Author Archives: Matthew Herron

  1. How To Live on a Budget

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    Everyone can benefit from living on a budget. Especially someone who is recently out of debt.  These individuals feel added pressure to improve and maintain their financial health. In order for them to stay on the right track financially, they must fully understand what it takes to create, implement and maintain a personal budget.

    Get started today, by following these best practices and keep your finances in order.

    How To Live on a Budget

    Best Budgeting Practices

    • Sit down and begin drafting your budget.

    Begin by writing down every single expense, including smaller purchases like gas and groceries. A visual budget of your spending every month is an incredibly powerful tool to make financial decisions.

    • Review and eliminate unnecessary spending.

    The expenses listed should be reviewed to determine whether any expenses can be eliminated or reduced. Saying “goodbye” to items and services that you don’t need is a difficult task, but it must be done to create a proper budget. A good rule of thumb to follow is the 50/20/30 plan—50% of income goes to necessities, 20% to long-term savings, and 30% to individual lifestyle choices. In many cases if debt service is throwing off your 50/20/30 ratio, you should develop a plan to eliminate your debts.

    • Stick to your budget and make more logical and informed financial decisions.

    It’s important the budget you create is realistic. You want to be able to stick to it. If you do, then you are less likely to make impulse decisions and unnecessary purchases. The most realistic way to stick to your budget is to think of it as a diet. If you decide to splurge one day in a certain area, you will need to make up for it in another area of the budget. The best strategy for consistent financial success is making lifestyle changes that are realistic and sustainable.

    • Contribute to retirement and 401k accounts.

    Think long-term when creating a budget. Putting money towards your retirement is essential for a healthy financial future. Contributing to a retirement plan is a great way to save because it has huge tax benefits making it essential to surviving in retirement.

    • If you don’t have room to save, make a plan to eliminate debt or restructure your budget.

    Plan and simple debt depletes your resources and keeps you from saving. Savings is the whole reason you create a budget and the only way to build wealth. The more you save, the more you begin to earn interest rather than paying it. When you save think of it as creating a money machine that produces cash from interest, as compared to consumer spending that is an immediate reward with no long term value. Additionally, your credit score is never as important as saving because it never builds wealth. This can only get you further into debt.

    • Update your budget continually.

    As your lifestyle changes, so should your budget. You will need to make adjustments accordingly as your lifestyle evolves and your necessities change.

    Overall, creating and following a well thought-out personal budget is key to maintaining your finances. After all, if you’re not measuring you are simply practicing. Once an individual understands how they are spending their money, they will be able to avoid wasting money in the future and have sustained financial health. The Debt Doctors are the bankruptcy lawyers that can assist you with this process and getting on the right track financially if debt is poisoning your ability to save and affecting your monthly budget.

     

  2. When Your Financial World is Turned Upside Down

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    It is extremely stressful when your income is reduced or stops suddenly. You are forced to make tough, almost impossible, financial choices. Who do I pay? Who do I not pay?

    At Quatrini Rafferty, we know how difficult it is to make the right financial choices. Or, how critical it is for you to buy time to figure it all out.

    So, our law firm has teamed up with the Debt Doctors: attorneys who specialize in helping clients overcome financial difficulty. Over the past 10 years, the attorneys at the Debt Doctors have helped thousands of clients to navigate through a loss of income, avoid costly mistakes, and protect the assets – home, car, reputation – that are important to everyone.

    Attorneys Matt Herron and Amy Buchanan can put together a workable financial plan to improve your long term financial health. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, our Debt Doctor attorneys can help you:

    1. Are you having trouble paying your bills on time?
    2. Do you have more than $10,000 of credit card debt, personal loans, or medical bills?
    3. Are creditors threatening to repossess what you own?
    4. Are you behind on your mortgage, or will you soon fall behind on your mortgage?
    5. Do you need to take out a new mortgage to pay your bills?
    6. Do you need to borrow from your retirement plan or 401k to pay your bills?
    7. Is your car payment more than you can afford?
    8. Do you have outstanding personal or real estate taxes?
    9. Are you struggling to keep up with your student loans?
    10. Are you going thru a divorce?
    11. Is your business failing?

    The Debt Doctor attorneys at QuatriniRafferty provide free consultations. We charge reasonable fees. We offer payment plans. In fact, in some cases, our fees are absorbed into the debt repayment program. Our attorneys are available 24/7. Call us today to stop worrying about your bills and prepare “for life after debt”.

  3. The Debt Doctors to Join the Law Firm of Quatrini Rafferty

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    I am pleased to let you know that the Debt Doctors have joined the law firm of Quatrini Rafferty. Our new affiliation does not change anything.  You case will be handled the same.  Your  current payment plan will remain the same.  We will still practice under the name “the Debt Doctors”.   You will still be working with Matt, Amy, Heather and Kate.  We will have the same phone numbers, emails and website. The only change will be our physical location.  We are moving from the Grant Building to 941 Penn Avenue, Suite 101, Pittsburgh, Pa 15222 (near the David Lawrence Convention Center).

    All future mail should be sent to the 941 Penn Ave address.

    We will still meet clients in Quatrini Rafferty’s Greensburg office (550 East Pittsburgh Street) and Latrobe office (816 Ligonier St.) and in New Castle at the Offices of Levine Law (22 East Grant Street).

    We are joining with Quatrini Rafferty (see attachment) so that we can offer – you – our client more comprehensive legal services.  Vince Quatrini and Dennis Rafferty, along with 10 other attorneys, have been practicing law – for over 40 years – throughout Western Pennsylvania.

    Vince Quatrini, the managing partner of Quatrini Rafferty commented, “Matt and I believe this partnership works because of our shared respect for our clients and our sincere desire to help our clients work thru difficult and worrisome times in their lives.”

    I am personally excited to have the opportunity to work in a firm that can help you if you need legal assistance with:

    • Personal Injury
    • Workers Compensation
    • Social Security Disability
    • Veterans Disability
    • Long Term Disability
    • Wills and Estates
    • Tax Law
    • Real Estate
    • Criminal Defense
    • Family Law

    We do “Free Consultations”.  You can reach us 24/7 at 888 534 6016.  Please email -or call me – if you have any questions about our new group and if you would like to know more about our expanded list of legal services.  My best to you and your family.

    Very Truly Yours,
    Matt Herron
    Managing Attorney
    The Debt Doctors at QuatriniRafferty

  4. The White House Explores Student Loans and Bankruptcy Options: What You Need To Know

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    87801562The Wall Street Journal reported recently that The White House is looking into ways to help people who are burdened by insurmountable student debt to alleviate some of that stress through new bankruptcy options. Currently, neither federally backed or privately-issued student loans can be discharged in a bankruptcy, but through the Chapter 13 Process you can force an income based payment on your student loan servicer for 5 years.

    The plan that the White House is exploring could go a step further than this. However, there are few things you should know about the plans that The Obama Administration is exploring, and points to consider if you have crippling student loans.

    1. This Would Only Cover Private Student Loans.
      It is likely that this plan would only cover the privately issued student loans from financial institutions, not the federal student loans that most college graduates have. As noted in the Wall Street Journal Article, these private loans account for somewhere around 10% of the loans out there, so it’s nowhere near a majority of the population.
    2. It Would Likely Help with Debt for Unaccredited or For-Profit School
      Many of the private loans that are taken out by students who are attending unaccredited institutions, and for-profit schools. Because of issues in recent years with these schools using Federal Student Loans to make a profit, private loans have become a bigger part of paying for these kinds of degrees, which in many cases aren’t worth what borrowers pay for them.
    3. Private Loan Servicers can be Ruthless
      Part of the reason this may be a helpful choice is that the servicers of private student loans can be ultra-aggressive in their collection efforts. They know that these loans are non-dischargeable and fully use all options available to them including wage garnishments.
    4. Many Private Student Loans include Parents as Co-Signors

    While a borrower may have ensured the benefit of their education, student loan servicers don’t differentiate between parents and students when collecting their debt. This measure would help to lessen the burden on parents that have co-signed for private student loans. However, be aware that filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy now for student loans can help protect co-signors from collection because the Court can enter an order protecting co-signors if one of the parties files a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

    Unfortunately, while this bill may add some additional tools to our arsenal for managing student loans this relief may never actually pass the Republican controlled Congress.

    Until we find out what is going to happen, there are still options; if you have federal or private student loans from creditors who are being overly aggressive, or if you can’t afford your student loan payments, or even if you just want some options, call us at 1-877-332-8369. We will give you a consultation and you can find out more about how the Debt Doctors can help you manage your student loans and help you prepare “for life after debt”.

     

     

     

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Pittsburgh, PA 15232

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