Getting Control of Spending with Five Proven Strategies

Today, many people struggle with finances. While bankruptcy is one option for getting out of debt and enjoying a fresh start, unless bad spending habits change, people will find themselves in debt yet again. With excessive debt comes harassing phone calls from creditors and the overwhelming feeling of being out of control. Fortunately, you can get a better handle of your finances. Regardless if you have already filed for bankruptcy, are giving serious thought to filing, or perhaps you just want insight into how you can spend less, the following information will help. Learning to Control Spending Seek Professional Help – To control spending, consider working with a financial advisor. Now, if you happen to suffer from a spending addiction, which is actually quite common, visiting a psychologist would be beneficial. However, if an addiction is not the problem, you can always talk to one of our bankruptcy attorneys. We can help you create a budget and find the right solution for your scenario. Consider Purchases – Create a list of purchases that you make on a regular basis and then determine if they benefit you in any way. When rating the necessity of each item, be honest. There is a good chance that you will discover many purchases are not even needed. You should also create a list of purchases made over the past several years, again identifying items that offer no long-term fulfillment. With overspending, the relevance of what you buy actually diminishes. Instead, spending turns into a bad habit that can be challenging to break. With this assessment, you have the opportunity to see specific areas of spending that can be reduced or completely eliminated. Talk to a Banker – Another way to avoid overspending is by putting your money in the bank. By talking to a reputable banker, you can learn how to increase your savings each month. In addition, look for options that will prevent you from simply pulling money out whenever. To encourage savings without any effort on your part, automatic deposits are excellent. You also want to set a certain amount of money aside from each paycheck. Rather than feeling pressured to put hundreds of dollars in an account each month, start with $20 or $50, and increase the amount over time. Rely on Support – You need support in gaining control over finances, whether this comes from a family member of close friend. Your loved ones will encourage you but also hold you accountable for your actions. If you know someone else who is struggling with finances, perhaps the two of you can begin supporting one another. Tap into your Spirituality – Often, overspending is due to some type of void in life. For instance, excessive spending is connected with low self-esteem or self-confidence. Identify the kind of person that you want to be and the things in life that are most important. By tapping into your spiritual side, you can change. Once you refocus on what matters most, spending money will cease to be an attraction. Unless you make a conscious effort to change, your negative spending habits will continue and likely worsen. Using the information provided, you can begin making positive decisions. If you are completely overwhelmed with debt, please contact one of our Cortland bankruptcy attorneys who will be happy to answer questions and provide legal...

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Reasons to Be Wary of Subscriptions

While signing up for subscriptions may seem completely normal and safe, you actually need to be cautious. Unfortunately, many people lock into subscriptions or contracts only to realize when they try to cancel that they have to pay an outrageous amount of money. As an example, to enjoy a new phone, a great plan, and all the perks, many phone providers require customers to agree to a two-year subscription. However, if someone becomes ill, loses a job, or faces some other issue and needs to cancel, the contract stands, meaning he or she must still pay $200 or more to get out of it. Regardless of the financial subscription or contract involved, you need to be extremely wary. After all, you never know when a financial situation will change to the point of you no longer being able to make the monthly payments. If that happens, you will continue to be charged for the services each month until the contract expires or the contract is paid in full. Remember, exorbitant fees are commonly charged not just by cellphone companies but also cable companies, internet companies, and others. Once you sign on the dotted line, you become legally responsible for the debt. Because of this, make sure that you never agree to any subscription or contract unless you are 100% sure it can be paid. According to a top Homer bankruptcy attorney, people come in for legal advice or counsel all the time because of service providers not allowing them out of a subscription or contract. For some people, the only viable recourse is to file bankruptcy. Although a Cortland attorney can certainly provide assistance with bankruptcy, if needed, the better solution is to never lock into any subscription or contract in the first place. When annual renewals roll around, this is the ideal time to look at your options. Before agreeing to a new subscription or contract, be sure to read all the fine print. That way, you can determine if a cancellation fee must be paid prior to canceling the contract. By conducting research, you have the ability to look for alternatives for the types of services that you want or need without being required to pay any kind of hidden fee. Whether you decide to go with a new subscription or choose another option that does not require a contract, determine if your plan includes features that you never use or need. By downgrading your plan, you will enjoy a lower monthly payment and have a little extra money that could be used for something else, such as paying off debt, making an investment, or increasing the amount in your savings account. The bottom line is you need to be wary of subscriptions and contracts. However, if you are in a bad financial situation, you can always talk to a reputable bankruptcy attorney in Homer or Cortland to get your questions answered or for legal...

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Fighting a Creditor Lawsuit with a Homer Bankruptcy Attorney on YOUR Side!

After multiple attempts to collect on a debt, some creditors will take the next step by filing a lawsuit. If you find yourself in that situation, the worst thing you can do is simply ignore it, hoping the problem will go away. In fact, ignoring a creditor’s lawsuit is the worst decision you can make since taking no action makes it easier for the creditor’s attorney to secure a judgment. Taking Preventative Measures Obviously, it is in your best interest to do whatever it takes to avoid having a judgment filed against you. Although calling the creditor’s attorney to discuss some type of payment plan may seem like a logical solution, what happens in most cases is that once the plan is set up, that same attorney goes ahead with the judgment anyway. Always remember that a creditor’s attorney is not on your side. If you receive notice that you are being sued, consider talking to a Homer bankruptcy attorney, like Laura Harris-Courage and her associates.  We can advise you how to respond in writing to the judgment and submit your answer to the court clerk while also providing a response to the creditor’s attorney. Although you can fight a judgment on your own, hiring an attorney is highly recommended. When fighting a judgment, it is imperative that you provide a response in writing to both the creditor’s attorney and court clerk. The reason is that if you decide to provide an answer only to the attorney, the court has no way of knowing an answer was filed. Therefore, a judgment could be granted by the court. Instead, make two copies of your written letter, sending one to the creditor’s attorney and one to the court clerk to cover all the bases. Writing an Effective Letter An effective letter is also critical when fighting a creditor’s lawsuit. As a prime example, if you are the victim of identity theft, you have a viable defense against the lawsuit. You want to avoid making a poor defense, such as not being able to afford the debt or claiming you have plans to file for bankruptcy to wipe the debt out. Stopping a Lawsuit with Bankruptcy Because of new bankruptcy laws, filing is actually quite challenging. For this, you need to use the services of a reputable Homer bankruptcy attorney; however, you still need to respond to the judgment first. One method of stopping the lawsuit involves disputing the amount the creditor’s attorney says you owe as well as asking the court to mandate the creditor prove the amount owed. By taking this action, the creditor must prove the amount of debt owed by providing the court with documentation and/or witnesses. As this is expensive, the creditor’s attorney will often drop the lawsuit. If you use an attorney to file bankruptcy, all collection actions stop immediately, which includes the creditor’s lawsuit. Just keep in mind that the process of filing for bankruptcy takes time, and, therefore, it is not an overnight solution. To ensure the creditor’s lawsuit is handled correctly or to file bankruptcy, we strongly urge you to contact a Homer bankruptcy attorney today for a free consultation. One phone call can stop the lawsuit in its...

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Credit Counseling Demystifies Credit After Filing Bankruptcy

You may be surprised to learn that after filing bankruptcy, your credit score may actually improve. After bankruptcy, you no longer owe money to unsecured creditors. In other words, rather than being over your head in debt, the bankruptcy erases your debt, which in turn increases your credit score. Remember that bankruptcy remains on your credit report for at least 10 years. However, that doesn’t make it impossible to secure new credit, although you can expect to pay subprime interest rates. Interestingly, a recent study involving people who filed bankruptcy shows that these individuals received more offers for new credit compared to people who had not filed bankruptcy. Credit Counseling Explains the Process As experts on credit counseling in Homer, we’d like to remind you that credit card companies make money off interest and fees. These companies also know that most people just out of bankruptcy do not pay full credit card balances each month. As a result, the companies make significant money on high interest, but also things like late and over limit fees. Once credit card companies obtain your name from a bankruptcy filing list, they will inundate you with one credit card offer after another. The same is true from finance companies offering car loans. As long as you have steady income, companies that offer car loans will come out of the woodwork. In both instances, these creditors know you are eager to rebuild damaged credit, even if it means paying a higher interest rate. The exciting news is that it only takes 2 years after bankruptcy to qualify for a normal interest loan.  Our office is offering a post-bankruptcy coaching program to help you increase your credit score so you can qualify for a mortgage or refinance in just 2 years.  Call our office today at (607) 753-9226....

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Will I Lose My Home in Bankruptcy?

Will I Lose My Home in Bankruptcy? If you live in New York and worry about losing your home in bankruptcy, please know that this is not always the outcome. By working with a Homer bankruptcy attorney, we can determine whether or not your home is at risk. We’ll start with some questions such as: Who is the owner of the property? Is there one mortgage or more? What is the outstanding balance? Are the payments current? Many people believe that their home will be paid off in bankruptcy and, as such, nothing will be owed by the owner. In truth, the value of the home has to be determined if you are current on payments, which is done by calculating equity. For instance, if the home is valued at $150,000, but you still owe $80,000, the equity is $70,000. Filing for Chapter 13 Even if you are behind on payments, there are a couple of options to discuss with your Homer bankruptcy lawyer. Filing Chapter 13 is typically the best since mortgage arrears are paid back over a 5-year period without additional interest charges. With Chapter 13, your attorney has the power to force the mortgage company into accepting payments. If you need to take action, Chapter 13 bankruptcy should be filed quickly. Unfortunately, people often fall behind on payments to the point that even with a 5-year repayment plan they never catch up. Obviously, this is the last thing that you want to happen in your situation. Loan Modification Your Homer bankruptcy lawyer can advise you of the risks for loan modification. While some view this as the best option, it can turn disastrous quickly. The challenge is that most mortgage companies have little interest in negotiating. Therefore, proposals are made that in reality only postpone the inevitable. Mortgage companies make temporary modifications, but when it comes down to the final modification, they deny it. Ultimately, this wastes precious time and effort. The Syracuse Bankruptcy Court has a new program designed to improve odds of getting a legitimate loan modification. Your Homer bankruptcy attorney would file Chapter 13 bankruptcy and then force the mortgage company to accept it. Then, under the direction of a judge, a mortgage modification can be negotiated. If a better deal is offered by the mortgage company, it can always be accepted, but if not, protection is offered under Chapter 13. There is also a New York State exemption law in which each person who owns a home is entitled to equity protection up to $75,000. Therefore, if your home is owned by two people, protection increases to $150,000. Obviously, if you are the sole owner and the amount of equity is more than the allowed protection, there is a problem. However, as the sole owner and under Chapter 7, your home would be sold by the trustee, then the $75,000 could be used to pay off other debtors. Remember, with Chapter 13, creditors can be paid back over a 5-year period using the unprotected equity. As a result, you may not lose your home. Trying to protect your home with bankruptcy can be complex. But you’re not alone. The team at Harris-Courage Grady Solutions can walk you through filing bankruptcy in Homer. Laura Harris is a highly qualified Homer bankruptcy lawyer with years of experience helping people just like you. Your confidential, no-obligation phone consultation is always free. Call us today at 855-269-2889 to discuss your...

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