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.

5 Money Saving Tips Anyone Can Use

Looking for ways to cut back your expenses?

money savingsWith prices on just about everything going up, it is pretty common to start searching for ways to cut back costs and stretch your dollar a little further.

Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston APC would like share some helpful tips to saving money that just about anyone can use:

  1. Call your electric company to see how you can save money. Many offer free energy audits to see where your utility dollars are going. You can then make changes and repairs to various areas of your home to save some electricity. Also unplug EVERYTHING when you are not using it. Even phone chargers, TV’s and computers are using electricity even if they aren’t turned on!
  2. Make your own repairs at home instead of hiring someone. Many stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot offer free Do It Yourself classes where you can learn how to make minor improvements to your home all by yourself.
  3. Pay down your mortgage or put that extra money in savings. If you make an extra mortgage payment each year you can save thousands of dollars in interest of the course of a 30 year loan. However, if your interest rate is already pretty low (in the 4-5 percent range) you may be better off contributing to a 401(k) plan or paying down your higher interest credit cards.
  4. Ask for your interest rate to be lowered. If you have good payment history with your credit card company, they may agree to lower your interest rate if you just simply ask.
  5. Review your insurance rates. Many times your home and auto insurance rates can be lowered. Ask your current provider to do a review and shop around for other lower insurance rates as well.

How To Create A Budget

7 tips to creating a monthly budget for your household.

Are you struggling to pay your bills every month? Don’t continue to get more and more into debt risking the possibility of bankruptcy.

Follow our helpful tips to stay on track with your spending and dig your way out of debt:

  1. Make a list of your expenses. Sort out your expenses into categories starting with big categories first and breaking your budget down into smaller expense categories.
  2. Set up two separate budget lists from your list of expenses. One will be for essentials and the other for extras. Essentials are mortgage or rent, electric bills and groceries. Extras are new furniture, clothing, gifts and eating out.
  3. Examine your list to find budget expenses where you can cut back. Highlight these items so you can identify them later if you need to cut back.
  4. Make a good estimate of what you spend by going through your checkbook and any other receipts or records you’ve kept over the past few months. This will help you track how much you actually spend on essentials and extras.
  5. Add up your budget’s list of essentials and extras separately. When you keep the lists separate you can make cuts more easily.
  6. Take your total monthly income and subtract your essentials list from that. If you have money left over, subtract your extras list from that amount. If you still have money left over you should look into a savings or investment plan.
  7. If you don’t have money left over and subtracting your extras list brings you into the negative, start looking for places to cut back. You can also trim up your extras list to put more money toward your debt repayment as well.

Do you have questions about setting up a budget in order to avoid bankruptcy? Please contact our office, Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston, at 951-461-2500.

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.