10 Steps To Reduce Your Debt: Do-It-Yourself Debt Reduction

Getting into debt is easy and worrying about it won’t do much in relieving you from your debt. The best you can do when you have already run into debt is to start working towards reducing or clearing the debt and staying out of debt in every possible way. You can find your own strategy to deal with the debt, but there are several DIY debt reduction strategies and tips you can use to get over your financial woes.

1. Evaluate the debts. Start by collecting all financial documents and printing credit reports so you know exactly where you are with the debts. Most times people get scared just thinking of how hefty the debts are but you will never know until you take the courage to evaluate the debt so you can start somewhere with the recovery. Include all personal loans, auto loans, credit cards and payday loans in this evaluation.

2. Check your current earnings and budget. With the clear debt information, you then must start working towards debt reduction. Calculate the monthly income you get after taxes and basics like mortgage or rent, groceries, utilities and insurance. This way, you will get to find out how much you can spare for paying off the debt.

3. Find ways to increase pay off amounts. Sometimes when you subtract all basics from your income, you might find that you have very little amount left you can use on the debts. If the amount is too small, try and come up with ways through which you can reduce spending. Carpooling is one of the temporary methods you can use to cutback the expenses.

4. Create a plan. Now that you have some money to use on the debts, create a plan of how you are going to handle the debts and pay off. Will you start with one debt or pay a little every month for every debt you have? You might find it helpful to start with debts with highest interest rates or highest balance.

5. Negotiate repayment with your lenders and creditors. Agreeing to negotiate terms will be a plus to your credibility and your lenders or creditors will be more than willing to strike a deal with you.

6. Keep up with the debt reduction plan. Commitment is your only ticket out of debt so keep up with the plan.

7. As you continue with the repayment plan, avoid adding any more debts on top of what you already have.

8. Find better ways to deal with your financial issues besides getting loans. You can for instance, avoid making purchases for those that are not urgent.

9. Leave your credit card at home when going out unless you are going shopping. It will keep impulse buying at bay. In case you are going to shop, make a list of everything you need and stick by it no matter how tempting things in the store appear.

10. In case you take up a loan again, be consistent with your repayment and avoid piling loans. Try and have one loan at a time.

Why You Need Liability Coverage From Your Insurance Company

Who is responsible to prime the pump and fill the top of the funnel? Many agencies and brokers expect their sales team to cold call, network, and send emails to build their own pipeline, and fill the top of the funnel. It reminds me of the old slogan, “Let your fingers do the walking”. The slogan referred to the Yellow Pages, the omnipresent database of the time. Regardless of the database used, be it the online Yellow Pages, Google Pages, or an internally generated prospect list, the question still remains. Who is responsible to fill the pipeline, and what’s the most likely path to success.

Today insurance lead generation encompasses many new tools to help producers prospect, including eMarketing, Social Media Marketing, Blogging and Web Seminar Marketing, in addition to traditional cold calling and networking. Agencies and brokers must also add their website to this mix of tools, as many broker websites are out of date, difficult to navigate, and are not mobile compliant. The mobile compliance issue is very significant, as mobile searches are now exceeding PC based searches.

Many producers find these new web marketing tools, and in general the lead generation aspect of their jobs, to be arduous and challenging. That’s why so many producers fail, they are not insurance lead generation machines, nor are they savvy insurance web marketers. The results are self-evident, insufficient qualified prospects at the top of the sales funnel, usually translates into inadequate results at the bottom of the funnel.

A better path to success for many agencies and brokers begins with a comprehensive and consistent insurance marketing and lead generation program, providing producers with an influx of quality prospects, so they can spend more time selling and less time prospecting.

Why don’t more agencies invest in these types of programs?

They lack the internal resources necessary to execute these marketing initiatives
They plan on doing this type of marketing and lead gen, but never seem to find the time to get it done
They believe in doing business the old-fashioned way (I built my own pipeline and you can too)
They over invest in sales and under invest in marketing and lead generation
They tried it once and it didn’t work
They tried a short pilot program and didn’t see an immediate ROI

These are just a few of the reasons many agencies and brokers are unable to accomplish their insurance lead generation and top line growth goals. Regardless of the reasons, agency owners and executives should review current and past producer performance and determine if it’s time to refine their insurance marketing and lead generation programs, to improve the path to success for their producers specifically and their businesses in general. Agencies, brokers and wholesalers lacking the knowledge and skills necessary to undertake these marketing and lead generation initiatives can seek assistance outsourcing assistance from proficient insurance marketing agencies as a viable alternative to internal staffing.

Getting Equipment Finance For Businesses

Have you tried running a business? It’s a hard job, isn’t it? If you have experience in this area, you might have already understood the function of finance. There isn’t any business out there that can roll or expand without money since there are certainly a lot of things to spend for in the business.

Money to spend for business is still a major concern of people. Entrepreneurs have recognized the role of planning so that money won’t so much become a problem. Getting loans for equipment finance purposes is all too tempting and many companies do this. What is great about this method is that, you know how much you are going to pay for several months or a couple of years maybe. The amount of money for amortization is the same month after month so there is no problem in issuing checks for the repayment of the equipment loan.

Having money allows a business to be more flexible and more people are looking for companies to give them adequate equipment financing. This is the reason why so many of these businesses are able to obtain new equipment, pay for overhead expenses or other things.

What makes these loans more attractive is due to the fact that there are online applications for people to use and they don’t have to wait in long queues to hand in their applications. The proper type of loan is available and clients are given coaching on what to do. This is so unlike the manner of most banks where you have to wait for a long time for approval and in the end, they may choose not to approve your application. Owners of small businesses stand with lesser chances of loan approval from banks and this has made them lose faith in the banking system. Banks on the other hand do not want to risk their money on small businesses because there is a greater percentage of having a bad credit case due to the erratic income of the self-employed sector.

Thus, the borrower obtains better advantage by obtaining the money needed to run the business. What these borrowers like about applying the equipment finance strategy is that, they can buy the right equipment and won’t have to settle for those with lesser quality.

It is vital that you create a list of equipment you would need and their suppliers. Make a comparison of the prices given by these suppliers for used and new equipment. Equipment financing can pay for your computers and other apparatuses. No matter how small or large the equipment is, there is a corresponding loan what would solve the requirement for the business. To be successful in making the business run, you need the help of machines. People will appreciate if you are using quality equipment and thus, will give more trust to you and even recommend your business to others.

Financing offers the payment terms that’s convenient for you, so that you would be able to play your resources and apply them for other things as well.

Monaco Might Lose Its Status of Personal Income Tax Haven

That Monaco is crowded with celebrities is no piece of news. Since 1869, when the personal income tax policy became favorable, Monaco attracted very many individuals with high net income, such as movie stars, sporting stars etc. who became residents of the Principality in order to benefit from personal income tax exemption.

Take, for instance, Roger Moore, Shirley Bassey, Ringo Starr, Karen Mulder, Eva Herzigova, the race drivers Jacques Villeneuve, David Coulthard, Jenson Button.

But the number of celebrities is far outnumbered by the number of business people who enjoy the country’s tax facilities: the retail tycoon Philip Green and the Barclay brothers are Monegasque residents.

Being a resident of Monaco implies proving you have a place to live and are rich enough to afford a very high standard way of life. And I mean really rich, as a place to live in the apartment blocks jammed into two square kilometres, either rented or bought, is extremely high.

Keeping residency implies proving you live in Monaco at least 6 months and a day per year. If you are rich, the advantage of being a Monaco resident is that, besides enjoying a sunny, pleasant climate, you can live at the same time in another country. The Principality is very close to main airports and is also easily reachable by sea, by car or by train. Thus, being a Monaco resident and working in another country is not only possible but it’s easy especially speaking of UK citizens: laws in UK permit a maximum stay of 90 days (without counting the day of departure and that of arrival!) for non-residents. Many UK business people reside in Monaco and work in the UK without surpassing the 90 days limit so that they are subject to Monaco lawas for taxation.

Having attracted so many rich resulted in a conflict of interests: many countries disapprove of this taxation policy, looking at it as an evasion from taxes in their national area. And not entirely wrongly! In fact, Monaco has been “tax-cheating” a little by attracting capital from the high tax countries.

Looking at the issue from the perspective of the Principality, seems to me only right to try and succeed to evolve with the few means and resources a state so small has. Monaco developed from one of the poorest countries in the world (in the 1860s) into a state with one of the world’s highest per capita income (around EUR22,000). And it was possible due to a strategic leadership of a resourceless country. It is after the territory was drastically reduced that this personal income tax policy came into being. Attracting foreign capital become one of the main targets for development. That’s how the Casino became grand and famous and emphasis was put on tourism, being raised at luxury levels.

After the individual taxation regulations, in 1963 the Principality came with another financial artifice: no tax for local company profits or dividends. Thus the target was to enhance local business flourishing. This stipulation combined with an almost hermetic data privacy did nothing else than to increase even more foreign investments in Monaco.

So, from the point of view of big economic powers, Monaco should be punished, and so deserves any country daring to offer a better taxation alternative, putting at a disadvantage their high-tax based economy. The OECD has a project on “harmful tax practices” stipulating a set of punitive measures for the non-cooperating jurisdictions.

Invoking money laundering and international terrorism tracking, many OECD governments promote a policy of free information exchange that has as main purpose limiting the tax competition, beyond the intention to limit tax evasion and to combat serious crime.

Estimated negative results of OECD policy:

* Eliminating tax competition would result in uniformizing taxes to the amount dictated by some governments. Without the possibility of choosing a better alternative, there is no reason for governments to reduce taxes and make the tax system more efficient.
* This policy would change the present status of emigrants that pay taxes only to their new country and would promote the premise that the state still has a right to benefit from its former national labour. This sounds to me like a violation of fundamental human rights.

Although in 2004 still on the OECD black list of the tax policy non-cooperating jurisdictions, Monaco has changed its policy regarding the high confidentiality of financial data in the light of the expected, recent admission to the Council of Europe (Monaco joined the Europe Council on October 5, 2004 ). Modifications to legislation:

* October 2001: French citizens living in Monaco since 1989 must pay a wealth tax beginning with 2002.
* Information on French nationals are to be unconditionally provided to the Bank of France when required. Information may be passed on to the authorities of France or of a third country if necessary.
* 2004: Under EU’s Savings Tax Directive, Monaco will impose a witholding tax on the returns on savings such as bank interests earned by EU citizens. The tax quantum will be the same as in Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg (initially 15%). 75% of such revenues will be handed over to the Member State of the respective EU resident. This will be applied beginning with 2005.
* December 2000: Monaco signs the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime. The treaty stipulates that its members do not permit anonymous accounts requiring identification of customers. Banks must keep accurate records of accounts and report any suspicious transaction. Moreover, the domestic law enforcement officials are permitted inspection of accounts.

With all these measures, it seems that Monaco’s attraction as a personal income tax haven will decrease. It remains to be seen how all these measures will affect Monaco financial and banking system after becoming operative.

Taking A Look At Bankruptcy Law

Setbacks are common in life. If your financial situation has spiraled out of control it’s wise that you file for bankruptcy.

Paths of Relief

Bankruptcy laws provide you with two paths for relief: chapter 7 and chapter 13.

Chapter 7 is aimed at helping you to cover the debts resulting from personal loans, credit cards, payday loans and medical bills. This chapter is most ideal for people who own less property. This is because your assets are sold, or liquidated in order to pay creditors as much as possible. If there are any debts that remain after the sale of your assets, they are wiped away leaving you with a clean slate.

For you to qualify for chapter 7 your monthly income must be less than the average income in your state. If you earn more than the average income, you have to pass a stringent means test in order to qualify to file chapter 7.

Chapter 13 on the other hand doesn’t erase debts. Here your debts are reorganized into a repayment plan. It’s good to note that while filing chapter 13 bankruptcy your average monthly income is considered. If you earn less than the average income, you have to repay the debts in no more than 36 months.

If you earn an average or above average income you have to make the repayments in 60 months.

Bankruptcy Exemptions

You have the option of using either federal list or state’s list of exemptions. It’s good to note that while you can mix and match the exemptions, you have to stick to one. To make the right choice you need to find an attorney who will help you out. In addition to helping you to make the right choice of exemptions, the bankruptcy lawyer will also help you in filing your bankruptcy petition.

Depending on the number of creditors that you have, bankruptcy forms can be as long as 60 pages which can be too complex for you. Filing for bankruptcy stops any collection activity by your creditors.

The bankruptcy lawyer will also help you in discussing any issues that might come up during the 341 meeting with your creditors. This helps you to be fully prepared and puts you at a better position of answering any questions that the trustees may ask.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about bankruptcy law. To increase the chances of winning the case ensure that you hire the best lawyer in your area.