Tag Archives: bankruptcy

Update on the National Mortgage Settlement Program – Do You Qualify?

14 Sep

Update on the National Mortgage Settlement Program – Do You Qualify?.

#Bankruptcy is a fresh start, not a disgrace

6 Jul

Make the smart choice to push the reset button

The most devastating financial situation a person could ever face is bankruptcy. In the minds of many it is the ultimate neon sign of failure. As a paralegal, I observed that individuals will run from it, hide from it, ignore and condemn it—and in the process they generally seal their fate of filing it.

What I want you to realize is that bankruptcy is not the evil monster you have been taught to believe. It is a legal means of moving beyond true financial despair toward a life of hope. There is no time in history that ever screamed the word bankruptcy as a viable means of survival than the one in which we currently live. The world-wide financial markets have bottomed out—revealing the reality of fraudulent investments, limitless greed and financial ruin.

If you find it difficult or even impossible to pay your monthly financial obligations on time, you should think about the possibility of filing bankruptcy. Learn about the realities of the process and how the law could benefit you personally. No two situations are alike, and what might work for a friend or neighbor may not be the best solution in your situation.

The most important observation I can share with you today is that the majority of people that could benefit from bankruptcy wait much longer to file than they should. It is in our nature is to pay obligations in full, no matter how hard we have to work to do it. Honestly, there are some situations that are so dire and insurmountable that a person is smarter to wipe the slate clean and use their energies toward rebuilding their finances than suffering under a smothering burden.

Maybe your health is suffering due to the stress of unpaid bills. Everything else in your life is also suffering because your health keeps you from performing well at work, and the ability to provide for your family. What price do you put on your health? What sickness will you endure needlessly because you are too proud to admit that you need to start over?

It is my fervent hope that you make the choice to put your shame and guilt behind you to at least explore the option of bankruptcy. You’ll find that your current fears of filing bankruptcy will prove to be unfounded, and any further delay will just prolong your journey toward financial health.

Visit www.sunsetdreambooks.com today to learn more about the brighter financial future that is well within your grasp—once you take that first, albeit scary, step. You and I will work together toward dispelling those fears and learning how to make informed, sound decisions about your financial future—all in a language you will understand. If you know someone facing bankruptcy, and you want to help them move one step closer to prosperity, order my book for them. Read it yourself and, as a good friend, share it with them as you walk with them toward their best hope for financial restoration.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

Do men and women handle #bankruptcy differently?

27 Jun

Of course they do—they are from different planets!

Serious financial problems are devastating to everyone. I never met a person in my career as a paralegal happy to face the problems that come along with the territory. Yesterday, I discussed my observations about the ways men deal with difficult financial situations—including bankruptcy. Today I’ll talk about those I relate to even better—women… because I am one.

There are many women facing serious budget problems in today’s world, whether or not they are part of a couple. People with high-paying jobs, women with children at home, retirees living on fixed incomes: all of these individuals have been hurt by the present economic market.

I noticed when working through these difficulties with women that they very often felt ashamed, personally responsible and quite hopeless. Sometimes they took care of the family budget because their partner didn’t want any part of it, but there just wasn’t enough money coming in to pay the bills on time, or at all. Women often absorb the negativity around them, and then accept full responsibility for duties that should have been handled together with their spouses or partners. Women may also find it difficult to face the reality of the situation, knowing that they might be blamed or ridiculed once the truth is known.

The most important decision a woman can make is to find the right circumstance to share the details about her financial situation with a professional. Fortunately, a woman is more likely to consult professionals than her male counterpart—in much the same way as asking for directions when lost comes because it is natural to her. When she finds that help, the tears begin to flow, the self-imposed guilt surfaces, and it is then possible to take steps toward financial health.

In addition, a professional might also be more comfortable portraying the realities of the situation to the woman’s spouse. As a third party, the emotionality is removed from the situation and it can be faced head-on and realistically. It is hard to play the blame game when you’re in the office of an attorney or paralegal.

I always worked hard to create an environment for women where they felt safe and secure in their decisions. Along with this came the opportunity to allow her to vent, cry, and recover. Then we were ready to do the real work.

It was always a pleasure to see spouses work together toward the common goal. Sadly, it was rare to be involved with couples that didn’t find the need to blame one partner or the other, but that could be attributed to human nature.

For those women living on their own, many are already used to doing without the latest purse, fancy car, and expensive jewelry. I am amazed at how frugally a woman can live, and how dedicated she becomes to the goal of financial freedom. Women have always taught me something in the process.

If you are a woman  facing a serious financial crisis, turn to a valuable, affordable resource: BANKRUPTCY FROM A TO Z: THE PATH TO FINANCIAL HOPE AND FREEDOM. You can find it on my website: www.sunsetdreambooks.com and at www.amazon.com. Let me work along with you to achieve your goals. We can do this together!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: Part Four

25 Jun

Part Four: I want my budget to be healthy again—starting today

You’re still with me, and I’m grateful for that. You now know that symptoms of an unhealthy budget have underlying causes. Perhaps it is unemployment, overspending, the loss of a job, or even the death of a partner. There are so many more, but none of the causes are good. Most of them are beyond your control.

The good news is—YOUR BUDGET CAN BE HEALTHY AGAIN! Instead of continuing to treat the symptoms, which only allows the damage to spread, you must treat the root cause of YOUR budget sickness. Take steps to do what you can to bring in more money if possible. Can you ask for extra hours at work? Can an able-bodied person in your household find a job and contribute to the common expenses? Try cutting out unnecessary splurges while shopping. These steps can definitely help a budget that is undergoing a temporary illness.

The majority of people have already tried these measures—and they’re still unable to pay their bills. When changes in your income or ability to work are beyond your control, it is time to heal or remove the real problem. The underlying cause is the inability to pay what you currently owe while continuing to provide the necessities of life. It is time to stop trying to treat the symptoms on your own, and visit a professional who can really cure the problem, for good!

Sit down with that pile of bills you organized for me. Find the oldest bills and compare them to the newest for all creditors. Determine the last time you charged on each credit card account. Then I want you to get a pad of paper and list each bill. Make a chart that includes columns for: the name of the creditor, the balance you owe each creditor, the last time you charged a new purchase, and how far past due you are. This will allow you to see the true picture at a glance. Compare the process to taking blood tests in order to find out the actual numbers, that allows a doctor to diagnose a medical problem.

Now I want you to meet with a few professionals to see what path you should take toward budget health. My book: BANKRUPTCY FROM A TO Z: THE PATH TO FINANCIAL HOPE AND FREEDOM is a very affordable guide to take with you on the journey toward budget health. You can use it as a dictionary to understand the difficult legal terms, and you will sense that I am there with you to help you through the tough times. It is both emotional and draining to face problems this big. That’s why I want to be by your side—guiding your way. Allow me to make it easier for you—it is what I was trained to do, and what I was born to do.

You’re going to prepare for the process that best helps you regain financial health. You will take the advice of valued professionals to begin to move in the right direction. You must take the first step toward healing–both emotionally and financially–so you can face every morning with a smile again.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: Part Three

23 Jun

Part Three: What do I do with this mountain of bills?

If you’ve followed along with me since Part One: The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget, you know that you’re taking positive steps toward dealing with your scary financial situation. It might be painful, but you are moving in the right direction.

You’re now faced with organized piles of bills, and coming to terms with your actual money situation. The bills you should pay each and every month, your rent or mortgage, and utilities, have the most impact on your life if you don’t pay them on time. Just how behind are you on these bills? Are you at risk of losing your home or car?

Maybe you’ve been able to pay housing and car expenses on time, but your credit cards are far behind. I’m sure you’re receiving calls day and night from collectors. I know the phone calls are not pleasant. The people employed by companies to collect balances are not paid to be nice. They are paid to collect money. I know, because I used to work for a major automobile company and had to work in the collections department before I could be promoted to the job I really wanted. I’ve been on the other side of those telephone calls, and it isn’t pleasant there either. There is pressure to maintain very high collection rates in order to keep your job. Very often the people calling to collect past-due payments are also paying their own bills late. Is that news to you?

It is Saturday, and I know that you just want to kick back and relax a bit today. Until my next post, scour all of the possible hiding places where mail from bill collectors could be stashed. Sit down and open each of the bills you took the time to sort out. I’m sure there is some mail you never had the strength to open. It is now time to face reality. Begin to put these bills in order by date, each pile representing the bills from a particular company. We’ll work together on the next step after you’ve had a chance to catch your breath.

Until then, focus on the future and remember that you’re working toward a better one.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

http://www.sunsetdreambooks.com

The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: Part Two

22 Jun

Part Two: Can I get myself out of financial trouble?

If you read my last post you found a list of questions to help you determine if you are in financial trouble. I know the discovery of an unhealthy budget is sometimes overwhelming. You thought that living day-to-day was going to be temporary, or you could catch up on the overdue mortgage or rent when your tax refund check came in. Maybe the overtime you were promised at work never came through. What usually happens when you plan on spending any lump sum of money to catch up on past due bills is the need to spend it on unexpected, unavoidable expenses—even emergencies.

When you don’t have enough money for the essentials, you invariably need to spend even more. It never fails–and as times goes on the snowball continues to grow!

Don’t worry—your situation is not a lost cause. Many before you have survived and found a way out of tough financial situations, and you will too. I know it. Now that you know the truth, or are facing the truth honestly for the first time, you can take preliminary steps to begin to work out the details.

You probably have an unopened pile of mail hidden away or tucked into a drawer, maybe shoved into your purse so your spouse won’t find it. Out of sight, out of mind only works for the short term—and your spouse will eventually find what you have hidden. What I want you to do today is dig out that stack of mail and begin the process of opening it, then sorting the most important pieces down to the least important, and touching each envelope only once.

Get rid of the junk mail first. It serves no purpose, and is only taking up valuable space in your house. Clutter can make your mind feel overwhelmed. Start with the easiest task that also makes the biggest overall impact to your stack of envelopes. If you can still see over the pile once you’ve thrown away the junk mail, all is not lost!

Once you have shredded the pesky junk mail and thrown it away, it is time to sort through the real envelopes. You may have your own system, but be sure you check each of them one at a time. Make a pile for regular monthly bills (mortgage, rent, utilities, etc.), credit card mail (bills and notices from collection agencies), medical and health insurance mail (insurance premiums, bills and statements), and then miscellaneous mail–any envelopes that don’t fit into any of the first three categories.

After you have gone through each piece of mail you will have a clearer picture of the obligations you face. Some are re-occurring each and every month, but you only receive others once in a while or infrequently. You must now keep these piles separate, and add new mail to the correct pile as it comes in. Find an inexpensive way to store these documents, such as an accordion file or alphabetical folder, until I tell you what to do with them next. It is too soon to throw away any important statements or copies of pay stubs. You may need these later, even if it turns out that some are duplicates.

Stay with me for the next few days and we’ll work through this difficult process. Read Part Three of: The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget. We will tackle the piles together–one day at a time–to improve the overall health of your household budget.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

   

The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget

21 Jun

The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget

Part One: Am I really in financial trouble?

We have all experienced highs and lows with our finances, usually from fluctuations in our income. Sometimes a job requires overtime, and we spend according to those high times. Then there is barely 40 hours of work, and making money stretch to the end of the month—even to the end of the week—is nearly impossible. Fortunately, the average household budget can usually withstand very short periods of time of reduced income.

Those times when long-term unemployment hits your household or a serious medical condition keeps you from working, bring with them devastating financial concerns. Almost no one would be able to weather those types of storms without suffering serious budget problems.

Here are some ways to know if you’re really in financial trouble:

  • Are you charging your groceries and not paying the entire balance each month?
  • Do you have trouble giving your children lunch money?
  • Are you taking cash advances on your credit cards to buy essential items?
  • Do you stop buying necessary medications so you can buy food or gas?
  • Are you neglecting the maintenance needs of your car or house?
  • Do you dread the cold weather because you won’t be able to buy heating oil?
  • Are creditors calling you about past-due bills?
  • Do you pay your mortgage or rent late, or not at all?

If even one of these situations applies to you, chances are you are facing serious financial issues. It is time to reach out for financial advice from an accountant or attorney. Professionals can determine if even small changes can make a difference in your situation. They will recognize the need for taking measures that will improve your current and future financial outlook.

Before you sit down to talk with a professional, and for your own education and empowerment, visit my website to learn more. Also, stay tuned for Part Two of The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: If I ignore the problem will it go away?

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

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