Review Category : Bankruptcy

There’s No Short Cuts To Getting Out Of Debt

From time to time a prospective client will come to me with lots of Credit Card debt.  They want to know what they can do to get out of debt?  My answer is always the same.  There are no short cuts. Every time they will ask if they should use one of the debt-settlement companies that you see on TV.  You know the ones that promise financial freedom.  What most of the companies do is convince you to stop making payments to the creditor.  Some have you send the money to them to hold while they try and negotiate with the creditors to take a lump sum for less than what is owed.  On the surface it seems like a good idea.  Why wouldn’t the creditor want to negotiate for something now, rather than writing off the debt completely. But reports from the Center for Responsible Lending and the Federal Trade Commission point out that debt balances increase on average ...

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Do The Worst Budgeters In The US Live In Georgia?

What makes someone a bad budgeter in life?  Is it the fact that they use their ATM receipt as their personal bank reconciliation?   Is it that as long as they can pay the minimum on their credit cards, they will keep charging new purchases every month?  Is it because of poor upbringing and spending no time learning about money? Wallet Hub recently ran a study and ranked the 150 metropolitan areas in the United States to gauge the overall budgeting capability of their residents.  They did so by examining 16 key metrics, ranging from the average credit score to the percentage of unbanked households.  They even ranked foreclosures.  Here is what the study revealed about budgeting. Metro Areas with the Best Budgeters Metro Areas with the Worst Budgeters 1 Fargo, ND 141 Monroe, LA 2 Sioux Falls, SD 142 Alexandria, LA 3 Rochester, MN 143 Savannah, GA 4 Minneapolis, MN 144 Augusta, GA 5 Boston, MA 145 Macon, GA 6 ...

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The Emotional Wear And Tear Of Debt

Soup is NOT a meal.   What?  What in the world does that have to do with debt?   One of my all-time favorite Seinfeld episodes is where comedian Kenny Bania gives Jerry Seinfeld a brand new Armani suit and tells Jerry that they can call it even if Jerry takes Kenny out for a ‘meal’ sometime.  Seems like a reasonable deal, right?   Jerry gladly accepts the offer and then ends up taking Kenny out to a restaurant and since Kenny was full from a hot dog he recently ate, he decides to just order soup.   Kenny and Jerry argue about whether soup is a side dish or a meal which inevitably Jerry loses the argument.   Jerry left the dinner with one of the worst three word phrases hovering over his head, YOU OWE ME! Over the years, my philosophy around financial planning has evolved from when I first started in the business almost 25 years ago.   Debts come in many shapes ...

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Why Your Family Income Statement May Be In The RED

Whether or not you accept the role, you are the CEO of your family finances. Many seasoned manager and vice presidents do an excellent job at work managing the profit and loss (P & L) for their divisions. However, most don’t apply the astute management techniques they learn at work to their family finances. Why not? The fact is that even if you have a college degree or an MBA, nobody ever really teaches a personal finance course on how to run your family finances like a business. The two metrics that most business owners review in their business are the income statement (P & L) and the balance sheet. Running your family income statement efficiently (or profit and loss statement) to maximize your cash flow is part I. The cash flow then drives the balance sheet (net worth) which is part II. Net worth is what will ultimately create your overall family financial security. The balance sheet is simply ...

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Til Debt Do You Part

My team is extremely fortunate to get to work with so many successful Gen X’ers. Many of them have done phenomenally well in their careers, and then begin considering marriage at a much later stage in life toward their late 30’s to early 40’s. This often brings up the question when we do financial planning with them about whether or not it is a good idea to get a prenuptial agreement. There are pros and cons to getting this type of agreement, but the one important item many couples do not remember to put in these agreements when they execute them is what will happen with the DEBT. Most couples remember to talk about the bank accounts, the retirement accounts, the family inheritances, the real estate, and the closely held businesses. However, most people assume that all prenuptial agreements are only dealing with people who have significant wealth. What happens when a couple gets married and you still have outstanding ...

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