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December 2010 Archives

Financially Fit #3 March

As a continuation to being financially fit for 2011 the suggestion for March is to live without plastic for a month. Lock up your credit and ATM/Debit cards. The generation that lived through the Depression lived without the spending ease and convenience of plastic. Set a weekly budget, cash a check for that amount at the bank each week, and live on it. Unless you are traveling and need a card you may actually find it easier than you imagined.

CREDIT SCORE: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

A few weeks ago the Wall Street Journal published an article about a couple that discovered a medical bill of less than $50.00 that had been sent to collections without their knowledge and dramatically lowered their credit score. This oversight ended up costing the couple thousands of dollars by way of closing costs when they refinanced their house.

I'VE RECEIVED FORECLOSURE PAPERS! ARE THEY COMING TOMORROW TO KICK ME OUT OF MY HOUSE?!

No. In Wisconsin, the foreclosure process will usually take at least six to eight months after you receive "foreclosure papers." You will have plenty of time to decide what course to take, whether that is allowing the foreclosure to take its course and finding a new home, or coming up with a solution to save your home. If you are in foreclosure and don't know what to do, call us today. We can help!

DON'T LET DEBT COLLECTORS INTIMIDATE YOU

For most people, the most important bills are housing and transportation costs: stop paying your rent or mortgage and you're likely to be evicted or foreclosed; stop making your car payment and your vehicle will be repossessed, preventing you from, among other things, getting to work.

CREDIT REPORTS AFTER BANKRUPTCY

At some point, every person considering a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy asks us how long a bankruptcy will be reported on their credit report. This is an important question. Your bankruptcy can be reported on your credit report for 10 years from filing. Also, if you file a bankruptcy and voluntarily dismiss it before the discharge, both the filing and the dismissal will be reported. It is worth noting that if you have an income you will likely be more credit worthy after the bankruptcy than you were before, because your future earnings will no longer have to be spent paying off your old debts. Negative history on your credit report does not permanently prevent you from getting credit. There are a number of ways to build better credit, most importantly saving and using credit carefully. Check back soon for tips on building your credit and improving your credit score.

Should I Take Money Out of my Retirement Plan to Pay My Creditors?

Think long and hard about it before you resort to liquidating your IRA's or 401K plans to pay creditors. Generally speaking, these assets are protected from collection actions by creditors. Additionally, they are hard to replenish once they're gone; but most importantly, using retirement savings to pay creditors may create new debt in the form of income taxes and penalties for early withdrawal. You won't improve your situation by substituting Uncle Sam with your existing creditors.

Contact Our Milwaukee Law Firm

Reach Miller & Miller Law, LLC, online or call us at 414-326-9231 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our law office also provides Spanish language services. Se habla español.

To schedule an initial consultation, call 414-326-9231 or contact Miller & Miller today.

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