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Monday, October 15, 2012

Special kinds of bankruptcy

Chapter Twelve bankruptcy

This chapter is specifically for “family farmers” and “family fishermen” with a “regular annual income.”  It allows them to repay all or some of their debt through a repayment plan that is set up with their creditors. Most repayment plans lasts between three to five years, and the court will need a good cause to allow the plan to go longer than three years. A five year plan will assigned if the individual is required to pay 100 percent of domestic support. Chapter 12 is better for farmers and fishermen because it is tailored towards them specifically because their income is seasonal. Chapter 11 is too expensive for them, and chapter 13 is for wage earners. 

Chapter Fifteen bankruptcy

Chapter 15 is a new chapter that was added by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.  It was made to help find better ways of dealing with insolvency cases with debtors, claimants, assets and individuals or parties of more than one country.  The main purpose of this chapter is:

• To promote cooperation between United States Courts and foreign countries involved in cross-border insolvency cases
• Allows for a greater legal certainty for investment and trade
• Protects creditors, debtors and other entities by giving fair administration in cross-border insolvency cases
• Protects the debtors assets allowing for the best value of their assets
• Protects investment and employment by saving failing businesses

This is an ancillary case, which allows a case trustee to act on behalf of the United States court in a foreign country. The petition filed under this chapter must show documents of foreign proceedings and the foreign representative involved. After the hearing, the court will rule it a foreign hearing, then it will have to follow United States bankruptcy codes. 

Chapter 15 allows foreign creditors to follow U.S. bankruptcy codes prohibiting discrimination against them. The most important goal of chapter 15 is to create cooperation between the United States and those involved with foreign countries and cross-border insolvency cases. United States courts and representatives are required to fully cooperate with foreign representatives and foreign courts. 

Chapter Nine bankruptcy

Chapter 9 allows for municipalities (cities and towns) to reorganize their debt.  The purpose of this is to provide protection for these municipalities as they make plans to pay off their debts. They can rearrange these debts by reducing principal or interest, extending debt maturities or by refinancing to get a new loan. This chapter does not allow for liquidation because it breaks the Tenth amendment and takes away states’ rights.  The court can be given jurisdiction if the municipality allows it, which gives them extra protection. 

About the author: V.K. writes about bankruptcy and reputable bankruptcy lawyers like Jasmine Motazedi.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Speeding tickets cause 53% increase in car insurance costs

We all know that speeding tickets cost. They can be extremely expensive! But what you might not know is that they may be costing you even more than you realized. Did you know that speeding tickets can greatly increase the cost of your car insurance? You may already know that, but odds are you might not know how much they can really cost you when it comes to your car insurance.

Insurance.com did a fairly recent analysis to figure out how much speeding tickets are really costing people. They examined the policies of almost 33,000 single-driver, one-car insurance policies. They also looked at almost 400,000 car insurance quotes that Insurance.com had generated. They took into consideration the drivers' ages, etc.

They took a look at the average cost that people were paying who had no violations on their driving record. Then they also looked at how much people were paying who had one to three violations on their records. These records included things like speeding, reckless driving, improper passing, etc.
Here is what they found:

• People with one violation on their record had an 18% increase in their annual premium cost. 
• People with two violations on their record had a 34% increase in their annual premium cost.
• People with three violations on their record had a 53% increase in their annual premium cost.

Yes, you read that right:

Just three violations on a person's record caused them to have to pay 53% more in annual car insurance premiums!

As you can see, tickets can really cost you. Some more tickets that could count against you as violations and cause those increases in your annual insurance premiums include not stopping at a stop sign, not yielding, not using a child restraint, running a red light, making an unsafe u-turn, and more.

After these findings, Insurance.com was asked what the best way to save money on car insurance was. Their answer? To drive responsibly at all times. They also said that, if you are paying higher car insurance premiums because of violations on your driving record, it could be useful to you to enroll in a driving safety class. They said that this could help lower your rates.

The moral of the story here?

Drive safely!

The average cost of a speeding ticket nowadays can run you in the range from $75 - $300, depending on where you are, how much over the speed limit you were going, etc. But it can cost you way more than that. Speeding, not stopping/yielding, and obviously driving under the influence, can all count as violations against you when you are trying to get car insurance. The more violations you have, the more your premiums will go up. So make sure you are always paying attention and driving safe. That will not only help with the safety of the roads, but also with your wallet.

About the author: Nicole is a guest writer for cheapinsurance.com, where she writes about cheap car insurance.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Are you throwing your net worth into the wind?

Use in network ATMs to save money
Fees & charges cost consumers billions of dollars
Mitt Romney wants you to ask yourself whether you are better off now than you were four years ago. Obviously, he is trying to get elected, but it is a good question. Not simply because president Obama has been the steward of a failing economy, but as a way to see if you are one of the millions that wastes large amounts of money each year. To find out, here are ten common ways that Americans throw their net worth to the wind.

10 Ways consumers piddle away their net worth

  • Banks raked in $7 billion in ATM fees last year. Surely, you can find an in-network ATM. Another suggestion is to shop around for a bank or credit union that will waive or reimburse ATM fees in exchange for a direct deposit or other consideration from you.
  • Collectively, Americans spend an average of $12 billion on traffic fines each year. Do you really need to give the government more money than they already collect from your paycheck?
  • Do you feel lucky? $31 billion went to lottery sales in 2010.
  • $29 billion went to candy makers. Look for more creative ways to say you are sorry and healthier ways to snack.
  • $44 billion was spent on tobacco products. That amount does not include the health care costs associated with tobacco use.
  • $50 billion was spent on booze. Again, this does not include the costs of a DUI or health issues from drinking excessively.
  • $49 billion was wasted in credit card interest last year alone.
  • Didn't get enough of the hose on a lottery ticket? Americans spent $125 billion at casinos last year. No wonder they comp so many rooms.
  • A total of $146 billion went into the wind in the form of wasted energy. You can find plenty of suggestions on how to reverse that trend at energystar.gov.
  • On average, Americans throw $165 billion in food into the trash each year. For many it is the habit of buying on impulse that leads to having food expire at home. Writing a list, never shopping hungry, and using coupons are all easy ways to lower the amount of food that you throw away each week.
Even if you do not stop your bad habits, maybe you can cut back on them. After all, we all have a vice, but curbing it could save you hundreds, if not thousands, each year. Get control of your habits, then ask yourself if you are better off than you were four years ago.

About the author: This guest post has been provided by Keystone Auto Loans, a company that helps people get approved for auto financing despite high risk credit situations such as bankruptcy and repossession. Go here to learn more.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Questions to ask before opening a new brokerage account

Brokerage accounts offer trading platforms and financial analysis tools
Overseas brokerage accounts are subject to different regulations

Opening a brokerage account is an important banking decision that affects individual finances and any financial commitment made to the account. Understanding how the account works and where one's individual responsibilities lie in regard to managing the account is necessary. Being properly informed of what brokerage accounts entail is instrumental in the choice to open one. Below are some questions worth considering before opening a new brokerage account.

What types of services are offered?

The types of services offered by brokerage accounts often surpass those of traditional banking. For example, some financial institutions offer spread betting, and full-service brokerage firms typically offer financial planning services as well. In other cases, premium services are only reserved for account holders with higher net worths. An alternative to this is to obtain the advice of a licensed securities professional on a per transaction basis via commission on services rendered.

Are the financial instruments worthwhile?

The range of financial instruments offered by various brokerage houses is staggering. Choosing the right financial institution is therefore, of paramount importance to the future of one's finances. This is because the financial products invested in influence potential yields, capital gains taxes, and opportunity cost. Carefully researching what an individual brokerage firm has to offer in addition to the advantages and disadvantages of a brokerage firm is key to making the right banking decision.

How well are the account assets protected?

Asset protection is something all investors should take seriously because of the potential consequences of not being fully aware of specific investment risks. For instance, assets held within a brokerage account are not necessarily insured, and not all account types are protected from creditors. Different assets and accounts have varying levels of security that investors would do well to understand prior to opening an account, and before engaging in transactions through that account.

Do available accounts suit specific financial goals?

Differing accounts are offered by various brokerage businesses. To illustrate, some brokerage firms offer individual retirement accounts and individual business accounts, but do not necessarily offer exotic financial instruments, whereas other firms make more unique financial products available including simulations such as a currency spread betting trial account, but do not necessarily provide those products through a wide range of accounts.

Which jurisdiction is the best choice?

Jurisdiction is a major factor when opening a new brokerage account. Since each jurisdiction is subject to the laws and regulations governing it, the impact on individual banking is noteworthy. For example, Panamanian corporate brokerage accounts are not taxed in the same way as an individual brokerage account located in the United States. Before opening a brokerage account with a large balance, investigating brokerage account jurisdiction options and advantages is potentially a time worthy pursuit.

Image license: US-PDGov