How To Budget After Filing For Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, you are in for a long journey to rebuild your finances and financial stability. But once you have survived your bankruptcy, it’s important to put specific measures in place to get your financial situation back on track. How do you rebuild your finances, and what steps can you take to ensure that you never have to file again? Here are some tips on how you can rebuild your finances by creating a budget. 

Avoid the Plastic Card if You Can 

A credit card can provide a lot of temptation as they are easy ways to spend, and even overspend, your cash flow. When you track your expenditures, it’s crucial to stay away from credit cards. While they may be convenient, they often don’t allow you to realize the damage done until you are staring at your credit card bill. Suppose you can try reverting to the old school method of the “envelope system” of budgeting. When you use the envelope system, you can lay out each of your bills by giving them specific envelopes; each month, you take out cash and put in the bill’s total amount. While it may be archaic, it’s a system that works since it allows you to see what you have to spend physically. 

Tracking Your Expenses 

Once your debt is forgiven, you must create a budget and stick to it permanently to resolve your financial problem. This budget can also help you shed light on areas where your spending needs to be improved. It’s essential to see where your money is going each month physically. 

Cutting Back

If it’s not deemed essential, cut it out. Once you have gone through creating a budget and tracking your expenses, you can easily cut out things that are no longer necessary. This could be things like unnecessary shopping, eating out, etc. Cut back on the luxuries, and once you start to find yourself becoming more stable, you can slowly start adding back in those small luxuries. 

Creating A Savings 

Saving is often thought of as the golden ticket when it comes to surviving your bankruptcy. It would be best if you started saving as much as you can. Your budget will help you with this feat. You should be able to save at least 10% of your take-home income while you are attempting to rebuild your finances. With that, you should only be spending around ⅔ of your salary on your fixed expenses, and others go to your recurring expenditures. 

Keep your mind on surviving the bankruptcy; that is your primary goal at the end of this. Don’t be tempted away from your budget, but right now, you need it more than ever. Once you get your budget set, it’s essential to stick with it, and it will help you get a firm grasp on recovering your finances. 

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

Red Flags That May Indicate An Upcoming Bankruptcy

To start, what is bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a legal process that a debtor has entered into to solve their financial problems. In the United States, bankruptcy has become one of the most popular alternatives for resolving debt issues. Because of this, many consumers and businesses have begun to understand the different characteristics of bankruptcy and the signs associated with it. Still, it’s important to look and understand the signs closely.

Knowing these indicators and how they impact your decision to file for bankruptcy may prove to be very helpful in assisting you in making the best possible financial decision.

Indicators that Bankruptcy Might be Necessary

Inability to Pay Bills

The first and perhaps most obvious of the red flags that may indicate that an individual may be preparing to file for bankruptcy is the inability to pay their bills. Many individuals filing for bankruptcy are actually experiencing financial difficulties related to the credit cards and consumer loans they have made.

Typically, when a consumer’s account falls behind, they try to contact the credit card companies and other lenders to rectify the situation. Some companies will allow you to fix the credit situation, but not all will.

Diminishing Income 

Another indicator of potential bankruptcy in the process is diminishing income level. Whether you may be facing the possibility of a looming financial crisis may be indicated by funds in the household decreasing. Typically, this is due to job loss. 

Once a consumer’s income has dropped, they may begin to look at their various assets and begin to liquidate some of them to raise money to prevent a large-scale financial loss.

While this strategy may work in some cases, it is important to keep in mind that it will simply result in a loss of thousands of dollars worth of assets in the majority of cases. While the goal of any individual looking to prevent bankruptcy may be to have enough money to cover their debts, liquidating all of your assets will not help to accomplish this goal. It’s important to be honest with yourself in this situation to know if this applies to you.

Conclusion

There are a wide variety of causes that can lead to bankruptcy.  It’s important to talk to a financial expert or bankruptcy lawyer to see what options are available for you.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

The Process of Filing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy involves more than paying a filing fee and listing creditors. It’s paperwork-intensive, quite complicated and should involve you consulting with a bankruptcy attorney.

The Process of Filing Bankruptcy

Before beginning the bankruptcy process, here is what to do:

1. Gather Necessary Documentation and Information

One needs to gather information on their income and debts from the following documents:

  • Past six months of paychecks
  • Past two years of income tax filed returns
  • Copies of all current due bills
  • Copies of documents that creditors sent
  • Credit reports

2. Estimating the Value of Assets

One must provide a list of their possessions and estimates of value, no matter their worth. For automobiles and real estate, online valuation estimates may be enough. But for household items and personal items like valuable art, clothing, jewelry, you may need an appraisal.

3. Calculating Expenses

You’re required to provide your monthly expenses for things such as:

  • Insurance
  • Lease or car loan payment
  • Mortgage or Rent
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Gas and maintenance
  • Medical expenses

4. Completing the Bankruptcy Petition, Schedules and Statements

This is the more difficult part.  And I reiterate – though you’re not required to – you should probably hire an attorney to handle the entire filing process for you.  You can lose assets if the papers are not completed correctly, or if you complete papers for the wrong chapter of bankruptcy.

5. Take the Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Course

Every individual who files for bankruptcy, must complete a credit counseling course before filing.  The course can be completed via telephone or online and usually can be done in 90 minutes or less.

What to Expect After Filing for Bankruptcy

Once you file for bankruptcy, you receive a number for your case. Creditors will also get a notice of the filing. A few days after filing for bankruptcy, a meeting will be set for you to meet with the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors, if any of them decide to appear. 

The final step is receiving a discharge order, which frees you of all dischargeable debt.  You will receive the discharge order about 3 – 4 months after filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  You will receive a discharge order in a chapter 13 case after you’ve made all your plan payments, which typically takes 3 – 5 years.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.org

The 8 Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Knows

Successful entrepreneurs all have a few qualities in common. What is it that sets successful ones apart from the unsuccessful ones? You might be wondering if you have what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur in today’s world. If so, here is what you need to know about the qualities of successful entrepreneurs

  • Discipline

Regardless of the product, they create or the business they are in, all successful entrepreneurs are disciplined. They stay focused on their goals and work hard, even when it would be easier to quit. They do not allow excuses or fear of failure get in the way of their achievements, but instead, work through every hardship.

  • Internally Motivated

Successful entrepreneurs are also internally motivated. They do not have bosses to answer to or a certain number of hours to clock in every week. They rely solely on their internal drive to push them every day. 

  • Passionate

Another quality that all successful entrepreneurs share is passion. They love their work and are willing to put in the effort it takes to see their dreams become a reality. They will often work around the clock because they genuinely want to spend their time pouring into their businesses. 

  • Relational

Most successful entrepreneurs also put a strong emphasis on relationships. They generally recognize that they cannot be successful on their own. They need to build teams of people around them, as well as networks of other business owners.

  • Risk-taking

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must be willing to take risks. It’s also essential to have good instincts regarding which risks to take and which risks should be avoided. Successful entrepreneurs have all taken significant risks, and they haven’t allowed themselves to be deterred, even if those risks didn’t pay off.

  • Innovative

Successful entrepreneurs are also innovative. When something doesn’t work out as they planned, they find a new way to do it. Even when they have a good product, they are continually looking for ways to make it better. They strive for continuous improvement in all aspects of their business. 

  • Competitive

Successful entrepreneurs all have a competitive spirit. They thrive on challenges and enjoy winning. They aren’t afraid of other businesses in the same market because they believe they can beat them through hard work and innovation. 

  • Willingness to Fail

Lastly, successful entrepreneurs are willing to fail because they recognize that failure is an essential part of success. If a person is paralyzed by the idea of failure, they will almost certainly fail as an entrepreneur. You must shift your perspective and begin to see failure as a stepping stone on the path to success, rather than a roadblock.

This article was originally published on RashadBlossom.co

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