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Monday, August 4, 2014

Six Things to Know Before Declaring Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy is always an unpleasant thing to consider, but it may be the only way that you can escape crippling debt that is impossible to pay off. If you need to declare bankruptcy, there are some things you need to know.

1.      Be prepared to have your finances exposed

When you file, you will need to appear at a meeting of all of your creditors in court. A bankruptcy trustee will ask you questions about your finances, and creditors can ask questions as well. You will have to be completely honest and list off all property, assets, creditors and debts. Otherwise, you face potential fines and jail time.

2.      Read through the paperwork

Bankruptcy proceedings involve filing a lot of complicated forms, and you should take as much time as you need to properly understand them before taking the final step. The one form you should look at the most is the statement of financial affairs.

3.      Never file for bankruptcy without an attorney

It'll cost you a little more, but a good bankruptcy attorney can help you avoid needless seizures and help you navigate through the maze of laws that are tied to bankruptcy. Be completely honest to your lawyer and to the trustee that's assigned to you. If hiring an attorney is difficult because of your financial difficulties, then you may file a petition for a fee waiver with the court.

4.      Remember that bankruptcy is personal

This may seem like an odd lesson, but bankruptcy protection does not actually eliminate debt. If you're declaring bankruptcy because of a loan, then creditors can still go after other co-signers that are on that loan.

5.      Don't pay off certain creditors

Many people will try to pay off some debts before declaring bankruptcy. Doing this will ruin your case while using credit cards to do so is considered fraud. You'll need to consult your lawyer if you've already paid someone off.

6.      Bankruptcy can take a long time

The average chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts four months while the average chapter 13 can last up to five years. You'll have to be prepared for a long slog if you want a bankruptcy discharge.

You'll need to weigh these facts and others before making a final decision. If you feel that you're prepared, then consult a lawyer to begin the process. The process is hard, but it can help you start anew.

Information credited to AC Waring & Associates Inc., a bankruptcy trustee in Edmonton.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How To Deal With The Financial Burden Of Car Repairs

Hearing a random rattle in the hood or a squeak in the brakes is never too promising. On top of fearing for your safety, you're afraid of the cost. Fortunately, smart planning and intelligent decision-making skills help you to deal with these unexpected costs.

Have Money Set Aside

While you certainly cannot predict the moment when a car problem is going to happen, you can do your best to be prepared for it. Having a completely drained bank account is not smart for a variety of reasons, and unforeseen car issues are some of them. If you always have at least a little bit of money set aside, then you do not need to worry about charging expensive repairs on your credit card or driving around with a damaged vehicle.

Purchase Service Contracts and Warranties

As soon as you buy your car, you can start taking steps to ensure the financial cost of the repairs is covered. First, find out if a warranty is available for the vehicle. The manufacturer may cover certain repairs. You also should ask about an extended service contract. People who are planning to have the car for a long time can benefit from paying a little bit each month into the account.

Take Out a Small Loan

Adding more debt onto existing bills is not the best decision to make, but sometimes, it's the only one. Talk to your bank about small loan amounts that are available to cover the cost of repairs. You can also look into payday loans. However, you want to be sure that you'll have the amount of money to pay back when it is due. When choosing loans, always pay attention to the interest rates so that you aren't paying back significantly more than you took out.

Opt for Used Car Parts

Depending on where you go to have your vehicle fixed, you might be able to ask for used car parts. Choosing these parts over brand new ones could mean that you are not getting the best products on the market, but you are buying something that is affordable. You can use these parts at least for now and look into upgrading when you have a little bit more money. Used tires, like ones purchased at Hercules tire sales, are an example of common used car parts.

Dealing with the cost of car repairs does not need to be a nightmare when you have money saved or are wise about obtaining funds for the work
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Educate Yourself: 5 Less Known Loan Types And When You Might Need Them

The following loan types can help people in exceptional circumstances. A 203 (K) or a balloon mortgage come with benefits and obligations that will fit different types of borrowers looking to purchase a home. Reverse mortgages and secure loans effectively put up equity or assets as loan collateral. Cash advances are smaller loans that many can use for a short-term occasional cash infusion.

FHA 203 (K)

203 (K) loans can be put to good use by people handy and knowledgeable in home repair. Finding a shabby house, repairing it and selling a newly-renovated high-value property is the ideal situation that a 203 (K) loan facilitates. However, borrowers should research whether a given repair or renovation will demand a proportionately higher price on the real estate market. Some home renovations and “improvements” end up being very unprofitable.

Balloon Mortgages

Typically, these loans have a 5 or 7-year duration with a fixed low rate that is very attractive. The trick to balloon mortgages is that they have a giant “balloon” payment at the end that is due all at once. For example, a five-year mortgage for $100,000 at 5 percent annual interest would require monthly payments of $536.82. This is reasonable while it lasts, but the balloon is a $92,365.63 obligation at the conclusion of the loan.

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage converts existing home equity into cash without monthly repayment requirement as long as the borrower lives in the house. Upon sale of the property, the lender is paid back proportionately to the percentage of equity turned into cash. In effect, a reverse mortgage lets a borrower benefit now from a future property sale without losing the property.

Secured Loan

Secured loans are based on an asset that the lender has a right to confiscate in case a borrower does not make agreed-upon payments. As long as the secured collateral is not critical, secured loans may be a good idea for borrowers with bad credit scores.

Cash Advance

These are short-term and relatively small infusions suitable for necessities. The experts from Deerfield Pawnbrokers say cash advances can be made by tax specialists, with the borrower’s anticipated tax refund used to pay back the principal borrowed and appropriate interest.

Though they may seem like great deals, prospective borrowers should be very careful to read the fine print. Each of these loan types have sub-categories based on specific borrower needs, expenses and lender risk.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quick Cash - 5 Ways To Get Money Quickly

No matter how much money you make from your job, it’s always nice to be able to make some extra cash on the side. However, it can be difficult to find money-making opportunities, with everything else you have going on. Luckily, it can be done. Here are five ways to get money quickly to help you pad your bank account even more.

Sell Your Stuff
Everyone has a ton of old junk lying around their home that they may not think is very useful. However, your old trash may just be considered treasure to someone else. Whether it’s old clothes, electronics or anything else, consider taking your stuff to a pawnshop, like
Gold Star Jewelers, or having a garage sale. In either way, you might be surprised to find out what people will pay for your old stuff.

Get A Loan
If you are really hurting for money and need it now, consider getting a loan through a bank or a payday loan from a financial lender. Loans should be used carefully and paid back as quickly as possible in order to avoid high interest rates. However, when you need money in a crunch, they can be incredibly helpful.

Look Online
If you already have a fulltime job, you likely won’t have the time for another one. But if you are looking for some extra money, there are usually freelance manual labor jobs that you can find in the classified listings online. Some people may need help moving or landscaping their yard, and they’ll be willing to pay someone to help them. This is a great opportunity for side money and jobs are always presenting themselves on the Internet.

If you are a healthy and able-bodied person, there are a few different options to consider that allow you to donate for money. Women can donate their eggs for hefty amounts of money and men can donate sperm, though it may be for less than what woman get for their reproductive parts. And both men and women can donate plasma, which can bring in upwards of $50 per trip.

Recycling is not only good for the environment, but it also helps you earn money as well. Some people may opt for going around and picking up old soda cans to put together a few extra cents here and there, but another option is to go for larger pieces of scrap metal. Both types of recycling can bring in a bit of extra money, if you know what to look for and where to recycle it.

Earning extra money is something many people wish they could do. But in order to do so, you may have to think outside the box and get a bit creative. Consider the options here for getting money quickly when you need it.
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Selling And Buying Gold - What You Need To Know Going In

Most people are aware that the gold market offers a lot of opportunities for creating wealth and for safeguarding that wealth. But potential investors have to be aware of a number of issues before jumping in.

Price Fluctuates

First of all, most people have to accept the fact that the price of gold changes constantly and can fluctuate drastically from one day to another. Time when the price of gold drifted boringly between $400 and $500 (per troy ounce) is long gone. Nowadays, moves of $30 and more in a single day are very common. Potential investors can follow those price swings as they happen on COMEX (New York Commodity Exchange where the gold contract is traded) or The London Bullion Market. Getting acquainted with past price moves will allow you to enter the market at the most opportune moment as well as create rational expectation of the future gold price appreciation.

Behind The Scenes

Smart investors are also knowledgeable about reasons beyond gold market moves. Knowing what moves gold market will permit you to adjust your gold position according. Geopolitical tensions, possibilities of another financial crisis, instability of major currencies have all the potential to create wild price moves. And these price moves end up being very beneficial to well educated and prepared investors.

Buying 101

But before you decide to jump in, you first have to know what you are buying. Be aware that gold is classified based on its purity. Price of COMEX traded gold is for the highest quality which implies purity of not less than 99.5 percent. This corresponds to 24 karat (most often listed as simply 24k). Gold which carries 14k label has purity of not more than 58.3 percent. Consequently, such metal should carry adequately reduced price tag.


In addition to its purity, some gold coins will carry significant premium due to their historical and archeological value. Such coins or items might be worth multiples more than the metal itself and will often appreciate in value much more over time.

Reputable Dealers

Investors also have to be aware that not all gold dealers are the same. Some may be less informative of gold they are selling, and some who sell gold may not be established dealers at all. It’s always a good idea to stay away from them. Those that are reputable will be well established and have business in operation for a considerable amount of time. They will also clearly mark their prices and purities and be ready to explain rationality behind them. The Sacramento Gold Dealer is a great example of a reputable dealer.

Also get acquainted with how easy it would be to sell your gold back to your dealer in the future, their forms of payment and terms.

Knowing all these factors will help you to obtain the most out of your potential investments and maximize your return.

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