Archive for August, 2016

Bankruptcy Lets You Say No

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

refer the Bankruptcy Network. What bankruptcy will do is give you back up when you want to say NO to any family members or friends who continue to ask for money.

Soign No

You know what I am talking about.  Your kids or adult children, parents, or friends who continue to hound you about money, and you just can’t say no to them. You try to say no, you know you should say no, but you just can’t bring yourself to say the word, no.  Why is that?  Throughout the years, I have discovered my clients feel incredibly guilty when saying no to just about anyone.

Guilt is a fascinating emotion that if allowed to exist unchecked, will lead to spending patterns that may lead to a bankruptcy filing.  Think about those people in your life who are stingy with their time or money.  Man, they have no trouble uttering the word no even before you have finished the question. Tell me your first thought when that person says no.  Are you mad?  Do you think they are self-centered or just plain rude? Do you think they feel guilty for saying no?  I will tell you, I used to be shocked when people said no to me when I asked for their time or money for donations to a cause so I recognize the guilt emotion.

However, the older I get, the more envious I become of those who truly have the strength to say no.  Some people are downright stingy and self-centered, but many others have learned the valuable lesson of self-preservation through the power of, NO!  They value their time and resources and will choose very wisely on when, where and how they will spend these assets.  You too need to take a moment and learn the superpower of saying, NO.

It will not be easy as every action will have an equal and opposite reaction.  Meaning, as you become more comfortable with saying no to requests the more people will ask what is wrong with you or why are you mad at them?  Your answer should be; I am putting me first.  You are not being selfish for taking this stand but rather you are placing value on your time and financial resources.

How hard did YOU work to obtain your money?  Did you work 1-2 jobs?  Did you work overtime? Did you work holidays and weekends? Did you do without something you wanted or needed simply because you gave your money to someone who asked for “a loan”?  A loan that you have not seen the repayment even though it has been months or years since you initially gave them your money.  Now ask yourself, what is the person who is asking for money willing to do?

Have they tried to get a job? Any job?  If they have a job, are they trying to pick up extra hours?  Have they tried to sell something to make ends meet?  Have they offered to do a job for you as an effort to help out if you give them a loan?  We could go on and on, but more often than not, the answer is still going to be no.  Why?  Because they know you will feel guilty and eventually give them the money they requested.

Break this pattern of financial insanity and use your superpower of saying NO!  How does this magical power work?  You tell whoever is asking for money:  No, I may not give you any money because my attorney and I have worked out a budget.  In this budget, there is absolutely no room for me to give you any money at this time.  You can even say you have signed the bankruptcy schedules under penalty of perjury of law, therefore, by giving them money you place yourself at risk for breaking federal law.  Finishing by informing them you rather not spend five years in Leavenworth for lying to the court.

Learning to say no is truly a superpower that will provide you with a tremendous amount of strength.  It won’t be easy at first but then learning to walk for the first time wasn’t easy either but today you can do it without thinking.

You may wield this superpower with great caution and consideration.  Analyze each request as to whether you can afford your time or finances.  Make a pro and con checklist to see if the pros outweigh the cons.  You will make two columns.  In the pro column, you will list all the reasons why the request is a good one and you might say yes.  In the con column you will list all the reasons the request is not a good one and therefore, the answer should be no.  In the analysis ask the question, what is this person willing to do to assist with the request? If the answer is nothing, your answer should immediately be no.  Otherwise, review the final work product and see which column has more answers, that will be the way you should consider the request.

The practice of listing out the pros and cons will assist you in making an educated decision about answering any request.  The more you practice this technique the easier it will become.  Soon you will catch yourself running a pro and con list in your head as to whether or not the request is even worth considering.

Remember, knowledge is power.  The more knowledge you have about valuing your time, money and resources, the greater chance you will have to use your superpower of saying, NO!

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida.  For more information, go to our web site
or call (727) 254-1704.

Missed Mortgage Payment Term

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Refer the Bankruptcy Network

Have you wondered what is meant by the term “mortgage arrearage?” A mortgage arrearage simply refers to any missed mortgage payments.

If, for example, you did not pay your mortgage in January and February, those two months would be in arrearage.

As bankruptcy lawyers, we frequently represent clients who have mortgage arrearages. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows us to cure your arrearage by including your missed payments plus any fees and lender attorney’s fees into your Chapter 13 plan. Since Chapter 13 plans can last up to 5 years, we may have up to 5 years to cure your arrearage.

If you fall behind in mortgage payments that come due after we file Chapter 13, we would have to deal with your post-petition arrearage.  In some state, Chapter 13 debtors pay their post petition mortgage payments directly to the lender.  If a clients falls behind in his post-petition mortgage payments, the judge will give us several months to cure that post petition arrearage.

Bankruptcy lawyers often use terms that may be confusing and that are rarely used outside a legal context. A bankruptcy attorney can help you better understand the debt relief process and to make better decisions about your financial future.

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida.  For more information, go to our web site
or call (727) 254-1704.

Living Inexpensively After Bankruptcy

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Bankruptcy is a somewhat tramatic experience. When it’s over, you need to prepare for the new life, and avoid bad habits so you don’t end up where you did before.

broken piggy bank

Summer is a great time for implementing your new positive spending plans and learning how to more effectively manage your money following bankruptcy.

Start Saving

If you’ve only recently completed the bankruptcy process, you may not have extra funds for summer trips or fun events. That’s all right! Consider this a clean slate year, and remember that it’s only one summer out of many. Then, commit to setting aside a specific amount of money each paycheck for next summer’s fun trips, events, and purchases. Spend some time online dreaming of next year, then write out your budget for those fun events. Once you know how much you need to save, you can have fun next year without going into debt–the perfect way to make the most out of your new clean slate.

Try Free Activities

Chances are, there are plenty of free festivals and other events in your area. The local library might offer free story times for kids in addition to plenty of great books and movies that your family can check out for free. Consult a local map or website and commit to visiting as many of the parks in your local area as possible. Get involved in local Facebook groups, where big events will be mentioned well ahead of time. Your local zoo may have a free or reduced price admission day, or local museums may have free days to help draw in local traffic. When there are plenty of free events around, who needs to drop money on the expensive moments?

Pay Cash

You’ve chosen your event carefully, and you’re ready to head out the door. Whether it’s a free event or you’ve budgeted ahead for a particular event, you already have the entry cost covered. Now, there’s just one more step: make sure that you know how much you have to spend while you’re there. From souvenirs at a theme park or zoo to overpriced food at fairs and festivals, you can quickly find yourself spending far more than you intended–especially if you’re simply swiping your debit card at every shop. Instead of overspending, budget for those purchases ahead of time and pull out cash to use at the event. If you’re afraid you’ll be tempted, consider leaving your card at home. That way, impulse spending can’t lead you to go over your budget.

Pack Your Lunch

Food is a necessary expense, right? Whether you’ve been out at the park and just need a quick lunch before you head out to run errands or you’ve spent the day at a festival and need to feed the kids, food is certainly essential. There’s just one problem: even fast food is overpriced compared to bringing lunch from your own kitchen. Fill up a cooler, pack a backpack, or toss a snack bar in your purse to help reduce food-related expenses.

Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t mean that your entire summer has to be a downer. In fact, you may find that removing unnecessary expenses from your summer can make it a summer to remember!  Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida.  For more information, go to our web site
or call (727) 254-1704.