Fixing Your Credit – The Real Story

Over the years of working in the family law field, I have observed different trends with regards to debt and bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy laws have changed drastically and I tend to steer my clients away from bankruptcy because there is a much easier route to get debt relief and most people are not aware of how easy it really is.

When I use the statement “easy” I do not mean simple. There is work to be done and patience to be had. My approach to credit repair is the same regardless of the number of debts that need to be addressed.

While I will not share trade secrets, I will share some basic information that may help with the decision on what road you should take to get some financial relief.

My approach is not to use bankruptcy as an out. The reason is obvious. With my system, your credit will get better not worse. Not only will your credit rating improve, your debts will disappear at the same time, this is a win win scenario.

With bankruptcy you will go through the hassle of appearing in court, paying an attorney to prepare the bankruptcy documents, and then the 7 to 10 year mark on your credit.

No matter what, this is the ONLY thing that cannot be removed from your credit report. By law it must remain on your report for at least 7 years.

I have had many of my clients try other credit repair companies with little success. Part of the reason we are successful is we understand the laws and we do not quit until all items are removed.

I caution people to stay away from companies that charge by the month because common sense says that there is no incentive to getting the job done in a timely manner.

Keep in mind that there is no set time that this can take. I have had clients who I was able to “get clean” in four weeks and some take four months. There is no method to the madness. The process is the process and there is really no way to take short cuts as there are laws that govern the process.

The reality is sometimes it takes guts to take on some of the debtors and collectors so someone with thin skin may not be as successful. As a former Settlement Administrator for a Public Company I have no problem going up against the best of the best. I have studied the laws regarding debt collection and reporting and am confident in my ability to remove anything.

At the end of the day you have to make the best decision for you and your situation. Getting your credit report clean is a very real thing and you can have clean credit in as little as four weeks.

Home Improvements – Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer is a great time to take care of some of those home maintenance items that can sneak up on you when you’re not looking. Here’s a handy list of things to add to your job jar:

Maintain your lawn and garden tools:

Sharpen the blades, change the oil, and replace the filters on your lawn mower. Make sure your weed trimmers are in good condition. Oil garden tools and sharpen blades.

Inspect the locks on your doors and windows:

Make sure your home is safe and secure. Oil any sticky locks and consider a home security system. Outdoor lighting adds appeal to your home and can increase security.

Inspect Exposed Plumbing:

Check under your sinks and anywhere you can get access to exposed plumbing. Make sure there isn’t any dampness that could indicate a small leak in the plumbing.

Inspect for termites and other pests:

Inspect the basement or crawl space, eaves, and attic for termites, carpenter ants, and other wood pests. If you see signs of wood damage, call a professional exterminator. Look under the eaves for wasp or hornet nests. Handle wasp or hornet nests with care and call in a professional if necessary.

Patios and porches:

Clean the barbecue and hose down brick or concrete patio surfaces. Replace any broken bricks and patch concrete cracks. Wash outdoor or screened-in porch floors. Plant annuals in pots, or replant existing planters. Lubricate patio doors. Bring out and clean up your patio or porch furniture.

Complete painting projects:

If you’re painting your house yourself, wash your house first using a home cleaning formula. Scrape off crumbling paint, smooth rough areas with sandpaper, and fill in damaged areas with a best-quality filler. Choose the best paint you can afford. Prime any bare patches with a quality exterior alkyd primer before completing the job with an acrylic latex paint.

You might consider schedule interior painting projects too because warm temperatures allow for better ventilation and quick drying times.

Build or repair fences:

Repair any damaged areas of existing fencing and refinish as necessary. If you’re building a new fence, look carefully at the increasing variety of fencing materials. Make sure your fence complies with local codes and doesn’t encroach on city or neighbouring properties. Be sure to call your local natural gas utility or Call before You Dig agency to make sure you don’t have an accident and hit an underground gas line or other buried utility.

Inspect siding:

Check siding and trim around windows and doors for holes, dents, and gaps. Repair with wood filler or according to manufacturer’s instructions. If your home’s siding needs to be replaced entirely, summer is the best time for this one- to two-week project. Make sure you are aware of all the new choices in siding materials.

Garage Doors:

Now’s a great time to lubricate the tracks on your garage doors.

Replace your roof:

If you need a new roof, have it installed during summer’s warm, dry weather. Consider fire-resistant roof material if you live in an area prone to wildfire and if your current roof is not fireproof. Look for a reputable company that offers a good warranty.

Repair and seal driveways:

Renew the surface of asphalt driveways with sealer. Repair damage to concrete driveways as soon as possible (this project may require a professional).

How Crowdfunding Can Help Pay Medical Bills

Crowdfunding can help pay for medical bills… it really is that simple. You can crowdfund for just about anything, including medical bills. Many times people are placed in a medical crisis and aren’t sure where to turn. Medical bills can accumulate in no time and medical bankruptcy is a real thing. You’d be amazed by how many people in “your own crowd” are willing to help.

In a study published in January 2014 from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), one in four families experienced financial burdens of medical care.

This “financial burden” of medical care equates to medical bills that they can’t currently pay and are forced to pay monthly over time.

This study goes on to share that families with lower incomes were more likely to experience the financial burdens of medical care. Those families with incomes at or below 250% of the federal poverty level had the highest levels of any financial burden of medical care.

250% of the federal poverty level (based on guidelines for 2013) means that a family of four with an annual income of $58,875 or lower were at the highest level of the population feeling the financial burden of medical care for a loved one. That’s our middle class America. Those are the families living paycheck to paycheck and not prepared for a medical crisis.

The is a baby with his eyes closed and an oxygen canula in his nose. He was born with a bad heart, a weak immune system, and problems eating which caused a condition labeled by doctors as “failure to thrive”. Isaac spent the first year of his life in and out of hospitals in Las Vegas and at Stanford where he underwent multiple heart catheterizations and procedures, open heart surgeries, and had a feeding tube placed surgically to ensure he received the proper amount of nutrients. Isaac’s family had great insurance, covering 80% of all medical costs. But, they still spent over $100,000 out-of-pocket the first year of his life in deductibles and medical related expenses.

Shocking… right?

I know… My name is Kathy, and I’m Isaac’s mom.

I remember people asking us if they could have fundraisers for us, give us money… they would offer to do anything just to help. At that time, I could not have imagined the costs that we would incur, nor could I imagine all the things that insurance doesn’t cover. You assume that you pay for insurance, you’ll have a deductible… The End.

If that were only so.

Words of Advice:

Start a Crowdfunding Campaign Immediately

Don’t be too humble to let other people offer to help you. You really can’t imagine the costs of things in the medical world and how they add up. It is TOO hard to think about money when you’re talking about the healthcare of someone you love. You want anything and everything done… you’ll worry about the bills later.

From a Mom that’s Been There

Don’t expect the people in the middle of a medical crisis to be thinking clearly (well, I sure wasn’t). If you’re related to the family or just a loving friend… talk to them about the medical bills and the reality of the situation. Talk with them about what they need now and what their needs may be in the future and help them come up with a budget and plan to get everything their loved one needs. From bills, equipment, therapy sessions… even therapy dogs, all these things can be a necessity now or in the future.

How exactly will crowdfunding help pay my medical bills?

Well, they can’t send a check to the hospital for you, but they can offer you a platform that will help you tell your story as well as share it with your friends and family. The right crowdfunding platform will provide support for you all along the way, from guidance writing your story, picking pictures to post, sharing on the social media channels, and even help writing press releases to get national exposure.

Crowdfunding can help you pay for your medical bills by allowing YOU to take care of your family and letting your “crowd” help YOU. Donations will be made by people you have inspired and want to help you. These people will have a platform to donate to you on their schedule and an amount that is within their means. They will be assured that the funds are going directly to YOU and not an anonymous organization.

You are not alone in your medical crisis. Crowdfunding is a viable source for helping to pay for medical bills and other medical related necessities.

Main Causes of Home Water Damage

Insurance companies report that approximately 93 percent of water damage claims last year could have been prevented by simple home maintenance or the use of a standard shut-off system or leak detection system. With most flood damage claims costing an average of $5,000 in repairs, it’s extremely beneficial for homeowners to understand and easily identify possible threats that might lead to water damage.

Rain

According to insurance companies, rain damage makes up for 8 percent of all water damage claims. Even small amounts of rain, over time, can wear down at your home and cause eventual damage to your home’s foundation or interior. Extreme weather conditions such as floods can also cause major damage to homes, especially without the proper protection. Flood damages lead to especially dangerous amounts of standing water, which can house harmful bacteria and pathogens that often lead to illness.

Plumbing Incidents

Many plumbing problems such as burst pipes and pipe leaks occur within walls and can be very difficult to detect. Left undetected for long periods of time, these plumbing problems can cause severe water damage. Leaky and burst pipes are the most common culprits of flood damage, often resulting from backed up drains and toilets. Experts suggest regular inspections of your pipes in order to catch potential problems and make necessary repairs before any real damage occurs.

Household Appliances

Older and malfunctioning appliances can wreak havoc on a home’s internal water systems. Weak hoses and rusted or cracked pipes can lead to future leaks and water accumulation. Homes most frequently experience damage from damaged or aged washing machines and hot water tanks; however, dishwashers, refrigerators, and water heaters can also become more and more susceptible to damage over time. Fixing or replacing older models can prevent future leaks and water damage.

Air Conditioning, Heating, and Ventilation Systems

Most homeowners don’t realize that their heating and air conditioning systems require regular maintenance. Without proper attention, these units can see severe moisture buildups which can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew deposits. To prevent these issues, schedule regular maintenance with a professional to catch possible damage. Replacing old fixtures may be necessary in the long run to prevent moisture buildups and, ultimately, water damage.

How to Prevent Water Damage

While some water disasters occur as a result of unpredictable and uncontrollable circumstances, most H2O damage can be prevented through regular home inspections and the periodic maintenance of household products. Homeowners can also install a shut-off system or leak detection system to catch leaks and shut off your water main automatically in the case of a hazardous leak. Investments in smaller repairs and other preventative measures can end up saving you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the long run.