5 Conditions Under Which a Bankruptcy is Needed

For millions of Americans bankruptcy is unthinkable.  Maybe it is the idea of admitting defeat or some people think that it is for deadbeats who are trying to run out on their debts.  However, there are times when bankruptcy is the best option.  With that in mind, we will look at five conditions under which a bankruptcy is needed.

1. Retired with a Mountain of Debt and no Income

Bankruptcy isn’t just for businesses.  In some cases, people work their entire lives and help to provide a better future for their families only end up with a mountain of bills and no income.  According to a report from a professor at Michigan Law School, bankruptcies amongst senior citizens are amongst the fastest growing group in the country.

Granted this report was published in 2010, but the trend is clear.  Millions of Americans have worked their entire lives only to see their retirements wiped out by the dot-com and housing busts, and the Great Recession.

One plus of filing for bankruptcy as a senior citizen is that the first $1.2 million in your IRA account is protected from bankruptcy.  However, the process can be a bit tricky and you need to make sure you pick a good Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorney to help you with the process.

2. Drowning in Medical Bills

Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act) was supposed to help, but as Bill Clinton recently said ‘it’s a crazy system.’  As Americans, we benefit from some of the best medical care in the world. However, it is also the most expensive.  In fact, the problem is so big that debt from medical bills is growing faster than credit card debt.  It has become so bad that more people are going into bankruptcy due to medical debt than ever before.

Even with insurance, co-pays and time lost from work can push up the cost of medical care in the U.S. For some people, filing for bankruptcy is the only option.  The key thing to remember when considering bankruptcy is to make sure most, if not all, of your procedures, have been completed.  If not, then you could end up coming out of bankruptcy with several medical bills remaining.

3. Credit Card Debt

This is probably one of the most common reasons why people get into financial trouble.  Credit card debt has become so common in the U.S. that most people don’t even have $500 in their bank account to overcome an emergency.  One of the signs you are in credit card debt is when you can no longer keep up with minimum payments.  Even worse, some people use cash advances to pay their credit cards.  This is very dangerous and never ends well.

If this sounds like you, then you need to consider bankruptcy.  Just remember that you will need to sit down, list all your credit cards and other liabilities.  In addition, make sure you have a complete understanding of your assets.  A good lawyer will help, but you need to keep good records as well.

4. Divorce

Using bankruptcy to get out of your obligations from a divorce is spurious at best, but sometimes it is necessary.  This is especially true if your former spouse is using bankruptcy and it looks like you are going to left holding the bag.  It is a nightmare situation and if this sounds like what you are going for, then you need to get professional advice.

Just remember, this is not a cut and dry situation.  Bankruptcy during or after divorce requires a lot of attention to detail as you need to make sure there is no hangover which could come back to get you after proceedings are finished.  One of the easiest ways to navigate this quandary is to file a joint bankruptcy, but this is not always an option.  Especially if the divorce is extremely bitter.  It would simplify everything and then allow you and your ex to move on with your lives.

5. Laid Off and In Debt

Over the past 30 years’ unemployment has become more common.  There is no shame in being unemployed.  Yet the challenge is that it always seems to happen at the worst possible times.  This especially true if you are deep in debt and are facing an extended period of unemployment.  First, you probably don’t have the saving to withstand six- to twelve-months of unemployment.  Second, you want to make sure what little you have is there to help you through the lean times.

You might want to consider bankruptcy if you have recently been let go and have few options for a new job anytime soon.  Here’s a tip, if you don’t meet the requirements for Chapter 7, then consider filing for Chapter 13.  If you are unemployed, the odds are that the court will simply dismiss your debts.

Learn The Best Way To Buy A House In Adelaide

So you want to move across the globe? To figure out the best way to buy a house in Adelaide or any other part of Australia, just read through this whole post. We will outline the process of searching, making an offer, legal concerns and closing on an international property in Australia.

First of all, the prices that you see when you search online will be in the Australian dollar. You need to understand the relative value of the Australian dollar versus any currency you are working with. That will help you make your real estate decision.

Each Country’s Real Estate System Is Different

Make no assumption that whatever real estate system you are used to will be the norm in Australia. Foreigners need to have either residency or a work visa in order to buy property in Australia. That means that if you want to buy a house in Adelaide, all your paperwork needs to be on the up and up.

Buyers need to apply to the country’s Foreign Investment Review Board and are at the bureaucracy’s mercy. The review can take up to 30 days. Foreigners must use the property as their main residence while in Australia, they cannot rent any part of the property and they need to sell the property lighting fast if they leave the country or the visa runs out.

In Australia, the majority of real estate properties are sold at auction. Buyers view them during an open house, then attend an auction to bid on the property. Many buyers to not employ a real estate agency, although advocates for buyers are on the rise in Adelaide and other Australian cities.

Sellers do have a real estate agent, so they are responsible for paying the full commission, which is capped at 3% of the purchase price. Both parties pay a standard legal fee.

What Makes Adelaide So Attractive

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia, with about 1.3 million residents. It is on the southern coast of the country, with many governmental and financial institutions in the city limits. Originally, many of the suburban residential homes were built as single-story structures on quarter-acre blocks. But most of those homes have been demolished and replaced with multi-family houses and semi-detached townhouses.

What it comes down to is this: If you want to buy a house there, you will want to work legally in the country, search without an agent, win an auction and most likely buy a townhouse. From a larger perspective, make sure it is the right investment, given your currency, personal financial health and the state of the Australian economy. Individuals investing in Australian real estate is very tough, given the amount of government oversight.

What You Need to Know About Home Improvement Loans

Remodeling your home is an American tradition. Blowing out that back wall to build the kitchen of your dreams, no problem. Thinking of building that man cave?Go for it.In fact, the challenge isn’t coming up with ideas on how to improve your house.It is figuring out how to pay for it.With that in mind, let’s review what you need to know about home improvement loans.

Bank or Broker?

For years, banks have been the go-to option for mortgages. Isn’t this what they are supposed to do? Yes and no.Actually, if you haven’t reached out to a mortgage broker, you might want to give it a shot.While the mortgage officer at your local bank can only choose from the loans and programs offered by their bank, a mortgage broker can choose from multiple lenders.In this way, they can help you find the best possible loan to meet your needs at the best possible rate. Maybe it is a home equity line, even a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan.

Regardless of whether you choose a bank or a broker for your loan, there are a couple things you need to know about your home improvement loan before you get started.Such as, determining how much money do you need and identifying the best lenders based on your current situation.

How Much Money Do I Need?

This starts with putting together a detailed estimate on the home improvement work you want to do.If you are hiring a contractor, then they will provide you with this information.If you are doing the work yourself, then you will need to think about the materials you will need to complete your dream project.Once you have your home improvement budget, you will want to add 15% to 20% for unexpected surprises.

Once you know how much you will need then you need to figure out how you will pay for it.You see a home improvement loan is based on the current equity you have in your house today, not the home’s future value.Figuring out current equity is rather simple.Look at your monthly mortgage statement and it will tell you the current balance on your mortgage.Then take a look at similar homes in your neighborhood which sold in the last six months.This will give you a rough idea of how much your home would be worth today.

Granted, the final estimate of your home’s value will be calculated by a Certified General Appraiser.But their report will cost money, so for the first step you can check by yourself or ask your local real estate agent for a quick estimate.

The difference between how much you owe on your mortgage and the market value of your home is the equity you have in have in your home.Now keep in mind that most lenders will not lend up to 100% of a home’s value.But if the amount of your current mortgage and the cost of your home improvement work out to be less than 85% of your home’s value, then you are in a good position.

One you have this information you will want to check your credit score. All three credit bureaus will let you check your credit score for a minor fee and this is a good way to know where you stand before you approach a lender. Did you know, every time a lender checks your credit it ends up on your credit report?As such, check your score first and provide a lender with the information during the prequalification phase.This way they will only pull your credit one time.

What’s the Best Deal for Me?

Now it is time to approach a lender to find our which programs offer the best home improvement loan rates. Don’t forget to ask about FHA home improvement loans and Veterans Administration (VA) loans.These home improvement loans are guaranteed by the government and depending of the specifics of your loan, they might offer better rates than traditional bank loans.

There are a few ways to get the best rate for your home improvement project.The first is to refinance your existing mortgage and take out some extra equity to pay for the project.While this is a good idea for some, it depends on the specifics of your first mortgage.

Another option is a home equity loan.These work just like a mortgage, except you don’t need to pay the closing costs associated with a refinance. The length of a home equity loan usually runs 15 to 30 years.But the rates tend to be higher than mortgages.

Then there is the home equity line of credit.Imagine this as a checking account based on the value of your house.While there are no closing costs, the interest rates are usually variable and in most cases, you need to repay the line within 8 to 10 years.The advantage of a line is that it allows you reuse the funds available on the line one it is paid off.This can be a big plus if you are planning to do several home improvement projects.

Ways to Reduce Monthly Expenditure Including Various Home Billings

islandHave you been using your credit cards almost to their limits? Do you feel that you are going overboard with your expenditure? Are you making too many impulse purchases? Are you being wasteful and profligate? Do you feel that you need to pull back the reins or risk turning yourself into a defaulter or worse still risk seeing a day when you have to declare yourself bankrupt?

If the answer to any of the above questions is affirmative, you will have to review your financial condition. Are you spending in accordance with your income? If not, you are inviting trouble. Today, getting credit cards have become easy and banks also encourage their customers to spend more. So, they often increase the credit card limit. Sometimes, people forget to tally their income and expenditure or make plans as to how they would pay off the loans when the time comes. Make sure you check out www.cashcofinancial.com to learn about great savings tips about reducing housegold bills and also get credit rebuilding affordable loan products that can make a huge difference in getting your monthly expense budget under control.

Monthly expenditure reduction methods

  1. Reduction on Energy Bills: In a vast country like Canada, which has been different seasons and weather conditions, the energy requirements are also variegated. One of the biggest sources of wastage and going overboard with expenditure is this particular aspect of utility expenditure. Most don’t pay any heed to their energy bills thinking it to be a necessity. While the fact that it is indeed one of the most necessary household items can’t be contested, it is also true that wastage can be checked and the billed amount can be reduced.
  • Turn off HVAC when not in use: You and your family members will have to make sure that you remember to turn off the heating or cooling unit in a room when they are not needed or no one is in the room. This would automatically lower quite a few units. You may also install a smart thermostat that can regulate the temperature as well as the turning on or off automatically.
  • Air seal the house: Make sure to air seal your house. A lot of air (cool during summer and warm during winter) escapes from your home and that pushes up your utility bills because your cooling and heating units are forced to work below the optimal level and hence lose efficiency and use up more energy. An air sealed house can stop the air from escaping easily.
  • Use LEDs: Switch to LED lights from halogens and incandescent. Even if you use recessed LED lights, the expenditure would be lower and the durability would be higher. This means the ROI would be phenomenal.
  • Water heater: Make sure to set the water heater and room heater at the right temperature so that they function at an optimum. Don’t heat the water more than necessary. This can help to curb a significant amount of energy wastage.
  • Smart devices and power strips: Use smart devices and power strips which can proactively turn off devices when not in use. That would also save quite a bit of energy and reduce billing amounts.
  1. Use public transport or bikes: If possible, avail public transport as much as possible. It has multiple advantages like reducing pollution, total energy bills of the nation and also your own bills. Better still if you can use a bicycle to travel between your home and work. It would also keep you physically fit.
  2. Time to check your brand fascination: Try to buy unbranded items and products whenever you can. Often, you don’t realize that you run huge bills on buying things which you can live without. You don’t have to live an austere life like an ascetic but you can definitely reduce consumerism.
  3. Eat fresh and live healthy: The medical expenses that you incur probably take up a lion’s share of the total expenditure pie. A lot of the health problems are due to unhealthy food habits. You need to be more proactive. Make a lifestyle change, if necessary. Reduce carbs and fat without starving yourself. Stop eating packaged food. Start eating fresh. Stop eating out. A lot of diseases would happily stay away from you!
  4. Reduce cell phone bills: Sometimes, people use higher talk time and data plan even when they don’t need it. While there are still others, who end up going over the limit. Reduce this habit. Start calling friends and relatives in person rather than talking to them on the phone for hours.

Conclusion

You will have to plan meticulously in order to increase your savings. But, it is not at all difficult if you can show a single minded devotion. Try it. Your life would really change for the better.

Take Care Of Your Car Early And Often To Save Money

When you buy a new car, it smells brand new and sparkles on the outside, but it won’t stay that way for long until you take special care of your vehicle. You need to wash, clean, and polish regularly to keep your car in top shape. And the more time you spend on it, the better your car will look. But it takes time and effort! Personally, I didn’t take good enough care of my car, and after 3 years, it’s got some water spots and the interior could use a good cleaning. It won’t be cheap, and I would have saved money had I taken care of it properly from day one instead of waiting years to get serious about keeping it clean.

This is doubly true when it comes to regular maintenance. Whether it’s normal oil changes and air filter replacements, tire rotations, or more serious issues like brake replacement, the better you take care of your car, the cheaper it will be in the long run. Take it from someone who knows! You can get all the products you need to take care of your car from AutoZone, from cleaning supplies and replacement parts, to tools and accessories to give your car some personality. Just don’t get those headlight eyelashes, please! With their excellent customer service, you can be sure that you’ll get the right advice on products to keep your car looking as good as the day you drove it off the lot.

With all the different types of maintenance and upkeep you just read about, it might be a bit overwhelming to think about how much this is going to cost you. After all, you just spent tens of thousands of dollars on the car itself, who wants to spend more just to keep it looking good? Well, there’s good news for you! Groupon has some great AutoZone coupons that can help defray the cost of all these products.

This is true not only for AutoZone but for also hundreds of other retailers. So anytime you’re thinking about going shopping, head on over and see if you’re favorite retailer has a coupon. You never know, you could end up saving a lot of money by taking an extra minute to search before you buy.

With your car, the more time you put into a car early on, the more you’ll save in the long-run. The same is true when trying to save money on something you’re going to by anyway: spend a few minutes searching for a coupon and you’ll save money with minimal effort!

How a Business Factoring Loan Helps Your Business Gain Working Capital

Offering credit to your clients potentially increases your sales base, and, in some cases, it’s the industry standard, meaning there’s virtually no way to avoid it. Unfortunately, however, the delay between issuing the invoice and receiving payment can cut into your working capital. If you’re staring at a stack of unpaid invoices wondering if there’s a way to turn them into cash, it’s time to consider factoring. Here’s how it works:

Factoring Turns Accounts Receivables into Working Capital

The factoring process is simple – you turn your accounts receivables over to a factoring company and the factoring company gives you cash based on the value of your unpaid invoices. In most cases, factoring companies forward about 75% of the total value of the invoices you are trying to collect. For example, if you have $10,000 in unpaid invoices, the factoring company may give you a $7,500 advance.

As your clients pay these invoices, the factor pays you the remainder of the balance minus its fee. In most cases, factoring fees cost between 2 and 6% of the total collected. To continue with the above example, once all of your invoices have been collected, you receive an additional payment worth between $1,900 and $2,300. In total, this means you have received between $9,400 and $9,800 in exchange for your $10,000 worth of accounts receivables, but, instead of waiting for the funds, you received most of them upfront.

Factoring Fills Your Business Coffers Quickly

The application for a factoring loan is traditionally much faster and easier than applying for a business loan. Rather than meeting with lenders, drafting a business plan and gathering all of your financial documents, you rely solely on the value of your unpaid invoices.

Online factors in particular tend to approve factoring loans very expediently, and these loans fund quickly as well. In many cases, businesses have the operating capital they need within a day.

Factoring Doesn’t Increase Your Debt Load

Unlike other business loans, factoring doesn’t increase your debt load. Instead, factoring just turns accounts receivables (an asset on your balance sheet) into cash. In addition, because you pay factoring loans upfront with your invoices, you don’t’ have to worry about juggling more monthly payments or increasing your debt liability in general. That also helps preserve your operating capital so you can spend it on the things you need rather than on loan repayments.

Similarly, as factoring loans aren’t based on your business or personal credit rating, you don’t have to worry about being rejected on the basis of your creditworthiness and that can take a lot of uncertainty out of the application process. However, it’s important to note that some factoring companies look into the creditworthiness of your clients, and they may request information on your client’s payment histories before they extend a loan.

Factoring Companies Give You Relief from Debt Collection Activities

Some factors give you an advance on your invoices, and then they simply wait for the invoices to get paid per usual. In other cases, once the factor gives you the advance, they start trying to collect on your invoices. If you work with a factor that does the latter, it lifts the burden of debt collection activity from your business.

Rather than calling old clients to recoup old debts, your staff can direct their talents in other places. That potentially saves payroll hours, allowing you to focus that portion of your operating capital on other critical areas of your business.

Factoring Offers Multiple Options

Many factors offer a lump sum advance, followed by small payments as the invoices are paid, but, in other cases, factors offer a business line of credit. With a line of credit, you receive access to all of the advance payment from your invoices, but you don’t have to spend all of it. As a result, you don’t pay fees or interest on the amount that you don’t spend.

Many businesses prefer this level of flexibility, as they can take out operating capital when they need to pay employees, buy office supplies, cover utility bills or take care of other current expenses, but if they have a lot of sales one week and they don’t need the boost from their factoring line of credit, they can leave it untouched.

Factoring is Not for Everyone

Although factoring can be an effective way to access operating capital without taking out a loan, it isn’t the right choice for every business. If you already have access to a personal or business line of credit with a lower interest rate than the factor’s fee, it’s more cost effective to use that instead. Similarly, if you don’t want to cut into your profits and you have time to spare, you may just want to wait until your clients pay their invoices. Additionally, in some cases, factors set minimum limits, and they only work with companies who have a certain value of invoices. If you don’t meet the threshold, you may also want to explore alternative options.

Accounts receivables are an asset on paper, but they offer no help when you have a pile of current bills to pay. Factors can eliminate this issue by turning your accounts receivables into cash. If your operating capital needs a boost and you don’t have the time or desire to take out more debt, factoring can be the best option.

It’s time for business debt to hit the canvas

You’ve given debt a left hook, a right jab and finished it off with a cheeky punt in the knackers – but still, like a zombie rising from the dead, it returns to hound you all the more.

Once your business is on the ropes, no number of southpaws will fix it. The only real way to knock it on the canvas for good is to clean up your business act and get organised.

So it’s time to enact our very own Rocky training montage. But instead of punching a slab of meat and going jogging while wearing an outfit that looks like you should be in prison, we’re going to be training up your organisational skills.

Without the right structure in every section of your operation, your company’s finances will stop looking punch drunk and, instead, be fighting fit. So let’s train you up with these bite-sized tips.

Round one: effective payroll

A one-two punch against any business plan, paying your staff is, as you’re probably aware, a vital part of owning a company, and constitutes one of the largest overheads for every enterprise.

For a small company, the payroll can dominate the time and expertise of HR professionals, meaning you have to hire other staff to cover their more important tasks.

But none of this is necessary if you invest in payroll online, a Cloud-based service that automates the payroll every month, leaving your HR team with plenty more time to help fix your finances. It’s nothing more than a quick sucker-punch to the jaw, but it can make a substantive difference to your financial health.

Round two: chop out the fat

You’ll never see an overweight boxer, at least not one with any kind of future ahead of them. And the same could be said of a company. Your business should be ready to chop out any fat and weed out the weak links.

This can be a brutal process, but it’s a guaranteed way to enjoy a boost in your cash flow. Fire anyone who is wasting your company’s money and you’ll be in a much fitter state.

Round three: buddy up

They don’t do tag team matches in boxing, which is a pity, but having someone else in your corner can be the difference between winning and losing.

To pull yourself from destitution, find a business partner who is in a financially stable position and let them give you a hand. This doesn’t necessarily mean handing over the reins of your company. It can even be something a simple as a short-term loan.

Have you got any tips that could spell KO for business debt? Then let us know in the comments below.