Bankruptcy Alternatives Amidst The Pandemic

The pandemic has affected almost everyone financially in some way. Many people do not have friends they can borrow money from seeing as most of the people they know are also experiencing financial turmoil. The government has tried to alleviate the problem by offering unemployment reliefs and payrolls for small businesses, but it is not enough. Here are some ways people can avoid or delay bankruptcy during these times.

Inform the Mortgage Lender in Due Time

Someone who has been laid off and cannot pay their monthly rent or mortgage should quickly inform their mortgage lender. The lender may agree to give you a forbearance – a temporary period during which no mortgage payments are due.

Pay the Credit Card Minimum

You should put some amount away to pay your credit card minimum any time you receive a government relief. During the crisis, it is advised that unemployed people should not pay more than required toward their credit cards. And, if at all possible, stop using credit cards.  The interests charged on the credit card can hurt an individual’s financial stability

Consider an Inexpensive Car

If someone is unemployed, they are probably not using their car as often. However, many people still have to run errands with their vehicle even when they are not going to work. Therefore, car expenses may be drastically reduced. Yet with little to no source of income, the individual may want to trade in the car and get a cheaper one. The economy will eventually recover, and one can always get another car. The most important thing for now, however, is surviving.

Look for an Alternative Job

The lockdown has driven many companies to develop new opportunities that all employees can explore. It can be easy to sit back and wait for the economy to improve before finding another job. However, this should not be the case. An individual should identify their skills and find out what they can do right now. For example, there are many work-from-home jobs that now exist, such as web design, proofreading, content writing, and much more.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

How To Alleviate Debt From The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic plunged millions of Americans into financial chaos. The sudden decrease in income has made it difficult – and for some impossible – to pay expenses. Here are some tips for alleviating your debt during the COVID-19 crisis.

  1. Contact Your Creditors. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most credit card companies and mortgage lenders offer assistance to customers. Some utility companies are offering help as well. Contact your creditors and ask if they have a COVID-19 assistance plan.
  1. Get Unemployment. President Trump signed The CARES Act on March 27, 2020. CARES gives states the option to extend unemployment benefits to workers who are usually ineligible – such as independent contractors. Your state’s unemployment insurance office can tell you if these benefits are available in your state.
  1. Speak with Your Landlord. Federal and local governments are making an effort to halt some evictions up until December 31, 2020. An order called “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19” went into effect on September 4, 2020. 

The order has strict rules about which tenants are covered. Tenants ineligible for the order may possibly have state eviction protection. If any eviction protection doesn’t cover you, speak with your landlord as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

  1. Contact Your Car Loan Lender. Some car loan lenders are allowing borrowers to defer loan payments. For example, Ford Motor Credit is offering payment extensions and waiving late fees upon request. And Wells Fargo Bank is waiving late fees and offering payment deferments for three-months. Contact your lender and see if they’re assisting borrowers affected by the pandemic.
  1. Request Student Loan Forbearance or Deferment. A student loan deferment allows you to stop paying the principal or interest on your loan temporarily. Submit a request for deferment to your loan provider. For a Federal Perkins Loan, submit your request to the financial aid office at your school.

If you don’t qualify for a deferment, request student loan forbearance. Forbearance temporarily reduces your monthly payment for up to a year or gives you the option to stop paying on the principal temporarily. If forbearance or deferment aren’t best for your situation, consider an income-driven repayment plan if you’re working.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

Finance Tips For Entrepreneurs

New entrepreneurs are usually driven by passion and a will to succeed. Unfortunately, sometimes they forget to focus on some of the less exciting aspects of owning a business, which includes their finances. Here are some finance tips that will help you to succeed as an entrepreneur. 

Monitor All Spending

As an entrepreneur, you should get accustomed to monitoring your spending. You will have plenty of expenses to track, so it’s best to use accounting software. Otherwise, you will have a hard time staying organized and may have a mess to deal with when tax time rolls around. 

Establish a Budget

Cash flow is going to be an essential part of your business’s success, so you need to quickly establish a budget and stick to it. You should know where every dollar is going, and where every dollar is coming from. Most businesses fail because they run out of money, so keeping a budget is critical.

Remember That Time is Money

You’ve heard before that “time is money,” but this is particularly true for entrepreneurs. Be careful about how you spend your time, just as you are careful about how you spend your money. You don’t need to work every second of the day, but you shouldn’t be wasting time either. 

Set Goals

Setting realistic financial goals for your business will help you to be more successful. You may dream of owning a multi-million dollar business but start by setting smaller goals. For example, how much do you want to be bringing one year from now? Set small goals and celebrate every milestone you hit along the way!

Stay Positive But Be Prepared

As an entrepreneur, you will need to remain positive, even when the odds are stacked against you. You should, however, prepare yourself for the hard times. For example, if you are building your business while working a full-time job to pay your bills, you should try to keep your job as long as you can. If you quit too early, you risk not being able to pay your bills, and could even lose your home. Prepare for the worst by making smart decisions, like keeping an emergency fund at all times. 

It’s OK to Pay Yourself

You might think that you shouldn’t pay yourself until your business is overtly successful, but make sure you have enough money to live comfortably. You don’t have to take much, just be sure you are rewarding yourself for some of that hard work you are putting in. 

Entrepreneurship can be a gratifying career path, as long as you approach it with caution. Follow these tips, and you will be more likely to succeed as an entrepreneur!

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

The Value of Pre-Bankruptcy Planning

Bankruptcy is a strenuous process that often begins long before a bankruptcy claim is actually filed. More often than not, businesses and individuals alike can accurately read the financial signs and understand that bankruptcy is impending. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial to plan beforehand in order to avoid any mistakes that could jeopardize your bankruptcy case.

Honesty and Accuracy

First, and most importantly, it is imperative that you or your business is completely honest and as accurate as possible throughout the beginning stages. Every financial record will show exactly what was done in the months and years prior, as it is extremely rare for any of these transactions to fall through the cracks.

Providing false information severely hurts one’s chances of properly filing for bankruptcy, and can even result in being permanently banned from doing so ever again, not to mention potential fines and/or criminal charges.

Work With an Attorney

Consulting an expert in the field of bankruptcy is always highly recommended. Aside from the legal obligation of speaking with bankruptcy lawyers beforehand, you can receive expert guidance in order to protect your assets and reduce as much risk as possible. This is an area in which it is strongly discouraged to try and pinch pennies by tackling this yourself. Most courts encourage stout legal representation when it comes to filing for bankruptcy, so doing it alone is not always the wisest decision.

Move Quickly

As stated before, most people understand when their financial debts are beginning to pile up, and when bankruptcy begins to show itself on the horizon. That being said, it is much better to start putting the necessary pieces of information together now rather than later in order to save yourself a significant amount of trouble. Do your research, work closely with your bankruptcy attorney, and avoid procrastination at all costs.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

How To Come Back From Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is never a good feeling or an easy thing to do. The prospect of trying to restore your financial stability and your credit can often become overwhelming. For those who have gotten to the other side of the bankruptcy tunnel, it can often come with a sense of freedom; it’s a chance to start new. When you have gotten to that other side, it’s essential to make a plan for post-bankruptcy. 

The Paperwork From Your Bankruptcy 

The paperwork that you obtained from filing your bankruptcy needs to go into a safe place. Odds are you’ll never want to see it again, but if there ever comes a time that you need to request a loan, you will need to have that paperwork handy. It could even become handy if there is a creditor down the line that could claim you still owe money; having that paperwork on hand can ensure that you no longer owe any other payments. 

Rebuilding Your Credit

Once you have cleared the bankruptcy tunnel, don’t rush into applying for a loan or buying a brand new car, that’s a recipe for falling right back into debt. When trying to rebuild your credit, consider opening a credit card or a secured credit card. These are designed for those who have little to no credit or bad credit. With a secured card, you are required to put down a deposit of $200 to $300 before using the card. While they are often beneficial to your credit, they can incur some snags, such as high-interest rates and annual fees. 

Understanding Your Bankruptcy 

It’s essential to understand the cause of your bankruptcy. Was it a temporary situation such as a job loss or an illness that caused issues with your full-time employment? If the primary root for your bankruptcy was caused by something of this nature, know that it is possible to come back financially. Dwelling on any sense of impossibility will only inhibit your ability to do so.

Establishing a Positive Relationship With Your Bank

Eventually, there will come a time when you need to apply for a loan after making the initial steps to go back from your bankruptcy. When you are ready to apply for a loan, you should try to have some personal connection with your lenders. Establish a relationship with your loan officers or even the CEO of your small community bank. Explain to them the reasoning behind your bankruptcy, ensure that they know that your default won’t happen again, and why the protection was needed in the first place. This will help you be seen as more of a human to lenders than just a number on a piece of paper. 

Who You Borrow From

After you have come back from bankruptcy, always consider from whom you’re borrowing. Your lenders will recognize that you have more expendable money now that you are out of debt, and you will not be able to file for bankruptcy again for a few years to try and eliminate any new debt that you have accumulated. Consult with your bankruptcy attorney; they will be able to help provide you with the names of mortgage brokers, car dealers, and even credit companies that will be able to help you by offering competitive rates.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

Finding The Right Bankruptcy Attorney For You

Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult task both procedurally and mentally given the stigma of falling into financial difficulties. However, this does not have to be traversed alone. Working with a bankruptcy attorney is extremely beneficial in a variety of ways, as they can simplify the many technicalities that come with this process and help you avoid taking any missteps. Bankruptcy as a whole has many long-term consequences, both legally and financially. Therefore, finding the right attorney for you is strongly suggested.

Schedule a Consultation

Even if you haven’t decided to file for bankruptcy just yet, speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can yield some sound advice. You may find that bankruptcy is not actually the wisest route, and that there are alternative ways of settling any debts that you owe. Attorneys can also offer insight on some of the most common mistakes made during the initial stages of filing for bankruptcy. Overall, the more time spent with a bankruptcy attorney, the better. As an added bonus, hiring an attorney often results in a large decrease in calls from creditors, which can save both time and stress.

Consider Pricing

Paying for a competent bankruptcy attorney is important, but it is also important to not overpay. Many firms that advertise their pricing may reference the lowest fee possible that does not apply to all potential clients, or they fail to mention that some services are an additional cost. 

Hiring a less expensive attorney purely for the sake of saving money will often result in more money lost, surprisingly. Due to corners cut, work being outsourced, and a final mediocre bankruptcy petition, more time and money will have to be spent accommodating and/or making up for this subpar work.

Don’t Hire Too Quickly

You should never feel pressured to hire the first bankruptcy attorney you interview. Your main priorities should lie in figuring out your best options for overcoming your debt, and whether or not the attorney in question can help you achieve that. After all, bankruptcy is a cooperative effort. y

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

Networking For Bankruptcy Attorneys: Tips and Tricks

Attorneys want their bankruptcy firms to grow. Networking can give attorneys unique tools to grow their businesses, improve their abilities as attorneys, and even partner with mentors or those who need to be mentored. Most networking happens at conventions or other business events, but effective networking requires effort. The following are a few tips that can help.

Network with a Purpose

Networking is more than just working the room. In a large conference, especially if the meeting is virtual, it can be impossible to talk to everyone.

Therefore, attorneys need to create a targeted list of people they want to meet. This allows them to direct their blows in a pinpointed way. The list may include people who the attorney views as an inspiration, presenters in different panels, or staff from a particular firm.

Even better, attorneys can contact the people they want to speak with in advance to schedule a few minutes to chat. Creating a targeted list makes it possible to avoid conversations that are not beneficial and spend more time on those that add value.

Listen

When someone gives of themselves and is willing to have a conversation, it is crucial to listen to that individual thoughtfully. No one enjoys having their time wasted by talking to someone who is not listening to them.

At conferences, lawyers have countless conversations. Many of them are simple introductions and the exchanging of business cards. Usually, those conversations don’t go anywhere; however, the discussions where a person is listened to usually lead to relationships that can lead to business down the line.

Take an Active Role at the Conference

Attendees can be passive at a conference and simply listen. However, those who take an active role by volunteering at the forum get a unique perspective on attending. Volunteering puts an attorney in a position to interact with more of the attendees and make a memorable impression.

Attendees feel more comfortable approaching a volunteer and may see them as a source of information. Volunteers may have more one-on-one time with speakers at the conference.

Get the Entire Office Involved

There may be too many people of interest at a conference for just one attorney to talk to them all. However, if networking is approached as a staff goal, an entire team can work together to identify the people they want to meet, plan dinners and lunches, and make connections that can increase business.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

The Benefit of Bankruptcy

 While bankruptcy isn’t typically seen as an enjoyable experience to go through financially, it has certain benefits if you have a substantial debt to resolve. Since filing for bankruptcy can be pretty emotional for some people, it can help relieve stress in several ways. 

 After filing for bankruptcy, people will notice that calls from debt collection agencies cease and that creditors will no longer be filing lawsuits to claim debt owed. Before filing for bankruptcy, many of those who receive a paycheck will notice that their wages are being garnished. This practice ends after the bankruptcy filing is approved. More importantly, for homeowners, a bankruptcy filing prevents the bank from foreclosing on your home. Meaning that you get to stay in your home as you repay or restructure your debt. Specific repossessions may also stop, but this depends on where you live and the type of bankruptcy filed. 

 If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many debts will go away altogether. Depending on the state you live in, specific property like vehicles or furnishings are protected from being sold. Overall, bankruptcy works for those who want a fresh start to be free from a mountain of debt. 

 Whether or not bankruptcy will work for someone varies on the individual and their needs. First of all, it’s essential to determine the type of bankruptcy filing someone is eligible for. This depends on how much debt you have, whether you own a home and other factors. Some folks worry about the kind of impact bankruptcy could have on their credit report or future access to loans or credit lines. Filing bankruptcy may also prevent someone from getting low interest rates in the future. For those filing for Chapter 7, their assets may be on the line as the case is worked out. 

 Specific forms of bankruptcy may not erase credit card debt and could put cosigners for loans at risk of having creditors go after them as well. If someone has a pension or other type of savings fund, it could be impacted by debt filing. Naturally, many people are also hesitant about having their financial information become public knowledge in a courtroom setting.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

Obtaining a Mortgage after Bankruptcy

Although necessary at times, filing for bankruptcy can be a painful experience. After bankruptcy, many people still want to obtain a mortgage. While the mortgage process usually requires a good credit report and lenders can view bankruptcy on a credit report as an adverse incident.

While it may be a challenge to obtain new credit to help rebuild credit reporting, it is possible. The following are several suggestions on how you can improve your credit after filing for bankruptcy.

Ways to Improve Credit Scores

With a secured loan, you can slowly start to rebuild your credit. A secured loan is a credit product backed with some collateral. Examples of collateral are vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, and insurance policies. If the borrower does not pay the loan back on time, they risk losing the collateral.

Secured credit cards are like secured loans, except the card is backed by a cash deposit. The limit on the credit card may depend on the amount of the cash deposit. The cash deposit can pay the bill if the borrower does not pay. Sometimes secured credit card companies will change the card to an unsecured status after 12 months of excellent payment history. However, with a secured credit card, fees and higher interest rates can apply.

People may be able to find a cosigner for a credit card or loan. There is a risk to the cosigner because they are putting their credit score on the line. Another option is to become an authorized user on a credit card as long as the lender reports this information to the credit bureaus. Although not as influential on credit reports as cosigner status, this method can be helpful.

Mortgages Requiring lower scores

Qualifying for a mortgage loan with a traditional lender can be difficult, but an FHA (Federal Housing Authority) loan is easier to get than other mortgages. Most mortgage lenders require a waiting period after the bankruptcy filing to apply for a loan. There is no waiting period for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and a two-year waiting period for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with an FHA loan. FHA loans also have fewer credit requirements.

It is possible to live an entirely healthy financial life after filing for bankruptcy. Practicing good credit habits will allow people to build for the future and eventually obtain a new mortgage.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org