5 Best Ways To Get Out Of Your Bankruptcy Rut

If you have made the decision to file for Bankruptcy, you can start making an effort to repair your credit and get back on track.

The financial decisions you make after you file will impact how fast your credit can improve.

  1. Check your credit. Within a few months of your finalization of bankruptcy, check to make sure your credit reports have discharged your debts and closed accounts are properly reported. You can request one free report per year from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).
  2. Start a budget. You need to get your spending on track and under control. Check out our article on setting up a budget. If money is tight you may want to get an extra part time job and use that paycheck to jump start an emergency savings fund for any unexpected financial hardships. Another smart move is an emergency savings fund to help you weather unexpected financial hardship. You can set up Automatic Transfers from your checking account to a savings account. If money is tight, take a part-time job and use that paycheck to jumpstart your emergency savings fund.
  3. Pay bills on time. Bill paying habits make a huge impact on your credit score. Making on time bill payments will improve your credit score over time. Meeting payment dates is a huge step in recovering from bankruptcy.
  4. Acquire new credit but do it wisely. There are different products and services you can take advantage of to rebuild your credit. If you receive a secured credit card make sure they send reports of your payment history to the credit bureaus. Use your credit card wisely in order to build up credit only on items you can afford to show you are in control of your spending.
  5. Apply for a loan. If you want to rebuild your credit score, two years after your bankruptcy you will be eligible for an FHA loan assuming you meet qualification rules. Some lenders can even qualify you for a car loan sooner than that however it will probably be at a high interest rate.

While the formal record of a bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, its impact recedes over time. Your bankruptcy is a reflection of the past. The future is completely within your control, and how you handle your finances going forward will tell your creditors whether you in fact are a good “risk” to do business with. By following these steps to recover from bankruptcy, you improve your chances of increasing your credit score over time, and having a better financial future.

Do you have questions about filing for bankruptcy?  Please call us, The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales & Preston, at (951) 461-2500.

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Facing Bankruptcy? Don’t Do It Alone!

Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is one of the best moves you can make if you are filing for bankruptcy.

A bankruptcy lawyer knows the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process, have done plenty of research on the topic, and have dealt with the court system for years.

 

Give Jonathon Preston from the Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston a call.

When looking for a bankruptcy lawyer, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure you hire an expert – It is important to find a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy. You should find out what percentage of a lawyer’s practice is comprised of bankruptcy and how many cases he has filed. It is best to avoid a “jack of all trades” type of lawyer.
  • You’ll get what you pay for – Of course you are already tight on money if you are filing for bankruptcy however it is important to keep the saying in mind: “You get what you pay for”. Don’t go with the least expensive lawyer because you may end up having to pay more money in the long run.
  • Make sure you will get detailed attention – Many law firms will run their clients through a bankruptcy mill resulting in lousy legal work, unhappy clients and wary judges and trustees. In order to spot a mill, check with your local bar association for recommendations on attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy. Most mills will not be on top of the networking which is a normal characteristic of a local bar association.
  • Last but not least, make sure you have a comfortable relationship with your lawyer – Picking a lawyer you are comfortable with is most important. If you don’t have a good feel about the attorney, find another one. Filing bankruptcy is an emotional roller coaster and you want to feel right about what your lawyer is doing for you.

Looking for a lawyer? Call The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston.

What To Look For In A Bankruptcy Lawyer

Rule Number One: Don’t go into bankruptcy alone!

Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is one of the best moves you can make if you are filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer knows the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process, have done plenty of research on the topic, and have dealt with the court system for years.

 

Give Jonathon Preston from the Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston a call.

When looking for a bankruptcy lawyer, it is important to keep the following in mind:

Make sure you hire an expert – It is important to find a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy. You should find out what percentage of a lawyer’s practice is comprised of bankruptcy and how many cases he has filed. It is best to avoid a “jack of all trades” type of lawyer.

You’ll get what you pay for – Of course you are already tight on money if you are filing for bankruptcy however it is important to keep the saying in mind: “You get what you pay for”. Don’t go with the least expensive lawyer because you may end up having to pay more money in the long run.

Make sure you will get detailed attention – Many law firms will run their clients through a bankruptcy mill resulting in lousy legal work, unhappy clients and wary judges and trustees. In order to spot a mill, check with your local bar association for recommendations on attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy. Most mills will not be on top of the networking which is a normal characteristic of a local bar association.

Last but not least, make sure you have a comfortable relationship with your lawyer – Picking a lawyer you are comfortable with is most important. If you don’t have a good feel about the attorney, find another one. Filing bankruptcy is an emotional roller coaster and you want to feel right about what your lawyer is doing for you.

Looking for a lawyer? Call The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston.

Need To Recover From Bankruptcy?

How to recover your credit from bankruptcy.

It is easy to get caught up in debt and before you know it you are struggling to make ends meet while barely making your minimum payments.

 

Sometimes bankruptcy is the right solution for people to pay back their debts. Here are some tips on recovering from bankruptcy:

In most cases, one will get into so much credit card debt that it is impossible to repay the principle and interest in a timely manner and their only solution is to declare bankruptcy.

In order to survive bankruptcy and get back on track, you must admit your mistake and maintain a positive attitude.

Take a look at your financial problems especially your spending habits and lifestyle. Ask yourself what you absolutely need in life and what is more of a luxury. If you have declared bankruptcy, chances are your monthly expenses are higher than your income.

You may have a credit card spending habit that needs to get under control or maybe you have too many loans out on “toys” that you don’t need. Keep in mind once you get back on your feet you must think twice about getting a loan out for that boat or RV that you may not necessarily need.

Look into a debt consolidation company or program to help you make a plan to tackle your debt. Many services and programs will help debtors consolidate and clear their debts in an effective and fast manner.

If you have questions or are considering filing for bankruptcy, please call the experts at our office at 951-461-2500.

When Bankruptcy Is Right For You!

Bankruptcy isn’t a pretty word, but sometimes it’s the right solution.

Bankruptcy can sometimes be the best solution for your financial difficulties and can help you in many ways.

 

However, It is best to know exactly what you are getting in to and know exactly all the ramifications involved with bankruptcy.

We encourage those on the fence about bankruptcy to call our offices. We offer free consultations and would be happy to help you in determining if bankruptcy is right for you.

The following are examples of when bankruptcy may be the right solution for you:

  1. Loss Of A Job – Most people work hard to get a good, high paying job and in a lot of cases, along with a high paying job come higher living expenses. When there is a lay off or even restructuring at a place of employment, that loss of income can force people into bankruptcy.
  2. Medical Bills – Many bankruptcies are a result of high medical bills. Rare or serious diseases or injuries can easily result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills – bills that can quickly wipe out savings and retirement accounts, college education funds and home equity.
  3. Divorce – When someone gets a divorce, an income which was once used to cover one household now must be stretched out to cover two households. Many people file bankruptcy after divorce, in an attempt to clean up the mess that the divorce left in their financial life.
  4. Avoid Draining Retirement Funds – In most cases, retirement accounts are protected in bankruptcy.  When someone is considering draining retirement accounts to pay for debts, they need to consider the consequences and whether a bankruptcy would better serve their long term goals.  Those people who are at or near retirement and need retirement funds to meet their basic living expenses especially need to consider this option.
  5. Back Taxes Are Owed – Not all taxes are able to be discharged however some can be wiped out. Even when tax debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, wiping out other debt can make a payment plan to the IRS or state government possible.

Is Bankruptcy The Right Solution For You?

If you’ve received your credit card bills from over the holidays and are buried in debt, bankruptcy might be a solution for you.

bankruptcyPage, Lobo, Costales and Preston would like to share with our readers some reasons one should file for bankruptcy. If you aren’t sure, please call our offices and we would be happy to provide you with a 30 minute free consultation.

When you declare bankruptcy, most of your assets will come under the control of a trustee in bankruptcy who will then sell them off to pay your creditors. In most cases, you can keep personal belongings.

When you file bankruptcy you are basically telling the court three things:

  • I cannot afford to pay this debt anymore.
  • I don’t have anything that I could sell in order to pay creditors.
  • I am an honest person. I got this debt thinking I would be able to pay it back, but things happened and I couldn’t keep up.

The bankruptcy process can last up to a year, although if the debtor fails to comply with the law, the discharge may be suspended. Once discharged from bankruptcy, you are free of your debts, with the exception of student loans, marital debts and fines.

Once you are discharged, creditors cannot take any further action against you unless the debts are secured against your home or property. Your bankruptcy is now entered into a public register.

Keep in mind, bankruptcy is detrimental to one’s credit rating and can last up to 7 to 10 years on your credit history.

All forms of bankruptcy must be approved by the court, and the agreements are binding upon all parties involved. If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, please call our office of professionals to help decide if bankruptcy is right for you.

How To Pay Off Your Credit Card

Are you braving the crowds for Black Friday?

If you still have a lot to purchase for Christmas presents and are using your credit card to do so, check out our helpful tips to paying off your credit card debt for the New Year:

  • credit card payoffThis may seem obvious, but make more than the minimum payment. When only making the minimum, you are pretty much just paying the interest and barely digging into paying off the debt on your card.
  • Negotiate with your credit card company and ask if there is anything they can do to help. Some credit card companies may lower your interest rate for a period of time or waive any late fees you’ve accumulated to help you catch up.
  • Create a payment plan and put in it writing. This creates a plan to pay off your credit card debt altogether. Tackle higher interest rate cards first. Work on paying off your smallest debt first then once that is paid off, add the monthly amount you would have paid to that card to your next lowest credit card debt. Repeat this until your debts are cleared.
  • Shop around for long-term, low or no percent interest rate transfer opportunities. Make sure you know how long the low interest rate will last. Also find out if there is a transfer fee and what the interest rate will be when the introductory rate runs out. Make sure to read all the fine print, put in on paper and see what your best solution will be.
  • Cut back on small luxuries such as morning Starbucks runs. Pack your lunch and avoid purchasing books, DVD’s and CD’s. Borrow them or go to the library. Instead of going out to dinner with friends, invite them over for a potluck at your house.
  • Save some money away for emergencies. Most of us will put something on our credit card for emergencies or unexpected expenses we run across. If you put away some cash for that, you avoid racking up more debt.
  • Keep a budget and track it. Make notes of what you spent overtime and what it was for. Adding up expenses like “eating out” will help you make better decisions about spending money on that dinner out.