Category Archives: Bankruptcy


Millions Of Americans Count On Their Tax Refunds Each Year To Pay Down Debts

Millions of Americans count on their tax refunds each year to pay down debts, get caught up on bills, or simply to make ends meet. With an estimated 1.5 million personal bankruptcies to be filed in 2011, bankruptcy lawyers around the country are being asked the same question: “What will happen to my tax refund if I declare bankruptcy?”

Income tax refunds are basically interest-free loans to the government, and are therefore considered assets of debtors who declare bankruptcy. The trustee assigned to your case may be able to seize your income tax refund, depending upon two main factors: first, what type of bankruptcy you file, and second, whether your refund is fully  exempted.

The two main types of personal bankruptcy cases are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In a Chapter 7 case, debtors are essentially allowed to walk away from their debts.

In a Chapter 13 case, debtors must repay their unsecured debts over 3 to 5 years.

Most Chapter 7 cases are considered “no asset” cases, and for those assets that the debtor does possess, there are federal and state exemption laws, which prevent the bankruptcy trustee from seizing and selling the debtor’s property.

Just like the debtor’s household goods, clothing and automobile, in most Chapter 7 cases the debtor’s tax refund can be fully exempted, which means the bankruptcy trustee cannot even consider seizing the refund. However it is very important to use the full and correct exemptions to protect the refund.

Chapter 13 cases can be a bit more complicated. If you have a confirmed Chapter 13 Plan that requires repayment of only a percentage of your debt, your trustee will likely seize your refund every year over the course of your bankruptcy, using the proceeds to increase the payout to unsecured creditors.  Income tax refunds in Chapter 13 are considered “property of the estate,” so your trustee will want to apply this money toward payment of your Plan.

In 100% repayment cases, however, the trustee has no interest in seizing your tax refund.  If your income is demonstrably sufficient to satisfy your confirmed Plan, the trustee will allow you to keep your tax refund.  You may want to adjust your withholdings before filing a Chapter 13 appropriate.

The bankruptcy trustee will in most cases require the debtor to file a tax return to determine whether the debtor’s refund can be seized and used to repay creditors. Unlike a home or car with equity, which must first be auctioned to produce distributable funds, tax refunds are a quick cash windfall to the creditors.

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The DebtBuster Corporation Recognized As Finalists In The Las Vegas Chamber Of Commerce Small Business Of The Year Competition

The DebtBuster Corporation (DebtBusters), the nations most trusted debt settlement firm, announced today that it has been recognized as one of three finalists in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year competition. Small Business of the Year, awarded as part of the LVCC Annual Biz-E‘s honors a for-profit venture with 50 or fewer employees, demonstrates commitment to community stewardship and is active in the business community of Southern Nevada. The final event, and announcement of the winner will take place at The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV the afternoon of September 17th, 2009.

The DebtBuster Corporation

David Fishman, the owner of The DebtBuster Corporation, gladly accepts the recognition as a finalist on behalf of his employees. “This is a great honor”, said Mr. Fishman who is also known as Dr. Debt, “we really couldn’t have done this without our great staff and our dedication to excellent customer service. Our goal is to assist everyone that needs help with credit card debt, regardless of whether or not they become our client”. Mr. Fishman went on to say that people who need debt relief, don’t generally ask for it until it’s too late. “Bankruptcy alternatives are available for most people”, said Mr. Fishman, “if you know where to look”.

About The DebtBuster Corporation
Formed in 1998 as subsidiary of the 20 year old commercial debt settlement firm, Arbitronix INC, The DebtBuster Corporation was created to assist consumers by negotiating their unsecured debt directly with creditors, often saving consumers thousands of dollars in the process. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau in 2002, DebtBusters is one of the few debt settlement firms in the country which has achieved an A+ BBB rating. Their dedication to customer service is unparalleled and their motto, “No Obligations. Only Answers.”, shows their willingness to help anyone who calls the Dr. Debt national helpline at 1-800-464-DEBT, regardless of whether or not the caller becomes a DebtBusters Client.

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Tackling Unsecured Debt Can Prevent Repossession

Responding to the 2008 repossession and arrears statistics released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), debt specialists Debt Advisers Direct have stressed the relationship between unsecured debt and mortgage arrears.

“As the CML reports, there were 40,000 repossessions in 2008,” said a spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct, “and a further 219,000 mortgages ended the year more than three months in arrears.

“For many of those people, however, the problem lay not in the cost of their actual mortgage payments, but in the cost of servicing their unsecured debts. Charging significantly higher interest rates than mortgages, unsecured debts can easily ‘snowball’ to the point where borrowers simply can’t keep up with them – where their monthly payments barely suffice to pay off the accumulating interest.

“Unsecured debts can also be alarmingly easy to take on. Credit cards and store cards in particular allow significant levels of debt to accumulate gradually: people who would hesitate to take out a £2,000 loan can find they’ve acquired £2,000 of debt on a number of cards without even noticing it.”

This combination of high interest rates and ease of access has left many homeowners with unsecured monthly debt repayments that take up some or all of the funds they need to service their mortgage debt. Unless they take steps to address this, it can end up leading to repossession.

“There are ways of reducing the burden of their unsecured debts,” the spokesperson continued. “Many people successfully negotiate with their unsecured lenders – either on their own or through a professional debt management organisation – asking them to accept lower payments, freeze interest and/or waive charges, to ensure that servicing their unsecured debts doesn’t take up funds they need to stay on top of their mortgage payments.

Others find that their unsecured debts have passed the point where negotiation is a realistic option: “In 2008, some 106,000 people in England and Wales turned to insolvency (bankruptcy or an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement)) as the only realistic path out of debt – and experts such as KPMG believe this figure could easily grow by 50% this year.

“For the majority of homeowners, an IVA offers distinct benefits over bankruptcy. Like bankruptcy, an IVA lets them write off the debt they can’t afford to repay, and will have a severe impact on their credit rating. Unlike bankruptcy, however, it will allow them to retain ownership of their property.”

This is what makes it a particularly interesting option for homeowners who worry that their unsecured debts could end up costing them their home: “An IVA requires substantial commitment, as they will need to make regular payments towards their unsecured debt for five years, but those payments are designed to be affordable.

They will be calculated to take up the individual’s entire disposable income – the money they will have left after taking into account their essential monthly expenditure, such as food, petrol, utility bills and (most importantly) mortgage payments.

“So a homeowner in an IVA will be required to contribute all their disposable income to their IVA for a full five years, as well as releasing some equity halfway through the final year of the IVA to maximise the amount they can pay their unsecured creditors.

“However, they’ll know they’re protected from any legal action by their unsecured creditors – including attempts to make them bankrupt – and they’ll know their outstanding unsecured debts will be written off at the end of that period. Most important of all, they’ll know the budget they’re following is specifically designed to ensure their monthly mortgage payments will be met.”

“The important thing is to take action in time, as soon as their unsecured debts reach unmanageable levels. An IVA is a legal procedure that requires the approval of creditors who collectively ‘own’ 75% of the debt in question – in general, the sooner an individual speaks to an Insolvency Practitioner about an IVA, the better their chances of gaining that approval.”

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A honest working citizen with good credit is now faced with bankruptcy when car payments and insurance payments were never behind

A claim for auto theft was recently denied when the insurance company investigation revealed the vehicle was used as a rental car with multiple drivers handling the keys before being purchased by a minister at a Chicago dealership.

Press Release Body: A Chrysler was stolen from a Chicago neighborhood last October and has not been recovered in 120 days. The exclusion in the insurance policy states ‘no coverage is provided for theft is keys are left in or on the vehicle or the ignition wire was not altered’

The only keys issued were turned over to the insurance company. The claim denial relieved the insurance company of all financial obligations and the minister became the party responsible for the $20,000.00 debt owed to the finance company for a vehicle that probably no longer exist.

The vehicle was parked while the minister shopped for items to distribute to needy families.

Although, insurance premiums had been paid three policy terms without lapse. A complaint was filed with various Illinois consumer protection agencies without resolve. A copy of the claim and mail delivery confirmation receipt was presented, but the insurance company continued to deny receiving a claim for the first three months after the theft.

The insurance coverage was acquired through a insurance brokerage agency which may have been promising low rates and excellent coverage to close the sale and receive their broker’s fee.

A honest working citizen with good credit is now faced with bankruptcy when car payments and insurance payments were never behind.

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New Report Suggests That The Available Incomes Of Households Have Fallen Significantly Over The Past Year

Responding to a recent report suggesting that the average household had found it more difficult to repay their debts in 2008 than in the previous year, Debt Advisers Direct have warned consumers to take extra care with their finances. In financial terms, January can be a particularly difficult time, as many households find they’ve spent more than intended over the Christmas period – and Debt Advisers Direct have advised people struggling with debt to seek professional debt advice as soon as possible.

A new report for the Bank of England entitled ‘The financial position of British households’, carried out by NMG Research, is a snapshot of the financial situations of the average British household at the end of September and beginning of October.

The report claimed that the average household had found it more difficult to service existing debts than in the previous year, largely due to higher household bills which reduced ‘available’ incomes. It also said that the purchasing power of this available income had reduced due to high inflation.

More than half of the households in the survey had reported a fall in their monthly available income compared with the previous year.

In total, of those questioned:

• 31% reported a fall of more than £100 per month,
• 20% reported a fall of £51 to £100,
• 12% reported a fall of £1 to £50,
• 25% reported no change, and
• the remaining 12% reported an increase in ‘available’ income.

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct commented: “It’s been known for some time that British households have been under pressure financially in the past year, but these figures demonstrate the extent of the problem. In particular, a drop in available income of more than £100 can make a significant difference to the ability of households to meet their commitments and repay debts.”

The fall in available income was particularly evident amongst homeowners. In both high-LTV and low-LTV categories, 39% of mortgagors reported a fall of more than £100, while a further 19% reported a fall of £51 to £100.

The report suggested that this may have been due to homeowners experiencing higher mortgage costs, especially those who came to the end of fixed-rate or discounted variable-rate mortgage deals.

“Due to rising mortgage costs earlier in the year, homeowners have been particularly
hard-pressed, although this situation may have eased since the figures were recorded due to base rate cuts and the subsequent lower mortgage rates,” the Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson said.

“The implications for homeowners are potentially more serious, since homeowners stand to have their homes repossessed if they default on mortgage payments. Homeowners who are paying relatively high interest rates could improve their situations through remortgaging, although they should consider any costs involved.”

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson added that there are a number of debt solutions available that could help those who have experienced a fall in available income.

“For people with several debts who want to reduce their outgoings and simplify their
finances, a debt consolidation loan might be the best option,” she said. “By spreading the repayments out over a longer period of time than the original debts, monthly payments can be lower, which can make a big difference to available income. However, more will be paid in interest as a result of the longer repayment period.

“For those with more serious debts, particularly if the repayments exceed the household’s available income, a debt management plan could help. This involves working with a debt adviser to negotiate lower monthly payments based on how much they can afford. However, a debt management plan will normally require people to pay whatever available income they have left after payments to household expenses have been taken into account, so anyone entering a debt management plan should be fully committed to repaying their debts.”

For debt help and advice on a range of debt solutions, visit the Debt Advisers Direct website or call 0800 074 8639.

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Sunwest Trust Claims Their New Friends And Family Lending Program Will Be A Contributing Solution To The Credit Problem

In the wake of the National Credit Crisis, Sunwest Trust, Inc., a leading financial company, unveils its new “Friends and Family Lending Program”. The program seeks to interchange the roles of lending banks with financially solvent family members taking up such a role.

Outlining their new plan, the Company insists that solvent members in the family can assume the role of bankers. They could be lending to such members who are seeking loans for purposes such as having a new home. “The ability to fall back on solvent family members for financial support would be a welcome alternative for people who are finding that getting loans is difficult,” says Terry White, CEO, Sunwest Trust, Inc.

The logic behind the argument advanced by Sunwest Trust is that such lending could result in mutual benefit for the lender as well as the debtor. The debtor would benefit from the lower interest rates and the convenience of getting financing. Lenders, on the other hand, will gain from higher interest rates than they could get in comparison for their deposits made in the bank. “Thus, it will be higher income for the lender while a lower loan burden for the debtor,” adds White.

Another aspect of their statements in favor of the new plan is that with such loans, the lender’s money is more secured in comparison to those lent out to strangers. At the same time, the debtor gets significant income tax benefits.

Sunwest Trust, Inc. assists clients through the process by administering the loan in such manner that everything is well organized. “We can collect for taxes and insurance payables on a monthly basis so that the payments are spread throughout the year”, denotes White.

“Payments will be made to Sunwest Trust who will allocate these payments dividing them to principal and interest. The money can be deposited directly into your checking, money market, or savings accounts”, White further adds.

The Company cautions its clients that every investment is coupled with the risk of loss; however, this is a preferable risk being helpful both for the lender and their family members.

Sunwest Trust is confident of the success of their new program and the “Friends and Family Lending Program” is now currently offered to interested parties nationwide. Learn more by watching our video at

About Sunwest Trust
One of the leading financial Companies in Albuquerque, Sunwest Trust Inc. is the only one dealing with both escrow and completely self directed IRA simultaneously. The New Mexico Financial Institutions Division granted it with Trust powers in the year 2003, but has been an escrow company for over 21 years. While Sunwest specializes in self directed IRA, they also deal with real estate contracts, and mortgages. The Company is presently servicing over $900 Million in assets for over 12,000 individuals.

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Insolvency Practitioners Freeman Jones Have Commented That Ivas Remain A Very Useful Alternative That Can Avoid Many Of The Negative Consequences Associated With Bankruptcy

Responding to new statistics showing a rise in the number of people in debt applying for bankruptcy, Insolvency Practitioners Freeman Jones have highlighted the importance of addressing debt problems early, especially with a recession looming, and have pointed to the IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) as a useful alternative to bankruptcy that could lessen the blow of insolvency.

The statistics, compiled by the Ministry of Justice, showed a total of 13,653 petitions for bankruptcy in the three months between July and September – 7% more compared with the same time last year, and a 1% increase on the previous quarter.

In the same time, creditors themselves filed 5,499 bankruptcy petitions against borrowers – 2% less than the previous quarter, but 10% more than July-September 2007.

In an earlier report, the Insolvency Service reported a 3.3% rise in individuals taking up IVAs in the third quarter of 2008, although the number had actually fallen by 3.1% compared with the same period last year.

A spokesperson for Freeman Jones commented: “Bankruptcy can be the best way out of debt for some people, but in many cases an IVA is a preferable alternative, as it can avoid a lot of the negative consequences associated with bankruptcy.

“Unlike bankruptcy, an IVA almost always allows borrowers to keep hold of their home – although they will be expected to release some of the equity in their home in the fourth year – and it does not carry the publicity or social stigma that bankruptcy does. It also does not prevent people from running a business or taking other positions, like bankruptcy does.

“There are some people who feel that bankruptcy is a more appropriate way out of insolvency than an IVA,” continued the spokesperson. “That’s mainly because bankruptcy is over more quickly – normally after a year – and it typically results in less of the overall debt being paid off by the borrower.

“However the restrictions placed upon borrowers by bankruptcy can sometimes outweigh the benefits, and although an IVA lasts for longer, it will do less damage to the borrower’s future prospects in the long run.

But the Freeman Jones spokesperson was quick to acknowledge that bankruptcy can sometimes be the better option. “Since an IVA requires regular monthly payments for a number of years, people with a low or unpredictable income may find that bankruptcy better suits their needs,” she said.

“Likewise, if the borrower does not have much in the way of assets, and their circumstances are unlikely to improve, then bankruptcy may be their best choice.

“It can often be difficult for people in debt to decide whether bankruptcy or an IVA is the best option – and as always, we advise anyone facing debt problems to seek expert debt advice.”

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The latest report from the Insolvency Service shows a rapid rise in the numbers of people being declared insolvent

Commenting on statistics from the Insolvency Service showing a sharp rise in insolvencies, both over the last quarter and over the past year, Debt Advisers Direct have said that it is now more important than ever for people to get their finances in order and tackle any debt problems as soon as possible.

Commenting on new statistics showing an increase in the number of personal insolvencies in the third quarter of 2008, Debt Advisers Direct ( have said that this is further confirmation of the difficulties faced by many British households due to rising inflation and worsening economic conditions, and have emphasised the importance of good debt advice as the economy faces a recession.

The latest report from the Insolvency Service shows a rapid rise in the numbers of people being declared insolvent. Between July and September there were 27,087 personal insolvencies, an 8.8% increase on the previous quarter. It was also 4.6% higher than the number of insolvencies reported a year earlier.

Despite falling in the second quarter of the year, bankruptcies were up 12.1% over the quarter. IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements), meanwhile, were up 3.3% over the quarter.

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct said: “Higher costs of living and the credit crunch have put a lot of pressure on British households’ finances this year, so we expected to see a rise in personal insolvencies over the course of this year.

“However, the extent of the rise in insolvencies shows the seriousness of the problems we are facing – and highlights the need to tackle debt problems early, before they become unmanageable..”

The Insolvency Service report also showed that despite the quarterly rise, IVAs were down by 3.1% compared with the same period last year – with The Telegraph concluding that it may be becoming more difficult to enter into an IVA.

“There are a few possible reasons why the number of IVAs may be lower than this time last year,” the spokesperson commented. “It may simply be that more people are taking the bankruptcy route, perhaps because they are unaware that an IVA can avoid many of the downsides of bankruptcy.

“IVAs are usually considered a preferable alternative to bankruptcy. People on IVAs do not lose control of their assets, unlike bankruptcy, and they typically carry fewer restrictions.

“The rise in IVAs over the quarter shows that lenders still consider it a valid means of reclaiming some of the money they are owed – and it remains that if you are in significant debt, an IVA can be a very useful way of getting debt-free.”

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson was keen to emphasise the importance of tackling debts before they grow unmanageable. “For anyone struggling with debt, there are a number of ways out. With a recession approaching, it’s important that people do not feel powerless, and that they tackle the issue head-on.

“There are a number of debt solutions, such as debt consolidation and debt management plans, that can help people to stop their debts growing before they become unmanageable. We advise anyone with debt problems to seek professional advice at the first sign of trouble.”

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Debt Management Company Gregory Pennington Have Said That Now Is A More Important Time Than Ever For Consumers To Get Their Finances In Order And Tackle Any Existing Debt Problems

Following Bank of England Governor Mervyn King’s announcement that the British economy is entering a recession, debt management company Gregory Pennington have warned that financial hardship is likely to be widespread in the coming months, adding that the public should aim to get their finances in order and tackle any debts as a matter of priority.

Speaking at a business conference on Tuesday, Mervyn King told business leaders that the economy faces a “sharp and prolonged slowdown”, perpetuated by smaller take home salaries, soaring living costs and limited access to consumer credit.

“We now face a long, slow haul to restore lending to the real economy, and hence growth of our economy, to more normal conditions,” he also said.

On a more positive note, King said that some of the factors causing inflation had “shifted decisively”, putting less pressure on the Bank of England to actively control inflation and instead giving them time to address other factors, particularly the cost of consumer lending.

And addressing those concerned about many lenders’ reluctance to pass on the Bank of England’s recent base rate cut, King offered his assurance that the cuts would eventually have an effect, but said: “It will take time before the [bank bailout] leads to a resumption of normal levels of lending.”

A spokesperson for Gregory Pennington warned of the dangers that consumers face as a recession approaches. “One of the biggest dangers is unemployment. Since there will be less money flowing through the economy, businesses will suffer, and many will be forced to make job cuts as a result – which restarts the same cycle.

“We may also see the availability of credit take a further hit, as lenders will be wary that the borrowers may be at a higher risk of losing their jobs than usual. However, the Bank of England are doing their best to ensure that cash flow within banks improves, so it remains to be seen how lenders will react to that as things progress.

“What we can be sure of is that it’s essential for the public to address any financial problems they may have, particularly when it comes to debt. Debt is a burden at any time, but carrying debts during such an uncertain time for the economy can be very worrying.

“If borrowers miss payments, the creditors may pursue the whole debts, which can lead to court action and even bankruptcy if they are unable to comply.”

The Gregory Pennington spokesperson said that there a number of debt solutions that could help people repay their debts and limit the pressure on their finances as the economy enters a recession.

“For people with multiple debts, a debt consolidation loan can help,” she said. “Debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan to cover your existing debts, meaning you only have one creditor to repay.

“Payments can often be reduced by spreading them over a longer period, although you can pay more interest in the long run. Interest rates can also potentially be reduced, especially if you are consolidating high-APR debts such as credit cards – but be aware that if you have extended your repayment period, the additional interest incurred can reduce the benefit of a lower interest rate.

“For more unmanageable debts, a debt management plan may be your better option. If you do this through an expert debt adviser, they will assess how much you can realistically afford to repay each month. After that, they will negotiate with your creditors for lower monthly payments and possibly a freeze in interest or other charges.

“For more significant debts of £15,000 or more, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) might be more appropriate. This involves making monthly payments over a period of five years, based on how much you can afford. Once that five-year period is over, your remaining debts will be considered settled.

“However be aware that an IVA requires approval from creditors responsible for at least 75% of your debts, and you may be required to release some of the equity tied up in your home in the fourth year of your IVA.

“Before you make any decisions, it’s important to seek independent debt help. A debt adviser will talk you through your situation and will be able to establish which debt solution is right for you.”

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Financial Solutions Provider Think Money Has Welcomed The Bank Of England’s Recent Move To Enhance Liquidity By Accepting A Broader Range Of Loans And Other Assets As Collateral For Loans To Banks

Responding to the Bank of England’s recent changes to its policy regarding collateral, mortgage provider Think Money welcomes the move and looks forward to the increased levels of liquidity it should provide.

On 3rd October 2008, the Bank of England announced that it would expand the range of assets it deems acceptable collateral for the loans it grants to financial institutions. The range, according to the Bank of England website, now includes ‘AAA-rated asset-backed securities of some corporate and consumer loans; and approved highly-rated, asset-backed commercial paper programmes, where the underlying assets would be eligible if securitised’.

This action, the website continues, ‘is addressed to the ongoing strains in term funding markets, and adds highly-rated corporate securitisations to the residential mortgage securities that are already eligible’.

“At Think Money, we welcome this change,” said a spokesperson for the financial solutions provider. “While some may feel alarmed that the Bank of England felt such a move necessary, it’s nonetheless reassuring to note that the institution is taking such action before the financial situation deteriorates further.

The current lack of liquidity is a cause of great concern for everyone in the UK, from individuals to banks, mortgage providers and other institutions. “Without a constant, reliable flow of credit, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to carry out their plans, whether it’s a case of a company pursuing a business opportunity or an individual securing a mortgage, remortgage or loan.

“So we’re encouraged to see the Bank taking decisive steps such as this. Banks and other financial institutions own massive amounts of debt these days, from mortgage debt to overdraft debt, so it’s both limiting and frustrating when they can’t use them as collateral, as it’s one of the cornerstones of today’s lending activities.”

According to the Market Notice published on October 3rd, The Bank of England ‘will continue to hold extended collateral three-month long-term repo open market operations (OMOs) weekly up to and including the scheduled long-term repo operation on 18 November’, which suggests that it sees no immediate end to today’s unusual market conditions.

Furthermore, it states that ‘The size of the funds offered at the Bank’s extended collateral long-term repo operation on Tuesday 7 October will be £40 billion’.

Yet despite the size of the operation, the spokesperson for the financial solutions company stressed, it’s important to note that this is no act of desperation. “In the light of the ‘bailout’ recently approved in the USA, it’s important to realise that this move by no means invites lenders to put forward‘toxic’ mortgage debts as collateral. The Bank of England may have broadened the range of assets it sees as acceptable, but it is not prepared to accept any form of collateral which isn’t of sufficiently high quality.”

Furthermore, the Bank of England is exercising a suitable degree of caution: “The Bank may be accepting a greater variety of assets as collateral,” the Think Money spokesperson concluded, “but it’s also valuing them correspondingly and offering, to quote the Financial Times, ‘as little as 60p in the pound for some foreign currency mortgage-backed securities’.”

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People In Debt Should Review Their Financial Situation As Soon As Possible And If Necessary Seek Professional Debt Advice

The deteriorating state of the economy should lead borrowers to review their finances as a matter of urgency, say debt experts Debt Advisers Direct, following the Autumn forecast from the Ernst & Young ITEM Club.

“Released on 20th October, the Ernst & Young ITEM Club Autumn forecast ‘sees an economy that has deteriorated dramatically in the last quarter and is now in recession’,” said a spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct. “The good news, however, is that the recession is expected to be both short and shallow, with GDP rising – even if only by 1% – in 2010.”

“Even so, the impact of today’s economic downturn will be profound,” the spokesperson continued. “By definition, even a ‘shallow’ recession involves a shrinking of the nation’s economy, with the inevitable consequences: lower spending, higher unemployment, greater uncertainty about the future, etc.

“On an individual level, the threat of a reduced monthly income is likely to lead many to review their financial situation. This isn’t to say that economic gloom is a good thing, but everyone needs to stop and take stock of their finances from time to time, and reports such as this can provide a much-needed incentive to do so.

“It’s important for everyone – even people with no debts and significant savings – but for the millions of UK consumers in debt, it’s particularly vital. Many people in the UK have grown used to spending more and more of their monthly budget on debt repayments. In many cases, those repayments take up almost their entire disposable income, so if anything happens to their income, they could almost immediately face a whole range of consequences, from legal action to bailiffs and County Court Judgments (CCJs) – to say nothing of the damage to their credit rating.

“The important thing, of course, is to take action before it’s too late. Seeking professional debt advice is normally the best way to start – any borrower could have a wide range of debt solutions available to them, so it’s vital they talk to a professional organisation which understands every option and can provide impartial debt advice, tailored to their individual circumstances.”

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or debt consolidation loan, for example, could help someone cope with a reduced income – yet neither debt solution would make sense for someone who’s fairly sure they might lose their income (or a significant part of it) in the near future.

“A borrower who is working, but whose job seems to be at risk, may be better off with a flexible debt solution such as a debt management plan: if their income drops, they can ask a professional debt management company to talk to their creditors on their behalf, renegotiating their debt repayments as and when it becomes necessary.”

Different borrowers, in other words, will need to adopt different strategies to deal with their debts. “There’s no ‘silver bullet’ for debt. Debt management plans, debt consolidation loans, debt consolidation remortgages, IVAs, even bankruptcy – each has its place, but the debt solution that’s right for one person can be completely inappropriate for another. The key thing is to take the time to get the right debt advice before making any commitments.”

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Debt Advisers Direct Warn Anyone Struggling With Debt To Seek Expert Debt Advice As Soon As Possible

Responding to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s report suggesting that the global economic slowdown is likely to worsen and spread to more economic sectors, Debt Advisers Direct have warned the public that extremely testing times may be ahead, and people should look to get their finances in order and clear any debts as soon as possible.

In their new Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF have warned of “growing turmoil”, saying that the state of the global economy has worsened since its last assessment in April 2008. They also said that Governments’ willingness to act would be crucial in “bringing about a return to stability in the international financial system”.

Although the global economic crisis has so far been mostly limited to the financial sectors in more developed economies, the IMF warned that may soon be about to change, with other sectors and developing economies likely to be affected in the future.

A note on the IMF press release said: “financial institutions in emerging markets, which until recently remained fairly resilient, will be confronted with a much more challenging economic environment: A combination of global credit tightening, and economic slowdown, which could accelerate a downturn in the domestic credit cycle in some countries. Those economies with greater reliance on short-term flows or with leveraged banking systems funded internationally are particularly vulnerable.”

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct said that the threat of financial hardship applies to everybody – not just people on lower incomes or those already in debt.

“The nature of the economic crisis is that many peoples’ jobs are at risk, and that applies just as much to people earning high incomes as it does to low earners. At the same time, many costs of living such as food and energy are still on the rise, so most of us are likely to feel the squeeze to some extent.

“For that reason it’s essential that anyone who is currently struggling financially, particularly those struggling with debt, seeks the relevant advice as soon as possible.”

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson added that there are a range of debt solutions available to help people in various financial situations. “For those with a number of debts, a debt consolidation loan could be the answer,” he said.

“Debt consolidation involves grouping all of your debts into convenient single monthly payments. It can also reduce interest rates if you are consolidating high-APR forms of credit such as credit cards, and it can allow you to reschedule your payments over a longer period, making your monthly payments lower. However, this may result in paying more interest in the long term.

“Alternatively, for those who want a less formal debt solution, a debt management plan can reduce your monthly payments to an amount you can afford, as well as freezing interest and other charges.

“Or for people with debts of over £15,000, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is an alternative to bankruptcy which could help you keep your home and other assets.”

The spokesperson added: “Above all, it’s very important that anyone struggling with their debts seeks the appropriate advice immediately, because it’s very possible that things are going to get even tighter in the coming months.”

Via EPR Network
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In response to economic data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), debt experts remind consumers that the right debt solution can help them regain control of their debts, despite the unpredictability of the UK’s finances.

On 30 September, the ONS confirmed that GDP growth (Gross Domestic Product – a measure of economic activity) had been 0.0% in the second quarter of 2008, down from the 0.3% reported for the first quarter.

In other words, although the UK economy isn’t in recession (usually defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth), nor is it experiencing growth – the usual state of affairs under ‘normal’ circumstances. More worrying yet, the economy would have to decline only slightly for the remaining six months of the year to be officially classed as ‘in recession’.

“It may be hard for people to see such macro-economic statistics as relevant to them as individuals,” stated a spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct, “but the impact is all too likely to make itself felt in the average UK citizen’s daily life. In general, a slowing economy means everyone has less money: not just employees and employers, but the government itself. Given the rapid rises we’ve seen in the cost of living, any threat to a household’s income should be taken extremely seriously.

“People with high levels of debt, struggling to keep up with their debt repayments, are particularly likely to worry about the effects of a slowing economy. There may be little they can do to influence their utility bills, the price of food, or even their job security, but there may be something they can do about their debts – whatever debts an individual is facing, if they become unmanageable, there are a range of debt solutions available that could help reduce their payments and bring their debts under control.”

For people with unsecured debts of around £15,000 or more, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) may be the most appropriate debt solution. An alternative to bankruptcy, an IVA is a form of insolvency that helps people bring their monthly debt repayments back down to an affordable level and – in the longer term – clear those debts entirely.

“An IVA is a legally binding agreement between an individual and their creditors. In brief, the individual agrees to make fixed monthly payments for a set period (normally five years), based on what they can afford to pay after taking essential living expenses into account. If they own their home, they may also be required to free up equity in their home (towards the end of the IVA) to increase the amount they can pay their creditors.

“It’s a big commitment, but their creditors will, in return, agree to freeze interest, not to take any legal action (such as pushing for bankruptcy) and to write off any outstanding debt once the IVA has successfully concluded. So an IVA can deliver clear benefits to borrowers and creditors alike.

“Finally, should the borrower’s circumstances change during the course of the IVA, they can request an ‘IVA variation’ – it’s in the creditors’ interests as well as the individual’s to make sure the IVA succeeds, so they may well agree to alter the terms of the agreement if this is clearly the best way to bring the IVA to a successful conclusion.”

Via EPR Network
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We Have All Seen The Credit Monitoring Commercials With The Funny Jingles, But Do You Know Who Is Behind Them?

Its 1:30 A.M. and your watching your favorite late night program. All of a sudden there are singing pirates telling you that if you are not careful, you will be serving fish to tourists. Sound familiar? So, who is selling you this information that could protect you from being a fish waiter, working for less than minimum wage? Thats right, the same 3 companies that provides it to potetial creditors and employers. Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. So what are they saying with these commercials? Our interpetation is that you better watch out because if you don’t, we will say anything about you we want, no matter if its true or not! And by the way, if you want us to watch your back and protect you from hearsay, it’s going to cost you $29.95 per month.

It seems as if everywhere you turn they are trying to sell you a credit bureau. And why should you even bother checking your credit Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian are supposed to be good companies that follow the rules and only report true and accurate information. Why should you worry? And why are these companies telling you to worry? Because in fact, the information on 79% of Credit Bureaus is innacurate acording to PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Seriously innacurate enough to cost you a Job or not to be approved for a loan. So what do you do? First of all, don’t pay them a dime. You are entitled by law to a free credit report!

It is the Credit Bureaus responsability to maintain complete and accurate information in their files. (Section 607b of the FCRA) So why dont they do this? Because they are for profit corporations who depend on the negative information for profits. In todays age of technology they could perform regular audits very easily but they dont, Instead they make the consumers do their job for them by requiring them to perform tedious tasks when errors are discovered. This is the reason Credit Repair has become so neccesary for many americans trying to live the American dream. In fact if it wasnt for the good Credit Repair companies out there many consumers would remain victims of this nations broken credit reporting system.

So next time you see one of those funny commercials dont laugh and sing along, feel insulted and hurt because what they are doing is laughing and making fun of the American consumer, and clearly pointing out how faulted our credit reporting system is.

Via EPR Network
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The Government’s ‘Energy Package’ May Help Some People Stay Warm This Winter, But It Is Not Enough To Address The Immediate Financial Problems Caused By High Energy Prices

Responding to the government’s ‘£1 billion energy package’, debt consolidation experts Debt Advisers Direct reminded consumers of recent comments by leading charities Help the Aged and the National Housing Federation.

Despite enabling households ‘to take advantage of help that could save them over £300 every year on their energy bills’, the package met with a lukewarm reception: “Individual changes which have been flagged by the Prime Minister are sensible and move in the right direction,” said Mervyn Kohler, Special Adviser at Help the Aged. “However, they are too little, too modest and will take too long to address the urgent plight of many pensioners today.”

The energy package includes:
· Free loft and cavity wall insulation for some; half-price insulation for others.
· Increased Cold Weather Payments (paid during particularly cold periods) from £8.50 to £25 per week.
· An increased Winter Fuel Payment (either £50 or £100 more).
· Potentially discounted tariffs by the end of the year for ‘around 600,000’ customers, many of whom will have a price freeze this winter

“The measures announced by Gordon Brown may provide some help, but must be seen in context,” a spokesperson for commented. “The average annual energy bill is widely expected to be more than £1,400 next year – more than twice what it was in 2005. While everyone appreciates the importance of long-term improvements to energy efficiency, recent price increases of up to 35% have left many with immediate financial problems.”

To quote from The Press Association website: ‘Soaring energy bills will push one in 10 households into debt with their fuel supplier by the end of next year, experts have warned. The National Housing Federation said hikes in the cost of gas and electricity would force many low-income families to have to choose between heating their homes or eating this winter.’

The right debt solution, however, could help borrowers afford both. “Part of the problem today is the sheer number of price rises we’ve seen in the past year,” said spokesperson. “Not just energy prices, but others such as food, rent and petrol.”

“People with credit commitments can be hit particularly hard by this – even after they’ve paid their rent / mortgage, food, fuel, etc, they still need to find the money to service their ongoing unsecured debt repayments. In many cases, this is simply impossible, and reducing those monthly debt payments is the only way forward. This is where debt consolidation can make a big difference.”

A debt consolidation loan is a simple idea. By consolidating multiple unsecured debts into a single, large debt, borrowers can reduce the amount they’re paying each month: “Their monthly repayments may have seemed reasonable when they first took out credit, but the recent increases in basic living costs have dramatically reduced the average consumer’s disposable income.”

Debt consolidation gives borrowers a chance to re-assess their finances and the speed at which they can pay off their debt by calculating how much they can afford to put towards their debts in today’s economic environment. “As with any debt solution, a debt consolidation loan comes with both pros and cons, so it’s vital to seek professional debt advice before making a decision.”

Via EPR Network
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Revolution Credit Solutions Inc. Offers Free Service To Victims Of Scam Credit Repair Companies

Revolution Credit Solutions Inc. Has offered its service Pro Bono to victims of Scam Credit Repair Companies. All the consumer must do to receive this Pro Bono service is provide revolution credit Solutions with proof that they filed a complaint with the FTC. Credit Repair companies are regulated by the CROA which is enforced by the FTC. Revolution hopes that by offering this Pro Bono service to consumers that have been taken advantage of more people will come forward that have been scammed. For more information go to the company website at http://www.revolutioncreditsolutions.comcontact us section and in the comments box put the word victim in and someone will get right back to you. Or you may call the Company at 1-888-852-0005

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Debt Advisers Direct Reminds Consumers That There Is Still Plenty They Can Do To Help Protect Themselves Against Rising Household Costs

As the Government prepare to announce a new scheme that is set to help the millions of households that have fallen into fuel poverty, Debt Advisers Direct ( have welcomed the scheme, but have reminded consumers that there is still plenty they can do to help protect themselves against rising costs.

Fuel poverty is usually defined as when households are spending more than 10% of their total monthly income on keeping their homes adequately heated. In early 2008 it was estimated that around 4.4 million households in the UK were living in fuel poverty.

And with energy costs jumping up by as much as 30% with some providers, and with others set to follow, the threat of fuel poverty is increasing.

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct said: “The rate at which energy prices are rising means that even families who would have previously considered themselves financially comfortable are beginning to feel the strain. Making compromises on other costs has become commonplace.

“Switching providers can help to bring costs down to an extent, but it might not be long before all providers raise their prices, which could mean sacrifices in other areas are needed.

“Ideally, consumers should be trying to put at least a small amount of money aside in a savings account every month. If prices shoot up unexpectedly, savings could be a very helpful financial safety net that could prevent people falling into debt.”

The spokesperson said that the worst hit are lower-income families, who might not have the extra funds available for rising fuel costs. “For those on lower incomes, fuel poverty is a particularly serious matter. There is a choice: turn the heating off, or keep yourself warm and suffer the consequences. We have seen large numbers of people being pushed into debt because of energy costs.”

The spokesperson followed that if consumers do find themselves struggling to balance debts with increasing costs of living, it’s essential that they seek debt advice before the problem grows out of control. “There are a number of debt solutions that are designed to reduce monthly outgoings and simplify finances, which could be a great help in these difficult times.

“It could be a debt management plan, in which a debt adviser works with the owner of the debts and their creditors to work out a new repayment plan, usually resulting in lower monthly payments over a longer period of time.

“For some people, a debt consolidation loan is more effective – a new loan is taken out to pay off the existing debts, after which it is repaid in single monthly payments. Debt consolidation loans can also be set out over a longer period of time, so monthly payments will be lower, although the borrower will usually end up paying more in interest in the long run.”

For more serious debts of £15,000 or over, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) may be more suitable. If you are in debt but are unsure about how to tackle it, contact a debt adviser for further information.

Debt Advisers Direct are a debt management company based in Salford Quays, Manchester. They offer a range of debt advice and solutions, including debt consolidation, debt management plans and IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements).

Via EPR Network
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Shrinking Disposable Incomes Underline The Need To Cut Back On Spending And Seek Debt Advice When Necessary

Following a survey from comparison site uSwitch showing that disposable income had dropped for the first time since 1997, financial solutions company has stressed the need for consumers to cut back on their spending and, when necessary, seek expert debt help or advice.

Released at the end of August, the report related that UK households are £2,500 worse off this year than in 2007 – that the average disposable income had shrunk by 15% in just 12 months.

In theory, ‘Disposable income’ means money that’s available for discretionary spending – the part of a household’s income that’s left after paying for taxes, social contributions, mortgage / rent, fuel, food, transport, education, etc.

“Disposable income, therefore, must cover everything else, from socialising to buying magazines, computer games and so on: basically, the things that people actually like to spend money on,” said a spokesperson for “But the word ‘disposable’ can be misleading. The average household disposable income may be £14,520 (28.4% of gross total income), but how many households have £280 per week to spend in whatever way they see fit?”

“Figures from the Bank of England show that around 230 billion pounds of the UK’s ‘personal debt mountain’ is not secured on dwellings. Payments to unsecured debts (credit cards, personal loans, overdrafts, etc.) come out of a household’s disposable income, but they’re nonetheless essential – the consequences of non-payment may not be as serious as missing mortgage payments, but borrowers are still legally obliged to make them.”

The good news for borrowers is that such payments may, in certain circumstances, be negotiable. With the right debt solution, they could reduce the interest rates they’re paying, or even arrange for some of their debt to be written off. They may also, if they can’t make their repayments, be able to reduce the amount they’re paying each month – something which this survey indicates may be particularly appealing right now: “Anyone who was devoting a large part of their disposable income to unsecured debt repayments a year ago is likely to be facing serious problems today, and looking for a way to reduce their expenditure as soon as possible.

“The first thing to do, of course, is take a good look at their spending and identify areas where they could cut back. In many cases, though, this isn’t enough – and this is where a professional debt solution can give them a chance to regain control of their finances.

“Most unsecured creditors would rather renegotiate the repayment terms than try to force the borrower to stick to the original repayment plan when this clearly isn’t an option. Many people ask a debt management organisation to talk to their creditors on their behalf, negotiating a more realistic repayment programme – with lower monthly payments, for example, frozen interest and/or waived charges.”

Should debt management not be an option, there are other debt solutions, such as debt consolidation loans, debt consolidation mortgages and IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements). “Everyone’s different, and there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ debt solution. The important thing is to talk to a professional debt adviser before making any firm decisions.”

Via EPR Network
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Gregory Pennington Has Warned That The Recent Growth In Retail Sales Should Not Be Taken As A Sign Of Market Recovery

Responding to the recent news that retail sales growth enjoyed an unexpected rise in July, debt management company Gregory Pennington ( has warned that this should not be taken as a sign of market recovery, and that consumers should still be looking to protect themselves against a potential downturn at some point in the future.

Despite the Office of National Statistics’ predictions that retail sales growth would fall by around 0.2%, July in fact saw a rise of 0.8% compared to the previous month – a figure which, according to a Gregory Pennington spokesperson, may prompt some to “underestimate the danger that lies ahead for the economy”.

The figures follow June’s sales growth actually falling by around 4.3% – the largest decrease for several years. But the Gregory Pennington spokesperson says that this simply reflects the volatile nature of the retail market. “It’s important to look at the bigger economic picture,” he says. “Inflation is at a 16-year high, costs of living are increasing, and unemployment is rising – all of which are likely to affect the retail market negatively in the long run – but the full impact is yet to be seen.

“The retail market has seen several years of fluctuating growth – even when the economy was very strong. The rises and falls are rarely any bigger than two per cent, which is minimal in the scheme of things, and is probably coincidental.

“June’s fall of 4.4% did raise some concerns for the market, but the fact that it’s gone straight back up by 0.8% shows that this was just a particularly wild fluctuation.”

The spokesperson added that consumer caution is still necessary, highlighted by the recent year-on-year increases in people experiencing debt problems – which can be partly attributed to overly relaxed lending and high consumer spending.

“Statistics show that the number of people seeking debt help has been steadily increasing for well over a decade now – with the most distinct rise coming in 2007, when the credit crunch began to hit the economy,” he said. “Since problems with debt tend to filter through over a long period of time, we would expect this pattern to continue well into 2008 and 2009.

“Realistically, a continued slump in the retail market would in fact be a good sign for the economy, since it would show that people are taking the economic downturn and risk of getting into debt very seriously, as well as helping to bring down inflation.”

The spokesperson went on to say that if people do find themselves struggling in the coming months, they should seek debt help from an expert as soon as possible. “It’s looking like the downturn we are facing will be quite severe, and we would expect people with existing debts to suffer more than most – not to mention many people may be forced into debt as money gets tighter,” he said.

“If that is the case, it’s essential you seek debt help from a professional debt adviser. Lenders and consumers alike will feel under pressure over the next few months, so your debt adviser should be able to help come to an agreement that suits both you and your lender.”

Gregory Pennington ( are a debt management company based in Salford Quays, Manchester. They offer a wide range of debt help and solutions, including debt management plans, debt consolidation and IVAs.

Via EPR Network
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Whatever Financial Problems An Individual Is Facing, It’s Crucial They Seek Debt Advice As Soon As Possible

Debt specialists remind consumers with debt problems of the need to seek debt advice on time.

“Whatever their nature, virtually all financial problems have one thing in common: they get worse if left unaddressed,” says a Gregory Pennington spokesperson. “Whether someone’s behind on their mortgage payments or struggling to keep up with credit card bills, all the experts agree that the sooner they seek debt advice, the better their chances of clearing their debts as quickly and painlessly as possible.”

At the moment, mortgage payments are at the forefront of many homeowners’ worries. “The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has reported 18,900 repossessions in the first half of the year, signifying a year-on-year increase of 48%. Given their forecast of 45,000 repossessions in 2008, this means they expect over 25,000 more before the end of the year.”

With timely debt advice, however, many of those potential repossessions needn’t happen at all. In a video on the BBC’s website, Judge Stephen Gold (Kingston-upon-Thames County Court) states: “The big message which I think needs to be screamed from the rooftops of the County Courts is this: that if you get into difficulty with your mortgage, don’t bury your head in the sand. Engage with the lenders. Pay what you can.”

“For unsecured debts,” the Gregory Pennington spokesperson continues, “the principle is essentially the same. When people contact us for debt advice, we stress that simply talking to a lender – whether they do it themselves or we do it on their behalf – can often produce results. A lender might agree to accept lower payments, for example, or to reduce the interest rate on a loan. It’s in the lender’s interest to arrive at an arrangement which the borrower can afford, so the money can be repaid as soon as realistically possible.

“Before they grant any concessions, of course, most lenders will want to see that the borrower is doing their utmost to order their finances and repay the debt. So the debt advice we provide goes a long way beyond ‘Talk to your lender’: we help people with all sorts of financial issues, from improving their budgeting skills to understanding their rights and responsibilities in relation to different kinds of debt.”

“If the individual’s situation has reached the point where debt advice simply isn’t enough, we can help them choose the debt solution that offers the best way out of debt. Depending on their circumstances, that could be a debt management plan, in which we talk to their unsecured lenders on their behalf, negotiating changes to their repayment terms so they can clear their debt at a rate they can afford.”

In cases where debt management isn’t appropriate, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) or Trust Deed could be the answer: helping people reduce their monthly debt payments, these debt solutions can free up the money they need for mortgages payments, food bills and other essential living costs.

“Everyone’s circumstances are different, and no debt solution is ‘better’ than another – it’s a question of which is the most appropriate for that particular person under those particular circumstances. As always, the most important thing is for them to seek debt advice as soon as possible, before any further financial problems restrict the range of options open to them.”

Via EPR Network
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