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Can Debt Settlement Work For You?

There are so many ways to get out of credit card debt these days that most people just don’t know which way is right for them.  Because of the law changes, most people don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments are usually unaffordable.  Consumer credit counseling is another alternative but for the majority of people I talk to the payments are also unaffordable.

Until recently, there was nothing protecting the consumer from debt settlement companies who were charging upfront fees, and then not delivering.  The FTC has since made a ruling which does not allow a company, other than a law firm, to charge upfront fees.  This ruling completely disabled the companies from pulling a fast one on the consumer, and gave reputable debt settlement companies and law firms a legitimate way to settle consumer debt.  A non-attorney debt settlement company can still charge a fee, but only after the debts have been settled.  An attorney based company can charge upfront fees because the law protects both the law firm and the consumer. Read More…

Debt Negotiation Strategies

There are many debt negotiation strategies when it comes to lowering your debt.  There are a few things you need to know in order to effectively settle your debt and protect yourself against the creditors trying to collect the debt AFTER they settle with you.  What do I mean by this?  Well you see, some people have actually settled their debt with creditors from an offer from the creditors themselves, typically running from 30% to 50% off.    But here’s the catch….  A lot of the creditors will not give you a settlement offer in writing, or a contract, showing that if you pay the settlement in full that they will forgive the difference.  This is a risk to you because if you do not get the contract in writing, or you believe them when they tell you that when you pay the settlement they will send it to you later.  This could become a problem 6 months or a year down the road.

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Facing Foreclosure? Your Options for TODAYS Times

Working with your lender, key is being Proactive

Our great nation and its people are facing some of the most difficult financial times in history.  Due to a lagging economy, high unemployment rates and lack of jobs many American homeowners are facing foreclosure.

Let’s be clear on one thing.  You have options!  So many people panic when they are served foreclosure documents that they simply want to pack their bags and move out.  That is a colossal mistake.  Your mortgage company really does not want to foreclose on you.  Foreclosure is a costly legal process for them.  They have specialists working in loss mitigation departments to help homeowners either keep their home on more affordable terms, catch up on a few past due payments, and if need be, sell the property.  Let’s look over some options in more detail. Read More…

Has Cohen & Slamowitz Filed a Judgment Against You?

More and more people are wondering how they could have a judgment placed against them and not know it. The NY Times published an article “Automated Debt-Collection Lawsuits Engulf Courts on how the courts are getting inundated by court filings due to automated debt-collection court filing software. Most debtors never show up to court to fight the validity of the debt therefore the creditor wins by default. Knowing this, most law firms have no presentation at the court because they are banking on that fact. It is costly to have an attorney show up to court especially if it is out of their area. Read More…

Stashing Cash

Stashing CashIt’s hard to turn on the television these days and not hear something about saving money, making money or spending money. With the slow economy, cash, or lack thereof is a common topic.

My busy life had pushed me into a, shall we say, fast food way of life. My husband and I would leave for work every day and head right for the fast food restaurant for breakfast. We spent on average, $10.00 each morning. Lunch hour would roll around, and we were off again to spend another $10.00 or more. Before heading back to the office, we would stop off for coffee to the tune of $3.00. There it is $23.00 a day, 5 days a week. Now keep in mind that this is an average. Many days we spent more, depending on where we went for breakfast and lunch.

I decided one day that we were going to take a break from the fast food way of life and see how much money we could save. I made a trip to the store and purchased some simple breakfast foods and some lunch meat and bread for lunch. I even bought some coffee and cream and dusted off the coffee machine at the office. I spent about as much money as I would have spent in one day following my old ways. Read More…

Debit Card vs Credit Card

Lori TownHow often do you go to the store, and when you are at the checkout with your handy plastic card, do you hear debit or credit?  What is the difference really?  The difference can be HUGE! 

As you probably know, your debit card is directly linked to your bank account.  This means that if you don’t have the money in the bank, it’s not on your card either.  A debit card can be a great tool.  If you do a lot of shopping online, and you don’t want to pay interest on a credit card, you can use your debit card.

 The merchant takes your debit card number, and runs it through just like a credit card, but again, you have to have the money in the bank to cover the transaction or it will decline.  I have also noticed that by using my debit card, I realize that it’s coming directly out of my pocket, so in turn, I spend less.  Read More…

The Debt Collection Scam

If you are behind on your debt and receiving collection calls make sure you do not fall prey to the scam that has been going on for years. The scam is this, your creditor or the collection agency that contacts you makes a deal to settle your debt; you agree, but months if not years later, you get a call from a different company collecting the same debt.

The reason that debt gets collected twice is that it’s lucrative for the “debt buying” businesses. Some companies will purchase what’s considered uncollectable debt. They then buy the debt as low as a penny on the dollar and try to collect it.  If the debtor buys into the fact that they owe it, the return on their investment is huge. Read More…