What Is the Best Advice If Your Credit Is Bad?

Many people find themselves in debt and more often than not, it is purely because they have fallen on hard times, not because they “have a problem with money”. I recently read about one woman who was left with the expenses of raising children with no help from their father who had left. She also had her mother and brother living with her, who were both unemployed and had to financially support them as well. She barely had enough money for food and basic essentials, so over the years, had accumulated debt through numerous ‘credit card increased limit offers’ and deals which she had been drawn into.

She was afraid. She didn’t have money to pay lawyers or debt counselors for their advice. She was afraid to answer the phone for fear of so many people she owed money to and even wondered whether she might be put in jail because of her debts.

Sound familiar?

Well the good news is, that there is no such thing as a “debtors prison”. It would not be in the interests of society to throw people into prison for misfortune. These are matters for the civil courts (if it comes to that) rather than criminal jurisdiction. This doesn’t mean that you won’t receive a court judgement against you and that a sheriff won’t come knocking one day, wanting to claim whatever he/she can of your possessions to offset the debt. But there are ways to avoid this also.

If your credit history is bad and you’re financially strapped, here is some advice that may help.

Firstly, compile a list of all bills and expenses you have. If you have credit card debt, summarize the balance, minimum payment amount and interest charges.

Now break your expenditure list into essential and non-essential payments. “Essential” means survival needs like food, electricity and rent or mortgage as the case may be.

Prioritise the “essential” things to be paid first. Anything left over can be distributed among the non-essential items. If a debt collector tries to harass you, don’t even think about using your survival money to satisfy them. The law is on your side here. If debt collectors become hostile or harass you, they are in violation of the law.

From now on, only spend money on essential things. If you have other people you’re taking care of beside children, they should be asked to contribute something towards living expenses. Or if not, perhaps they have a skill they can use to help save money (e.g. do repairs, mend clothes, run errands)? They may even be able to develop a hobby into a small money making venture, to supplement the family income.

Debt problems can be very stressful and if unresolved, make life a living hell. But you can take control by working out a plan and educating yourself about how the law works to protect your rights. Knowledge is power!

The Best Advice is Your Own Advice

When it comes to dealing with the recession, the best advice is your own advice, with one huge and important footnote-you have to know what you’re talking about. It is sometimes said that in a court of law a person who chooses to represent themselves has a fool for a lawyer. Because of the complexities of the law, and the extensive schooling required to obtain a license to practice it, serving as your own lawyer doesn’t make much sense. You’re not really qualified to do it, and the outcome is almost invariably disastrous.

Financial advice on the other hand is much different. Although some financial advisers operate on a straight fee basis, more often than not a financial adviser is paid a commission. They profit from anything that you buy based on their recommendations. The more they get you to invest, the more money they make. The potential conflict of interest that this creates is clearly obvious.

The problems that this sort of relationship creates come into stark focus when considering personal financial security in the face of a thundering recession. Many people have lost millions of dollars of wealth over the past several years as the recession has caused the economy to crumble around us. Unfortunately, very few financial professionals, including investment advisers, saw this coming. Consequently, many people were caught short with bad investments that ultimately lost value.

A study of financial professionals shows that less than 5% of people who use a professional adviser have a written financial plan in place. We’re not talking here about the general thoughts and advice of the adviser, but instead about a written document that defines a detailed and actionable financial plan. This is an astounding statistic because the very first step in creating long-term financial security is to build a solid financial foundation. And the very first step of building that foundation is to craft a comprehensive plan.

This is why in planning for your financial future, the best advice is your own advice. Nobody cares about you like you do. Obtain a financial education that enables you to understand how money works, and the best investment strategies for use during a recession. Only when you are able to make your own investment decisions, will you be able to realize true and absolute financial security. Once you know what you’re doing, start giving yourself good advice.

Signs You’ve Got the Best Divorce Lawyer

Your best weapon to a rather messy, contested divorce is a brilliant divorce lawyer. There maybe hundreds to thousands of them in the country but brilliant ones are few and far in between. So choose your divorce lawyer. He / she might be the only chance you have of wining your divorce case.

Needless to say, hiring a brilliant one is quite expensive. Talent and education after all does not come cheap. However, a brilliant divorce lawyer will give you the custody of your children, more than enough financial settlement, alimony, a quick divorce, and your fair share of divorce property. Also, if your divorce comes to court – a brilliant lawyer can bring you victory. Indeed, a brilliant lawyer is a must.

So what are the marks of a brilliant divorce lawyer?

Stellar resume

Educational background of your lawyer matters. His track record on winning cases and his overall experience as a lawyer are very important. He should have years of experience as a divorce lawyer and family law expert.

Personal traits – aggressive (to a degree) and creative

You would want to hire a go getter. Someone who is not afraid of taking bold actions but these bold actions must be preceded by much thinking and planning. So what you want is a lawyer that as a healthy mix of aggressiveness, fearlessness, and logic.

You also want a creative lawyer. Being creative means thinking outside the box and going beyond the norms to produce amazing, unexpected results. A creative lawyer is full of ideas (conventional or not). You will never reach a dead end with a creative lawyer. At least you’ll know that your lawyer will be able to defend your case whatever the circumstance.

If facing a divorce, we all want a successful resolution to it. The first step to achieve just that is hiring a brilliant lawyer. It would one decision you will never regret. If you are concerned with the payment, before hiring the lawyer, ask about his hourly rate. Also, be honest with your financial situation and evaluate whether you can afford the lawyer or not.

If you have your brilliant lawyer at hand, you know that the expensive payment is money well spent. It will pave the way for a successful divorce for you – by successful, think alimony, custody, child support, and ownership of your family home.