Friday, January 4, 2013

Lawyers can help you

It’s the start of a new year when many people are looking to make a fresh start in so many areas of their lives. The financial side is no different, and while it’s a good idea to start TODAY – whatever day it is – for many, the start of a new tax year, etc is the time they choose to start fresh. Bankruptcy lawyers at Lincoln Law, or a firm in your area, can be an excellent resource for many financial needs. While they do work mostly with those who need to file bankruptcy, they can also offer guidance in debt management and consolidation among other things. The vast majority of these attorneys offer a free consultation for your first visit so you can make sure they are your best resource before you pay a fee.

The most important thing I can encourage anyone to do is to organize your financial documents. Most files and accessories are on sale at many discount and office supply stores this time of year. Do yourself a favor and invest in some, so you can organize things. Regardless of your financial situation, it is important to be able to locate your important financial documents quickly. It could be for a reason as simple as correcting an error, or as urgent as evacuating during a natural disaster. You need to know where the important papers are and be able to quickly grab them.

If you are enduring financial struggles, you can’t begin to dig your way out until you know where you stand. An attorney or other professional will need your financial papers to be able to help you. They MUST know what income is coming in and all of the bills that you owe. Should you need to go to court, a judge would likely require them.

Once you have all of your papers located, organized, and filed, you can begin to develop a plan of action to get your financial life back on track. You’ll be able to see where you can cut back, if you need additional income, if you have anything you can sell, etc. However, you won’t be able to get a clear picture of the puzzle until all pieces have been located.

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Billing Software

Every company, regardless of size, relies on some type of income in order to meet its expenses. If you don’t have a proper Billing System in place, how can you expect to ensure that you are collecting all monies owed to you in a timely manner, in order to stay in business.

I have several friends who have gone into business for themselves. Some are crafters, others are working with direct sales companies. Some of the direct sales companies handle the transaction side of things, while others are distributors who purchase product in bulk, and make their profit when they sell to others. One of my friends was selling in this manner, not to make money for herself, but to pass on the discount she was getting to her close friends and family. She didn’t think she needed a system, that it was just easy math. Then she started noticing that it seemed like she was losing money.

She hadn’t accounted for needing to pay taxes on the sales, she thought since she was breaking even, that wouldn’t be a factor, but it was. She also did not account for other fees and shipping she was incurring. She searched the internet and found a software system that would work for her needs, at a reasonable price. Once she had it all set up, it allowed her to enter the price she was paying for the product, all fees, taxes, and shipping, and show what her net cost of each item really was.

Now, she is able to still sell at a significant discount to her friends and family, and have all of her costs covered too. While the amount she collects is slightly more than the listed “cost” price, it actually covers all of her costs and she really is breaking even.  It’s also really great for friends selling homemade crafts. They are able to input the cost of each item, how much of it they used (i.e. yards of fabric, buttons, zippers, etc. that may have been purchased in bulk), the time it took to make the item (they can set an hourly rate and it will calculate it), shipping costs, taxes, etc. and they can see how much profit they are really making. Without a system in place, it can be really easy to overlook something here or there, and end up losing money on what is supposed to be a business.

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Short Sales

Short sales are horrible for sellers, but perfect for buyers. Buyers are able to get very nice homes at what is often a significantly reduced price, and with a little bit of love and labor in upgrades while allowing the market to bounce back, can often find themselves sitting on a nice investment worth much more than the price they paid. It's disgruntling to sellers that they must sell their home at a significant loss. They typically don't hold any ill will toward the buyers, it isn't their fault the market crashed in their area, it's just a difficult loss to swallow. For buyers, getting a nice home in a nice area at such a spectacular price, is a great investment.
We are still dealing with the sale of our previous home in Oklahoma. We are fortunate as sellers, that it hasn't turned into a short sale situation, but it has gotten very close. We had just had our home appraised about 18 months before we found out we were moving. When the listing agent did comps in the area, we were shocked to see that dozens of our neighbors had gone into foreclosure or short sale in that time. Homes were suddenly selling for 30% or more, below their previous value. Because the neighborhood is in a desirable school district and close to shopping, hospitals, highways, and many large employers, the homes sold quickly and the buyers got a phenomenal deal. Once those in financial trouble have moved on, the value of those homes is sure to rebound, and possibly be worth more than they were before. There are military families in the neighborhood, and a few others in situations such as ours, where we were relocated by an employer, who have little choice but to sell at a significant reduction. There isn't anything wrong with the home (that we know of!), but we can't afford to keep up two house payments on the thought that *one day* we might be transferred back, or to wait on the value to rebound. We had to cut our loss and move on.
If you are looking for a home to purchase, check out vegas short sales to see if you can get a deal on a new home. There are also similar sites available in other areas of the country!

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bankruptcy Attorney

The lady I mentioned in a previous post, that was so relieved to see a process server, was given the advice from another person in the waiting area, to see a bankruptcy attorney. I have to admit, after hearing her story, I concurred. Due to her medical situation, she has been forced to apply for disability, she can no longer work, and can barely pay her minimal living expenses. She has so much debt hanging over her from the illness and loss of her job, that she really just needs help.
gretna bankruptcy attorney, or any other bankruptcy attorney, can look over all of her documents and advise her whether or not that is her best option, or even suggest an alternative that might better suit her needs. Yes, her credit will take a hit, but quite frankly, it sounds like it is already pretty bad if she hasn't been able to make a single payment on anything in over a year, all of her accounts are in collections, and she is getting served with judgment suits. Bankruptcy could actually help this lady raise her score (and reduce most of her stress) by eliminating her debts and giving her a fresh start. With her lack of income, she isn't using credit anyway, and perhaps the reduced stress would help her medically, and she might eventually be well enough to work again.

One thing I always like to mention when writing articles on this topic, is to ask that if you know of someone facing a financial decision such as bankruptcy, please be kind to them. They do not want or need any judgments from you regarding why they are in this situation. They may welcome advice, depending on the circumstances, but it would be best to let them come to you and ask. Offer kind words, a warm meal, an anonymous gift card, anything to let them know that you love and support them, and are willing to do what you can within your own means, to help them. They are not asking you to bail them out, just don't make them feel as though they are bad people for enduring this. Chances are you are not familiar with all of the aspects of their finances, you don't know exactly what went wrong, so just be nice :)
This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Process servers

I had a very interesting encounter with someone last week. I was sitting next to some people who were chatting while I was in a waiting room. It was small, and I couldn't help but overhear some of their conversation as I was reading. What caught my attention was when one of the ladies mentioned how relieved she was that she had been served papers by a process server.
I had to stop her and ask her about why she felt this way. It turns out, this lady had endured some medical issues, and ended up losing her job when her FMLA ran out. She got behind on her bills, and one local company was really hounding her to pay an outstanding bill that she literally had no money to pay. She saw the parties involved occasionally around town, and she felt a ton of pressure to make payments she could not afford, because she is struggling just to pay rent, buy groceries, and keep her utilities on. She'd used legal outlets to demand they stop calling her, but she really just wanted an end to her situation, and the legal threats to stop.
She said the day the doorbell rang and the process server handed her papers, she felt relief. She was ready to go to court, tell her side of the story, and deal with whatever the outcome was. She said is hoping the case gets dismissed due to her extreme financial circumstances, but said even if she loses and a judgment is processed, at least it the legal threats will be over, the worst will be done, and she feels like her stress will lessen.
While I hope that none of you run into any Texas process servers, or servers from your own state, due to financial struggles, I also hope that none of you feel so such enormous stress either. Process servers are nice because they are a neutral third party to the situation, so the engagement is entirely professional, and they also handle other situations too, not just exclusively serving financial papers.

Here's to hoping everyone has a better financial year in 2013!
This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.