27-Jul-2011

    Financial trouble is a part of life, even after you have filed bankruptcy it's normal that you will have some rough times ahead. At least once every ten years, most Americans face at least one major financial issue. But how should you handle financial troubles when they come your way? There are a myriad of ways to get your head above water; but there are some financial "lifesavers" you should ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Avoiding The Pit Falls Of Credit Card Balance Transfers

    Posted By admin || 25-Jul-2011

    So you're out of bankruptcy for a few years now and you're ready to take your credit restoration efforts to another level. You already have a few low-credit, high interest rate credit cards; but you just qualified for new credit card with low interest and a high limit. Should you transfer the debt from your old credit cards to the new one? Below are a few things you should consider first: What ...
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  • Don't Allow Elder Care To Financially Ruin You

    Posted By admin || 19-Jul-2011

    Many senior citizens file bankruptcy after accumulating so much medical debt that it was ruining them financially. But how can a senior citizen prevent future medical debt from ruining the financial fresh start given by bankruptcy? Let's take a look at a few tips: Senior citizens should purchase and maintain a health insurance policy after bankruptcy. If you qualify for Medicaid, find out how to ...
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  • Three Signs You're Car Dealer Is A Predatory Lender

    Posted By admin || 13-Jul-2011

    Is Your Car Dealer a Predatory Lender? If you've been out of bankruptcy for a few years, then you're probably ready to take the leap and buy a new or used car. If so, you need to be on the lookout for predatory lenders. Predatory lenders in the car finance industry are plentiful and they've got their sights trained on debtors exiting bankruptcy. Below are a few signs that your car dealer may be a ...
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  • How To Prevent Financial Disaster From Striking Twice

    Posted By admin || 6-Jul-2011

    We've talked about what to do when faced with debt troubles after bankruptcy; but what can a post-bankruptcy debtor do to prevent financial disaster from striking twice? Let's take a look at a few tips: Post-bankruptcy debtors should never mistake a money draining liability for an asset. One of the most common mistakes post-bankruptcy debtors make is purchasing cars, homes and other expensive ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Banks Nickel And Dime Customers

    Posted By admin || 24-May-2011

    As banks begin to feel the pinch due to credit card fee restrictions implemented by the Credit CARDAct, many financial institutions have begun to nickel and dime existing and new banking customers. For debtors exiting bankruptcy the new fee-heavy bank policies can be financially painful. Below are a few tips on how post-bankruptcy debtors can avoid being nickel and dimed at their bank: 1. ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Avoiding New Banking Fees

    Posted By admin || 1-Apr-2011

    How to Avoid the Banking Fees As the recession rages on, many banks that once offered free checking are now implementing new fees and/or raising existing fees on accounts. For debtors exiting bankruptcy, these fees can be a hindrance to their financial goals because they can add up to hundreds of dollars a year once combined. The average overdraft fee hit an all-time high of $30.47 in 2010, and ...
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  • No Defense For Payday Lending Industry

    Posted By admin || 10-Feb-2011

    Despite pressure from community leaders around the country the payday lending industry insists that not only is it a needed short term loan resource, it is actually beneficial to the demographic it serves. The payday lending industry argues that its high interest, short term loans provide the only reliable and legal way for poor debtors with little or no credit to gain access to cash they need in ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Handling Delinquent Debts

    Posted By admin || 9-Feb-2011

    Bankruptcy is about getting a fresh financial start; but sometimes despite our best efforts we can't help but to end up falling behind on debt after bankruptcy. If you find yourself defaulting on debt after bankruptcy due to unforeseen financial setbacks, below are a few tips on how to get back on track. The first thing you need to do when you fall behind on debt after bankruptcy is contact the ...
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  • Don't Be Bullied By Lenders After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 8-Feb-2011

    Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy is important; but many post-bankruptcy debtors become so anxious to get credit after they exit bankruptcy that they allow lenders to bully them into bad deals. Let's take a look at some of the bully tactics debtors should avoid falling victim to: High interest, high fee, "blood sucking" credit cards that will leave you broke. After bankruptcy, some debtors ...
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  • Are You Being Honest About Your Financial Situation?

    Posted By admin || 18-Jan-2011

    When it comes to facing bad news, it's hard to be honest. This is just as true when it comes to personal finances as it is with other things. That's why many debtors bury their head in the sand and pretend that they don't have a debt problem while they sink farther into a financial black hole. Below are a few reasons why you must be honest, at least with yourself, about your financial situation: ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Spending Less Than You Earn

    Posted By admin || 12-Jan-2011

    Living beyond your means is almost an American pastime; but it didn't use to be this way. Long before consumer credit became the norm, Americans made it a rule to live within their means. For the debtor who is exiting bankruptcy, becoming in tune with this seemingly lost tradition (which seems to be making a bit of a comeback) is necessary if they want to financially survive after bankruptcy. ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: The Case Against Being An Authorized User

    Posted By admin || 10-Jan-2011

    Bankruptcy Authorized User One of the main financial goals of debtors exiting bankruptcy is to rebuild their credit. There are several ways to accomplish this goal; but one method, becoming an authorized user on another person's credit card account can be a bit risky for the post-bankruptcy debtor. Let's take a look a few of the facts: Hypothetically when a person becomes an authorized user on ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Things To Consider Before Buying That Car

    Posted By admin || 8-Jan-2011

    What You Need to Consider Before Buying a Car You've been out of bankruptcy for a few years and now you need a new car - or at least you believe you need one. Should you make repairs to your old car and try to keep it alive a few years longer, should you buy another used vehicle or should you "bite the bullet" and put a down payment on a brand new car? There's no doubt that after discharging your ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Can You Really Afford To Own Your Home?

    Posted By admin || 8-Jan-2011

    Owning your home is part of the American dream. It is usually the goal of the post-bankruptcy debtor just as much as the rest of America. But is owning your home affordable and desirable after bankruptcy? Let's take a look at a few things post-bankruptcy debtor should consider before signing a mortgage: Can you afford to own your own home? Yes, your debts will be reduce after bankruptcy; but is ...
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  • Debt Settlement Devise New Tricks To Evade Rules

    Posted By admin || 7-Jan-2011

    The Federal Trade Commission's new restrictions on debt settlement companies has not stop some of these firms from devising new strategies so that they can still charge upfront fees to customers. "Instead of complying with the new rules, the majority of debt settlement companies are evolving to evade them," said Chris Viale, CEO of Cambridge Credit Counseling, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Protecting Your Credit Report For Overzealous Inquiries

    Posted By admin || 6-Jan-2011

    Credit report inquiries are used to calculate 10 percent of your credit score. Might not sound like a big percentage but it makes a big difference for a debtor exiting bankruptcy and trying to rebuild their credit. That's why post-bankruptcy debtors need to understand how credit inquiries impact their score and what they can do to minimize the negative impact. Below are a few tips and bits of ...
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  • Debt Settlement Know the Truth

    Posted By admin || 4-Jan-2011

    Maybe you're not ready for bankruptcy-or even a good case for it, but you're still suffering from high debt that makes it impossible to pay the really important bills like rent, electricity, gas, or food. You might want to try and "settle" your credit card bills. When you owe a lot of money in back payments and there is a legitimate reason for it (job loss, divorce, medical emergency ), many times ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Retail Credit Cards

    Posted By admin || 21-Dec-2010

    The holiday season is one of the most tempting times of the year to sign up for a retail credit card. But are retail credit cards truly beneficial to post-bankruptcy debtors and other borrowers? Not really, except for the purpose of rebuilding your credit history. A matter of fact, according to a study conducted by Congressman Anthony Weiner, retail credit cards have even more disadvantages for ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: A Debtor's Guide To Surviving The Holidays

    Posted By admin || 20-Dec-2010

    So you've received your bankruptcy discharge. Maybe it's been a year or only a few months since you exited bankruptcy; but the holidays are here already. And while this is a time to be "jolly" and generous, it is also a dangerous time for post-bankruptcy debtors. Overspending and credit card abuse can destroy a post-bankruptcy debtor's second chance. Let's take a look at some tips on how ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Returning To Basics A Recipe For Success

    Posted By admin || 12-Dec-2010

    The Great Recession was fueled by complex financial "products" and "magical" business models which promised the moon and delivered disaster. Ordinary Americans walked away from their careers to cash-in on the "land rush" and investment goldmines which were suppose to set them up financially for life. But if there is any lesson we should learn from the bankruptcy of companies such as Lehman ...
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  • Credit Vultures Peddle Desperate Debtor's Personal Information

    Posted By admin || 11-Dec-2010

    You may have seen their commercials or the print advertisements for their debt settlement offers; but what you probably didn't realize is that they aren't offering any services at all but are instead selling the private information of desperate debtors to other so-called debt settlement companies, some of which were possible scammers. In a nationwide ad campaign that featured phony testimonials ...
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  • Credit Card Companies Aggressively Push Financial Products

    Posted By admin || 10-Dec-2010

    The attorney general of Minnesota, Lori Swanson, along with many consumer advocates, are accusing Discover Bank of engaging in deceptive business practices to enroll credit card consumers for its payment protection program and other financial add-on products. "The company charged some consumers for expensive add-on financial products without their understanding that their credit cards would be ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: 5 Mistakes Credit Card Debtors Make

    Posted By admin || 6-Dec-2010

    The fresh start that bankruptcy provides isn't just the discharge of difficult to pay debts; it is also an opportunity to learn knew habits that will increase the chances of financial success. However, there are some common mistakes that many post-bankruptcy debtors make when they finally begin using credit cards again. Let's take a look at a few of those mistakes: Failing to fully understand the ...
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  • Kardashian Debit Card Bilks Youth - The New Wave Of "Prepaid Debit Cards"

    Posted By admin || 2-Dec-2010

    If you've been keeping up with the latest entertainment buzz you've probably heard about the Kardashian sisters' newest and now defunct business venture - a prepaid debit card designed to leverage the influence they've gained from their hit cable TV show "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." The show targets young people, which was also the target of the prepaid debit card. But unfortunately for the ...
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  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Repayment Plan Must Meet Trustee Standards

    Posted By admin || 25-Nov-2010

    In the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, In re Charles R. Livecchi, Sr., the pro se debtor was forced into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after he failed to present a realistic and repayment plan. On April 8, 2009, Appellant filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. On January 21, 2010, the United States Trustee filed a motion to convert the case to Chapter 7bankruptcy. Generally, the United States ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Avoiding The Holiday Debt Trap

    Posted By admin || 20-Nov-2010

    How to Avoid The Holiday Debt Trap Black Friday is almost upon us; but the day that shoppers swarm the stores for deals and sales can have a terrible toll on a post-bankruptcy debtor's debt levels. Below are a few tips on how post-bankruptcy debtors can avoid the holiday debt trap: Keep your holiday shopping to a minimal. Make a short list of the people you're going to purchase gifts for and stick ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Are You An Emotional Debtor?

    Posted By admin || 14-Nov-2010

    Signs of an Emotional Debtor As we have emphasized on numerous occasions, filing for bankruptcy is the first step on your road to the financial fresh start you need and deserve. But one of the biggest problems that some bankruptcy debtors face is accumulating too much debt and ending up in bankruptcy again for the second or even third time. Many of these repeat bankruptcy filers are emotional ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: How Credit Cards Impact Your Credit Score

    Posted By admin || 11-Nov-2010

    How Credit Cards Impact Your Credit Score Within a few short years of exiting bankruptcy, debtors are able to get unsecured credit cards again. But if the debtor wants to maintain a high credit score they need to be wise about how they use the credit card. Below are a few tips on making sure that your credit card use has a positive impact on your credit score: Maxing out your credit card will have ...
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  • Am I Responsible For My Spouse's Debts? Maybe...

    Posted By admin || 8-Nov-2010

    Texas is a community property state, what that means is that you and your spouse are liable for all debts incurred within the marriage. Let's take a look at some possible scenarios: My spouse incurred $20,000 in debt for a Porsche he purchased on our 2 nd wedding anniversary. Now the vehicle finance company is suing us because he stopped making payments 12 months ago. Can the finance company name ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Avoiding Credit Card Scams

    Posted By admin || 4-Nov-2010

    As we have mentioned several times before, once you exit bankruptcy, it will only be a few short years before you are able to get unsecured credit. But with unsecured credit come risks and responsibilities. We've talked about guarding your credit from bad spending and budgeting habits; but what about the predators out there who steal credit cards to make their living? Below are a few credit card ...
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  • Two Credit Card Features You Should Never Use

    Posted By admin || 3-Nov-2010

    When it comes to credit cards, banks are getting more aggressive about keeping you in debt. One of the ways that credit cards keep their customers in debt is by offering features that are not only useless; but extremely expensive to use. Let's take a look at two those services: Convenience Checks - Convenience checks work just like checks you use with your checking account except that they ...
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  • Is Your College Aged Child's Credit Card Habits Jeopardizing Their Job Prospects?

    Posted By admin || 31-Oct-2010

    Recent surveys have shown that 60 percent of employers are using credit scores as a means of weeding out new hires. With the job market still slow many employers are receiving more resumes than they have positions to fill. This has created an environment where companies can become even more picky about who they hire. If you want to help your college aged child have a good start in the working ...
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  • Considering Debt Settlement? Three Industry Secrets They Don't Want You To Know About

    Posted By admin || 25-Oct-2010

    Debt settlement companies claim that they offer a viable alternative to bankruptcy. But what they don't tell their customers is that debt settlement fails more often than it succeeds. Below are three secrets about debt settlement that the debt settlement industry does not want you to know about: The fees are steep and they often reduce the amount of money that will go to pay off your debt. Debt ...
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  • Developing Your Family's Financial Values After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 22-Oct-2010

    There's been a lot of buzz lately about the Giudice family and how they're overspending and not doing what they're supposed to do as they get a second chance in bankruptcy. Now apparently word is out that another Giudice family member, Pete Giudice and his wife also filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy with $2 million in debt. And of course the celebrity bloggers are talking about how financial trouble must ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Tips: Avoid Fee Harvesting Credit Cards

    Posted By admin || 20-Oct-2010

    Once stamped out in one area unethical credit card practices seem to be propping up in other niche markets of the credit card industry. One of these markets is the subprime credit card market which targets individuals who have no credit or bad credit. While the subprime credit card market has its place in that it can help debtors rebuild their credit rating after bankruptcy, debtors must be aware ...
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  • Three Reasons Why Retail Credit Cards Are Bad News For Post-Bankruptcy Debtors

    Posted By admin || 18-Oct-2010

    Most can agree that building your credit after bankruptcy is important; but there are sometimes disagreements on how to achieve that goal. We have already mentioned that getting a secured credit card after bankruptcy is a great way to build credit and pave the road to getting an unsecured credit card within a year or two. But what about retail credit cards? Retail credit cards can be easy to get; ...
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  • Are Prepaid Credit Cards Sending Teens The Wrong Message About Money?

    Posted By admin || 17-Oct-2010

    With the passing of the Credit Card Act, it became a lot more difficult for banks to market credit cards to college students under 21; but now they've got a new target audience - teens. The credit card industry has rolled out an aggressive campaign to hook teens with prepaid credit cards, promoting it as an opportunity for parents to educate young people about money and debt. But are these prepaid ...
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  • Seniors Exiting Bankruptcy Must Take A Second Look At Credit Card Use

    Posted By admin || 15-Oct-2010

    A recent report by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project revealed that credit cards were one of the leading causes of senior citizens filing bankruptcy. In a survey conducted, two-thirds of seniors filing bankruptcy said that it was credit card interest and fees that drove them to bankruptcy, while only 53 percent of younger debtors in bankruptcy blamed credit cards. Not only that, senior citizens in ...
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  • New Utility Rule Impacts Struggling Debtors

    Posted By admin || 9-Oct-2010

    The Public Utility Commission just approved a rule that would allow electricity providers to prevent a consumer from switching companies if they fail to pay their bill. The new rule will only apply to consumers who are on a payment plan for their electricity bill. However, people who are struggling with debt and considering bankruptcy are often behind on their utility bills and the new rule could ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Unemployment And Underemployment After Your Discharge

    Posted By admin || 6-Oct-2010

    One of the challenges debtors face after their bankruptcy discharge is the persistent and high unemployment that has gripped our nation in the past few years. Some analysts are saying that the high rate of unemployment could remain with us into the foreseeable future and that it could take decades before we see their type of boom that we enjoyed before the recession. So how does a debtor survive ...
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  • Questions You Should Ask Before You Get A Secured Credit Card

    Posted By admin || 6-Oct-2010

    One of the most common recommendations for post-bankruptcy debtors looking to rebuild their credit is that they get a secured credit card. But all secured credit cards are not created equally. Below are a few questions you should ask before you sign up for a secured credit card after you exit bankruptcy: How much of a deposit is needed? Most secured credit cards ask for a $300 to $500 deposit from ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Survival: Why Authorized Users Are Bad News For Your Credit Rating

    Posted By admin || 2-Oct-2010

    So you've emerged from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you even have a new credit card. First of all, congratulations, you're well on your way to rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy. You are joining the millions of Americans who are taking full advantage of the fresh financial start that bankruptcy offers. But what happens when your friend or relative wants to add themselves as an ...
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  • 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't "Escape" Your Debt By Moving Abroad

    Posted By admin || 30-Sep-2010

    While economic refugees fleeing debt serfdom by moving abroad has not become commonplace, it is gaining popularity as more American debtors get "creative" about how to get out from underneath the crushing weight of debts they can no longer afford. But is it really wise to flee your financial troubles by moving abroad? Probably not. Below are three good reasons why escaping your debts by moving ...
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  • 5 Domino Effects Of Credit Card Default

    Posted By admin || 28-Sep-2010

    Have you defaulted on your credit card? If so, you're probably worried about what can happen to you after you fail to pay the bill. Below are five domino effects of credit card default: If you default on your credit card, your interest rate could increase significantly. Credit card default is costly and once your interest rate increases you could be facing a bill that is much more than your ...
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  • Why Parents Should Not Financially Sacrifice Themselves For Their Adult Children

    Posted By admin || 25-Sep-2010

    Election time is here again, which means that proverbial "dirt digging" is back in fashion for every politician out there, left, right and center. One such "dirt digging" campaign is getting a lot of attention. The case of Nathan Deal who is running for governor in Georgia is being branded with the big "B" which stands for bankruptcy. We've talked a little bit about why it really shouldn't matter ...
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  • Three Credit Card Mistakes That Destroy Your Finances

    Posted By admin || 21-Sep-2010

    Mistakes are a part of life and even the best of us sometimes do things that harm our financial lives; but when it comes to credit cards and other debts, mistakes can be costly. Below are three mistakes you could be making with your credit cards and a few tips on how to make corrections. You have a credit card with a very high APR. Most of us don't set out to acquire high APR credit cards but for ...
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  • Texas Resources For The Newly Impoverished

    Posted By admin || 20-Sep-2010

    The number of Texans living in poverty increased in 2009 and the number of children dependent on Medicaid also increase. An estimated 428,000 Texans fell into poverty last year, bringing the total to 4.26 million, or 17.3 percent of the state's population. That compared with 15.9 percent in 2008. A family of four is below the federal poverty level if its annual household income is less than ...
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  • 4 Ways To Prevent Post-Marital Financial Blues

    Posted By admin || 19-Sep-2010

    We've spoken briefly about bankruptcy and marriage; but how do you reduce your chances of experiencing the type of financial mistakes that could send your newly formed family to the bankruptcy court? Below are four tips on preventing post-marital financial blues: Consider maintaining a separate savings account for personal spending and a joint bank account for the expenses of the household. But ...
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  • Making The Case Against Prepaid Debit Cards

    Posted By admin || 18-Sep-2010

    Prepaid debit cards are gaining popularity as the desire for unsecured credit cards decline. But are prepaid debit cards such a great idea for the average consumer? Prepaid credit cards work in much the same way as a traditional debit cards except that it is not attached to a checking account and comes with a litany of fees, that often surprise the purchaser. To give you an idea, here's a typical ...
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  • Five Terrible Consequences Of Using Your Retirement To Pay Debt

    Posted By admin || 12-Sep-2010

    Using Your Retirement to Pay Debt? Despite warnings from financial experts, more debtors are withdrawing money from their retirement account to pay off debt and avoid bankruptcy. But early withdrawal of money from a retirement account, even if it is in the form of a loan, can have terrible consequences for the debtor. Below are a few: Early withdrawal from retirement accounts could cost the debtor ...
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  • 3 Things You Need To Know About The Zero Percent APR Credit Cards

    Posted By admin || 9-Sep-2010

    Many debtors are becoming savvy about how debt can have a very negative impact on their financial health. Many debtors are even going so far as not taking on any debt at all, keeping their existing credit card balances at zero and rejecting any and all new credit card offers that come their way. But credit card companies are not giving up on their efforts to saddle Americans with more debt and one ...
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  • Pilot Program For Unbanked and Underbanked Americans Coming In 2011

    Posted By admin || 8-Sep-2010

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced that it will launch a new pilot program that will give unbanked and underbanked Americans access to safe, low-cost financial accounts. "Far too often, unbanked and underbanked Americans are forced to turn to high-cost alternative financial products - such as check-cashing and other services - that take a big bite out of the savings of those who can ...
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  • Three Signs That It's A Credit Repair Scam

    Posted By admin || 4-Sep-2010

    You're up late at night listening to the radio, surfing the internet or watching TV when you're bombarded with an over the top credit repair commercial promising to fix all of your credit problems if you would only hire their company. But before you pick up the phone to call the so-called credit repair "gurus" arm yourself credit repair scam list: You know that the credit repair "service" is a ...
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  • Why You Should Not Opt-In For Overdraft "Protection"

    Posted By admin || 27-Aug-2010

    New laws have prohibited banks from automatically enrolling their checking account customers into overdraft "protection" schemes. But many banks are getting creative about convincing their customers that signing up for overdraft "protection" schemes is to their benefit. Don't doubt for one minute that the only people that the overdraft "protection" schemes benefit are the banks. Below are several ...
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  • Two Types Of Credit You Need To Establish After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 19-Aug-2010

    Receiving a bankruptcy discharge is not only the starting point of your financial fresh start; it is the first step you will take to reestablishing your credit. After your bankruptcy exit you will need to begin rebuilding your credit rating and history by establishing and maintaining new relationships with lenders. In order to do that you will need two different kinds of credit. Revolving Credit ...
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  • Three Things You Must Do If You Have Defaulted On Debt

    Posted By admin || 14-Aug-2010

    Being in debt can be stressful and overwhelming; but no matter how much you are tempted to ignore the problem, you must be proactive. Below are three things you must to if you have defaulted on your debt: Read the notices you receive from your creditors. Even if you know you can't make a payment, you must read the mail sent to you by creditors. Failure to read notices sent to you by creditors can ...
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  • Credit Card Reform: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

    Posted By admin || 10-Aug-2010

    No one can argue that credit card reform has brought many improvements for consumers; but there have also been some unintended negative consequences for clamping down on credit card companies' questionable policies and tactics. First, let's take a look at the good: Credit card consumers are no longer surprised by sudden changes to the terms of their contract. The new law ensures that credit card ...
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  • Debtor Beware: More Dirty Credit Card Tricks

    Posted By admin || 9-Aug-2010

    The Credit Card Act is officially rolled out and many debtors are reaping the benefits; but credit card companies are not taking their loss of revenue lightly. Many are getting sneakier than ever and trying to hit consumers where it hurts the most - in their wallets. Below are a few more credit card tricks debtors need to be aware of: The Credit Card Act has prohibited credit card companies from ...
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  • Getting Access To Credit After Bankruptcy: Four Facts You Need To Know

    Posted By admin || 6-Aug-2010

    Unlike the cries of many bankruptcy opponents, filing bankruptcy does not mean the end of your access to credit. Bankruptcy gives debtors a clean slate, allowing them to free themselves of impossible to pay debt and to begin rebuilding their financial life. One part of that new financial life is access to credit. Below are few facts every bankruptcy debtor should know about getting access to ...
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  • Many 99ers Ignore Long-Term Hazards Of Liquidating Retirement Accounts

    Posted By admin || 1-Aug-2010

    Many analysts suspect that unemployment benefits will not be extended and already millions of Americans have exhausted their access to those benefits. Many of these so-called 99ers are at the end of their rope and are deciding to exhaust all of their resources including retirement accounts without considering the long-term consequences of doing so. Here's a perfect example of what happens when ...
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  • The Dangers Of Co-Signing A Parent's Loan

    Posted By admin || 26-Jul-2010

    The current economy has many parents turning to their adult children for help getting access to credit. But what are some of the dangers of adult children co-signing a parent's loan? Your parents can't really afford the loan. If your parents have been turned down for a loan or credit card recently it is probably because they don't have enough income to pay for the loan and/or their credit rating ...
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  • Are You A 99er? Here's Your Guide To Avoiding Financial Apocalypse

    Posted By admin || 24-Jul-2010

    As the unemployment crisis continues many people are finding that they are running out of options. After 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits, jobless individuals who have been unable to secure employment are faced with the prospect of foreclosure, creditor lawsuits and even destitution. But how do 99ers avoid a financial apocalypse? Let's take a look at some things that 99ers should do ...
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  • Is That Credit Card Right For The Post-Bankruptcy You?

    Posted By admin || 22-Jul-2010

    Rebuilding your credit rating is an important first step after a bankruptcy discharge. One of the ways post-bankruptcy debtors rebuild their credit is by taking out a credit card; but how do you know if the credit card is worth it or just another trap door leading to more debt? Below are few tips on how to choose the right credit card while rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy; Is the credit ...
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  • Post-Bankruptcy Debt? Now What?

    Posted By admin || 20-Jul-2010

    One of the biggest problems post-bankruptcy debtors face is recreating the debt troubles after bankruptcy that put them into bankruptcy in the first place. In previous posts, we've talked briefly about how post-bankruptcy debtors can avoid the debt trap; but what happens when despite their best efforts, debtors end up in debt again after their bankruptcy discharge? Despite the rules about how soon ...
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  • Major Banks Stop Automatic Approval Of Bank Account Overdrafts

    Posted By admin || 15-Jul-2010

    Bank of America and Citibank have announced that they will stop automatically enrolling its checking account customers into costly debit card and ATM overdrafts. The move comes as the Federal Reserve begins to roll out new rules that prohibit banks from automatically enrolling customers into overdraft protection schemes without their prior permission. However, the rules have failed to address the ...
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  • New Credit Card Rules Limiting Penalty Fees Approved

    Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLLC || 14-Jul-2010

    The Federal Reserve has approved the final set of rules for the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD) of 2009. The new rules, which will limit credit card companies' ability to charge penalty fees, will go into effect August 22, 2010. Listed below is a summary of the rules and how they may impact credit card consumers: With few exceptions, a credit card issuer ...
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  • A CARD Act Loophole Giving Debt Merchants Access To Youth?

    Posted By admin || 13-Jul-2010

    The CARD Act stipulates that credit card companies cannot give a credit card to youth 18 to 21 years old unless they have a co-signer or sufficient income to pay for any debts they may accrue on the credit card. However, could giving credit cards to 18 to 21 year old who is most likely just working minimum wage jobs be just another loophole for credit card issuers to get access to this vulnerable ...
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  • No Quick Fixes To Complicated Debt Problems

    Posted By admin || 12-Jul-2010

    One of the issues that often cause debtors' financial problems to worsen is that they many are looking for quick and easy solutions to very complicated debt problems. This is a weakness that many debt settlement companies and foreclosure "specialists" prey on to bilk debtors out of their money. Both debt settlement companies and foreclosure "specialists" insist that their "solutions" are not only ...
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  • Four Tips For Surviving Financial Crisis

    Posted By admin || 9-Jul-2010

    Many debtors facing a personal finance crisis are often unable to figure out what they should do next to survive the storm. Below are four things every debtor should do whether or not they decide to file bankruptcy. Assess you financial situation honestly. Even if you never choose to file bankruptcy, you will need to know exactly how much income you have and how many expenses you have. Do the ...
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  • Winning The Credit Card Game After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 4-Jul-2010

    One of the unfortunate realities of our credit conscious society is that having and maintaining a credit card is necessary to every adult's financial life. But how does a debtor just out of bankruptcy, learn to win the credit card game? Let's take a look at a few tips: Keep your balance at zero. Carrying a balance on your credit card is what credit card lenders want. Credit cards that have a ...
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  • Confusing New Credit Card Rules Need Clarity

    Posted By admin || 2-Jul-2010

    The new CARD Act as been in effect for the past few months, but there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the new rules. Below we offer some clarity on a few of the rules. Rule : Credit card consumers must be given 45 days notice before their interest rate is increased. Clarity : Sometimes you may see the new rate applied to credit card charges made 14 days after the debtor received ...
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  • Paying Debt On A Fixed Income

    Posted By admin || 1-Jul-2010

    Fixed income debtors face special challenges when dealing with debt that may have existed before their income shrank significantly. Retired seniors, disabled veterans and other individuals who aren't likely to experience an income increase in the future may find that repaying debt is next to impossible. Below are few tips on how fixed income debtors resolve their debt issues: Try to avoid the ...
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  • Over 50 and Tackling Debt? Things You Should Consider

    Posted By admin || 1-Jul-2010

    The number of Americans over the age of 50 with large amounts of debt and little to no retirement savings is growing. Many debtors over 50 who dreamed of retiring in the next 10 to 15 years found themselves jobless, facing foreclosure and the owners of retirement accounts with declining value when the recession hit. So how does a debtor over 50 battle this recession so that they can safely journey ...
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  • Bankruptcy "Alternatives" Could Cause More Financial Pain

    Posted By admin || 29-Jun-2010

    As the number of bankruptcy filings increase many are calling for debtors to seek out and use bankruptcy "alternatives." However, some of the alternatives to bankruptcy that are suggested may cause more financial pain for debtors who are already distressed. Let's look at some of the facts. Debt settlement: While on the surface debt settlement seems to offer an opportunity for debtors to reduce ...
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  • Tips On Avoiding Subprime Lenders After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 22-Jun-2010

    Many debtors are surprised that after their bankruptcy is discharged they find themselves receiving many credit offers. Credit card companies, car loan lenders and even mortgage finance companies will send post-bankruptcy debtors credit offers hoping to capitalize on their clean financial slate. But beware; many of these creditors are subprime lenders who prey on people just out of bankruptcy who ...
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  • Bankruptcy And Special Needs Families

    Posted By admin || 22-Jun-2010

    More families who have special needs children or other disabled dependents are considering bankruptcy. Because a disability can become financially draining, causing families to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, bankruptcy is often a good choice. Whether the family member is blind, deaf or has some other physical or cognitive disability, special needs families can benefit from both ...
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  • Six Signs That You're Suffering From Debt Related Stress

    Posted By admin || 22-Jun-2010

    You may be suffering from debt related stress if you notice that you are experiencing apathy and lack of energy. The feeling that you don't care about your finances, debts or other financial stress is ironically a sign that you may be suffering from debt related stress. You may be suffering from debt related stress if you are feeling indecisive about how you will solve your debt problems. ...
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  • More Credit Card Companies Exploit CARD Act Loopholes

    Posted By admin || 21-Jun-2010

    When the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act was enacted it was designed to put an end to some of the practices used by credit card companies that negatively impacted consumers. But now that three months has passed since the CARD Act was signed into law, many debtors are still finding themselves exploited by credit card companies determined to increase their profits ...
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  • Three Ways Debt Settlement Companies Can Ruin Your Finances

    Posted By admin || 20-Jun-2010

    Debt settlement is becoming very popular now that the recession is stretching into its third year. One of the appealing aspects of the debt settlement pitch is the idea that a debtor can pay only pennies on the dollar for a debt and avoid bankruptcy. But the truth about debt settlement is that it rarely can deliver on its promises and often leaves debtors in a worse financial condition. Let's take ...
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  • When Chapter 11 Bankruptcy May Be Better For Investment Property Owners

    Posted By admin || 18-Jun-2010

    While many individual debtors opt for Chapter 11 bankruptcy only when they have exceeded the debt limits imposed on Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtors, there are situations when filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy may be beneficial even if the debtor is well within the debt limits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Below are a few reasons why a debtor may want to choose Chapter 11 bankruptcy over Chapter 13 bankruptcy ...
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  • Furniture Factory Warehouse Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Customers Empty Handed

    Posted By admin || 16-Jun-2010

    Home furnishings retailer Furniture Factory Warehouse, which operates 12 stores in South Texas, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection due to unfavorable financial conditions and a consistent decline in furniture sales. The retailer has closed all of its stores and distribution facilities pending the bankruptcy court's approval of Furniture Factory Warehouse's "Bankruptcy Going Out of ...
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  • Three Myths About Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 14-Jun-2010

    Debt is big business. That's why there are so many people out there invested in getting you indebted and keeping you that way. One of the ways they do this is by spreading myths about bankruptcy, which is the only legal way to have your debts forgiven. Let's take a look at some of the three most common myths about bankruptcy and why you shouldn't believe them: Myth #1 - If you file bankruptcy, you ...
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  • How To Prevent Job Loss Related Financial Disaster

    Posted By admin || 14-Jun-2010

    The official national unemployment rate for the country is 9.7 percent. Millions of Americans are out of work and trying to figure out how to survive without a job. One of the biggest casualties of joblessness is not just the frustration and anger that accompanies fruitless job searches, but also the seemingly imminent financial disaster that almost always follows long-term unemployment. And with ...
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  • Credit Card Act Restrictions May Create New Fees

    Posted By admin || 13-Jun-2010

    Amid the new Credit Card Act which limits the credit card issuer's most profitable practices, many credit card companies are looking for new ways to generate additional income. New credit card fees such as annual fees and new banking fees for checking account customers are just a couple of ideas that banks are implementing to offset the loss of revenue caused by the Credit Card Act. Here's what ...
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  • Seven Steps To Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 12-Jun-2010

    Step 1: Start rebuilding your credit right after your bankruptcy is discharged. Many debtors feel that they never want a credit card or any type of debt after they file bankruptcy. While that sentiment is understandable, it is counterproductive to rebuilding credit because in order for a bankruptcy debtor to improve their credit score they must apply for credit. The longer you delay this process ...
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  • Three Reasons Why Creditors Challenge A Debtor's Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 12-Jun-2010

    When Creditors Challenge A Bankruptcy Filing While it doesn't happen often, sometimes a creditor may challenge a debtor's Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. Reasons a Creditor Might Challenge a Bankruptcy Filing Below are some of the most common reasons a creditor might challenge a bankruptcy filing: The creditor has noticed that the debtor made charges on their credit card ...
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  • Why Your Vehicle Must Be Insured During Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 12-Jun-2010

    When a debtor files for bankruptcy, they are required to have insurance on their vehicle even if it is exempt, fully paid for and the debtor says he is not driving the vehicle. Because the debtor's property becomes part of the bankruptcy estate when the debtor files for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy estate could be held liable for any claims against the owner of the vehicle. For example, let's say ...
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  • What Businesses And Consumers Need To Know About The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

    Posted By admin || 11-Jun-2010

    The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act only governs certain types of debt and does not protect businesses who owe business debt. The following are some of the requirements debts must meet in order to be governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: The debt must be a consumer debt which was incurred for personal, household or family reasons. For example, if you have a credit card and used it ...
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  • Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse

    Posted By admin || 11-Jun-2010

    Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to repay part or all of their debts over the course of 3 to 5 years with any remaining unsecured (and dischargeable) debt being discharged from bankruptcy at the end of the repayment term. For debtors who are married, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy may become complicated if they choose to file bankruptcy alone. Let's take a look at some of the problems a ...
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  • Thriving After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 11-Jun-2010

    When considering bankruptcy, many debtors only focus on the process; but the most important part of bankruptcy is after the debtor receives their bankruptcy discharge. It is the time after bankruptcy that the debtor is beginning their fresh financial start. So how does a debtor thrive after they receive their bankruptcy discharge? Let's take a look at a few tips: Live within your means. Creating ...
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  • Three Bad Reasons For Delaying Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 11-Jun-2010

    About 75 percent of the people who file bankruptcy wait until they just don't have any other choice. They give various reasons for waiting to file bankruptcy; but below are three of the worse excuses for not filing bankruptcy earlier: Guilt. Guilt is never a good reason for delaying a necessary bankruptcy filing. But many debtors don't file bankruptcy because they feel guilty for not repaying ...
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  • Overcoming Your Fears Of Considering Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 10-Jun-2010

    Being in debt is scary; but having your debts threaten the financial safety and security of your family can be even more scary. That's why it's not surprising that many debtors have many fears concerning a bankruptcy filing. Several myths feed into these fears; but the truth is that bankruptcy is often the only chance some debtors have to get out of debt and get onto the road of financial ...
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  • Credit CARD Act Loopholes You Should Know About

    Posted By admin || 10-Jun-2010

    The Credit CARD (Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure) Act was designed to protect credit card consumers and combat the increasingly unethical tactics of some credit card lenders. But in our legislators' effort to please both consumers and credit card lobbyists, they left some gapping loopholes that credit card lenders can use to get around the new restrictions. Let's take a look at ...
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  • Three Changes That May Keep Some College Graduates Out Of Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 8-Jun-2010

    Extended dependent healthcare coverage for unmarried children up to the age of 26. Under the health care bill, as of September 23, 2010 (if all goes as planned) many youth will have access to their parents' healthcare coverage through college and even afterwards during a time when many college graduates struggle financially. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of college ...
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  • Four Things You Shouldn't Do Before Filing Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 8-Jun-2010

    Many debtors ask about what they should do before filing bankruptcy; but what about the things that debtors shouldn't do before filing bankruptcy? Below is a list of things debtors should avoid before filing bankruptcy: Don't raid your retirement account in an attempt to repay debtors if you are considering bankruptcy. A matter of fact, don't raid your retirement account before bankruptcy for any ...
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  • Five Signs That You May Be At Credit Card Default Risk

    Posted By admin || 8-Jun-2010

    You pay the minimum payment on your credit card. Paying the minimum payment requirement on your credit card may be a sure sign that you are at credit card default risk especially if you can't afford to pay more than your credit card's minimum payment. You use one credit card to pay the minimum payment on another. You are probably on the edge of default if you are using one credit card to pay the ...
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  • Disclosure Of Payments Made Prior To Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 7-Jun-2010

    Bankruptcy law requires that debtors filing for any chapter of bankruptcy disclose on the Statement of Financial Affairs any payments of at least $600 they made to creditors 90 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. The payments disclosures will include payments made on the following types of debt: Car Loans Gas, Electric, water and other utility bills Credit card payments Medical Bills Student ...
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  • Credit Card Authorized User vs. Joint Account Holder

    Posted By admin || 7-Jun-2010

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about the difference between a credit card's authorized user and a joint account holder and debt collector practices aren't helping any. One of the most common but often least heard of dirty tricks of the debt collections industry is going after a credit card's authorized user for payment when the main account holder has defaulted on their credit card loan. So ...
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  • Can I Reduce Domestic Support Obligations In Bankruptcy?

    Posted By admin || 6-Jun-2010

    Debtors who owe domestic support obligations such as child support and alimony will not be able to discharge those debts in bankruptcy. However, a debtor who owes back child support or alimony may be able to use bankruptcy to make repaying those debts easier. For example, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy a debtor who owes a large lump sum of back child support payments can avoid making one big lump sum ...
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  • Private Student Loans, Bankruptcy And You

    Posted By admin || 6-Jun-2010

    Private student loans are a hot topic right now in the news and in the legislature. Currently, some lawmakers and consumer advocate groups are fighting to make private student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy like other unsecured consumer debt such as credit cards; but there is a lot of resistance. Right now private student loans, which are student loans issued by private banks and not the ...
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  • Realities Debtors Should Consider Before Settling Debt

    Posted By admin || 2-Jun-2010

    With the unemployment rate still above 9 percent, many debtors have found themselves unemployed for one or two years. Unfortunately for the unemployed debtor, daily expenses remain and can eventually exhaust the debtor's savings, retirement accounts and even cause them to max out their credit cards. Facing long-term unemployment, depleted savings and mounting credit card debt, many debtors are ...
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  • Three Reasons Parents Should Think Twice Before Taking Out Student Loans For Their Kids

    Posted By admin || 2-Jun-2010

    The government just released a report saying that 7 out of 10 high school graduates will go on to college. That's up from 6 out of 10 in 2001. Unfortunately, while the number of entering college freshmen has increased, the cost of tuition for both state and private universities is steadily rising. What this means is that many more students and their parents are choosing to take out expensive ...
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  • Handling Student Loan Debt After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 2-Jun-2010

    Student Loan Debt After Bankruptcy Like child support obligations and some types of taxes, student loan debt will most likely survive your bankruptcy filing unless you can prove that repaying them will cause an undue hardship. So how does a debtor get a fresh financial start after bankruptcy even if they still need to repay student loans? Let's take a look at few tips: Immediately contact your ...
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  • What Credit Card Debtors Should Know About The Statute Of Limitations

    Posted By admin || 2-Jun-2010

    Credit Card lenders and their debt collectors have a limited amount of time to sue debtors for failing to repay credit card debt. In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations for open ended type debts such as a credit card is four years. A debt collector pursuing a debtor for payment on a credit card debt is prohibited from filing a lawsuit against that debtor after the statute of limitations ...
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  • Three Reasons Why Waiting For Debts To Disappear Is A Bad Financial Strategy

    Posted By admin || 1-Jun-2010

    It can happen to the best of us-we lose a job, fall on hard times and our bills go unpaid. But many of us opt to simply ignore our debts instead of coming up with a plan to either repay them or make them go away legally. Many of us mistakenly believe that debts will just go away after a lot of time; but this proves a bad strategy especially during a recession. Here's why: Creditors never forget. ...
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  • Three Reasons Why Acting As The Family Bank Could Lead To Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 1-Jun-2010

    Unless you're independently wealthy, acting as the family bank and personal lender could do serious damage to your financial health, even leading you to bankruptcy. Below are three reasons why becoming the personal lender of your family and friends could lead to bankruptcy: Personal loans are often not repaid and if they are particularly large or numerous the lack of repayment could lead to ...
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  • Your Kids College Funds And Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 30-May-2010

    Are 529 Accounts Protected From Creditors? Understandably, debtors considering bankruptcy want to make sure they protect their assets especially those that are earmarked to go to their children. But one of the common misconceptions of debtors considering bankruptcy is that they can simply transfer some money into their kid's bank account or a 529 plan and that will protect that cash from creditors ...
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  • Bankruptcy Offers Limited Automatic Stay Protection For Co-Signers

    Posted By admin || 29-May-2010

    Do you have debt that has been co-signed by a relative or friend? Well if you file for bankruptcy, there is some limited protection for that co-signer through the automatic stay; but it is only temporary. Debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy enjoy the full protection of the automatic stay during bankruptcy and cannot be pursued by creditors for the repayment of a debt ...
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  • Bankruptcy Facts: What You Need To Know About Credit Counseling

    Posted By admin || 28-May-2010

    Any debtor wishing to file bankruptcy is required to take a credit counseling and budget course before they file. If they do not take the credit counseling and budget course they will not be allowed to file bankruptcy. The credit counseling and budget course is available in English and a number of other languages depending on the agency providing the course. It is advised that you take the credit ...
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  • How To Prevent Loved Ones From Ruining Your Credit

    Posted By admin || 27-May-2010

    One common credit problem that is rarely talked about is when a family member or other loved one ruins your credit by either stealing your identity to breaking their promise to repay debt that you co-signed for or gave them access to. So how can you protect yourself from credit wrecking family and friends? Don't co-sign credit cards or other types of debt. We know it is difficult to say no to a ...
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  • Homeowner Association Foreclosures Becoming More Common In Texas

    Posted By admin || 25-May-2010

    The number of foreclosures filed by homeowner associations (HOAs) and home equity lenders has risen dramatically this year. Already 350 Dallas-Fort Worth area homes are facing foreclosure sale in May because the owners owe money to homeowners associations or home equity lenders. "Especially from the homeowners associations, we have seen significant increases in postings," said Roddy, whose firm ...
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  • Debtor's Luxury Vehicle Purchase Indicated Bad Faith Bankruptcy Filing

    Posted By admin || 24-May-2010

    In the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of Hageney, Keith T. and Carolyn J.; In re, the bankruptcy court ruled that a debtors' Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was probably filed in bad faith because the debtor purchased an unnecessary luxury item just 10 weeks before filing bankruptcy. The details of the bankruptcy case: The debtor-husband was a self-employed insurance broker until late in the summer of 2008 ...
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  • Living The American Dream Without The Debt

    Posted By admin || 23-May-2010

    What is the American Dream? Before the economic recession began 3 years ago, many Americans may have described the American dream as having a big house, big car and access to lots of credit so that they too could live like the rich and fabulous. But after millions of Americans lost their jobs to business contraction, their homes to foreclosure and their access to easy credit to the credit crisis, ...
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  • Predatory Payday Lenders Leech Off Unemployed Americans

    Posted By admin || 22-May-2010

    Just when we thought we had heard it all, the payday loan industry has a brand new trick up its sleeve. With the unemployment rate over 9 percent and millions of Americans on extended unemployment, many companies in the payday loan industry are now accepting unemployment checks as proof of income. That's right, unemployed Americans who are already struggling financially are now able to take out ...
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  • Tackling Mortgage Debt And Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 21-May-2010

    Now that many Americans are desperately struggling with debt, there has been a brand new crop of debt and wealth "gurus" who are imparting advice that may not be the best thing for many Americans struggling with debt troubles and considering bankruptcy. One of the most often repeated pieces of advice for homeowners is the suggestion that a home mortgage should be paid off as soon as possible. ...
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  • Why Having A Co-Signer Is Not The Best Way To Rebuild Credit

    Posted By admin || 21-May-2010

    Millions of Americans negatively impacted by job losses and battered credit ratings are looking for "easy" ways to rebuild their credit worthiness. One of the most recommended ways to rebuild credit worthiness is for a debtor to have a trusted (and credit worthy) family member or friend add them to their credit card. Credit "gurus" often suggest this method because by adding the debtor to ...
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  • Four Signs You May Need To File Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 21-May-2010

    Reduced income while your expenses remain the same. Debtors who have suffered a job loss, salary reduction or have taken a job with compensation lower than what they've become accustomed to, may need to file bankruptcy. Reduced income over the short-term may be tolerable but long-term is another matter. Bankruptcy will help debtors discharge their debt while they adjust their lifestyle to their ...
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  • Six Questions You Should Ask Before Taking Out A Short Term Loan

    Posted By admin || 20-May-2010

    Finding fast cash for emergencies can be tough especially if you don't have savings and lack good credit. That's why so many people choose to take out payday loans, car title loans, tax refund anticipation loans and even purposely overdraft their bank account. But using any of the aforementioned methods to get fast cash could cause fast and long lasting financial problems. There is another way. ...
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  • A Cautionary Tale For Potential Real Estate Buyers

    Posted By admin || 19-May-2010

    In the bankruptcy case of O'Brien, Patrick S. and Denise L.; In re (Jensen v. O'Brien) , a land buyer may lose his investment because of failing to practice due diligence before buying the land. The details of the bankruptcy case: The plaintiff agreed to buy real estate that the debtors listed for sale on the Web site craigslist. The court described the transaction as being unorthodox. It was ...
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  • Some Credit Unions Say 'Bye Bye' To Overdrafts - Banks Should Too

    Posted By admin || 18-May-2010

    Some credit unions are banishing overdraft fees by creating checking accounts and debit card options that eliminate overdrafts by limiting an accountholders ability to withdraw only the amount of cash available in the account. The new system is called Cash Points Global (CPG) which is a controlled spending account with only electronic access via the CPG card. There are no checks, no paper ...
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  • Big Banks Pushing "Shadow" Payday Loans?

    Posted By admin || 17-May-2010

    A new report was recently released by the Center for Responsible Lending, stating that many mainstream banks are offering short-term, high-interest loans that are basically payday loans in the form of a paycheck advances. These loans charge $10 per $100 per month and amount to an annual percentage rate of 120 percent or more violating the ban on triple-digit interest rates in 15 states and the ...
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  • How Does Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Help Small Business?

    Posted By admin || 16-May-2010

    \ How Bankruptcy Helps Small Business Small businesses that choose to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy have an opportunity to get their financial affairs in order, reduce and get a fresh financial start. Many businesses think of bankruptcy as an end to their dream; but Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not an end to their business but rather an end to the debt troubles that are preventing their company from ...
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  • Overcoming The Presumption Of Bankruptcy Abuse

    Posted By admin || 12-May-2010

    When a debtor decides to file bankruptcy, in order to determine if they should file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy it must first be determined if their income is above the median income for Texas. And a debtor's income is only determined by their past six months of income before filing bankruptcy. If it is determined that a debtor considering bankruptcy earns more than the median ...
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  • Three Reasons Why You Should Not Pay Taxes With A Credit Card

    Posted By admin || 11-May-2010

    It has become a lot easier for taxpayers to pay their taxes using a credit card; but doing so may not be a good idea. Below are three reasons why a debtor should not pay their taxes with a credit card. You will end up paying more. Yes paying your taxes late will result in interest and penalty fees; but that won't be nearly as much as the interest you will pay on a credit card. Compared to credit ...
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  • Don't Be Fooled By "Free" Credit Health Companies

    Posted By admin || 8-May-2010

    It's been seven years since credit bureaus have been required by law to provide Americans with annual access to their credit reports, at no charge; but the the AnnualCreditReport.com web site created to manage the process has been overshadowed by a variety of companies claiming they can offer "free" credit health reports leaving many consumers confused and out of money they could have spent ...
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  • New Health Care Reform Bill May Hold Some Surprises For Student Loan Debtors

    Posted By admin || 8-May-2010

    In a bill that is suppose to address the current health care issues facing the country there are a few surprises for debtors struggling under the weight of student loans. As of July 2010, all new federal student loans will be issued directly from the U.S. Department of Education, cutting out banks as middle-men. This doesn't mean that private bank loans will disappear totally; but they may simply ...
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  • How To Avoid A Second Bankruptcy Filing

    Posted By admin || 7-May-2010

    Filing bankruptcy offers debtors the opportunity to have a fresh new start financially; however in order to avoid filing bankruptcy again, there are few habits debtors need to develop. One of the most common reasons that debtors fall behind on their bills and end up needing to file bankruptcy is the lack of an emergency fund. One of the most important foundations of financial security is having an ...
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  • Oops! I Made A Mistake In My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy...Now What?

    Posted By admin || 6-May-2010

    There are several rules that a debtor must abide by when filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For example, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtor is prohibited from transferring property without the consent of the bankruptcy court or borrowing money without first getting permission of the bankruptcy court. But what happens when a debtor inadvertently circumvents the established rules of their Chapter 13 ...
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  • Debtors Are Not Required To Financially Punish Themselves Because Of Past Mistakes

    Posted By admin || 6-May-2010

    There seems to be an upsurge of anti-bankruptcy rhetoric aimed at indebted Americans to make them feel guilty about their financial circumstances which force them into bankruptcy. Since the critics can't honestly say that bankruptcy is not an effective way to discharge debt and get a fresh financial start, now many are saying that bankruptcy is immoral and too easy. Let's get to the bottom of the ...
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  • Can I Discharge My Second Mortgage In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

    Posted By admin || 5-May-2010

    While in most cases filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not impact your mortgage, Chapter 13 bankruptcy in another matter. When a debtor files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and has a second mortgage he/she just may be able to win a bankruptcy discharge for the second mortgage on their home if it is considered unsecured debt. When is a second mortgage considered unsecured debt? If a bankruptcy debtor ...
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  • Three Tax Myths That Could Land You In Trouble With The IRS

    Posted By admin || 4-May-2010

    Around tax time a lot of myths get thrown about online and offline. If you want to stay out of trouble with the IRS and get your tax situation done correctly take a look at some of the most common but nonetheless untrue tax myths out there: Money earned online is tax-free. Whether you earn money online or offline, all revenue is taxable by the IRS and must be reported to the IRS on your income tax ...
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  • The Means Test and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 30-Apr-2010

    Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Means Test One of the benefits of filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that the debtor's disposable income is not calculated using the Means Test, the same test which is required for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Arguably, the biggest change to the bankruptcy code was the incorporation of the Means Test for Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtors. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the Means Test is used ...
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  • President Obama Signs Health Care Reform Bill

    Posted By admin || 30-Apr-2010

    President Obama has signed the landmark $875 billion health care reform bill into law at the White House. In our previous blog we discussed changes that could take effect immediately; but below are some changes that could take effect by 2016. • New health insurance subsidies would be provided to families of four making up to $88,000 annually, or 400 percent of the federal poverty level. • Health ...
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  • Why Debtors Considering Bankruptcy Should Stop Using Automatic Bill Pay

    Posted By admin || 29-Apr-2010

    Automatic bill pay has become very popular, especially for those who want the convenience of having their monthly ongoing bills automatically deducted from their checking account. But for debtors considering bankruptcy automatic bill payments are not a good idea. Here's why: You often have no idea what you are spending each month. If you're considering bankruptcy and use automatic bill pay, most ...
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  • How To Avoid The Coming Credit Card Backlash

    Posted By admin || 28-Apr-2010

    With the implementation of the Credit Card Act last month, many credit card companies are taking actions to make up for lost profits. The implementation of annual fees and inactivity fees are just two of the most commonly used strategies being utilized by credit card companies to fill in the gap of lost profits. But what can credit card customers do to avoid these extra fees by credit card ...
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  • Congress Approves Jobs Incentive Bill In Effort To Curb Unemployment

    Posted By admin || 31-Mar-2010

    Congress has approved a jobs incentive bill that is aimed at curbing unemployment and stimulating job growth. Under the new spending bill companies that hire unemployed workers will get a temporary payroll tax holiday. The bill which passed Wednesday contains about $18 billion in tax breaks and a $20 billion infusion of cash into highway and transit programs. Among other things, it exempts ...
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  • Four Things You Should Do If Suffer A Job Loss

    Posted By admin || 26-Mar-2010

    When a debtor faces a job loss, the first thing they should do is apply for unemployment insurance. Don't make the assumption that you don't qualify for unemployment insurance, apply and allow them to approve or not approve your benefits. One of the mistakes that many unemployed workers make is waiting too long to apply for their unemployment benefits, don't make that mistake, apply as soon as you ...
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  • Myths and Facts About Debt Collection

    Posted By admin || 24-Mar-2010

    Many debtors are intimidated by debt collectors who often cast themselves as these all powerful entities who can wreck havoc on a debtor's life. But the truth of the matter is that debt collectors aren't as powerful as they seem, it's just that many debtors' lack of knowledge about their rights and the limitations of debt collectors make them vulnerable to debt collector tall tales. Here are a ...
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  • Settling Debt Before Filing Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 24-Mar-2010

    Many debtors considering bankruptcy owe money to family and friends and want to keep them out of the bankruptcy proceeding. To avoid problems with family and friends who have loaned them money, some debtors may choose to pay back a debt owed to family/friends either partially or fully before filing bankruptcy. But doing so may have consequences for debtor or the person who loaned them the money. ...
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  • Four Tips For The Post Bankruptcy You

    Posted By admin || 22-Mar-2010

    Bankruptcy offers debtors the chance at a fresh financial start. But what does a debtor do once their debt has been discharged and their bankruptcy case closed? Below are four tips every post bankruptcy debtor should follow if they want to start their fresh start out on the right foot. Live within your means. Debtors exiting bankruptcy must learn to rely less on debt and more on the real income ...
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  • New Credit Card Disclosures May Not Reach Debtors Who Bank Online

    Posted By admin || 19-Mar-2010

    The new Credit Card Act which requires credit card companies to disclose how much a debtor needs to pay each month to pay off their balance clean within three years, and how long it would take them to be debt free if only minimum payments are made may not effectively reach debtors who bank online or pay their credit card bill through automatic electronic payment. Debtors who bank online and forgo ...
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  • 6 Things You Need To Know About Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 4-Mar-2010

    Bankruptcy is a legal and often wise decision for debtors who are overwhelmed by their debts and need relief. While some critics of bankruptcy contend that bankruptcy is a "cop out" the bankruptcy system continues to help individuals and businesses discharge debt and get a fresh new start financially. Individual debtors (and married couples) most often file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 ...
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  • How To Thrive Financially After Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2010

    Bankruptcy offers an opportunity at a fresh financial start of even the most indebted individuals. But how does a debtor ensure that their financial affairs remain in the "black" after a bankruptcy? Here are a few tips: Create A Budget - Whether you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, creating and sticking to a realistic budget will help you manage your financial affairs ...
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  • What Senior Citizens Need To Know About Reverse Mortgages

    Posted By admin || 3-Mar-2010

    Reverse mortgages have become a very popular method for seniors to get cash out of their home during this recession. But what do senior citizens need to know about reverse mortgages before they commit? While reverse mortgages are a "no recourse" loan, the heirs of the debtor may still lose the property (to foreclosure) if the loan is not repaid after the debtor's death or move. Reverse mortgages ...
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  • ALERT: Phony Pay Day Debt Collectors

    Posted By admin || 2-Mar-2010

    It's an unfortunate reality but many debtors are not only facing aggressive collection action by creditors they are also being scammed by phony debt collectors. One such scam includes a payday loan scheme that requires the debtor to wire money to the scammer or face imprisonment. Here's how it works and what you can do to avoid falling for the ploy: The debtor will receive a phone call from a debt ...
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  • Many Debtors Following Disturbing Trend

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2010

    A study released by TransUnion has revealed that a new "payment hierarchy" has emerged with debtors becoming more current on their credit cards while allowing their mortgage become delinquent. "Conventional wisdom has always been that, when faced with a financial crisis, consumers will pay their secured obligations first, specifically their mortgages," said Sean Reardon, a TransUnion consultant ...
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  • Payday Loans Are Sometimes Disguised as Checkbook Loans

    Posted By admin || 24-Feb-2010

    Checkbook loans were created to disguise payday loans after tighter restrictions were put on payday loans. Everyday people get into situations where they need money now, but they don't have it. Cars break down, heaters quit working, bills have to be paid, and sometimes the money just isn't there. When this happens, one source people turn to for money is payday loans. Payday loans offer people the ...
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  • Three Reasons Why You Should Not Refinance Your Home To Pay Off Credit Card Debt

    Posted By admin || 19-Feb-2010

    Using your home as an ATM to pay off your credit card debt could be a huge mistake. When you take the equity out of your home to repay credit card debt, you are in effect turning an unsecured loan (credit card debt) into a secured loan (home equity loan). Remember, a debt collector pursuing you for payment of credit card debt cannot attach your assets without a filing a lawsuit against you and ...
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  • An Increase In Job Losses May Cause More Seniors To File Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 4-Feb-2010

    Older workers have suffered terribly during this recession. On average it takes an older worker much longer than their younger counterparts to find new employment and employment that pays at least a living wage. And unfortunately, the number of unemployed older workers has increased dramatically. The number of unemployed workers age 55 to 64 has nearly tripled since the recession began, to about ...
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  • Facts You Need To Know About Taxes And Bankruptcy

    Posted By admin || 4-Feb-2010

    It's tax season again and many of you may be considering bankruptcy. But before you file your taxes and spend your refund, there are few things you need to know about how taxes can impact your bankruptcy: If you receive a tax refund after you file bankruptcy, that refund may become part of the bankruptcy estate. What that means is that the bankruptcy trustee can use your tax refund to repay ...
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  • Three Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Your Home's Equity To Pay Debts

    Posted By admin || 4-Feb-2010

    Never Use Your Home's Equity To Pay Debts As more Americans fall behind on their debt payments because of a job loss or reduced income, many are turning to the equity in their homes to their debts hoping that they can avoid bankruptcy. But cashing out the equity in your home to repay debt may be a huge mistake here's why: When you cash out equity in your home to pay debt, you put your home at risk ...
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  • How Can I Stop A Wage Garnishment?

    Posted By admin || 1-Feb-2010

    Millions of Americans who have suffered a job loss are at risk of a future wage garnishment. Many debtors mistakenly handle the prospect of a wage garnishment by ignoring creditor calls and letters; but that's a serious mistake. Here are a few tips for stopping (or at least delaying) a wage garnishment : Despite popular opinion, a wage garnishment does not start with a judgment granted to a ...
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  • Three Things You Must Consider Before You Take Out That Loan

    Posted By admin || 27-Jan-2010

    Many debtors attempting to resolve their debt problems without the help of bankruptcy consider personal loans. They figure if they take out a personal they can use that money to cover their expenses and debts and avoid bankruptcy until they "get on their feet." While in theory it seems to be possible to avoid bankruptcy by taking out a personal loan and using that to survive until you can get ...
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  • How Do I Catch Up On My Mortgage In Bankruptcy?

    Posted By admin || 25-Jan-2010

    Most debtor/homeowners facing foreclosure and considering bankruptcy are significantly delinquent on their mortgage payments. But whether you're 1 month behind on your mortgage payment or 6 months behind, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you catch up with your payments and return your mortgage to good standing. Here's how it works: When you file bankruptcy you will include your mortgage lender's ...
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  • How Mortgage Modifications Impact Your Credit Report

    Posted By admin || 12-Jan-2010

    When a debtor fighting foreclosure receives a loan modification there is a possibility that it may have a negative impact on their credit report. Mortgage modifications are reported to the credit bureaus in one of two ways: Settled or charged off. If you were fighting foreclosure and received a mortgage modification that decreased the principal of your original mortgage, the lender will probably ...
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  • Seven Things You Can Do Now To Ring In A Good Financial New Year

    Posted By admin || 6-Jan-2010

    Run all three of your credit reports. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com now and get your credit reports for free. Many debtors do not realize the extent of their debt troubles until they actually run their credit report. Please take a careful look and challenge any inaccurate information. If information is inaccurate the credit bureaus are obligated by law to change or delete incorrect information. ...
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  • The Truth About Debt Settlement

    Posted By admin || 31-Dec-2009

    Well over a million Americans have filed bankruptcy this year and many experts expect that number to increase in 2010. Many Americans who are struggling with debt woes, facing foreclosure and other financial issues delay bankruptcy. Too many of them turn to questionable debt settlement firms who charge the exorbitant fees while failing to deliver on their promises. The truth about debt settlement ...
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  • Four Steps To Financial Fitness

    Posted By admin || 30-Dec-2009

    Assess Your Current Financial Situation When assessing your financial situation it's important to find out exactly where you stand TODAY. Are you currently unemployed? Do you have enough money for you debts and everyday expenses? Are you facing foreclosure? Have you recently filed bankruptcy? Are you currently making payments on a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan? What other financial circumstances are ...
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  • Borrowers With Good Payment Histories May Be Hit With Dirty Credit Card Tricks

    Posted By admin || 22-Dec-2009

    To get around the Credit CARD Act passed by Congress earlier this year, some credit card companies have decided to play dirty with even their best customers. Regarding late-payment fees, Dan of Campbell Hall, NY, says he's had a WaMu credit card for five years and has always paid his card down. He tells ConsumerAffairs.com that when Chase acquired WaMu last year, his interest rate shot to 29.99 ...
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  • How "Unsecured" Debt Can Become "Secured" Debt

    Posted By admin || 17-Dec-2009

    One of the most common types of unsecured debt is credit card debt. However, sometimes credit card debt can transform into secured debt giving it a higher priority for repayment during bankruptcy. How does that work? When a debtor fails to repay their credit card debt, the credit card lender will eventually file a lawsuit against the debtor. While the debtor will have an opportunity to go to court ...
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  • Six Reasons Why Debt Settlement Schemes Often Don't Work

    Posted By admin || 17-Dec-2009

    Debtor's can't afford the payment(s). The number one reason most debt settlement schemes don't work is because the debtor cannot afford the payment(s). Most debt settlement schemes require large upfront payments to the debt settlement firm which will be redirected to the creditor (minus the debt settlement firm's fees). However, most debtors are severely cash strapped and can't afford to pay. The ...
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  • Voluntary Wage Assignments and Why You Should Avoid Them At All Costs

    Posted By admin || 16-Dec-2009

    You would never hand over your paycheck to a creditor, would you? Of course if you were under threat or order by a court you may hand over your paycheck; but never voluntarily. Right? Well, surprisingly many debtors do just that when they agree to "voluntary wage assignments." A voluntary wage assignment is an agreement between a creditor and debtor that says the lender can deduct a certain amount ...
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  • Why You Shouldn't Pay Your Taxes With A Credit Card

    Posted By admin || 10-Dec-2009

    Federal and state tax authorities encourage taxpayers to pay their taxes with credit cards; but doing so may not be in the best interest of the debtor. Here's why: The interest rates on credit cards are typically higher than the interest charged by the state or tax authorities. Once you charge your taxes to a credit card, unless you plan to repay the debt immediately, you could incur charges that ...
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  • Three Ways To Protect Your Finances During Crisis

    Posted By admin || 8-Dec-2009

    When debtors fall behind on their payments, they can often lose access to the very things they need to get their financial lives back on track. Once a debtor is 60 days late on their credit card payments, most credit card companies block the debtor from access additional money on that credit card. They also report the late payment to the credit bureaus which can create a domino effect that makes ...
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  • Why You Should NOT Donate To Charity Using Your Credit Card

    Posted By admin || 8-Dec-2009

    Tis' the season to be charitable! But be careful because some charities now want you to charge it. The Salvation Army, which is known worldwide for its red kettles, is now testing out kettles that will accept credit cards. Last year Salvation Army tested the credit machines in two cities, Dallas and Colorado Springs. This year the plastic kettles will be tested in more than 120 cities. In Colorado ...
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  • Universal Default and The Credit Card Act

    Posted By admin || 2-Dec-2009

    Universal Default and The Credit Card Act of 2009 Once the Credit Card Act of 2009 is implemented in February credit consumers will receive relief from some of the credit card industries most damaging practices. One of those practices, Universal Default. will become illegal. Universal Default is a provision often found in credit card policies which states that if you are more than 30 days late on ...
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  • Four Tips For Avoiding High Interest Rates On Credit Cards

    Posted By admin || 2-Dec-2009

    The best and simplest way to avoid high interest rates on your credit cards is to pay off your balance every month. But for those of us who are already inundated with credit card debt, doing so may seem next to impossible. So here are a few tips on how to avoid high interest rates, even if you have a balance: Pay your credit card on time. This tip may seem obvious; but many credit card consumers ...
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  • Alternatives To Credit Cards: Layaway Plans Are Back!

    Posted By admin || 1-Dec-2009

    For the past 10 years, our dependence on credit cards has grown exponentially. But as the credit crunch worsens many Americans are finding it difficult to fund the things they want or even need. Christmas is right around the corner and if you don't want to charge up a pile of credit card debt, you need to get another plan for paying for those Christmas gifts. Layaway plans offer a great ...
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  • Should I Borrow Against My 401K To Pay My Bills?

    Posted By admin || 30-Nov-2009

    Many debtors finding it difficult to keep up with their bills are tempted to borrow against their retirement funds to keep their head above water. Reductions in salary and especially unemployment can appear to be legitimate reasons for raiding a retirement fund; but doing so may not offer the relief they need. Before borrowing from their retirement fund, debtors need to understand that they will ...
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  • Credit Cards vs. Personal Loans

    Posted By admin || 30-Nov-2009

    As credit card companies increase interest rates and fees, many credit card consumers are looking for alternative sources of credit. Even personal loans are given a second look due to their lower interest rates. But what is a personal loan? A personal loan is an "unsecured" credit line which is similar to "secured" loans in that there is a fixed amount of credit available and a finite time period ...
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  • Christmas and The Risk Of Debit Cards

    Posted By admin || 20-Nov-2009

    The shopping season is approaching and many consumers are choosing to use their debit cards instead of a credit card this Christmas season. But despite their apparent safety, there are a few precautions you need to take to make sure that you don't end up in credit card debt despite avoiding credit cards this Christmas. Keep close track of your spending. While debit cards are a lot better than ...
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  • Debt Plus Stress Can Equal Tragic Consequences

    Posted By admin || 16-Nov-2009

    There is a tragic story featured at the Dallas Morning News about a debtor who murdered his former co-workers after failing to receive an unemployment check. Jason Rodriquez had recently filed bankruptcy; but not before his financial troubles sent him over edge. The article said: "Employees at Reynolds, Smith and Hills recognized their former co-worker [Rodriquez] when he drew a handgun from a ...
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  • Putting The Breaks On Bank Overdraft Fees

    Posted By admin || 4-Nov-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, Senator Christopher Dodd, introduced legislation that would require banks to inform their customers when they overdraw their accounts via e-mail, text message, or postal mail and warn them if an ATM or teller transaction will put them into the red. In addition, the legislation would limit the number of overdraft fees to one a month, six times a year. ...
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  • Could Your Credit Score Affect Your Insurance Rates?

    Posted By admin || 29-Oct-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, drivers and homeowners in North Texas with poor credit ratings pay an average of 35 percent more for insurance coverage than those with good credit - even when driving records and recent damage claims on homes are identical. The article said: "Rates submitted by the 35 largest auto insurers show that all but two use credit history to help decide ...
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  • Coming To A Credit Card Near You

    Posted By admin || 28-Oct-2009

    Unless you've been living in seclusion these past couple of months you've probably heard about the new credit card legislation that will prohibit or limit several of credit card billing practices that are unfair or difficult for consumers to understand. But let's take a closer look at one of the most important changes you will see on your credit card next year: The prohibition against "universal ...
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  • Warning!! More Dirty Tricks From Credit Card Companies

    Posted By admin || 15-Oct-2009

    Every since the new legislation passed restricting credit card companies' ability to raise interest rates, among other things, credit card companies have been using every dirty trick in the book to "get back" at borrowers and squeeze every cent out of them. According to an article in the Star-Telegram, some credit card borrowers are reporting that their minimum monthly payments are rising as much ...
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  • Credit Card Companies Switch Borrowers To Variable Rate Cards

    Posted By admin || 13-Oct-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, credit card lenders such as Bank of America, Chase and Discover have switched many credit card customers from fixed rate credit cards to variable rate credit cards ahead of the new credit card legislation that will limit the credit card industry's ability to increase rates in the future. But in an effort to counteract the bad press received about their ...
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  • Credit Card Access Restricted For Those Under 21

    Posted By admin || 12-Oct-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, credit card companies are already backing down from marketing to youth under 21 years old as the new Credit Card Act is set to become law in Spring 2010. The Credit Card Act will prohibit credit card companies from lending to anyone under 21 years old unless he/she has a co-signer or proof of their ability to make payments on the loan. The ...
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  • Servicemember's Civil Relief Act Protects Active Duty Members From High Interest Rates On Credit Cards

    Posted By admin || 30-Sep-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides a wide range of protections for active duty members who may be facing high interest rates on their credit cards. The article said: "The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act provides a wide range of protections for active-duty military members. It's aimed at postponing or suspending certain civil ...
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  • Short Sales can Short Circuit your Savings

    Posted By admin || 28-Sep-2009

    With the housing market in constant flux, many people are trying to take advantage of "Short Sales" to get into the home of their dreams. A "short sale" is where the bank or lender agrees to allow a house to be sold for the less than the balance of the mortgage due on the home. The theory is that the bank or lender is attempting to reduce their losses with a "something is better than nothing" ...
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  • Feeling Stiffed On Credit Card Fees, Banks Eye Debit Cards

    Posted By admin || 27-Sep-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, banks that are losing profits because of the new credit card legislation are now looking to debit cards and bank accounts to make up the difference. The recently passed credit card legislation requires that banks give customers a choice on whether they want to opt into over-draft programs that can be costly. The article said: "That law only applies to ...
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  • Tips to Avoid Having Your Identity Stolen

    Posted By admin || 18-Sep-2009

    Prescreened credit card offers are a disaster waiting to happen when you consider identity theft. Whether you are considering bankruptcy, or if you have already filed for bankruptcy, protecting yourself from identity theft is always a good idea. Identity theft can take a long time to recover from and nobody wants the headache involved with getting your credit straightened out. In her book, Bounce ...
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  • After Bankruptcy Don't Fall for Credit File Segregation Scams

    Posted By admin || 12-Sep-2009

    A file segregation scam is where a debtor, usually someone who has recently filed bankruptcy, is offered a brand new credit identity in exchange for a fee--usually a very large fee. How Credit File Segregation Scams Work The scammer usually targets those who have filed bankruptcy or who have delinquent credit cards or loans in default on their credit report. The scammer attempts to convince the ...
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  • Beware of Advance Fee Loans

    Posted By admin || 11-Sep-2009

    As credit availability diminishes, credit scammers are having a feast at the expense of many Americans who desperately need access to credit. One of the most common credit scams is the "advance fee loan." The Way It Works Credit scammers target consumers who are having financial problems, facing foreclosure or delinquent on their credit card payments. These scammers make false promises to the ...
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  • This is the Worst Time to Have Credit Card Debt

    Posted By admin || 8-Sep-2009

    Credit card companies are frantically taking drastic actions in their attempt to "work around" the new credit card legislation that will restrict their ability to randomly raise interest rates and hit credit card consumers with surprise fees added to their credit card debt. Already credit card consumers are beginning to scream foul. An article in the NJ featured a distraught credit card consumer ...
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  • Property Tax Scammers Strike Again

    Posted By admin || 4-Sep-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, Dallas-Fort Worth senior citizens are being targeted by a company claiming that they can help them pay less in property taxes. Many senior citizen homeowners have received very official looking papers in the mail with a Fort Worth P.O. Box asking that they send $55 for help reducing their property taxes. The article said: "When Gilberto Perez received ...
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  • Tips on Avoiding Financial Trouble

    Posted By admin || 3-Sep-2009

    If you're in financial hot water, it may be too late to do anything but consult an experienced Dallas bankruptcy attorney to help bail you out. However, even then, the following steps will definitely go a long way toward improving your financial (and emotional) state of being. 1. Make a realistic budget--and stick to it! You may have to re-evaluate and revise it from time to time, especially any ...
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  • Banks Are Sticking Their Noses Where They Don't Belong

    Posted By admin || 2-Sep-2009

    If you have filled out an application for credit with a bank recently you've probably noticed that the banks have made a little change to their bankruptcy question. Before, banks would ask potential customers if they had filed bankruptcy within the past 10 years. Now, banks are asking potential customers if they have "ever" filed bankruptcy. Should this be allowed? After 10 years a bankruptcy is ...
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  • Know Your Rights When Negotiating with Credit Card Companies

    Posted By admin || 31-Aug-2009

    There may come a time when you need to negotiate a payment solution with a credit card company. You might find yourself with an increased minimum payment, an increased interest rate, or perhaps your income has changed and you can no longer afford the minimum payment. Remember that no matter how much the bill collector insists that you pay them immediately, your credit card bill might not be the ...
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  • Selling Your Home When You're Broke

    Posted By admin || 27-Aug-2009

    Foreclosures are up as the unemployment rate rises above 6% in Texas. Not surprisingly, with these foreclosures comes a 4.7% decline in market value. "The decline in demand and prices correlates more to the job losses now showing up in markets in Texas than because of excess inventory," said Ted Wilson of Dallas housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. "Interestingly, job losses have occurred ...
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  • Cancel Your Credit Cards Before the Creditor Does

    Posted By admin || 21-Aug-2009

    If you fear that you are falling behind, canceling credit cards before your creditor does sometimes makes sense. In her book, Bounce Back From Bankruptcy, Paula Langguth Ryan warns of the consequences of letting your credit card company cancel your credit cards before you do. The reason you want to cancel first is simple. It will look better on your credit reports if it shows that your account was ...
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  • Beware of Internet Lending Scams

    Posted By admin || 14-Jul-2009

    According to an article in the AZ Family some debtors struggling to fight foreclosure, repossessions and other financial problems are being ensnared by internet lending scams that offer "high-risk loans" to people with credit problems. The article said: "I got on the Internet and looked for high-risk loans because my credit isn't great," Woolway said. She came across a company called Westgate ...
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  • There are No Debtor's Prisons!

    Posted By admin || 10-Jul-2009

    Many debtors considering bankruptcy are confused about a very important fact when it comes to debt collection. Many of them mistakenly believe that debtors' prisons await those who fail to pay their debts. Fortunately for them, the existence of debtors' prisons is a myth. You would think that this myth would have been dispelled; but this robust myth tends to reemerge every time the country faces a ...
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  • New Credit Card Rules Take Effect February But Companies are Finding Loopholes Now

    Posted By admin || 7-Jul-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the majority of the new credit card legislation passed by Congress will take effect February 2010; but many credit card companies are finding loopholes in the law and changing credit card rules now to recoup potentially lost profits. The new credit card legislation will prohibit certain practices related to interest and fees; but many credit card ...
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  • Car Titles Loans are Risky Business -- Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

    Posted By admin || 7-Jul-2009

    A car title loan is a short-term loan (using your car as collateral) that's intended to be no longer than thirty days. If you don't repay the car title loan your vehicle can be seized and sold to pay off the loan. Car title loans are usually targeted at low-income individuals and come with very high interest rates, as much as 22% interest for one month or 300% interest for one year. Although car ...
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  • Credit Unions to Compete with Payday Lenders

    Posted By admin || 2-Jul-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, eight credit unions in North Texas plan to compete directly with payday lenders by providing short-term loans to the low-income community who depend on payday loans. Credit Unions are developing a pilot program to entice low-income consumers of payday loans to join a credit union and take out short-term loans from the credit union instead. The article ...
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  • Protecting Youth From Credit Card Abuse

    Posted By admin || 26-Jun-2009

    In Sections 301 to 305 of the new credit card legislation are designed to control the credit card industry's very aggressive targeting of youth in college, specifically those less than 21 years old. The legislation specifically requires anyone younger than 21 to prove that they can repay the money before being given a credit card or have a parent or guardian promise to pay off their debt if they ...
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  • Beware Of Debt Settlement Pitfalls

    Posted By admin || 1-Jun-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, debt settlement can often leave debtor's worse off than they were before they attempted to settle the debt. The article said: Anybody buried in bills has seen the ads or received letters or calls from companies promising to settle credit card debt for 50 cents on the dollar. The pitch is that debt settlement is a better way out than credit counseling, ...
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  • Senate Passes Legislation To Restrict Credit Card Companies

    Posted By admin || 20-May-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the Senate voted to pass legislation (90-5) that would rein in credit card rate increases and fees. The article said: "This is a victory for every American consumer who has ever suffered at the hands of a credit card company," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Banking Committee... If it is enacted into law as expected, the credit ...
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  • Credit Card Companies Continue Controversial Practices

    Posted By admin || 13-May-2009

    According to the Center For Responsible Lending, despite the pending Federal Reserve rule changes governing credit cards, many credit card companies are continuing practices that harm consumers. The Center For Responsible Lending took a look at the behaviors of the top eight credit card companies, Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, HSBC, Discover, American Express, and Wells ...
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  • Credit Card Legislation Sent To Senate

    Posted By admin || 12-May-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, new credit card legislation is making its way through the Senate. The bill, if passed would include measures that protect credit card holders from some rate hikes and require special treatment of credit card holders under 21 years of age. The article said: The latest proposal would prohibit lenders from increasing interest rates on past purchases ...
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  • Texas Residents Can Now Deduct Sales Taxes On Federal Income Tax Returns

    Posted By admin || 4-May-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, Congress made permanent a tax law that allows Texas residents to deduct state and local sales taxes from their federal income tax returns. The article said: In 2004, Congress approved the provision allowing taxpayers who itemize to deduct either their state income tax or their state and local sales tax expenses, and it has been extended on a one- or ...
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  • Credit Card Holder's Bill Of Rights Close To Becoming Law

    Posted By admin || 30-Apr-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, new legislation that would rein in credit card practices is set for a vote in Congress on Thursday. The article said: Measures before the House and Senate are designed to enhance protections for credit card customers. The House bill, which was being put to a vote Thursday, would prohibit so-called double-cycle billing and retroactive rate hikes ...
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  • Debtor Beware: Tax Refund Loans

    Posted By admin || 16-Apr-2009

    Beware of Tax Refund Loans It's the day after Tax Day and many still have not filed their taxes. For those of you who have procrastinated and are tempted to take out a tax refund loan to "speed up" the process or "bridge" the financial gap, please take a look at the hard facts. A study conducted by the National Consumer Law Center found that almost 9 million Americans (1 in 5 taxpayers) paid out ...
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  • Now Is The Time To Be Credit Cautious

    Posted By admin || 16-Apr-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, credit card companies are raising interest rates, decreasing credit limits and charging higher fees even on their best customers those who never miss a payment. The article said: D.J. Kennedy uses her credit card when she runs out of money at the end of the month. "I use it to buy food and medicine," the Fort Worth woman says. Then she repays the bill ...
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  • Be Wary Of Debt Consolidation Scams

    Posted By admin || 10-Apr-2009

    Debt Consolidation Scams Many debtors do everything they can to avoid filing Bankruptcy, an effort that often sends them through debt consolidation before they end up in bankruptcy court. As we have warned before, be very wary of debt consolidation or debt settlement companies who are not legitimate and/or make claims that they can make debt "disappear." This is simply untrue. Debt ...
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  • Texas Legislators Poised To Rein In Payday Lenders

    Posted By admin || 3-Apr-2009

    According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the Texas Legislature is attempting to pass legislation that would establish government oversight in the largely unregulated payday loan industry. The article said: Among the measures are licensing requirements, a 36 percent limit on interest rates charged on such loans, establishment of maximum fees allowed and oversight of debt-collection practices. ...
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  • GMAC Financing To Make Credit Access Easier

    Posted By admin || 2-Apr-2009

    According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, General Motors' financing arm will temporarily waive some dealer fees and free-up $5 billion for loans to less credit-worthy applicants as it desperately tries to fight off bankruptcy. The article said: GMAC, which provides financing to both General Motors Corp. dealers and customers, is waiving through June the fee for posting aging vehicles on ...
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  • Beware Of New Credit Card Tricks

    Posted By admin || 1-Apr-2009

    Between January 2007 and January 2009 credit card defaults increased by 75 percent, sending many credit card companies into a panicky frenzy in an effort to avoid the slew of bankruptcies caused by massive foreclosures in the mortgage industry. What They're Doing Plain and simple, credit card companies are cutting limits, increasing rates, increasing monthly minimum payments, instituting new ...
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  • Keep Meticulous Records Of Child Support Payments

    Posted By admin || 5-Mar-2009

    The Texas bankruptcy case of Arnold, Joel C.; In re, demonstrates the importance of keeping meticulous records of child support payments. After filing for bankruptcy relief, a debtor objected to a proof of claim of $6,793 filed by the Texas Attorney General for 13 months of unpaid child support. The bankruptcy debtor claimed that he did in fact make the child support payments; but only had proof ...
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  • Debtor Beware! There Be Sharks Out There!

    Posted By admin || 10-Feb-2009

    There is a saying that needs to be heeded in these times of financial stress and strain..."Forewarned is forearmed." Let's be forewarned about one thing as we move deeper into this recession. Payday loans are a sure road to more financial pain and eventually bankruptcy. As the financial casualties pile up we are seeing a resurgence of payday loan predators targeting ill-informed consumers and ...
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  • Even If Your Business Is Failing Don't Destroy Financial Records

    Posted By admin || 9-Jan-2009

    It's tough times in this economy, especially for the small business owner. Job losses, bankruptcies and the collapsing credit markets are having a ripple effect on small businesses and entrepreneurs. Many small businesses are finding it difficult to get credit, find clients and collect on outstanding invoices. All of these variables combined are creating a serious financial crisis for small ...
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  • Dallas-Fort Worth's Old Car Replacement Program Suffers

    Posted By admin || 10-Dec-2008

    Did you know that Dallas-Fort Worth has an old car replacement program that gives $3,000 vouchers to residents who turn in an old car and purchase a new one? Cars need to be at least 10 years old and the voucher must be used to purchase a new car. That's right, they want Dallas residents to get rid of their old; but fully paid for clunkers and get a new car loan. Not only that; but the vouchers ...
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  • Four Tax Tips For A Troubled Economy

    Posted By admin || 6-Oct-2008

    1. Write Off Property Sale Losses If you experienced a foreclosure, deed-in-lieu of sale, mortgage-loan modification or a short sale and had debt forgiven, you need to know that the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 will treat any forgiven debt as taxable income. But in an effort to aid people during the credit crisis, Congress allowed homeowners with mortgage debt forgiven in 2007, ...
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