Written by Canterbury Law Group

5 Logical Ways to Grow Your Money

Saving and growing your money is, oftentimes, easier than you think. There are a number of rudimentary saving habits that you can start today that could positively impact your money. Top bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale recommends adhering to the following five tips in order to double your money this year.

Automation

It’s important to automate your financial life. This means transferring your funds directly from your checking account to an interest-bearing savings account. Think about it: when you automate your financial life (putting money into a retirement or savings account), you won’t feel inclined to cut back on savings.

Track Expenses

It’s absolutely critical to have an in-depth understanding of where your money is going. You must look closely at your spending habits in order to figure out where you can cut back.

Monitor

Another important component to growing your money is making sure you monitor and measure your progress. Consider evaluating your net worth on a daily basis; you will find this both motivating and rewarding.

Alter Your Mindset

It’s never too late to start saving. Thus, you need to commit to saving money right here, right now.

Invest

The only way to build significant wealth is to have your money go to work for you through investments. Rather than having your money idle in a savings account (which is still good), throw those funds right into the market. Ultimately, the compound interest you earn will provide great returns.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Why Waiting to File for Bankruptcy Can Hurt You

Filing for bankruptcy is generally viewed as an admission of personal and financial failure. While many individuals try hard to avoid it, they end up paying the price for waiting.

Ultimately, the longer people wait to file bankruptcy, the more they struggle. By the time these people declare bankruptcy, their well-being and financial life are negatively impacted, undermining the fresh start the bankruptcy legal tool provides them.

Bankruptcy lawyers in Scottsdale explain the following reasons as to why waiting to file bankruptcy can be so damaging in addition to precisely when you should consider filing.

Why waiting is draining

The time frame prior to a person filing for bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as the financial “sweatbox.” This is the period when people are facing legitimate asset depletion, debt collection lawsuits, and avoiding necessities like food to avoid filing bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, most people sweat it out for years before truly coming to terms with their debt. The misery of the sweatbox is an increasingly common American experience.

“Long strugglers” are denoted as those who endure the sweatbox for two years or longer. Shockingly, around 30% of people wait five years or longer to file for bankruptcy.

It’s imperative to know that the longer people linger in the sweatbox, the worst their overall financial situation becomes. For example:

  • Long strugglers have 50% of the median assets compared with other debtors, or those who didn’t wait two or more years to file bankruptcy.
  • The median debt-to-income ratio of long strugglers is over 40% higher than other debtors.
  • Around half of long strugglers face debt collection lawsuits.

The stigma against filing and dedication to paying debts are part of what keep people from filing bankruptcy. Having said that, bankruptcy law gives the honest but unfortunate debtor a fresh and new start. This is important to understand.

When to consider bankruptcy

Many people who are in danger of filing for bankruptcy note that they wish they had reached out for help sooner. You should reach out to a credit counseling agency as soon as you begin to feel stress.

Let’s take a look at some factors that can help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you:

  • Your debts are more than 40% of your income
  • You’re using debt to pay for other debts
  • Your debts are ones that could be wiped out in bankruptcy
  • You’re forgoing core life essentials

As you might know, the two most common forms of consumer bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Which is best for you depends on your specific financial situation. Speak with a bankruptcy lawyer and nonprofit credit counselor if you are considering filing. If you do file for bankruptcy, however, it is certainly not the end of your financial life. To the contrary, it’s a way to generate a fresh start.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Do I Become Ineligible for a Home Loan After Filing for Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy could affect your life in both positive and negative ways. The main negative in declaring bankruptcy is that the debtor’s credit score will take a major hit. While it’s very much possible to restore a bad credit score, many consumers do wonder what it means for immediate financial assistance requirements. For example, if you don’t own a home and have filed for bankruptcy, does that mean you are ineligible for a mortgage now and for how long?

The question is not easy to answer. Personal circumstances and specific situations can matter. It’s best to first get advice from a qualified bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale. However, consumers can also get a general idea of obtaining a home loan following bankruptcy by reading this article.

Qualifying for a Home Loan Following Bankruptcy

There are no legal barriers to qualifying for a home loan following a bankruptcy declaration. A lender cannot deny you a mortgage based solely on the fact that you have filed for bankruptcy once. Lenders will use other underwriting factors to determine your eligibility.

A consumer’s ability to get a home loan following bankruptcy is determined largely by the credit score, monthly income, down payment levels and the remaining savings. Keep in mind that mortgage lenders require a down payment on the loan. If you have no trouble paying for the down payment, then you can quite often also qualify for the loan. If not, you should at least be able to pay 20 percent of the down payment right away. The higher the down-payment one can offer a lender, the higher the chance that your mortgage loan will close and fund on the date of purchase.

How Bankruptcy Affects Credit Scores and Eligibility for Home Loans

You should expect your credit to plummet by at least 120 points if you file for bankruptcy. All of the credit monitoring companies scan the bankruptcy dockets every day to watch consumers.  After you are discharged from your bankruptcy case, you will need to soon start rebuilding credit to prevent going into the negatives. If you start repaying remaining debts that survived your bankruptcy, your credit score will rise without a problem. Rehabilitating credit in this manner is the best option you have for being qualified for a subsequent home loan. Even if your credit score is low, if you can show the lenders that it has been improving, then your mortgage application may receive more favorable treatment during the loan application process.

How to Improve Your Chances of Obtaining a Home Loan Following Bankruptcy

First of all, you should take steps to get your credit score back up. If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, sticking to the monthly court-approved payment plan should do it. Otherwise, you can get a credit card and make timely payments without missing a single payment due.  Pay on time, each and every month.

Start saving. You should certainly expect to spend some time-saving money before you can apply for a mortgage. Let your savings accumulate so you have enough to at least partially cover a down payment. The more savings you have, the better your application will look.   You can get friends or family to help you accumulate down payment funds as well, so long as they are willing to sign off and release those funds to you in writing.

Don’t forget to repay existing loans such as student loans, taxes owned, or child support. Always continue to timely pay your regular bills on time as well.

What matters is that you maintain a good financial profile by not falling back into the previous circumstances that caused you to file for bankruptcy.  Time is your friend.  After a bankruptcy, the longer you have come through and demonstrated a strong credit history and ability to pay—the mortgage lenders will start to consider you again for home mortgage loan qualifications.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Type of Bankruptcy Should You File in Arizona?

There are several different types of bankruptcy to consider if you are in serious debt you cannot pay back. First, you have to decide that bankruptcy is the best course of action to take. Once you have done that, you should decide under which “chapter” under which to file for bankruptcy.

The most common types of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. To decide between the two, you should seek legal advice from a local bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix or elsewhere. Let’s look at the types of bankruptcy available and which type may suit your needs the best:

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy.” It’s quite common because it allows the court to discharge many types of unsecured debts. For example, massive amounts of credit card debt or personal loan debt can be completely discharged by a judge under this law. If there are nonexempt properties or debts, the court would appoint a Trustee to oversee your finances until remaining creditors are paid off.

This type of bankruptcy is only available to debtors with medium to low-income. The process to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can take up to 4 months, and sometimes involves significant paperwork.

Chapter 11

This type of bankruptcy is similar to Chapter 13 in that it is also a type of “reorganization” bankruptcy. It is typically used by large corporations or companies but individuals can use it too. Personal bankruptcy is rarely filed under Chapter 11 however.

Chapter 12

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is exclusively for fishermen and farmers. It involved submitting a repayment plan to court like in Chapter 13. However, unlike Chapter 13, these plans are allowed to be more flexible. Chapter 12 offers more flexibility with cramdowns and lien shipping for unsecured aspects of secured loans. Chapter 12 requires higher debt limits to get a favorable ruling.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is called the “wage earners” bankruptcy. It’s usually the last resort for those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This route allows debtors to pay back their creditor in full or part via a court-approved payment plan. Paying the debts off can take up to 5 years depending on the petitioner’s income. Once the payment plan is approved, the court may discharge some unsecured debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can prevent a home foreclosure and allow debtors to keep much their property.  Discussing these issues with experienced bankruptcy legal counsel is critical.

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law in Arizona, only unsecured debt below a certain fixed debt amount (e.g. $394k) will be discharged by a court. Submitting a payment plan for this type of bankruptcy can be complicated so a bankruptcy attorney is almost always needed to successfully procure court approval of your 3 or 5 years Chapter 13 discharge plan.

To decide which type of bankruptcy is best for you, look at two things: assets and income. Income matters because filing under Chapter 7 is only possible for people in a certainly limited income bracket. You must also choose the right type of bankruptcy to protect assets that could be considered nonexempt. Speaking in general terms, if you are unemployed or earn a low income with few available assets, Chapter 7 may be the best option. If you earn a significantly high income and have many assets, Chapter 13 could be the best option.  Under either Chapter, counsel with experienced and seasoned bankruptcy legal counsel is the critical first step in the process.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Simple Tips to Help Avoid Post – Holiday Bankruptcy

The annual gift-giving season is swiftly approaching and the Phoenix and Scottsdale bankruptcy attorneys at Canterbury Law Group know that this can sometimes lead to serious repercussions after the holiday cheer wears off.

To combat any decisions that may lead you to bankruptcy, the law team at Canterbury suggests treating your holiday spending like a business. Below are suggestions to help you stay on track during the most expensive season of the year.

1. Strategize. Begin by creating a holiday spending plan. Decide how much you can afford to spend this season, including gifts, travel, parties, decorations, and any other holiday expenses. Make a shopping list for whom you want to purchase gifts for. Determine how much you’ll earn between now and the holidays and decide how much you’ll need to set aside each paycheck to save the amount you will need. Also, consider your charitable gift intentions and budget.

2. Track your spending. If you realize you do not need to spend as much as you planned in some categories, move the extra funds to other categories. Or, save the money for your debt stockpile when the bills start to arrive in the New Year.

3. Shop without your credit cards. Yes, leave them at home unless you know you need them for a specific purchase and you already have a specific plan to repay the debt. Use cash.

4. Shop smart. Shop online first so you can price compare multiple retail locations. It’s also wise to ignore most of those “big” sales. In reality, deals such as “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” often leave you spending more and acquiring items that aren’t needed. Stores will often mark up items before “cutting” the price and you end up paying the same-or more.

5. Avoid purchasing on impulse. Instead, make a note of the product, where you saw it and how much it was. Consult your spending plan, and, if there’s room, return for the purchase. If you are married, consult your spouse. Do not hide your spending; you are a family and a team.

If your credit card debt truly gets to the point of seeming to reach the point of no return, no matter how much you save or earn—you might consider bankruptcy to flush out all the debt and start fresh and new.

It is no surprise that filing bankruptcy can seem like an extreme option but it does offer a way out. At Canterbury Law Group, we will represent you through the entire process and fight diligently to secure your fresh financial start. Call us today to schedule your consultation. [email protected] or 480-240-0040 or www.canterburylawgroup.com

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Important Factors on Bankruptcy Help in Scottsdale

If your financial struggles are becoming overwhelming and the future looks bleak, there are a few things you need to know before filing for bankruptcy.

1. There is No Shame in Filing – If you are considering bankruptcy but your feelings about what type of person you would be to file are stopping you, it’s time to get over it! These days, people from all walks of life file for bankruptcy. You should feel no shame in wanting to solve your financial struggles and get your life back in order. The stigma is in avoiding the problems, hiding from creditors, and not facing the facts – it’s time to fix your finances and turn a new corner.

2. You May Be Able to Keep Your Home – Arizona has well known homestead exemptions that allow you to keep your primary residence. Being forced out of your home is not a reason to avoid filing bankruptcy. The likelihood of losing your home is much greater if you do not file. A Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney can help you make bankruptcy choices that in most cases may permit you to maintain ownership of your home even after your bankruptcy concludes. And in this day and age when so many homeowners are underwater on their mortgage, the likelihood of your home not being included in your bankruptcy is even greater.

3. Bankruptcy is an Investment – If you feel as if you are sinking financially, now is the time to contact a Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney. He or she can help you assess your current situation and get a handle on where you are headed. This will give you some time to save up the money you need to file for bankruptcy before it is too late.

Canterbury Law Group is uniquely qualified to represent clients in the most sophisticated personal and business bankruptcy cases. The range of services we provide depends on an individual’s or a company’s unique situation. Call us today to schedule a consultation. 480-240-0400 or [email protected]

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Does Bankruptcy Affect Students Financial Aid?

As back to school season is here, many parents are wondering if a previous bankruptcy can affect eligibility for education loans. Although it may affect some loans, it does not affect eligibility for certain forms of financial aid.

The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-394) amended the US Bankruptcy Code at 11 USC 525(c) to prohibit denial of government student grants and loans based solely on the student’s or borrower’s past or present filing of a bankruptcy petition. The only exception is the Federal PLUS loan.

A child is eligible for federal student loans, such as the Stafford loan, regardless of the parent’s history of bankruptcy. Also, the Stafford loan does not depend on the borrower’s credit history in any way.

A parent’s history of bankruptcy also does not affect the child’s eligibility for federal grants, state grants, scholarships and money from the college, nor student employment programs like Federal Work-Study. The parent may also be eligible for tuition installment plans because these plans are usually structured as a qualified education loans to make them difficult to discharge in bankruptcy.

However, parents are ineligible to borrow from the PLUS loan program for five years from the date of the bankruptcy discharge. By law, PLUS loan borrowers must not have an adverse credit history. The regulations define an adverse credit history as having had a bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or default determination in the last five years or a current delinquency on any debt of 90 or more days.

If a child’s parent is denied a PLUS loan because of an adverse credit history, the child becomes eligible for increased unsubsidized Stafford loan limits. Parents with a recent bankruptcy will be ineligible to serve as the borrower or co-signer on most private student loans. The provisions of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 apply only to federal student loans, not private student loans. Most lenders of private student loans ask about bankruptcy filings in the last 7 or 10 years. It really doesn’t matter whether the filing was under chapter 7, 11 or 13, as the lenders will be wary of lending money to anybody with a recent bankruptcy filing.

The bankruptcy lawyers at Canterbury law Group work attentively with bankruptcy clients to secure their fresh financial freedom. Whether filing as an individual or for your business, the bankruptcy attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are experienced experts in all areas of bankruptcy cases in the Phoenix area. Please call us today to schedule your consultation.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Arizona Bankruptcy Exemptions

At Canterbury Law Group, our Scottsdale attorneys are renowned bankruptcy technicians. We represent clients through the entire bankruptcy process and, although all cases are unique, the end goal of bankruptcy is always a new beginning and fresh financial start.

We help clients determine eligible exemptions for their bankruptcy case. Here are some of the most common exemptions available under Arizona law (meaning that they will emerge from bankruptcy):

  • Alimony and Child Support – Alimony and child support, up to the amount needed for support. 33-1126.
  • Bank Deposit – A debtor may exempt $300 in a single bank account. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33–1126(8).
  • Homestead or Residential Property – Under Arizona law, debtors may exempt up to $150,000 (per debtor or married couple) of their home or other real property covered by the homestead exemption. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33–1101, 33–1103 and 33–1104.
  • Insurance Benefits – Life insurance benefits that are payable or received by a surviving spouse or child, up to $20,000.
  • Claims for the destruction of, or damage to, exempt property – Cash surrender value of life insurance policies, subject to length of ownership requirements and other exceptions.
  • Motor Vehicles – A debtor may exempt up to $6,000 in one or more motor vehicles. An elderly or disabled debtor, or an elderly or disabled spouse or dependent of the debtor, may exempt up to $12,000.
  • Pension and Retirement Benefits – Benefits from various employee pension systems are exempt. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33–1126 and 38–792.
  • Personal Property – A debtor may exempt the following personal property:
    • up to $6,000 in household furniture and appliances not covered by other exemptions
    • up to $1,000 total in bible, bicycle, sewing machine, typewriter, computer, burial plot, rifle, pistol or shotgun
    • up to $500 in clothing
    • up to $400 in musical instruments
    • up to $800 in animals
    • up to $2,000 in engagement and wedding rings
    • up to $250 in books
    • up to $150 in watch
    • wrongful death awards
    • prepaid rent or security deposit to $2,000 or 1.5 times your rent, whichever is less, in lieu of using homestead exemption.
    • all teaching materials for youth, and
    • certain professionally prescribed health aids.
  • Tools of the Trade – A debtor may exempt up to $5,000 in trade implements, which includes farming tools if the debtor’s primary income is from farming. All arms and uniforms that a debtor is legally required to keep are exempt. Library and teaching aids of a teacher.
  • Unemployment Compensation – Unemployment compensation is exempt as long it is not commingled with other funds and except for the enforcement of child support orders. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23–783.
  • Wages – A debtor may exempt the lesser of the following wages, per week:
    • 25% of his or her disposable earnings, or
    • earnings in excess of 30 times the federal minimum wage
    • Workers’ Compensation – A debtor may exempt up to $6,000 in one or more motor vehicles. An elderly or disabled debtor, or an elderly or disabled spouse or dependent of the debtor, may exempt up to $12,000.

Our legal team is ready to represent you in your Scottsdale business or personal bankruptcy case. Call us today to schedule your consultation. Our track record speaks for itself! 480-240-0040.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Gawker – Popular Media Site – Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Media site, Gawker, has recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, motivated by the company’s agonizing and all-consuming legal fight with Hulk Hogan. A judge has ordered Gawker to pay Hulk Hoag $140 million in damages.

Gawker has agreed to sell all seven of its brands and other assets to the tech publisher Ziff Davis. The Ziff Davis bid — worth $90 million to $100 million, according to sources — sets the floor for the bankruptcy auction process.

The asset purchase agreement to Ziff Davis, the owner of PC Magazine, marks the start of the bankruptcy auction process. Bidding is expected to continue next week. The sale agreement to Ziff Davis will need to be approved by the bankruptcy court, which will conduct an auction to see if there is a higher offer available. Ziff Davis will be what is known as a “stalking horse bidder,” whose offer for the company can be topped by other bidders.

Gawker is pushing ahead with an appeal of the judgment with Hulk Hogan and has maintained confidence that it will ultimately be vindicated, but the company has been openly entertaining a sale.

Canterbury Law Group helps businesses and individuals, usually with a high net worth, file Chapter 11 to solve their bankruptcy needs. The bankruptcy attorneys at Canterbury Law Group have significant experience with Chapter 11 filings, which tend to be very complex, and are capable of filing an individual case or a corporate entity case under Chapter 11 as mandated by the facts of each individual case.

Filing for bankruptcy can be an intimidating process and people are often ashamed of doing it. However, a real challenge when filing for bankruptcy is not securing the services of trusted legal representation like the bankruptcy lawyers at Canterbury Law Group. The legal process can be very demanding and tedious. Without the help of an experienced lawyer it is common to miss important deadlines, make mistakes on required forms and to misunderstand certain rules or terms which can be highly detrimental to your case. The bankruptcy lawyers at Canterbury law Group work diligently with bankruptcy clients to secure their fresh financial freedom.

The bankruptcy attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are experienced experts in all areas of bankruptcy cases in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. Please call us today to schedule your consultation.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Celebs end up in Bankruptcy

American society always seems surprised when learning about the newest A-lister or celebrity who has filed for bankruptcy. Having a celebrity status and earning millions doesn’t necessarily deter bankruptcy. How is it possible that so many millionaires find themselves in bankruptcy court, clamoring to protect what little assets they have left? With all the celebrity millionaires (and billionaires) who have gone broke, we may be able to learn from their mistakes.

1. No Financial Education – Often, when you go from having nothing to having everything, a financial education is not part of the package. Learning how to save, budget, and invest can take years, and if you’ve never had substantial money before, you may never have learned these essential financial management skills. When handed huge checks to cash, many celebs go out and buy the biggest house and fastest car they can find, rather than learning how to properly handle their money.

2. Lack of Trustworthy People – Many celebrities surround themselves with attorneys, accountants and insurance professionals to help them with proper estate, tax and insurance planning. However, in doing so, they often do not bother double-checking the work that is being done on their behalf, nor do they properly vet the financial professionals they hire. Not surprisingly, many fall prey to unscrupulous advisors. Worse yet, some celebrities are taken advantage of by friends and family who they hire to manage their affairs.

3. Unrealistic Career Expectations – It might be easy to expect a successful Hollywood or professional sports career to continue indefinitely. But sadly, most careers don’t last very long. Unfortunately, not every actor picks up another well-paying gig immediately after their show is cancelled.

Canterbury Law Group is uniquely qualified to represent clients in the most sophisticated personal and business bankruptcy cases. The range of services we provide depends on an individual’s or a company’s unique situation. Call us today to schedule a consultation. 480-240-0040.

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