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Archive for June, 2013

Guide to Understanding Credit Cards Terms & Conditions (Part 2)

Posted on: June 24th, 2013 by andrewmckenna
Asking about international fees and other conditions associated with credit cards can help borrowers clarify the terms and conditions associated with a particular line of credit.

Asking about international fees and other conditions associated with credit cards can help borrowers clarify the terms and conditions associated with a particular line of credit.

As a continuation of Guide to Understanding Credit Cards Terms & Conditions (Part 1), here are some additional key questions that borrowers should ask creditors in order to help clarify the terms and conditions associated with a line of credit if reading the contract doesn’t provide clear answers. Taking the time to ask these questions of credit card companies ahead of time can save borrowers from dealing with huge financial headaches in the future.

  • Overlimit fees – Do I have to “opt in” in order to be able to exceed the limit on my credit card? What is the cost of overlimit fees assessed should I incur them? Will an overlimit fee also trigger an increase in my card’s interest rate?
  • Cash advances – Does the card allow for cash advances at an ATM or bank? If so, what is the interest rate charged on cash advances? When would the first payment on a cash advance be due?
  • Balance transfers – Can I transfer the balance from another credit card onto the new credit card? If so, is there a fee assessed for each balance transfer? Is there a limit to the amount of a balance that can be transferred or the number of times I can transfer balances from other credit cards?
  • Credit card rewards – What is the interest rate on a company’s rewards credit card (Keep in mind interest rates on rewards cards tends to be higher than that for non-rewards cards)? How much do I have to spend on a credit card before I start accumulating rewards? When do the accumulated rewards expire? Are there “blackout” dates or specific rules regarding how or when I cannot “cash in” my accumulated rewards?

If you are struggling with debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew McKenna. For more than 20 years, we have been successfully overseeing our Clients’ bankruptcy cases so they can resolve their financial issues as beneficially as possible. Our comprehensive legal knowledge coupled with our vast experience allows us to consistently and efficiently help our Clients achieve the best possible resolutions to their financial matters. For an evaluation of your case and expert advice regarding how to move forward, call us at (303) 730-8819.

Guide to Understanding Credit Cards Terms & Conditions (Part 1)

Posted on: June 20th, 2013 by andrewmckenna
The easiest way for borrowers to understand credit cards’ terms and conditions is to ask specific questions regarding the cards’ fees, interest rates and other conditions.

The easiest way for borrowers to understand credit cards’ terms and conditions is to ask specific questions regarding the cards’ fees, interest rates and other conditions.

The small print on any contract is not only hard to read but can be difficult to understand, as the legal language associated with the terms and conditions of contracts is often obtuse. Unfortunately, this tends to also be the case when it comes to credit card contracts, making it likely that people will sign the contracts to open up a new line of credit even if they don’t fully understand what they may be getting themselves into. Although borrowers may be in a hurry to get a new credit card, it’s crucial that they do NOT sign any contract until they are fully aware of the terms and conditions associated with that credit card.

The best thing a borrower can do – aside from reading and understanding the contract on his own – is to ask as many questions as needed in order to clarify the various terms and conditions associated with a credit card. This can not only save a borrower a significant amount of money down the line, but it may also prevent him from becoming buried in massive debt and high interest rates in the future.

Important Questions to Ask about Credit Cards’ Terms & Conditions 

The following are some of the key questions that borrowers should ask in order to clarify the specific terms and conditions associated with a particular line of credit:

  • Late payments – When does a creditor consider a payment to have been made late? What is the cost of the fee levied for late payments? Will one late payment result in an increase in a credit card’s interest rate?Credit card companies will have different answers for these questions, so it’s important that borrowers are aware of these details before they open up a credit card. In some cases, making a payment after a certain time on the due date can constitute a late payment, which could trigger both a costly late payment fee and a hike in the borrower’s interest rate.

If you are struggling with debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew McKenna. For more than 20 years, we have been successfully overseeing our Clients’ bankruptcy cases so they can resolve their financial issues as beneficially as possible. Our comprehensive legal knowledge coupled with our vast experience allows us to consistently and efficiently help our Clients achieve the best possible resolutions to their financial matters. For an evaluation of your case and expert advice regarding how to move forward, call us at (303) 730-8819.

Tips on How to Decrease Credit Card Debt (Part 2)

Posted on: June 17th, 2013 by andrewmckenna
Here are some more tips regarding what borrowers can do to decrease their credit card debt and, as a result, improve their credit rating and their overall financial standing.

Here are some more tips regarding what borrowers can do to decrease their credit card debt and, as a result, improve their credit rating and their overall financial standing.

As a follow up to Tips on How to Decrease Credit Card Debt (Part 1), here are some additional tips regarding what borrowers can do to decrease their credit card debt and, as a result, improve both their credit rating and their overall financial standing. Being diligent about following these tips can be vital to helping borrowers get back on their feet financially.

  • Pay more than the minimum monthly payments – Even if it’s only $20 more per month, be diligent about paying more than the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards. If you only pay the minimum payments, you will essentially only be paying on the interest you accumulate and will not be making a dent in the principal debt.
  • Focus on paying down the credit card with the highest interest rate first – If you have more than one credit card (as many people do), figure out what credit card has the highest interest rates associated with it and focus on paying off this credit card first. This will not only save you a substantial amount of money but it can also help you free up additional money in the future to use towards paying down (or paying off) your other credit cards.
  • Figure out ways to reduce your monthly expenses – If you have limited funds that you can use towards paying down your credit card debt, considering making some temporary lifestyle changes that may be able to free up additional money. For example, you may want to consider carpooling or taking public transportation to work to save on gas costs; alternately, you could choose to cancel your cable subscription until you have paid down your credit card debt.

If you are struggling with debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew McKenna. For more than 20 years, we have been successfully overseeing our Clients’ bankruptcy cases so they can resolve their financial issues as beneficially as possible. Our comprehensive legal knowledge coupled with our vast experience allows us to consistently and efficiently help our Clients achieve the best possible resolutions to their financial matters. For an evaluation of your case and expert advice regarding how to move forward, call us at (303) 730-8819.

Tips on How to Decrease Credit Card Debt (Part 1)

Posted on: June 14th, 2013 by andrewmckenna
These tips can help you decrease your credit card debt, which can be vital to helping you get out of the hole and improve your overall financial standing.

These tips can help you decrease your credit card debt, which can be vital to helping you get out of the hole and improve your overall financial standing.

Credit card debt can easily get out of control, particularly if your credit cards have high interest rates or you rely on them to make day-to-day purchases. Because credit card debt can be among the top reasons that people ultimately end up needing to file for bankruptcy, discharge their debt and achieve a financial fresh start, knowing what you can do to decrease your credit card debt may be able to help you get out of the hole and get a better hold on your finances.

Here are some tips on how to decrease credit card debt:

  • Curtain unnecessary purchases – This involves creating a realistic budget that outlines your income versus your expenses each month. Be sure to distinguish between what is an essential expense – such as rent, utilities, car payments, food, etc. – versus what is a less necessary expense – such as going to the movies or out to dinner. Do your best to reduce, if not entirely eliminate, any unnecessary expenses so that you can use this extra money to pay down your credit card bills.
  • Try to pay with cash – Instead of relying on your credit cards to make all of the purchases you need to make day to day, consider using cash. Some people find it easier to keep track of what they spend – and to not spend more than they plan on spending – when they use cash to pay for their day-to-day expenses instead of using credit cards.

If you are struggling with debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew McKenna. For more than 20 years, we have been successfully overseeing our Clients’ bankruptcy cases so they can resolve their financial issues as beneficially as possible. Our comprehensive legal knowledge coupled with our vast experience allows us to consistently and efficiently help our Clients achieve the best possible resolutions to their financial matters. For an evaluation of your case and expert advice regarding how to move forward, call us at (303) 730-8819.

How to Alter a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan (Part 2)

Posted on: June 10th, 2013 by andrewmckenna
Being laid off from a job or acquiring new debt can require borrowers to go back to bankruptcy court to alter their Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plans.

Being laid off from a job or acquiring new debt can require borrowers to go back to bankruptcy court to alter their Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plans.

As a continuation of How to Alter a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan (Part 1), the following provides additional information regarding what is involved in changing a repayment plan that bankruptcy courts have already approved in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. While Part 1 of this blog focused on what borrowers have to do to petition the courts to make changes to their repayment plans, Part 2 will concentrate on situations that would alter an individual’s financial situation and, as a result, necessitate changing the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.

When to Go Back to Bankruptcy Court…

Individuals who may need to go back to bankruptcy court to alter their Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan typically include those who:

  • Have been laid off or fired from their job and are unable to quickly secure new employment – This lack of income will mean that they won’t have the funds necessary to make the debt payments as stipulated by the court.
  • Have been hit with an unexpected expense, such as a new medical bill related to a recent injury or a costly car repair bill – Additionally expenses can tie up funds that may have otherwise been used towards the repayment plan.
  • Have miscalculated the amount of debt they owe – While debtors may end up owing more debt that they estimated in their Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, they may also have paid off some debt by the time their case is resolved. In either case, their financial situation will be different from that reflected in their bankruptcy case, and petitioning the court to change their repayment plan to accommodate their new situation will be essential to resolving the case.

If you are struggling with debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew McKenna. For more than 20 years, we have been successfully overseeing our Clients’ bankruptcy cases so they can resolve their financial issues as beneficially as possible. Our comprehensive legal knowledge coupled with our vast experience allows us to consistently and efficiently help our Clients achieve the best possible resolutions to their financial matters. For an evaluation of your case and expert advice regarding how to move forward, call us at (303) 730-8819.

How to Alter a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan (Part 1)

Posted on: June 6th, 2013 by andrewmckenna
Altering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan due to changes in a borrower’s financial situation will require going back to bankruptcy court.

Altering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan due to changes in a borrower’s financial situation will require going back to bankruptcy court.

Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves figuring out all of a borrower’s liabilities (or debts) and developing a repayment plan that will allow the borrower to pay back these debts over the course of three to five years. In general, Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans are best suited for individuals who are earning an income and/or who are not eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy (either because they recently filed such a bankruptcy case or because a bankruptcy means test has determined that they earn too much to qualify for Chapter 7).

However, although Chapter 13 bankruptcy can offer borrowers financial fresh starts that can help them resolve much of their debt problems:

  • A borrower’s financial circumstances can change over the three to five years that the repayment plan covers.
  • Such changes can prevent the borrower from being able to make the monthly payments stipulated in the bankruptcy repayment plan.
  • As a result, a borrower may need to go back to bankruptcy court to change his repayment plan so that it accurately reflects his altered financial situation.

In such cases, borrowers will have to provide proof of their new financial status and work with the courts to adjust their Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. Should monthly payments need to be lowered, the court may have to extend a repayment plan by a few years; alternately, if borrowers are unable to make any payments moving forward, they may need to convert their bankruptcy case to a Chapter 7 filing.

How Colorado Bankruptcy Lawyers

If you are struggling with debt, are considering filing for bankruptcy or need help changing your Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan, contact the trusted Colorado bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew McKenna. For more than 20 years, we have been successfully overseeing our Clients’ bankruptcy cases so they can resolve their financial issues as beneficially as possible. Our comprehensive legal knowledge coupled with our vast experience allows us to consistently and efficiently help our Clients achieve the best possible resolutions to their financial matters. For an evaluation of your case and expert advice regarding how to move forward, call us at (303) 730-8819.

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