Debt Management Plans Part One: To pay or not to pay? Useful Info to Know

Would you pay someone to do something you could easily do yourself? Sounds like an easy question to answer doesn’t it? Why would you knowingly give money to someone to perform a task that can easily be done yourself? Your motivation for doing so might come from the belief that you are paying for a service, that the company you are paying the money to know something more than you don’t and there expertise is the justification for paying them in the first place.

In the case of Debt Management plans you will find there are two types of companies. The first instance, and tragically the most common type of debt management companies are those who I call ‘forwarders’. In short all they do is the following. You pay them all you can afford each month. They take 17.5% as a management fee and forward the rest pro rata to your creditors. You receive a payment a statement each month saying who has been paid and how hopefully a balance. Now, what are you paying that 17.5$ towards? Could you not do it yourself with a calculator and a book of stamps? Ask yourself, what are they doing? Debt Management are easy money and there are people who are millionaires through simply forwarding your money to creditors.

These companies are run by class A assholes. I have worked for them. They do not care about you or your situation, they care about the 17.5% commission you give them each month. They do not invest money in staff development and employ people who will simply open letters and update a computer system. I have seen this in action. They do not take notice of the fact balances are increasing or correctly log that a debt has passed out to a collection agency. They will seldom contact your creditors or you unless they have a reason to you (like you have threatened to leave). In short, they do nothing that will help you get out of debt. Companies like this are passive in nature in that they let everything come to them.

Then there are the few companies however who will help do everything for you. I know this because I have worked for them also. These companies will do everything to help you and actively contact creditors to resolve your financial situation. Your fee is being spent on a more ‘active’ approach and it does work. Key to a Debt Management plan is the relationship your debt management company has with creditors. Good debt management companies will have a dedicated creditor liaison department who will proactively be contacting your creditors to get arrangements in place and resolve any issues with your finances.

Good debt management companies are a rare breed. If you are considering a debt management plan here are a few tips to help you:

Ask what training the staff at the company have had and perhaps ask a test question such as ‘How after are your staff given refresher training on current collection procedures’. If the answer is anything like ‘No’ simply avoid.

Ask if how many cases are assigned to each administrator. A good amount is about 300 cases per administrator. Anymore and you may not get a good personal service.

Find out if the company has a creditor liaison department. If not, avoid they are not going to help you.

Don’t pay anything until you have spoken to at least three companies.

This is going to be the first post in a series about Debt Management plans and will be updated over the coming weeks.…

Should I Buy My House With My IRA?

It is possible to invest your IRA in real estate, but there are some things you should consider. The IRS does not allow investing your IRA in life insurance or collectibles such as art work, memorabilia or gems. Using your IRA to invest in real estate is possible, but not necessarily easily done.

First off, you need to create a self directed IRA. You also need to get an independent custodian for that IRA. There are trust companies, brokerages and other financial institutions that will do this, so check around.

Doing a web search for “self directed IRA custodians” can help you locate some. Check into their services and fees so you know exactly what you will be getting. Make sure to find out what their insurance coverage is – you want your assets to be protected!

Many of these kinds of custodians can also invest in other items such as stocks and bonds and mutual funds. Make sure you know the rules. Make sure you know exactly what they will be providing for their services.

Some custodians will offer rent collection and other services. Others won’t and you’ll need to make other arrangements. You should probably avoid high maintenance real estate for this kind of investment.

Don’t forget there are other things to consider as well. Your IRA can’t buy any property that will be used as your residence or as your vacation home. You also can’t rent, buy or lease any property from your spouse, parents or children.

For mortgaged property, most of your gains will still be taxable.You will probably lose any tax break advantages given to homeowners as well. Make sure to consult a tax professional about these matters.

When considering the benefits of investing your self directed IRA in real estate, remember to include the cost of the custodian fees and property management fees, as well as the tax situation. If you are close to retirement, or will soon need to withdraw your money, this option may not be the best for you. Look at it from all sides before making any decision.

As a leading provider of self directed IRA and self directed 401k products, administrative and custodial services, NAFEP focuses on helping you succeed.…

Categorized as IRA

With the economy not at its best, across the country

it is becoming more important to budget. This is very true in the Midwest, where there are not as many major world cities and which means less jobs, there is a significant amount of financial crisis. A lot of people are considering taking action to deal with their financial problems. If you file bankruptcy Cincinnati, the laws may differ from Chicago. You will want to inquire about Cincinnati debt relief, or whatever city you call home, before making a decision. If you are not in need of such drastic measure, but still want to be frugal, there are a lot of methods for pinching pennies.

By creating a small garden; you would be taking part in a historic manner of being thrifty. In the past they were called victory gardens, because they were grown during war time. By growing your own vegetables, you can cut down on the money you spend at the grocery store. If you have enough land, you could begin growing in larger quantities and larger varieties. Furthermore, if you begin growing enough you could sell the vegetables at farmer’s markets or even learn to can them to eat throughout the winter. However, if you do not have a lot of land or do not have land at all, there are still ways to grow your own vegetables. One method is to growing vegetables for a person living in apartment buildings is to use window boxes or on the roof of the building if you have roof access.

If you want to be thriftier with your spending on groceries, your previous shopping habits need to change first. Making a list before going to the store is really important. A useful tip is to list an exact amount of money to spend and then make a list of what is necessary to buy and what you want but would have to splurge for. This allows you to allocate what is the most important items before splurging. It also helps if you start to by store brand items instead of the more expensive name brand. Usually it is near to impossible to decipher the difference.

Shopping at thrift stores or other second-hand stores is another means of saving money. For a lot of items like furniture or even some clothing, a thrift store may be a viable option to decrease spending. For some reasons people seem to have a negative association with thrift stores. For a lot of individuals it is an untapped resource that could provide much needed resources.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by financial issues, you could potentially receive assistance in a few different forms. You can usually find classes on subjects like budgeting, balancing a checkbook, or how to effectively save money. It is important to look into community options for learning to handle this problems. To make sure that your struggle is made known, it is helpful to become active in local politics.…

Categorized as Finance