Archive for October, 2017

Getting Rid of Credit Cards

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Credit cards are a great convenience. I can’t imagine how you could travel without them – buying a place ticket, renting a car, getting a hotel room. So if you have credit cards, you want to keep them by all means. However, until things are under control, you should try not to use them.

credit cards

Here are three reasons why you simply must stop using your credit cards.

#1: They are Designed to Keep You in Debt

Credit card companies want you to be in debt. They literally thrive off of your debt, and when you manage to work your way out of debt, they miss out on the incredible amount of interest you had been paying up until that point.

For this reason, these companies actually set things up so that a person making the minimum payment and continuing to use the card each month would literally never work their way out of debt. Even a person with a relatively small debt of around $4.000 would need around 15 years to pay off that debt when paying only the minimum amount.

#2: Using Them Will Only Make Your Situation Worse

Clearly, because of the debt carousel the credit card companies have put you on, continuing to use your credit cards absolutely will not help matters. In fact, using your cards, even if you are gaining some sort of reward for doing so, will without a doubt make your debt situation worse.

#3: Having Them Around is Too Tempting

Carrying a credit card in your wallet, especially when you are accustomed to using the cards for anything and everything, is like carrying a bit of temptation in your pocket at all times. Resisting the urge to use the card when you come across an item you’d really like to have takes an incredible amount of willpower, and if you find yourself unable to resist, you only set yourself back further.

For this reason, it is much better to get that card out of your hands and focus on having fun without spending money.

Conclusion

We hope this post has inspired you to give yourself a new financial beginning this new year. By working your way out of debt and remaining that way, you give your family and yourself the priceless gift of freedom.

If you find your financial situation is too overwhelming to work out on your own, we hope you will consider speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. 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 www.BankruptcyforTampa.com
or call (727) 254-1704.

Handling Credit Card Debt

Monday, October 16th, 2017

A lot of the most effective ways in dealing with a problem are common sense. But sometimes focusing on a problem and the solutions that you may already be aware of can help you move in the right direction. Here are some thoughts about credit card debt and how to reduce it.

credit card, computer

Step 1 – STOP Spending Money

This one may sound easy, but it is by far the hardest.  You have to figure out why you are spending so much money.  You may be just buying things that you don’t need.  You may be purchasing to satisfy your wants.  It is time to figure out the difference between wants and needs.  Maybe you should take a hard look at your finances and realize that you need a change.  Maybe you could  stop eating out, cut your cable, and create detailed grocery lists.  Maybe you could take your lunch to work every day as a way to eat better and save a lot of money.  These are the things that you can do to stop spending money.  Beyond paying your regular bills, you need to figure out where the rest of your money is going and cut off the spending.  It may be harsh, but it is important.

Step 2 – Pick Your Debt Payoff Method

Once you figure out how to stop spending money, then you need to choose a debt payoff method.  To be very honest, it doesn’t matter which method you choose. The only way you will get out of debt is if you choose a method. There are no winners here by choosing one over the other. If you choose something, you’re a winner! Remember that and move forward. I’ve even seen people start out with one method and switch. You can do it month by month. Just start today!

Step 3 – Stay on Target and Focused

Welcome to the next hardest step.  Paying down debt is not easy and it will usually take some time.  We all don’t have the luxuries to just pay off our debt in a couple of months.  It will most likely take years. There are so many temptations that occur in everyday life, but you have to understand your goal.

Do you want to be buried in debt or would you rather have financial freedom?  Choose financial freedom.  Don’t be afraid to tell your friends or family that you can’t do something because you can’t afford it.  You may not want to irritate your friends or family, but these are necessary changes.    If they love and respect you , they will understand. Paying off debt is about you becoming a better person and more financially stable.  You have to do what ever you can to stay on target.  Make some simple changes along with harder changes to make sure you stay on your debt payment plan.

Step 4 – Make More Money

You can only save so much, so there might be many times where you just don’t make enough money to accelerate your debt repayment.  There are quite a few ways to make more money besides your full time job.  You can sell things on Craigslist, sell on eBay, taking surveys (yes, this can work), start a blog.   You have to think outside of the box when you are paying down debt.  Think of something that you are good at and go see if you can make money from it.  Don’t spend money to start a side business though.  That would be unwise.

Do you want to be buried in debt or would you rather have financial freedom?  Don’t be afraid to tell your friends or family that you can’t do something because you can’t afford it.  You may not want to irritate your friends or family, but these are necessary changes.    If they love and respect you , they will understand. Paying off debt is about you becoming a better person and more financially stable.  You have to do what ever you can to stay on target.

Step 5 – Learn How to Save More Money

As you can probably imagine, people aren’t typically much of a saver when they are in credit card debt. . It hurts to realize what you did to yourself with your needless spending.

Just look at the power of compound interest. Goodness that’s some powerful stuff. You could be leaving money off the table for  yourself later down the road and for emergencies in general. We all need to try to save for retirement,  do some investing, and socking away cash for emergencies.

It seems we really make saving money much harder than it needs to be. Saving money is really not that hard. We just have messed up priorities. We can’t differentiate between wants and needs and that needs to stop. Once you stop using “need” for everything, you will realize that you could do without so much more and keep more money in your pocket. Change it and your financial freedom will follow!

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 www.BankruptcyforTampa.com
or call (727) 254-1704.

Be Careful Not to Conceal Assets

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

When an individual or couple files for bankruptcy, they are required to disclose all of their assets in their petition. It is important for filers to remember that they must be 100 percent truthful when disclosing assets and that they not attempt to hide them. Some people think that by concealing assets, they won’t be taken away by the court during bankruptcy. However, doing so is considered perjury, which comes with a number of penalties which ultimately may end up costing the filer even more.

repossess

There are many reasons why an asset may go undisclosed by a filer. These include:

  • The filer lied about possessing the asset
  • The filer transferred an asset to someone else’s name
  • The filer created fake mortgages or liens to devalue their property
  • The filer may have been careless in disclosing the asset
  • The filer may have legitimately forgotten to include assets they may not have thought of

Bankruptcy trustees are very keen detectives and are not often fooled by hidden assets. All it takes is a public records review, a debt review, a review of bank records or tax returns, or a look at online asset searches to determine whether or not an asset has been hidden or transferred. If a filer is found to have attempted to conceal assets, they face a number of repercussions. Not only will their hidden assets not be eligible for discharge (meaning they will still owe the debt they were trying to get rid of with bankruptcy), but they may also get their discharge revoked. Worse still, they may face criminal charges and penalties for perjury, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and / or a fine of up to $500,000.

Sometimes, though, assets are not disclosed simply because a person made a mistake without malicious intent. If this happens, the filer should immediately disclose the asset to their trustee. As long as the mistake was not made in an attempt to delay, hinder, or defraud creditors, the error should not result in a denial of a discharge.

The following are examples of assets most commonly forgotten in bankruptcy petitions:

  • Retirement benefits
  • Inheritances
  • Lottery winnings
  • Trusts
  • Lawsuits
  • Co-owned assets

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 www.BankruptcyforTampa.com
or call (727) 254-1704.