Tag Archive: Debt Collector

  1. Save For Retirement Now, Benefit Later

    Leave a Comment

    Start Your Retirement Investments Now to Better Your Financial Future

    When is the best time to start saving for retirement? The answer is simple: as soon as possible. But like most things in life, that is easier said than done. Given the job market, high student loan payments and other personal situations, the last thing young adults want to do is sacrifice a portion of their retirementhard-earned paycheck for a retirement that is not happening for at least 30-40 years.

    A recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article highlights how putting away even as little as $20 a month can compound and grow into much more by the time retirement rolls around:

    Click for Post-Gazette Article

    As the article explains, saving money takes discipline and financial planning. Our financial expert, Matt Herron strongly believes the only way to acquire wealth is through saving and earning interest, not paying interest. So take advantage of your automatic deduction 401k plans to help save without effort. Additionally, avoid borrowing and taking withdraws from you retirement or 401k. Your 401k is not a checking account. Early withdraws and loans are expensive and will dilute your ability to compound money.   If debt is keeping you from making your best effort to save call us to eliminate your debt and develop a plan to start saving your financial future depends on it.

  2. To Co-Sign or Not??

    Leave a Comment

    Adding a co-signer can make a loan more attractive to lenders, but can cause serious repercussions if the co-debtor defaults.

    A common question many of us face is whether to co-sign for a loan. Initially, co-signing a loan seems like a nice and supportive gesture. But helping a close family member or friend by co-signing can have major impacts on the future of your financial health.

    Before you co-sign on a loan there are a few important things to consider:

    • First, in the event the person you co-sign for cannot pay the loan, you will be the one who is responsible.  By becoming a co-signer, you are essentially taking on someone else’s debt. You are putting the future of your financial health into someone else’s hands.  If they are unable to pay off the loan, you will be completely responsible to pay it off for them.
    • Next, co-signing can have a negative impact on your credit.  Because of the debt you have taken on, your credit score can drop.  Additionally, it will be harder for you to qualify for loans you need because of the increase in your debt-to-income ratio.
    • Lastly, although co-signing can make a loan more attractive to lenders, there are serious repercussions if the co-debtor defaults. This is the worst-case scenario and negative impacts may include you having to pay the money back in its entirety, a lower credit score and your bank account could be frozen.

    Overall co-signing is a long-term commitment to take on someone else’s financial debt.  This is where The Debt Doctors can play an important role in helping you to decide if you should co-sign or not. You can schedule a free consultation today and receive the guidance you need to make the best decision for your financial future.

  3. Bankruptcy vs. Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement and Credit Counseling (Part 1)

    Leave a Comment

     

    There is a common misconception when it comes to bankruptcy.  Over the years, the term has become synonymous with failure and financial ruin. This myth is simply not true.  Ironically, we have found that when you are in financial distress, the damage you fear to your credit from bankruptcy has already been done as a result of your late and missed payments.  Bankruptcy can provide you with a new financial beginning.

    Bankruptcy Is The Better Option It’s amazing that a whole industry has been created by banks and credit card companies to take advantage of this overstated fear of bankruptcy. Debt consolidation, debt settlement and credit counseling are all essentially the same thing—a last ditch collection effort for people who should be considering bankruptcy.

    Since there are so many reasons why bankruptcy is always the better option, we will discuss the key reasons in a two-part blog series.

    Part 1

    We are Attorneys, Not Customer Service Representatives

    The Debt Doctors at QuatriniRafferty are attorneys.  We are required to adhere to a strict professional code of ethics. In addition, we must complete annual, continuing legal education. We also have the fiduciary responsibility to act solely in the best interest of our clients.

    At the Debt Doctors we take our job very seriously.  It is our professional responsibility to give you valuable advice. Our ultimate goal is to leave you in a better financial place than where we found you.

    These standards do not exist with debt consolidation, debt settlement and credit counseling services. In most cases, their objective is to make money off of your debt and sell you a service that fails more often than it succeeds.

    Bankruptcy is a Legal Remedy Provided to You Under Federal Law

    Bankruptcy protects you from your creditors. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, a federal bankruptcy court issues an order called an automatic stay. This automatic stay prohibits debt collectors from calling you, suing you, taking your property and/or collecting debt by any other means.

    Once you complete the bankruptcy process, you receive another court order called a discharge. The discharge order gives you permanent protection against collection of any and all debts which you incurred prior to filing the petition for bankruptcy.

    Bankruptcy protection also offers you other powerful tools.  These tools include:

    1. Stopping foreclosure actions
    2. Creation of a plan to catch up on a delinquent mortgage
    3. Court ordered mortgage modifications
    4. Potential to restructure auto loans
    5. Power to avoid judgment liens
    6. Ability to restructure or eliminate certain tax debts
    7. Ability to force an income based repayment plan on your student loans

    The power of the federal bankruptcy court will give you certainty. If you are honest and deal in good faith you will know a definitive timeline of when you will be out of debt, assurance of a resolution to your debts and a favorable court setting to fight your creditors if they violate a court discharge order.

    Debt consolidation, debt settlement and credit counseling do not offer you any of these protection tools. In fact, while you are in one of their plans, the creditors can still report negatively to credit reporting agencies, send you collection letters, and file a legal collection action against you that can result in the loss of property.

    As you can see, bankruptcy is a powerful financial strategy that has many tools and protections. We will continue to provide the analysis of bankruptcy vs. debt consolidation, debt settlement and credit counseling in Part 2 of this blog series.

    To get immediate advice during a free consultation contact the Debt Doctors now. Call 412 395 6001 or email us at [email protected].

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

    Leave a Comment

    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”.

     

     

     

  5. Debt Collectors: Don’t Believe Everything They Say

    Leave a Comment

    This is a good view into how informal and in some case criminal the debt collection process is in America. Most people are afraid of Debt Collectors and their threats. What most people don’t realize is most of their threats have no basis. Additionally, a Debt Collectors worst nightmare is bankruptcy, because it can end the debt collection cycle for good and let you begin rebuilding your credit.

    Paper Boys – Inside the Dark, Lucrative World of Consumer Debt Collection

    Article Written by Jake Halpern of the NY Times

The Debt Doctors

607 College Street, Suite 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

© 2024 Debt Doctors. All rights reserved.