postheadericon Learn good financial sense!

Learn good financial sense!

Unfortunately, good financial sense is not always taught in school. It is up to us to learn about finances and to teach our children about staying out of debt.

Here is some practical advice about money and financial sense:

Debt Prevention and Financial Advice for Teens

1.       Create a monthly expense report 

It is a good idea to budget your money, sit down and know where your money is coming from and where it is going. Start with income and the various sources you may be getting money from including jobs, rental income, retirement, and other sources. Next, use your bank statement (or written list of monthly purchases) to get an idea of how you are using your money.

Set a budget.  Figure out what items you have purchased in the last month that are “necessary” and what is “discretionary.”  You will quickly find that you can cut several things from your monthly expenses.

2.      Compound interest can mean savings 

Compound interest is when the interest that accrues on an amount of money accrues interest itself.  The longer you leave money untouched in an account, the faster it will grow.  If you start saving early in life, you can take advantage of the interest that will accrue in the retirement account or savings.

The below graph by J.P. Morgan Chase shows the benefit of saving early and is taken from an article that showcases the power of compound interest . It shows three individual examples of investors who put away $5,000 annually and provides you a good representation of how starting early can lead to tremendous gains in the long run.

There are two more graphs on the aforementioned article that further emphasize the importance of starting to save early. Bankrate also has an investment goals calculator that you can use to plug in real life examples.

Resource: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazing-power-of-compound-interest-2014-7

3.       Learn how electronics purchases using credit cards make no financial sense

Electronics. Most of us are enamored by them and the latest-and-greatest devices seem to get more expensive each year. While the marketing makes each generation of devices seem so much better than the one before it, these companies are doing this to MAKE MONEY.

Electronics, like smartphones, drop in price rapidly, so by putting cash away, their account balance will grow as the price for electronics goes down. When you use a credit card to buy electronics up front (as the price is going down), the amount you are paying is increasing.  So you are spending MORE for a DECREASING asset.

For example, let’s say a new phone costs $500. Assuming a credit card with 18 percent interest is used to pay for this device:

  • with a minimum payment of $15
  • you make this minimum payment
  • it would take you 47 months to pay off the debt
  • you accumulate another $200 in interest along the way

How’s that $700 phone going to be treating you in the four years it takes to pay it off?

4.       Teach your children early

If you have a younger teen (or even a pre-teen) who wants to buy something nominal, it’s never too early to teach about savings. A good visual representation is a picture of a big thermometer that you can put on your refrigerator with dollar amounts along the side of it that represent savings.

As your child saves money, they can fill the thermometer with color to represent how close they are to reaching their financial goal. This process helps them realize that saving takes dedication but comes with rewards.  Teach them that small purchases over time add up and take away from long-term goals.

Small goals and small changes will help you with your finances.  Learn now and teach your children practical financial sense so you and your family can be in a better position going forward.

Thank you Debthelper.com for some of the advice and links provided in this article.

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

Debthelper.com is an IRS Approved 501c3 Non-Profit Florida Corporation dedicated to our mission to educate, advise and empower youth to seniors to handle debt, credit and housing and to provide affordable housing opportunities through the acquisition and rehabilitation of residential properties.”

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Source: Bankruptcy blog

postheadericon Bankruptcy Strategy Session

Bankruptcy Strategy Session

Why a bankruptcy strategy session?  Isn’t this just a fancy phrase for a free consultation?

No!  Obtaining relief from debts is so much more than just  a “free consultation.”  This is the rest of your financial life we are talking about.  I want to make sure you can make the best of it!  I hope I can help set you in the right direction – even if that seems like a daunting task today.

Bankruptcy is only step one of your financial future.  How would you like to start saving for retirement?  Put some money away for a vacation?  Pay cash for a car?  Even retire early??

If you want to accomplish these goals, take advantage of my bankruptcy strategy session and start TODAY!  In my opinion, tomorrow is already too late.  You have already struggled too long for financial freedom.  Don’t wait any longer!

You deserve a better life, with financial security.  No – bankruptcy isn’t going to make you suddenly rich.  You will have a lot of work to do after you leave my office for the last time.  But wouldn’t you like to move in the right direction?  Wouldn’t you like to regain some financial freedom?

Please contact me today for your free bankruptcy strategy session.  314-827-4027.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a bankruptcy strategy session.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

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Source: Bankruptcy blog

postheadericon Free Bankruptcy Consultation

Free Bankruptcy Consultation

Why would I offer a free bankruptcy consultation?  After all, nothing in life is free, right?  Or at least nothing worth getting.

Well, that is not always true.  I offer a 30 minute, free bankruptcy consultation to all of my new clients.  I want you to be able to make the best decision regarding your finances, and I feel like you need the information to make that happen.  If you are in financial trouble, it may be the best 30 minutes you will spend.  And it only costs you your time!

So, should you bring anything to the free bankruptcy consultation?  I want to make this as easy as possible, but there is no sense in not being prepared for what is ahead.  I feel very strongly that you will want to move forward and retain my services.  If you are picking up the phone to call me, you have probably already made the decision to file for bankruptcy relief.

With that said, you should bring a few things with you:

  • the last 6 months of pay stubs;
  • the last 2 Federal and State tax returns;
  • your picture ID;
  • a debit card or some cash

What??? You said it is a free bankruptcy consultation!  That is true, but, as I said, there is no sense in being unprepared.  I want you to make the decision to hire me.  If you are ready to move forward with my services, it makes sense for you to put down $100 or more when we meet.  So, yes, I was not kidding:  the consult is free!  But it is always best to be prepared so we can move forward should you make the decision to do so.

Please contact me today for your free bankruptcy consultation.  314-827-4027.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about scheduling a free bankruptcy consultation.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

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Source: Bankruptcy blog

postheadericon Should I buy a car before or after bankruptcy?

Should I buy a car before or after bankruptcy?

You most certainly CAN buy a car after bankruptcy.  Most of the time, it is advisable to wait until you have a discharge to buy a car.  I know lenders that specifically work with people who have filed for bankruptcy relief.  If you have steady income right now, they can almost certainly help you.

If you are doing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you currently have a car payment this is too high, we can discuss giving that car up and getting a discharge.  Then, I will refer you to someone who can help you buy a car after bankruptcy. The interest rates offered to people who have just filed for bankruptcy relief is often better than the interest rate you would have otherwise gotten.  This may give you a lower car payment and a slightly newer car.

Sometimes, you can’t wait to buy a car after bankruptcy.  If you are doing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we can ask the court to approve a new car loan.  Again, this may allow you to obtain a smaller car payment, but a slightly newer car.

Obviously, the new car purchase will help you build credit.  This is key to getting your financial life back to normal.

Please contact me today to discuss how to build credit and make your life better.  314-827-4027.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you buy a car after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about how to buy a car after bankruptcy.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

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Source: Bankruptcy blog

postheadericon Bankruptcy 341 Meeting of Creditors – by Sean C. Paul, Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney

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Bankruptcy 341 Meeting of Creditors.

When a bankruptcy is filed, the court will set a 341 Meeting of Creditors. You may also hear it called a “trustee meeting,” or just “341 Meeting.”  This meeting is named after section 341 of the bankruptcy code. Your attorney will advise you of the date of the meeting and will appear with you. This meeting involves you, your attorney, the trustee, and any creditors that wish to attend. The trustee is an attorney who is assigned to look for assets. If you have an ability to pay creditors, the bankruptcy code may require you to liquidate assets or pay out of your income.  Both Chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases will have a 341 Meeting.

Trustee Asks Questions.

The trustee assigned to the case is there to make sure you have disclosed all assets and all income.  The trustee in a Chapter 7 case is looking to liquidate assets that could be used to pay creditors.  In a Chapter 13, the trustee is looking to make sure you are treating your creditors fairly in your repayment plan.  That is why the trustee will ask about your assets, your past transactions, and your current income.

Creditors Ask Questions.

In most cases, no creditors will appear at a 341 Meeting of Creditors.  If creditors do choose to attend the 341 Meeting of Creditors, they may ask additional questions that they see as relevant to the case.   Many times, the creditors that show up are friends or family to whom you owe money.

Additional Paperwork.

Your bankruptcy attorney will make every effort to ensure all necessary documents have been provided in the initial filing. In the event that something comes up in the 341 Meeting of Creditors, your trustee may ask you to submit additional documents. You will be have to show photo identification and your social security card to prove your identity. If you are asked to give more information, your bankruptcy attorney will ask you to provide that to him or her.

You should not try to go through this process alone.  A Missouri Bankruptcy attorney can help you get through this process.

 

Sean C. Paul, attorney, explains the bankruptcy 341 Meeting of Creditors

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in downtown Kansas City. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

postheadericon Judgments in Bankruptcy – by Sean C. Paul, Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney

Dealing with Judgments in Bankruptcy

When you are served a lawsuit by a creditor, you are on notice that failure to take action will result in a judgment which is a finding by the court that you owe that money. A judgment can then be used to freeze your bank account, garnish your wages, or it may be a lien on your real estate.
Many people opt to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to avoid the consequences of a judgement.  A dischargeable debt is one which can be wiped out by filing for bankruptcy while a non-dischargeable debt is one that cannot be cancelled – such as a student loan, a fine for a criminal offense, or certain other debts.  If you have been sued, bankruptcy will stop the collection attempts associated with that debt.  If it is not discharged in bankruptcy, the creditor can take action against you after the case is over.
When dealing with judgments in bankruptcy, you must be aware that a judgment lien may have been created. If you do not avoid this lien in the bankruptcy proceeding, the lien will still exist after the bankruptcy. If your home has very little equity, and you have claimed an exemption on the equity, then your attorney can ask the bankruptcy court to avoid, or get rid of, the judgment lien.  You must notify your attorney if you have been sued in the past as it may be difficult to tell if you have a lien on your home due to an old judgment.
You should talk to your attorney when about dealing with past judgments in bankruptcy. You should make your attorney aware of past lawsuits so that your attorney can file the appropriate motion to avoid any judgment liens from these suits.

 

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, discusses judgments in bankruptcy

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in downtown Kansas City. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case. Talk to Sean C. Paul about dealing with past judgments in bankruptcy.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

postheadericon Chapter 7 Discharge and what you need to know – by Sean C. Paul, Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney

What is a Chapter 7 Discharge

When discussing filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may hear the term discharge being used frequently. While most of your debts will be affected by the Chapter 7 discharge, some may not be.

What Qualifies?

Most debts can be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Most people already know that credit cards, medical bills and collection accounts will receive a discharge under Chapter 7.  You can also get a Chapter 7 Discharge on past due utility bills or money owed to an old landlord.  With all of these items qualifying for a discharge, you may wonder what does not qualify.

Non-Qualifying Items.

Although some attorney fees may be able to be discharged, those related to alimony or child support usually do not go away with a Chapter 7 Discharge. You also may not be able to receive a discharge for student loans in most circumstances.  If you obtained a loan through fraud or misrepresentation (dishonesty on an application, for example), you may not get rid of that debt.

The bankruptcy discharge does not, generally, get rid of liens on property.  If you were sued, that may be a lien and you should talk to your bankruptcy attorney about it.

 

What does the discharge mean?

Once you have received your discharge, you are no longer legally responsible to pay those creditors. Creditors are not allowed to attempt to collect on the debts in which you get a bankruptcy discharge.   The amount of time it takes to receive a full discharge of your debt will depend on the length of your bankruptcy proceedings, but you will usually get a discharge in three or four months after the case was filed.

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, discusses the benefits of a Chapter 7 discharge

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in downtown Kansas City. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

postheadericon Build credit and have a better life! – by Sean C. Paul, Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney

Build Credit!

So you are done with your bankruptcy, right?  What next?

Many of you have asked me how to build credit after  your case.  At the time I told you we’d worry about that later.  Your priority at the time was to GET OUT OF DEBT.  Now that you’ve accomplished that, you need to build credit and retake your finances.

Your credit score can have a major impact on the cost of loans and credit cards.  The difference between a 760 credit score and a 660 credit score might be thousands of dollars in interest over the term of a loan.  That’s WAY too much!

Get a small credit card to rebuild credit.  It might have to be a secured credit card or a low-balance card.  You must start somewhere.  From there use that card on minor purchases such as gas and groceries and pay it in full every month!  Pay on time so it helps you rebuild your credit.

Remember – a small $100 credit card will help your credit just as much as a $10,000 loan.  Just make the payments on time!  It does not have to be difficult to build credit.

Please contact me today to discuss how to build credit and make your life better.  314-827-4027.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, can help you rebuild credit after bankruptcy!

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in downtown Kansas City and in St. Louis. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Talk to Sean about how to build credit after bankruptcy.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

postheadericon Inheriting Money during bankruptcy – Missouri bankruptcy attorney

Inheriting Money during Bankruptcy

The most confusing and heartbreaking part of bankruptcy can occur if a loved one passes and you end up inheriting money or property in bankruptcy. It is confusing because it is a huge exception to the general rule that only assets that exist on the day of filing are part of your bankruptcy estate.  It is heartbreaking when you lose money you need to help you pay for a loved one’s funeral expenses.

Sean C. Paul, Missouri bankruptcy attorney, explains how inheriting money can affect your bankruptcy case.

 

The 180 Day Rule

This rule states that property inherited within one hundred and eighty (180) days of filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the property will be available to creditors. If you inherit the property after that period and have filed for Chapter 7, you may keep all of the inheritance. In Chapter 13 filing, the judge may still require you to pay this amount over for the benefit of creditors if you are still under your repayment plan, since the rule in a Chaptr 13 is that all disposable income must be used for creditors.

Call your bankruptcy attorney immediately if someone dies.  The rule is based on when you become entitled to inherit – NOT when you actually get the money.  So if someone dies within 180 days of your filing, you must turn the money over even if you don’t get it within 180 days (which you normally would not, anyway).  If you fail to turn it over, you might lose your discharge in bankruptcy.  You could even be prosecuted for not disclosing assets!  If you have any doubt at all, CALL YOUR MISSOURI BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY!

 

Spouse

Your spouse’s money is not necessarily your money.  If you file bankruptcy, and your spouse does not, you probably won’t have to turn that money over.  However, DISCLOSE IT!  Talk to your Missouri Bankruptcy attorney to make sure what you need to disclose and what you need to turn over.

 

 

Sean C. Paul, Attorney, discusses inheriting money or property in bankruptcy

Sean C. Paul is licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri. His practice is located in south St. Louis County and downtown Kansas City, Missouri. He can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case.  Sean can explain to you the rules about inheriting money or property in bankruptcy.

Sean C. Paul will give you the individual attention you deserve. He will meet with you one-on-one to determine how he can help you. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Missouri, please call today.

Sean C. Paul, Attorney at Law Google+ Profile.

 

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Source: Bankruptcy blog

postheadericon Is all debt bad? – An opinion from Missouri bankruptcy attorney Sean C. Paul

Is all debt bad?  – An opinion from Missouri bankruptcy attorney Sean C. Paul

Firstly, let me state that it is generally best to stay debt free.  Even though I do firmly believe that there are “good” debts and “bad” debts.

Bad debts are obvious:  credit cards, medical bills, and collection accounts generally demonstrate an overall inability to afford routine expenses.  But even that can be overstated.  Even the most financially astute carry a balance sometimes in order to finance a temporary situation.  Pay it off quickly and it won’t become a problem.

What are “good” debts?  I like to think debts that help you gain leverage are good.  For example, if you buy into real estate, and that real estate increases in value over time, it is a net GAIN for you to have that asset.  Of course, if you can’t afford the payments on the debt, it can become a “bad” debt as well.

Are cars a good or bad debt?  Cars lose value quickly.  If you need to finance, you should do so at a low interest rate and a very short repayment period.  Again, if you can’t afford the payment, the debt will be even worse for you.  However, a short-term auto payment may help you gain leverage in that it will allow you to make more money getting to work.

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Source: Bankruptcy blog