Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Some Pros and Cons

The phrase “filing for bankruptcy” might be the most terrifying in the financial vocabulary (perhaps next to “Great Recession” and “bank run”). However, if you’re contemplating this serious decision, then be assured if you move ahead that you won’t be alone. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people across the country file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for a variety of reasons, such as excessive medical bills, job loss, divorce, over-investing in the stock market, the list goes on.

Naturally, this isn’t a decision that you can afford (figuratively and literally) to make based on raw emotion or overwhelming anxiety. Yes, being in serious is debt is scary. Actually, it’s terrifying; especially when creditors start closing in, and threats of wage garnishment and asset repossession start flying fast and furious. However, the essential thing to remember throughout this challenging time is that “filing for bankruptcy” is not a subjective condemnation, or an expression of financial failure. Indeed, some of the world’s most successful and important people have filed for bankruptcy, including Walt Disney and Abraham Lincoln.

Rather, bankruptcy it’s a form of legal protection that’s designed to protect you (that’s right, you), so that you can restructure and reorganize your debts and, eventually, regain your financial footing. While it’s obviously not a list of anyone’s favourite things, there’s no shame in filing for bankruptcy. It happens thousands of times a day.

The best — and frankly, the only — thing you can do right now is equip yourself with hard facts. To get you started in the right direction, here’s a rundown of some pros and cons of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on the advice of experienced bankruptcy attorney Charles Huber:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: PROS

  • Unlike Chapter 13, Chapter 7 doesn’t involve a detailed repayment plan. Instead, a trustee sells non-exempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay creditors per the Bankruptcy Code.
  • The process is faster than most people believe, and is usually over within 3-6 months.
  • Most states have exceptions that prevent certain assets from being liquidated.
  • Some filers may be allowed to keep more of their property than they need.
  • Filers will be able to keep their salary and assets the purchase after filing for Chapter 7.
  • Creditors must stop calling, email or communicating with debtors immediately after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
  • Filers who’ve had wages garnished by creditors within 90 days immediately preceding a Chapter 7 filing may be allowed to get that money bank.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: CONS

  • A Chapter 7 filing stays on a credit report for 10 years, and will doubtlessly make it tougher and more expensive to borrow funds, get a mortgage, or even get a job.
  • Filers lose all of their credit cards, and any property that isn’t except from sale (including luxury items).
  • Contrary to what many people believe, filing for Chapter 7 doesn’t except filers from child support payments, alimony obligations, or student loan payments.

The Bottom Line

Deciding to file for Chapter 7 isn’t easy — and that’s a good thing, because it’s something that should only be (possibly) done after careful research, which includes consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

However, regardless of how difficult things are right now or what has happened in the past, if starting now you do the right things, the right way, and at the right time, be assured that you’ll emerge financially stronger than ever — and will look back on this as a bump in the road vs. the end of the line.

How Much Has California And Colorado Achieved In Sales In The Past Year?

Since nearly anyone over the age of 21 can buy marijuana now in California and Colorado, sales are expected to skyrocket. We’ve already seen indications of widespread pot acceptance in 2016, with huge sales numbers in both states, despite California still mostly selling to medical marijuana ID card buyers (which will likely continue until recreational legalization is in sweeping effect in late 2017).

To get an idea of California and Colorado cannabis benefits to the marijuana industry as a whole – growers, distributors, consumers and the state governments – let’s take a look at some 2016 sales numbers.

California 2016 Sales

Californians have to go through a lot of bureaucracy to get a medical marijuana card, but even so, sales in the state are far beyond the more permissive state of Colorado. Arcview Group, a cannabis market research agency, states that California makes up greater than one-fourth of legal pot sales in the United States and Canada combined.

According to The Arcview Group, California accounted for 27% of the legal marijuana market in all of North America in 2016. Colorado followed in second place with 20%. This is before California’s approval of recreational marijuana too. The report puts legal cannabis sales in total at roughly $6.7 billion for 2016.

Colorado 2016 Sales

Colorado’s cannabis sales for 2016 hit about the $1.3 billion mark, which is an upward trend that’s likely going to continue into 2017. This number, released by the Colorado Department of Revenue through tax data, includes medical and recreational marijuana sales.

Miles Light, who is a Marijuana Policy Group economist, says that Colorado’s benefits from pot sales may be eroded as other states begin to legalize. He also notes that in 2017, none of the 8 states that recently voted for legalized marijuana will have put their regulations into place.

Green Door West is ready for the explosion in demand and sales that will surely come from California’s legalization of recreational marijuana. We’re standing by with Santa Monica marijuana delivery and delivery service throughout the Los Angeles area. If you’re looking for “marijuana delivery near me,” we have you covered.

Stock Investing Don’ts: learning from others’ mistakes

Stock investing is a good thing: you get a say in a company you believe is bound to success. You earn dividends from the company’s earnings. You sell a part of your share when the price goes high, and so on and so forth. So, you could assume it’s a pretty advantageous way to invest your money with the expectation to get profitable returns. But if you are a rookie in this just wanting to start out, there are a few things to should keep an eye on. Stock investing is an interesting sphere. You have to have, what’s best called, a special sense of feeling when to make certain actions. If the prices go up, down, or somewhere unknown, or if you are hyped about investing all of your money in one place, there are a few DON’Ts you will have to know about in order to eliminate risks and invest smart.

DON’T N1: Do not make emotional investments

Emotions are not acceptable in this tricky world of stock investments. I mean, if you love investing, that’s a good thing, means you are enjoying the process. But, do not let your emotions have control over your investment decisions. Under all circumstances you have to remember to take a “sober look” at the situation and remain rational. Do not panic and withdraw your money right away when you see the stock market going down the road, like many people did during the Great Recession back in 2008. Do not give in to emotional outburst of anger or fear to keep you from taking a step up into a bigger opportunity. In a similar manner, do not get too attached to the ownership of a share to the point of not willing to sell it when it needs to be sold. The examples are numerous, the moral is one: stock market is a place where emotions should not be allowed. All of your actions and decisions should be made solely based on research, data and your senses, which are way rational than your emotional feelings towards a certain asset or share.

DON’T N2: Do not overinvest. Just. Don’t.

Investing in stock market is a good place to put your money in. However, you should do it wisely, because too much of everything can harm. Investing all your money once and for all is not the smartest decision ever. You should be able to invest some at a time. Everyone knows that in stock market you should buy shares when they cost low and sell them when they reach their peak. Investing all of your hard-earned money at once will defeat the purpose of investing and trading wisely. So, make sure you make the investments periodically in order to make the most profit out of it. If you are struggling with how to start investing in stocks, investment newsletters are a great place to start with. They will guide you through your first steps into a successful investing pro who reaps returns like no other.

DON’T N3: Do not try to put the stock market into time frames, you’ll fail

Don’t get me wrong, you can, in fact, make good assumptions and predictions about when the market is more likely to hit the downroad or the opposite. But do not try to underestimate the abilities of the market to surprise you and hit you right back. Putting time limits and frames on how the market will perform in a month can be done only based on years’ of experience topping with good research, valid data and understanding of the spectrum in the first place. But other than that, you shouldn’t be timing the stock market, it will find a way to make you pay for it, literally.

DON’T N4: Conformity is not a smart thing in stock investing

You know there are people with no guts of their own, willing to make money  through stock investing without actually having their own ideas, motives, understanding and readiness to, actually, invest. Believe it or not, but people do lose their “individuality”, as investors, while trying to follow the crowd when the market is at its worst or the opposite. 2008 is a great evidence to that. Funny thing is, no one knows how and when the market will perform as expected, so conforming to the decisions of a few investors is not a good idea. Investing in the stock market is an individual thing as well. One might get away with investing all of his money into one company, whereas you might lose a big portion of yours if you went with the ‘all or nothing’ motto. Do your own research and study, collect your own data and, most importantly, make your own decisions while investing.
Do not rush the stock market and do not expect it to fulfill your expectations, because it won’t, and that is, frankly, the intriguing character of stock investing.

How to make your PPI Claim successful

In the 1900s and 2000s, Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) was hugely missold in the UK. More and more people are coming forwarding claiming to be victims of this scam.  After going through the process, people are walking away with £1000s in reclaimed PPI costs. Below are some steps to make your PPI claim successful. We want to help you reclaim ppi: how to claim £1000s in ppi claims.

Do/Did you have PPI

The first step is to investigate and see if you are a victim of this scam. Do this by going through old paperwork for any loans or debt (car loan, mortgage, credit card, etc.) and see if you had PPI Insurance. Even if a debt has been paid off, you can still make a PPI claim. If you aren’t sure, you can always check your credit report to see what debts you have had in the past. There is no time limit as to how far back you can go for missold PPI. If you don’t have the paperwork for old debts, you may have luck contacting the bank. You can even file claims for deceased relatives, so don’t rule that out.

Was it Missold?

In order to make a claim, it must have been missold. This means you weren’t clear it was an option, you were pressured to buy it, or if it was implied you needed it to get the loan or debt. Another reason you can file a claim is if you are self-employed or have a pre-existing illness, because you would not have been eligible for a policy to begin with.

Beat the Rush

A deadline of August 2019 has been made for PPI claims by the Financial Conduct Authority. As we get closer to that deadline, more and more people will be wanting to file their claims. This will cause a backlog. It is in your best interest to act today to get the process started. The process in its entirety has the potential to take years.

Try, Try and Try Again

Even if you were rejected in the past to reclaim PPI, try again. The fact you were rejected in the past does NOT mean you weren’t missold. There are certain rules and timeframes as to when you can file again, but it is worth a shot.

You can look up stories online and see that many people were successful in their claims. The potential to get back big money is there. However, the first step is to start by recognizing the situation and starting the process and being patient with the system. This will ensure your claim is successful. Start by downloading a template online for free.

Top Money-Saving Environmental Tips

Most people think that living an eco-friendly life is boring and somewhat expensive. But the truth of the matter is that being green is cheap and saves the environment. Reducing your consumption, reusing items and recycling helps keep unnecessary waste out of the landfills. So what are some of the eco-friendly money-saving tips to consider? Here is a look.

Using cloth napkins and durable silverware

It is hard to resist the temptation of not having anything to wash after meals, which is why some people will opt for disposable items. Abandoning disposable napkins and going for cloth napkins will help you save plenty of cash and keep the environment clean. Cloth napkins are more durable and can be washed after use and be used over and over again. The same goes for utensils—saying no to disposable plastic forks, spoons, and knives not only reduces the money you spend on them, but reduces your waste and also your contribution to the pollution involved in the manufacturing process.

The planet and your pocket will be at risk when you increase the pile of garbage left after a meal. It is common sense: the less you throw away, the less you spend. Especially for people who are on a budget, cutting paper towels, napkins, and utensils off the grocery list can save a lot by the end of the year.

Make use of a pressure cooker

You can actually save a lot of time, money and energy if you make use of a pressure cooker. One thing that makes this a must-have is the fact that they are versatile and they can cook almost anything. They use less energy and take up to 70% less time to cook a meal. Imagine the things you can do with that extra time!

Install a low flow showerhead

We spend a lot of water when we hit the shower for a few minutes. If you have a bigger household, it’s even worse. But installing a low flow showerhead is an easy way to save 25 to 60% of the water we normally use in the shower. This is the best way to preserve water and also save on the water bill.

Use energy saving bulbs

Energy-saving bulbs are normally expensive upfront compared to ordinary bulbs. However, they use a quarter of the energy that ordinary bulbs use. But part of environmental sustainability is about investing. The initial expense will pay itself over time. Plus, you’ll have fewer lightbulb changes to make!

Insulate your home

Not only do uninsulated homes just lose heat and cool air but also waste money and energy. The upfront cost may be hefty but the long-term savings can make a significant impact on personal finances. When you reduce energy expenditure you will, most definitely, reduce the bill. It is important to consider insulating the attic and basement first to be effective in your personal finance quest.

Install solar panels

Most governments now offer tax credits to home owners who wish to install solar panels to supplement their energy expenditure. This is to encourage people to go green and save the environment. There are also companies that are willing to take the risk most homeowners dread to pay the initial cost. You stand a chance of saving at least 10% of your electricity bill.

Don’t pay for what you throw away

Did you know that product packaging makes up more than 30% of waste stream in the developed world? According to the EPA, even more of that waste comes from actual food being thrown away. By buying only the food that you will consume, and making sure that you opt for environment-friendly packed items, you can both reduce waste and reduce the amount of money that you waste.

Grow Your Own Food

Though gardening can require a bit of work and upfront investment, making your own garden and growing your own food allows you to save money and also know what you are eating. Without the harmful chemicals and GMOs used by many large companies and manufacturers, your own garden can provide a fresh, homegrown alternative for you and others in your community.

Reuse and resell old furniture and appliances

Your furniture is one of the things in the entire house that will last longer. However, sometimes they get damaged or outlive their original purpose. When this happens, you don’t have to throw it away. You can repaint, reuse, and repurpose. Give your splintering, chipping chair a good sanding and a new look. Turn your old coffee table into a storage ottoman. Make a play kitchen for your kids with that old TV stand. Reusing and repurposing reduces environmental pollution and is financially smart.

Then again, you may be having some things in the house that you just don’t want anymore. One of the most monetarily effective tips is to resell. If you are environmentally conscious, then you will realize that reselling them not only earns extra money but also keeps the environment cleaner.

Be Green and Save Green

You don’t have to make a lot of money or spend a lot of money to live a life that is sustainable for both your finances and the world you live in. A few lifestyle changes can go a long way and make a significant impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

Budget Priced Gifts for Travel Enthusiasts

We all have people in our lives who love to travel and buying them gifts can be a nightmare, especially when you’re on a budget. When all they would really love to receive would probably be flights for another trip abroad or an amazing weekend away, finding them a gift they’ll love can be tricky. Here’s some budget priced gift inspiration to help you put a smile on their face:

Travel Colouring Book

A great gift that sure to inspire wanderlust, Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel Colouring Book is a must have gift and available for under £10 making it super budget friendly. It features 100 of the world’s greatest places and full descriptions of each place so you can learn a little bit about it too. They’re ranked in order of their brilliance so friends can look forward to colouring in some of the world’s greatest landmarks whilst waiting to jet off on their next adventure.

Scratch Off Travel Map

A gift that’s certain to go down well is a scratch off travel map. Your travel enthusiast can hang the map on their bedroom wall and scratch off all the places they’ve been and then look at all the bits left to scratch off and plan where they’d like to visit next.

Suitcase Packing Cubes

A gift that’s inexpensive but sure to be incredibly useful, suitcase packing cubes help to make make packing stress free by separating all your essentials. Some suitcase packing cubes even come with a dirty laundry bag too, making it especially easy for your travel loving friend to keep their suitcase organised whilst they’re on the move.

Handy Homeware

Travel lovers will be pleased with the selection of flight themed gifts that are available at Flight Store to shop. From aeroplane themed chopping boards, to drink stirrers and flight themed coasters, there’s tons of budget friendly travel themed homeware gifts you can give to your friends this year.

Tech Tacos

Whilst this might not be the most exciting of gifts for your travel loving friend, tech tacos are seriously handy and they’ll definitely really appreciate them later down the line. Taco shaped organisers for your headphones, phone charger and USB cable mean that you’ll never have to waste time untangling all your wires before popping your music on for a flight.

With all these budget friendly gifts available for under £15, you won’t have to break the bank to spoil your friend or family member this birthday or Christmas time.

Do you own a small business? Here are 10 questions you should be asking your insurance agent.

If you own a small business one of your largest expenses is commercial insurance.  In most states general liability and workers’ compensation are required by law.  Other coverages are dependent upon the industry you operate in and the amount of risk your business is willing to take on.  There are many aspects that go in to this decision and partnering with a trusted and experienced independent insurance agent can help you save immensely on commercial insurance.  Taking some extra time to speak with this agent about all aspects of your business is important as well.  Here are 10 questions you should ask any potential insurance agent.

What is your experience and do you have any credentials? 

Experience and credentials can be used not only as a litmus test, but they can tell you a little about the experience and the knowledge of your broker.  You should not discredit a young or inexperienced agent automatically.  An agent with limited experience can make up for that with enthusiasm and energy.  A more established agent might not be as hungry for your new business and as a result they may not give you the specialized attention you need. The main thing is to get to know your broker beyond the basic information on her card or website.

Do you personalize policies?

Depending upon your industry this can be extremely important.  Many insurance carriers offer cookie cutter business owner packages and they do not deviate from those packages.  This is good for some businesses because carriers have insight through their history of claims what policies each industry may or may not need.  If you are a start-up or you have no employees this may not be necessary.  For instance, if you are a photographer who works from home you may not have a need for workers compensation coverage.  If you are in another industry where you do not own or operate any vehicles you do not need commercial auto.  Some agencies and carriers are more flexible with you when it comes to adding or subtracting coverages.  This is important to know before you purchase coverages you do not need.

Are there flexible payment options?

Pay as You Go Workers Comp Insurance Coverage is one option that can help businesses pay for their coverage monthly based on payroll instead of in one lump sum.  Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation benefits businesses by freeing up cash for more immediate business needs, by preventing over or under paying and by drastically lowering the likelihood of a mid-term audit by your insurance carrier.  This is especially helpful for cash strapped or seasonal businesses.

How much does my policy cover?

What you are actually asking your agent is, “What are my policy limits?” A limit is the total amount your policy can pay out. For General Liability Policies there are two ways in which limits are paid:  Aggregate limit is the most your policy will pay in a single year for all claims.  Occurrence limit is the amount your policy can pay for any single claim.  Which type of policy you want for your business really depends on the types of risks you face and how much risk you are willing to take on.  Taking on more risk will help lower your premium, but will make you have to foot more of the bill when a claim does occur.  This is why it is important to take some extra time to speak long and honestly with your agent about your business and what types of risks you are comfortable with.

Can I get more coverage?

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is the best way to supplement your General Liability Coverage.  This policy will kick in when the limits of your other policies have been reached. You can purchase Umbrella coverage in increments of $1 million, and it’s often a cost-effective way to fulfill liability insurance requirements in client contracts.  It is crucial to understand that an umbrella policy only kicks in for a covered loss.  If you live somewhere with a common risk of natural disasters, like hurricanes or tornadoes, those disasters have to be covered separately. An umbrella policy will not kick if the claim is not covered by the initial policy.

Is it worth my time to implement an in-depth safety program?

The simple answer to this question is yes, it is always worth your time and effort to implement and effective safety program.  Having a safety program in place will cut down on the number and severity of injuries to your workforce.  The safety of your workforce should always be at the heart of your businesses mission.  A healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce.  This program can also keep down what your business pays for workers compensation premium.   The program does not have to be excessively time consuming.  Including this in a weekly or monthly huddle can make a difference in the injury outcomes of your employees.

Do I really need Commercial Auto Insurance?

The answer to this question really depends on the operations of your business.  If you own and operate cars as a part of your daily business than yes, you absolutely need commercial auto coverage.  If you have employees who use their own cars for work or who drive rental cars from time to time you can cover them with a hired and non-owned auto policy.  If you have employees who drive their own car as part of their job duties, their personal auto policies will cover the damages to their car, but not the liability to other cars if the accident is there fault.  That liability falls on the business because the reason the car was at the location of the accident was because of an action of the business.

Do I really need Cyber Insurance?

Again this policy completely depends on the operations of your business.  It is important to speak long and honestly with your insurance agent about all of the electronic devices any of your employees use.  There may be risks hiding in places you might not realize.  The great thing about a good insurance agent is that they not only interact with small businesses when they purchase insurance for their business, but they also speak with business owners when bad things happen.  They can use those experiences to help you prepare for those times when bad things happen to your business. They should be able to prepare you for risks you do not even know you face.

Am I classified properly for workers’ compensation?

This is extremely important for your business cash flow. Especially, if you operate in an industry with several different areas of operation.  If you do, you need to ensure the agent classifies your business properly.  They are in the business of analyzing risk.  If you do not tell them all of your risks, then it is in their best interest to assume your business is taking on more risk.  If you do not give your agent enough information they may place your business in a riskier classification code.  This can have an enormous impact on what you pay for general liability and workers compensation insurance.   Taking just a few extra minutes to explain exactly what your business does and does not do, can save you immensely when it comes to premium.

How can I lower my premium?

If lowering your premium is a priority than tell that to your agent.  Agents interacting with a lot of people who operate in a lot of different industries and who have a lot of different priorities.  Some business owners just want their policy and they want it quickly so they can get back to running their business. To that business owner price may not be at the top of their priority list.  Other business owners may want to insure their business to the absolute largest limits possible, while other business owners are comfortable taking on more risk.  Where ever you are on this spectrum, tell that to your agent.  Let them know what is important to you and they can better serve your needs.

Bio

Mitchell Sharp is a Marketing Associate for Workers Compensation Shop.com. Mitchell is a Missouri Boy and a Carolina Man. He has a deep passion for social media and content marketing. Mitchell would like to use his knowledge of these subjects to benefit small business owners.