Saturday, July 31, 2010

Banks vs. Owner Financing

It can often be difficult to obtain a loan from banks, which is why owner financing is becoming very popular among home and real estate buyers. Among the many perks of owner financing, the seller often accepts a low down payment whereas banks often charge 20% or more. In addition, many owner financed properties can be obtained without a credit check. This is especially beneficial for anyone who has a few blemishes on his/her credit report, which may cause banks to charge a higher than normal interest rates. An individual, or real estate developer, who is in the business of providing owner financing will likely extend financing to anyone who agrees to keep the payments current.

In recent years, the internet has become a hub for owner financing properties while also providing plenty of lending opportunities for anyone who wishes to apply for a loan from banks. Currently, a lot of the major internet auction sites have a category that is specifically designed for buying and selling real estate. These categories are more often used for owner financing options related to land purchases, but buyers will find a few homes sprinkled in now and then. From a mountainous retreat to a tropical island paradise, there is owner financing for land in these and other areas.

Customers who wish to apply for loans from banks will find a variety of resources online, including and These sites offer a customer the ability to have banks competing for their business. According to these sites, offers may begin arriving within hours. Not everyone will be approved, however, as there are a number of deciding factors that banks look at when deciding to extend credit. Among them, the customers credit history, debt to income ratio, ability to repay the loan and the presence of regular income.

Loans that are obtained through banks will require documentation, which may include previous 2-3 years of tax returns, current pay stubs and/or proof of employment. If they own land, individuals who are interested in buying or building a home will find that they have more success with banks. The reason is because the land will become partial collateral for the loan and, if the buyer defaults, banks will foreclose on both the house and the land. In addition, many land owners do not have to come up with the money for a down payment as the equity in their land will serve as the down payment.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bankruptcy-Chapter 13 Or Chapter 7?

The main purpose of bankruptcy laws is to give people hopelessly overburdened with debt a financial fresh start. Bankruptcy filings are public records. However, under normal circumstances, no one will know about the bankruptcy. Credit Bureaus will maintain a record of the bankruptcy and it will remain on the credit record for 10 years.

The most common reasons for bankruptcy filings are unemployment, large medical expenses; seriously overextended credit; marital problems, and other large unexpected expenses.

There are two ways a debtor can go bankrupt. The first and most common way is for an individual to file a voluntary petition asking the Court to allow bankruptcy. The second, and rarely used way, is for creditors to ask the Court to make an Order that a person is bankrupt. In this way, a creditor can gain payment, at least in part, for debts a debtor is refusing to pay. In both these cases a Bankruptcy Trustee is required to administer the bankruptcy.

There are two different types of legal bankruptcy proceedings.

Chapter 7, also called a straight bankruptcy, is a liquidation proceeding. The debtor gives all non-exempt property to a bankruptcy trustee who then converts it to cash for distribution to creditors. The debtor is freed from all dischargeable debts, usually within 4 months. Chapter 7 is filed in cases where the debtor has few assets to lose, so this option gives a relatively quick release from debts. A debtor can file Chapter 7 again if more than 8 years have passed since discharge of a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a reorganization bankruptcy. It is filed by individuals who wish to pay off their debts in 3 to 5 years. This type of proceeding is suited for individuals with non-exempt property they wish to keep. It is only an option for individuals who have predictable income and whose income is sufficient to pay their reasonable expenses with some amount left over to pay off their debts.

Under the new Bankruptcy Law which took effect on October 17, 2005, individuals who can afford to make some repayment of their debts must file Chapter 13. Only debtors who meet strict financial requirements are allowed to erase their debts completely through Chapter 7. Debtors must take an approved Financial Counseling Course within 6 months of filing. Then, their income is assessed according to the formula (monthly income-expenses) X 60. If the result is $6,000 or less, and unsecured debts are less than 25%, Chapter 7 is allowed. If income is greater than $10,000 or unsecured debts are greater than 25%, the debtor must file Chapter 13.

Once bankruptcy is filed, creditors are forbidden from harassing the debtor. By law, creditors cannot initiate or continue any lawsuits, wage garnishees, or even make telephone calls demanding payments. Secured creditors such as banks holding, for example, a lien on a car, will get the stay lifted if the debtor cannot make payments.

Spouses are legally unaffected by a debtor's bankruptcy if they are not responsible (did not sign an agreement or contract) for any of the debt. If they have a supplemental credit card they are probably responsible for that debt. However, in community property states, either spouse can contract for a debt without the other spouse's signature on anything, and the spouse will still be obligated to pay. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as the purchase or sale of real estate; those few exceptions do require the signature of both spouses on the contract for both to be liable. But mundane purchases, such as credit cards, do not require both spouses to have signed. Community property states are: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Declaring bankruptcy does not mean that an individual's subsequent access to credit is cut off. Whether a debtor is allowed to keep credit cards after filing bankruptcy is up to the credit card company. If the bankruptcy involves discharging a credit card, the card company will cancel the card unless the debtor reaffirms the debt. Even if the card has a zero balance the credit card company might still cancel the card.

A number of banks now offer "secured"credit cards, for which the debtor puts up a certain amount of money (as little as $200) in an account at the bank to guarantee payment. Initially the credit limit is equal to the security given and is increased as the debtor demonstrates ability to pay the debt.

Two years after a bankruptcy discharge, debtors are eligible for mortgage loans on par with applicants of the same financial profile who have not filed bankruptcy. Income stability and the size of the down payment are seen as more relevant than a past bankruptcy filing. Though bankruptcy stays on a credit report for 10 years, it becomes less significant as time passes. People who have filed for bankruptcy are often better credit risks than people who have not, and are struggling to pay multiple accumulated debts.

Debtors filing for bankruptcy are allowed to keep certain assets. The exemption for a homestead is limited to $125,000 if the property was acquired within the previous 1215 days (3.3 years). The cap is not applicable to any interest transferred from a debtor's previous principal residence which was acquired prior to the beginning of the 1215-day period. The value of the state homestead exemption is reduced by any addition to the value brought about on account of a sale of nonexempt property made by the debtor with the intent to evade or defraud creditors during the 10 years before the bankruptcy filing.

An absolute $125,000 homestead cap applies if either the court determines that the debtor has been convicted of a felony demonstrating that the filing of the case was an abuse of the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, or the debtor owes money due to criminal acts. This limitation is not applied if the homestead property is "reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor."

Some laws relating to bankruptcy vary from state to state. Legal residency is determined by which state the debtor lived in the 730 days (2 years) before filing; or if the debtor did not live in a single state in the previous 2 years, the state of residence where the debtor spent the majority of the 180 period preceding the 2 years. If this leaves the debtor ineligible for any exemptions then the debtor is allowed use federal exemption laws.

In some cases of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, tax debts are also wiped out, but only if stringent conditions are met: the IRS does not have a tax lien against the debtor's property; no fraudulent tax returns have been filed; tax liability is due for a tax return filed at least 2 years before the bankruptcy filing; the tax return was due at least 3 years ago, and the taxes were assessed at least 8 months before filing for bankruptcy.

Student loans from government and private organizations are usually not wiped out, unless repayment would cause undue hardship to the debtor.

All non-exempt property, such as real estate, cars and motorcycles will then be liquidated by the trustee.

There is no legal requirement to use a lawyer to file for bankruptcy, and debtors can do so themselves for about $300; however, it is strongly advised the use the services of a specialized bankruptcy lawyer as bankruptcy law is complex. A bankruptcy lawyer is well worth the cost, which is usually only $1,600 to $2,000. Debtors will recoup the legal fees many times over through peace of mind and avoidance of stress in addition to actual money saved by following the bankruptcy attorney's advice.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bankruptcy Information

Bankruptcy is a situation in which someone who owes money will seek relief from their debts by going to court. Though bankruptcy can be good in some situations, it may not always be necessary. Just because you are in a financial strain does not mean you should immediately file for bankruptcy. There are some things you will want to take into consideration first.

Will I or Won’t I?

There is no easy answer to whether or not you should file for bankruptcy. Before making a decision you should first consult an attorney or credit counselor. They will be able to look at all the factors involved with filing bankruptcy, including the advantages and cost. The amount of debt you have is one of the most important factors for whether or not you should file for bankruptcy. It is important to remember that there are many alternative solutions. One solution is to hire a financial manager.

The Financial Manager

Hiring a financial manager is a difficult decision for many people. They take control of your finances, and will pay your bills for you. They will give you a set amount of money to use for anything you wish, but their goal is to make sure all of your bills are paid on time. Using a financial manager is a good idea if you find that many of your problems come from being irresponsible with how you spend your money. Once your bills are under control, you will be given back control of your finances. If this makes you uncomfortable, you could simply use a counseling service. You also want to make sure you use a service that has an excellent reputation.

Many lenders will work with the borrowers in paying back the money owed. It can be difficult for a lender to get back all the money they loaned out to you, even if you file for bankruptcy. Taking you to court will cost them money, and is very time consuming. When collection agencies get back the money that is owed, they will often charge the lender fees, and this will reduce the amount of money they get back. Because of this, many lenders will waive certain fees or charges as long as you make your payments on time.

Refinancing Your Home

If you are the owner of a home, you should consider refinancing in order to use the equity to pay off your debts. This could be a great alternative to filing for bankruptcy. You are likely to get tax deductions for using this method of paying off your debts, and you will also be likely to have much lower interest rates over the long term. You should be cautious when choosing which debt consolidation company you want to use. Many companies will charge you huge fees up front and leave you with a loan that will take years to pay off.

Be Wary Of The Credit Repair ‘Services’

You should also be careful with so called "credit repair" services. Any service which promises to pay off or eliminate bankruptcy from your credit history are likely to be fraudulent. They will end up taking money from you and perhaps making your credit worse than it was before using their services. It is important to only use services that are highly credible. Avoid fly by night operations at all costs. They will leave you in a world of despair and make huge profits at the same time. You should only file fof bankruptcy after you've talked to an attorney or credit counselor.

While bankruptcy can relieve you of the debts you owe, it will stay on your credit record for years, and it will be very difficult to apply for a job, home, or even a car. We live in a society that is very credit prone, and it is important to have good credit.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bankruptcy Explained

Whether or not we want it to or mean it to, often times our debt can become out of hand, to the point that we can no longer control it. It does not occur because we expect it, it occurs because we live in an age where credit is everything. In fact, many people do not even accept cash for a variety of things, for example, online shopping. All online shopping opportunities takes credit cards only. We will use credit for so many different items, that before we know it we begin to become overwhelmed and have the inability to pay the credit when the time comes.

When it comes to bankruptcy, this means that you are legally declaring that you have the inability to pay your creditors. Bankruptcy was formed in efforts to allow the debtor to have a fresh start within their life, this will allow the debtor to be relieved of most of the debts they have incurred. Additionally, bankruptcy gives creditors some rights as well, because it can allow them to recoup some of their money to the extent of the debtors ability to pay. There are various laws in place that allow the debtor to make use of non-exempt property in efforts to pay the creditors. Many pieces of your property will be exempt; however, it is possible that you have some non-exempt items.

Within the United Kingdom, the word Bankruptcy only applies to partnerships and individuals. Corporations are required to declare other types of legal insolvency such as administration, liquidation, and administrative receivership. The typical bankruptcy procedures last no more than one full year, often less depending upon the trustee in bankruptcy.

When a person has filed for bankruptcy, all credit collection must end. Companies are not allowed to pursue, call, mail, visit, repossess, or otherwise sue the debtor, for the purposes of debt collection. If a company chooses to do so, they will likely be held responsible by the court of law and to the debtor.

Bankruptcy is to be used as a last result; there are many other steps you could take to help eliminate your debt prior to filing for bankruptcy. Other options available to you include debt consolidation, credit counseling, and negotiation with your creditors, make a formal proposal with the creditors, and learn to manage your money yourself. It is important that you fully investigate all of your options and learn what steps you can take to obtain a debt free life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bankruptcy Explained

Article Body:
Whether or not we want it to or mean it to, often times our debt can become out of hand, to the point that we can no longer control it. It does not occur because we expect it, it occurs because we live in an age where credit is everything. In fact, many people do not even accept cash for a variety of things, for example, online shopping. All online shopping opportunities takes credit cards only. We will use credit for so many different items, that before we know it we begin to become overwhelmed and have the inability to pay the credit when the time comes.

When it comes to bankruptcy, this means that you are legally declaring that you have the inability to pay your creditors. Bankruptcy was formed in efforts to allow the debtor to have a fresh start within their life, this will allow the debtor to be relieved of most of the debts they have incurred. Additionally, bankruptcy gives creditors some rights as well, because it can allow them to recoup some of their money to the extent of the debtors ability to pay. There are various laws in place that allow the debtor to make use of non-exempt property in efforts to pay the creditors. Many pieces of your property will be exempt; however, it is possible that you have some non-exempt items.

Within the United Kingdom, the word Bankruptcy only applies to partnerships and individuals. Corporations are required to declare other types of legal insolvency such as administration, liquidation, and administrative receivership. The typical bankruptcy procedures last no more than one full year, often less depending upon the trustee in bankruptcy.

When a person has filed for bankruptcy, all credit collection must end. Companies are not allowed to pursue, call, mail, visit, repossess, or otherwise sue the debtor, for the purposes of debt collection. If a company chooses to do so, they will likely be held responsible by the court of law and to the debtor.

Bankruptcy is to be used as a last result; there are many other steps you could take to help eliminate your debt prior to filing for bankruptcy. Other options available to you include debt consolidation, credit counseling, and negotiation with your creditors, make a formal proposal with the creditors, and learn to manage your money yourself. It is important that you fully investigate all of your options and learn what steps you can take to obtain a debt free life.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bankruptcy Alternatives Explained

There are many steps you can take in efforts to improve your credit, eliminate your debt, and avoid bankruptcy. Which should be the ultimate goal of all people, while bankruptcy is an excellent method of helping you clear up your debt, it should only be used as a last resort. Bankruptcy remains on your credit for up to ten years and it could result in the inability to retain any other type of credit until it has been removed or several years has passed.

On thing that a debtor can do, this is especially true if they have no income or assets, is to do nothing. Yes that is right nothing, if you have no assets or income that can be garnished bankruptcy would not benefit you in any way, your financial situation would not change as a result. It is likely that without anything of high value, credits would not attempt to take any court action against you because there would be nothing they could collect.

Another step you could take is to undergo credit counseling, you would learn how to manage your money to reduce the debt. You could create a budget that contains your monthly income and expenses, thus reducing expenses. By doing this, any extra money you have could go towards reducing the debt you owe to creditors.

You could also begin negotiation with your creditors, most of them realize that bankruptcy is a viable option for those who have more debt than they can handle. For this reason, most will be willing to “take what they can get” rather than get nothing if the debtor files bankruptcy. This option requires that the debtor has income or assets that can be used in efforts to raise money to apply towards the debt you owe. Additionally, this can allow you to rebuild your credit instead of applying a negative bankruptcy on it.

Debt consolidation is another bankruptcy alternative that many could consider, by consolidating your debts into one low monthly payment you could easily reduce the amount of your debt, get the creditors off your back and avoid bankruptcy.

Finally, another option of avoiding bankruptcy is to make a formal proposal directly to your creditors. This proposal or also knows as a deal, will allow you to create a payment plan. It is all dependent upon what area of the world you live in and the laws surrounding the area of debt compromise.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bankruptcy: Tips To Avoid It

Although it may seem like an easy solution to major financial difficulties, it is best to avoid bankruptcy at all cost. There are many reasons for avoiding bankruptcy and many tips for helping those in financial difficulty avoid resorting to bankruptcy. Before beginning to consider bankruptcy, it is best to weigh the negative consequences.

Reasons for avoiding bankruptcy include:

Credit Record - Once a party has filed for bankruptcy, this will stay on their record for ten years. With the easy access to credit checks, having bankruptcy on a credit report will undoubtedly make it difficult for parties to receive loans and credit. Even if creditors will allow for limited credit with bankruptcy on the record, extensive explanations are required and, without a doubt, the debtor will be looking at high interest rates and credit fees.

Loss of property - Although not all types of bankruptcy call for liquidation of property, many of the eight types of bankruptcy in the United States will call for some type of repossession of assets. If the banks find that there is anything unnecessary for living, these items will most likely be seized in order to pay for debts and bankruptcy expenses. Chapter 7, or complete bankruptcy, will even require that major purchases, such as a home or excess cars be repossessed.

Continued financial difficulty - Despite societal beliefs that bankruptcy will get you on the right track, bankruptcy can actually add to financial difficulty for years to come. This may include closure of bank and credit accounts, loss of a job or closing of a business, and inability to continue acquiring credit. Keep in mind while bankruptcy may seem to suggest a "clean slate", there are often debts that will still have to be paid, such as alimony, child support or court judgment costs.

With these negative consequences in mind, it is then necessary to consider possible ways that an individual or business can avoid bankruptcy in the near future:

Debt Consolidation - With rising bankruptcy proceedings in the United States, more debt consolidation companies have come to light. These companies can help debtors to examine current loans and credit debt against available income and will come up with a reasonable monthly payment that incorporates all of these debts. This helps the debtor, who usually feels overwhelmed having to make choices about which debt to pay each month. The debt consolidation company will also help the debtor set up a reasonable time frame to pay off these debts, giving the debtor something to look forward to in the long run.

Get rid of potential debt problems-With the easy access to credit cards and credit accounts at department stores, it is easy to become swallowed up by overwhelming credit. Especially when money runs low, it is easy to pay cash for the bills due now and then continue racking up the credit card bills for later. One of the first steps in avoiding bankruptcy is to get rid of that credit yourself. Cut up the credit card and call the credit card company to cancel that account. If you can’t afford it out of the bank account, then you can’t have it to spend! This is better than having nothing at all by having things repossessed through bankruptcy.

Speak with debt companies - The first instinct when unable to pay bills on time is to simply hide from the debt companies who continue to call or send bills. Unfortunately, many in debt do not recognize that these companies can actually help with different payment plans! As well, many student loan corporations, mortgage companies and credit card companies will allow for forbearances of loans. Forbearances are a deferment or reduction of the loan because of financial hardship and allows for an individual to get back on their feet.

Plan a budget - A simple step that many debtors forget to try is a weekly or monthly budget that calculates debt ratio to income. This is one of the steps that many debt consolidation companies will do for you, but it can easily be done by yourself with pen and paper or with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Take time to sit down, write out all of the bills that come in each month and remember to include all expenditures such as gas and groceries. From here you can determine how much money you have that needs to go to bill companies and how much is left for other spending.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bankruptcy The Last Financial Resort

Bankruptcy – the word itself is enough to send shivers down your financial spine. But in a world where perfection is all, and the visual expression of that perfection comes in the amount of possessions we can amass, bankruptcy is becoming an option for more and more of us. With an estimated one and a half bankruptcy cases taking place in 2005 alone, it seems that we are head for the courts in our droves in some attempt to get our finances back on track. But if you are struggling financially, how can you tell whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you?

So many of us are feeling the pressure to keep up in this modern world by enjoying all the luxuries our paycheck can afford. The problem is that for many of us, we can’t afford this way of life at all, and buy now thinking that we’ll worry about the cost later. Financial responsibility, it seems, doesn’t come easy to us, so much so that we are choosing what should be a last resort all too easily. But beware – bankruptcy might offer the financially troubled a clean slate, but it doesn’t mean there’s not a price to pay.

There are a number of different types of bankruptcy, which involve either the liquidation of your assets or participating in a repayment scheme. While it is true that a portion of your debts will be written off, you will be held accountable for certain debts, which will be included in your repayment plan. Bankruptcy does allow a certain amount of flexibility in the way that this is done, but it should not be thought of as a get-out-of-jail-free card that comes without consequences.

Bankruptcy also has implications for your credit future. The fact of your bankruptcy is likely to be listed in your credit reports for ten years, during which time you may find acquiring credit to be quite difficult. Renting apartments or leasing other items may become more difficult to those with a bankruptcy behind them. On the other hand, because you are now prohibited from declaring bankruptcy for some years, some creditors may be more keen to take you on, as you have no way of escaping your debt. This can help recreate the cycle of debt that led you to declare bankruptcy in the first place.

Bankruptcy can be a useful tool in regaining financial control, but it is not a decision to be undertaken lightly. Weigh all your other options before you proceed, and avail of financial counselling if you can to help you to be more careful next time around.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bankruptcy – Not For The Faint Hearted

Inability or impairment of ability of individuals or organisations to pay off their creditors is known as bankruptcy. Normally individuals and business establishments initiate the process of bankruptcy but sometimes a group of creditors can ask for a declared state of bankruptcy in order to recover money owed to them.

The law of bankruptcy serves the primary purpose of giving a second chance to the honest debtors by relieving them from most of the debts and to enable the debtors to repay the portions of the debts with their available financial resources.

To keep the financial ship from sinking, declaring bankruptcy should be treated as an absolute last resort. This emotionally difficult choice can be carried out through a relatively simple process. Information detailing property, income, creditors and debts should be provided to the court and further collection efforts by the creditors is prevented by the issuance of a notice by the court to the creditors.

Child support, alimony, recently accrued back taxes, loans availed by students, large purchases made recently and penalties or fines of government agencies cannot be evaded by filing bankruptcy.

A negotiation with the creditors to reduce the extent of monthly payments should be explored prior to filing bankruptcy.

Non-exempt assets which can be divided among the creditors are permitted by the laws of bankruptcy. In addition, the bankruptcy declaration permits the debtors to be discharged from most of the financial obligations even if debts are paid in full after the distribution of non-exempt assets. Through a legally binding “Stay” the debtor is protected from extra bankruptcy action by other creditors. The creditors cannot demand payment, garnish wages or continue with lawsuits.

In its strictest legal sense, bankruptcy relates only to partnerships and individuals in the United Kingdom. Even though various different procedures such as administrative receivership, administration or liquidation are followed in the cases of companies and corporations, it is often wrongly referred as bankruptcy in general conversation and by media.

A licensed insolvency practitioner or a civil servant (official receiver) is usually appointed as a Trustee in bankruptcy cases.

After the introduction of Enterprise Act 2002, a bankruptcy in United Kingdom normally can not last longer than 12 months or less if the Official Receiver files a certificate in the court stating that the investigation is complete.

After the liberalisaion of the bankruptcy regime by the Government it is expected that bankruptcy cases will increase.

Find more info at

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A problem called ‘Credit Card Debt‘

Credit cards are no more a luxury, they are almost a necessity. So, you would imagine a lot of people going for credit cards. In fact, a lot of people posses more than one credit cards. So, the credit card industry is growing by leaps and bounds. However, the credit card industry and credit card holders are posed with a big problem called ‘Credit Card Debt’. In order to understand what ‘credit card debt’ actually means, we need to understand the workflow associated with the use of credit cards as such.

Credit cards, as the name suggests, are cards on which you can get credit i.e. make borrowings (your credit card debt). Your credit card is a representative of the credit account that you hold with the credit card supplier. Whatever payments you make using your credit card are actually your borrowings that contribute towards your credit card debt. Your total credit card debt is the total amount you owe credit card supplier. You must settle your credit card debt on a monthly basis. So, you receive a monthly statement or your credit card bill which shows your total credit card debt. You must pay off your credit card debt by the payment due date failing which you will incur late fee and interest charges. However, you have the option of making a partial (minimum) payment too, in which case you don’t incur late fee but just the interest charges on your credit card debt. If you don’t pay off your credit card debt in full, the interest charges too get added to it. So your credit card debt keeps on increasing, more so because the interest rates on credit card debt are generally higher than the interest rates on other kind of loans/borrowings. Further, the interest charges add on to your credit card debt each month to form the new balance or the new credit card debt amount. If you continue making partial payments (or no payments) the interest charges are calculated afresh on the new credit card debt. So you end up paying interest on the last month’s interest too. Thus your credit card debt accumulates rapidly and soon you find that what was once a relatively small credit card debt has ballooned into a big amount which you find almost impossible to pay. Moreover, if you don’t still control your spending habits, your credit card debt rises even faster. This is how the vicious circle of credit card debt works.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Nuclear Power Plant May Be Next for New Mexico

Federal lawmakers patted themselves on the back, last Friday, in a joint bi-partisan news release issued by three New Mexico politicians: U.S. Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman, and U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce. Their celebratory remarks were meant to remind voters why the politicians were in Washington – to bring their state new jobs for at least some of New Mexico’s voters. While the chorus of praise revolved around creating new jobs and bringing millions of dollars into the state’s economy, is there more behind this story, which has not yet been told?

For Senator Domenici, this was another major victory as the longest serving U.S. Senator in New Mexico’s history. The Republican Senator heads the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Domenici made his views on nuclear energy quite clear in his book “A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the Promise of Nuclear Energy” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). He began pursuing Louisiana Energy Services to move to New Mexico in February 2003, after it became apparent Hartsville, Tennessee didn’t want uranium being enriched in their backyard.

And again, it was Domenici, whose last minute negotiations with Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, led to the adoption of the Part 810 Waiver. The waiver allowed Louisiana Energy Services (LES) to contact foreign-owned Urenco Ltd about transferring high technology data (the gas centrifuge technology) to LES so the uranium enrichment technology could be utilized at the new facility. U.S. laws ordinarily prohibit such nuclear technology transfers, but Domenici’s intervention brought the project to the NRC approval stage. LES had been on the drawing boards since 1989, having derived its name from the state of Louisiana. The LES partnership was initially formed with the intent of building its centrifuge enrichment plant in Homer, Louisiana.

Senator Domenici’s impact upon the nuclear resurgence in the United States is evident to the entire industry and most politicians. He announced last year, “In 1997, I predicted the resurgence of nuclear energy in the United States. For the last eight years, I have worked to help make that renaissance a reality.” Is there, perhaps, one more achievement Senator Domenici would like to add on behalf of the nuclear industry, before giving up his Senate seat? In his book, “A Brighter Tomorrow,” Domenici bemoans and condemns nuclear fuel reprocessing. With the advent of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), Domenici may bring a nuclear power plant to New Mexico before he retires.

Domenici’s Democratic counterpart, Senator Jeff Bingaman, is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee. We suspect Bingaman may play an integral role in helping Senator Domenici fulfill that dream. Ironically, Senator Bingaman, who last November was invited to a Santa Fe anti-nuclear environmentalist fundraiser, and which highlighted television mogul Ted Turner, was effusive in saying about the LES enrichment facility, “This will be one of the largest construction projects our state has ever seen. And the economic impact in southeastern New Mexico will be tremendous.” Does Bingaman appear to be playing both sides of the nuclear chessboard?

No, the former attorney, who reportedly once provided legal advice to uranium mining powerhouse, Kerr McGee, is deftly maneuvering between being a good Democrat and providing what he may honestly believe is best for his state. While Bingaman has curried favor among the environmentalists, in May of this year, he accepted, along with Domenici and others, the William S. Lee Award for Leadership at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI) annual conference, saying, “I share a belief that nuclear power can make a meaningful contribution to controlling the growth of greenhouse gases, while still allowing our economy to expand.” It was his subsequent remark directed at the NEI, which leads us to believe he may be among the first to support additional nuclear growth in New Mexico. He told the NEI, “I am hoping that you will do your part to use those tools that Congress has put in place to ensure that nuclear power achieves its potential as part of our future energy mix.”

The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

In March 2006, Senator Domenici pledged his support to President Bush’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP),

“With GNEP, we begin to close the cycle on nuclear waste in ways that prevent proliferation and reduce both the volume and toxicity of waste. By recycling spent nuclear fuel, we can reuse the uranium, which is 96 percent of spent fuel, and separate the most toxic radioactive material to be burned in an advanced burner reactor. By reusing uranium fuel and burning the transuranic material in a new generation of modern reactors, we can reduce the amount of waste placed in Yucca Mountain by a factor of 100.”

One of the key technologies in the GNEP program in is the Advanced Burner Reactor (ABR). Deriving its technology from fast reactors, which were used to make nuclear weapons, the concept of the ABR is to minimize the amount of nuclear waste, produced by the nuclear industry’s power plants, to a tiny fraction of content. The concept behind the ABR is to “burn” the transuranic elements, such as plutonium and other long-living radioactive material. In this case, burning the radioactive waste is translated as: destroying the transuranics, by converting them into shorter-lived isotopes. When the transuranic elements are consumed by the ABR, a large amount of energy is released and then converted into electricity.

Instead of burying several football fields of nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain (or elsewhere) for one million years, the toxic waste would be recycled as energy to be immediately used to power homes and industry. Part of the GNEP plan is to combine the current, or advanced, light water reactors with the ABR. As the light water nuclear reactors produce transuranics, the ABRs consume those highly radioactive elements. This leaves less nuclear waste for future disposal, and immediately provides energy.

The major issue in the western United States, about nuclear waste, is “please don’t put it in our backyard.” Several western states have been approached, and even the Carlsbad area was once discussed. Through the ABR technology, it may be possible to minimize the amount of this waste to make it a less undesirable disposal problem. A look at local New Mexico politics may provide an insight as to where the two U.S. senators may be heading with regards to a nuclear power plant for New Mexico.

New Mexico’s Enrichment Facility:
Prelude to a Nuclear Power Plant?

If Federal lawmakers are happy about the proposed uranium enrichment facility, some of New Mexico’s state politicians were still floating on clouds when we talked to them yesterday. New Mexico legislator John A. Heaton, the Democratic representative serving Carlsbad, waxed enthusiastic about the enrichment facility, “It’s the first step in converting this country to nuclear energy.”

Mainly the four state senators and representatives, whom we interviewed, echoed each other’s praise about Urenco’s proposed enrichment facility. “I could not be more pleased,” Senator Carroll H. Leavell told us. “It will have a major, very positive impact on the economy.” At the peak of construction, as many as 1200 workers may be employed. Later, when the facility is operational, about 300 workers will remain. All four were pleasantly surprised that town hall hearings for the proposed facility were overwhelmingly positive, and the local citizens would be delighted to have this facility in built in southeastern New Mexico. Senator Leavell said with disgust, “Most of the (anti-nuclear) protests have come from outside our area, places like San Francisco, DC and Santa Fe.”

Senators Leavell and Gay G. Kernan, the state senator from Hobbs, were invited by Urenco Ltd. to tour an enrichment technology plant in Almelo, Netherlands and left impressed with the company, its honesty and especially the management’s attitude of looking at both sides of the issues. Both state senators also observed the surrounding community failed to be negatively impacted by the enrichment facility.

Looking for deeper insights into what the future might hold, we asked all four about the possibility of a nuclear power plant in New Mexico. All four agreed it would be desirable. Additional comments by the four state politicians led us to believe there might be a second step, following Heaton’s remark about the enrichment facility being the first step.

Donald L. Whitaker, the Democratic legislator from Eunice, the closest town to the proposed enrichment facility, told us, “I would like to see a nuclear reactor in New Mexico.” Whitaker has toured a nuclear facility, and believes one would be great for the state’s economy. “They employ about one thousand and bring high-paying jobs,” he said. Representative Whitaker was not the lone voice among his fellow eastern New Mexican legislators.

“Yes, we want a nuclear reactor in New Mexico,” Representative Heaton said. Heaton is the legislature’s Vice Chairman of the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials committee and a member of the Energy & Natural Resources Committee. He discussed the ABR technology and GNEP, explaining how this would solve the waste disposal problem of nuclear reactors and sway public opinion on nuclear energy.

Senator Leavell took a more cautious approach, explaining how nuclear reactors need tremendous amounts of water. “I don’t think New Mexico could have a nuclear reactor, not with the current technology.” But, he still agreed it would be a good idea if new technologies were developed, which used less water.

Senator Gay Kernan told us, “I don’t know if I should be talking about this, but we are one of the candidates for the GNEP program.” Having heard a rumor that General Atomics may propose building a nuclear power plant in eastern New Mexico, Senator Kernan confirmed such a plant may be on the drawing boards, and telling us West Texas is likely to be developed as an “alternative energy corridor.” She told us, “It would stretch from Carlsbad, New Mexico to the Odessa-Midland, Texas area.” Senator Kernan would also like New Mexico to have a nuclear plant, “I don’t have a problem with that.”

The third politician, joining Senators Domenici and Bingaman, in praising the NRC approval of a draft license for LES and Urenco Ltd, was U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce. Comments, issued by his press secretary on Friday and praising the LES announcement, may foreshadow New Mexico’s next step, “Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in our efforts to cement our state’s leadership role in the development of alternative energy.” What greater leadership by a state than in introducing the new GNEP ABR technology in New Mexico? After all, the state of New Mexico remains the founding home to nuclear technology, where the world’s first atomic technology was designed at Los Alamos.

In a related development, David Watts, President of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, recently met with Congressman Pearce about developing a helium-cooled nuclear reactor facility, which would be built underground in either Lea County, New Mexico or Andrews County, Texas. General Atomics of San Diego has funded the pre-conceptual design, which is underway and scheduled for completion in August. Waste Control Specialists has a low-level radioactive waste storage site in Andrews County. Realistically, a nuclear reactor in New Mexico is not out of the question. The legislators may get what they want. We believe Senator Domenici will ultimately set into motion the plans to bring New Mexico its first nuclear power plant. It would become his crowning achievement in helping the nuclear renaissance blossom in this country and in his state.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Needle in a Haystack

Wisdom is needed when making choices in life… especially when making financial choices!

There are so many financial decisions to be made. And when you’re looking at loans, it’s sometimes difficult to know which loan is the right one. There are so many types of loans out there that it feels like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack… of needles! Which one is the right one? Who knows? But be careful, because you could be pricked along the way.

You cannot just go select the first loan that comes your way. There are three things you should look for when selecting the right UK secured loan to add to your financial portfolio.

The first thing you should look for is the amount of money you need. By shopping around, you may be surprised at how much money is available from lenders to people like you who are looking to add some muscle to their money. You should look at your budget as well as the amount of money you need to help you determine how much of a loan you should get.

The next thing you’ll want to look at is the repayment frequency. Is the loan supposed to be paid back every week? Every two weeks? Every month? For some people, the best option is to match the loan repayment with their payday schedule so that they can be assured that there will be money in the bank when it’s time to pay the loan down. One option some people are choosing is to set up a monthly repayment schedule but put more money down (perhaps once a week) which will get applied directly to the principal! Often, the repayment frequency will determine the amount due with each payment, so that may be a factor in helping you decide the repayment frequency. Perhaps a large, monthly payment is more difficult to make than several smaller payments in a month. You’ll have to decide the best option for you.

The last thing you need to consider is the interest rate. Many people simply ignore this completely because they feel that they have little control over prevailing rates at the time of the loan. However, with a little work and wisdom, you can manage your interest rates quite well. For example, some of the things you can manage when it comes to interest rates include the risk level of the recipient, the amount of money borrowed, and the period of time in which the money is expected to be paid back. Prevailing interest rates will determine the window of interest rate available. It’s up to you to find the best rate for you.

Now that you know the three things you need to look for, it’s time to go out and find the right UK secured loan for you. Be sure to shop around and you choose wisely from the selection you find.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Moving Experience

I’ve found a cool apartment! Okay, okay…so it’s not perfect. Just a few bugs. I mean literally! First expense? An exterminator! Is it worth the cash? Well, I can’t afford a more expensive place, so a one-time (please!) cash outlay should be okay. Maybe just a can of “Raid?”

I need a way to move my stuff. Daddy, can I borrow your truck? You don’t have one? Why not? Do you want one? I’ll help you pick it out! Well, it was just a suggestion. No need to get all bent out of shape! I guess I’d better call the truck rental places. What do you mean…$200…PLUS mileage? AND Gas? Good grief!

While I’m on the phone I’ll call the utility and phone companies. Yes, I know I haven’t used your services before. No, I don’t have a credit card; this is my first place. You want what? A $100 deposit? For EACH? Holy cow…do you people have a license to steal?

Daddy, I need $500 for moving expenses! I used all my money for the first and last months rent AND the damage deposit. Well, how was I to know this was going to be so expensive? Sell something? Daaaaad…I NEED my TV!

Boy, this place is pretty empty. Maybe I should buy a couch and a chair. Nah…I have my bed. That’ll be good enough. I don’t need a table; I’ll just use this box.

Renters Insurance? I don’t think so! What do I have to insure?

Just got my first phone call! I’d love to come to your party! Daddy, I need a car. Because it’s too far to walk to work, that’s why. Umm, Daddy…there’s car insurance too! Thanks, Dad…you’re the best! And gas? I didn’t think so…

Time for dinner. Let’s look in these boxes. Oh, No! No dishes or pans. No FOOD!

Uhhh, Mom?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Million Bucks In Scholarships - I'm Not Kidding!

Mention a million dollars in scholarships as few as ten years ago, and most university officials and everybody else would have laughed in your face. It won't happen today. There are two reasons why. College scholarship opportunities have grown tremendously and the cost of an ubdergraduate education continues to go up and up with no relief in sight. The value of a four-year military academy degree is now at $323,450. Who could afford that? Thankfully, West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy are free to the students. That's one giant government scholarship. Can a half-million dollar tuition be far behind?

Tuition and fees for a handful of private universities and colleges already top a quarter million, and many more are well over a hundred and fifty big ones.

A helpless father called for help because his son’s first year tuition, majoring in engineering, would be almost $40,000. One year! Scary? You bet! Another dad told me that his son would graduate next year owing $51,761.

Will the total college bill reach a million dollars? Not likely. But with the birth of the Internet, it is just a matter of time until someone takes up the hallenge and amasses a million bucks in scholarship awards. Yes, it can be done. There is no limit to the number of scholarships any one person can win. It can be done by surfing, exploring and utilizing the Internet.

There are five important keys to Internet scholarship search success: persistence, persistence, persistence, persistence and creativity. Millions of dollars in scholarships are on the net with millions and millions of dollars to be handed out. Why not to you?

Be sure to check out the U.S. Department of Education websites, and the 50 state education sites. Look hard at colleges and universities that you might want to attend. Consider unions, service groups, associations, and social organizations. Look for websites that emphasize a particular skill or talent you may have or wish to acquire.

This are also great opportunities for minorities, Native Americans, African-Americans and Senior Citizens. Add those words to "scholarships" and watch the magic begin.

Use a variety of search engines. Investigate every website that offers free information about scholarships. Substitute the word "grants" or "scholarships" and search again.

Check out the following words and terms to get started. Switch the words around and use college financial aid, free college scholarships and free scholarships. When you find a website that you want to keep, bookmark it as a favorite in your browser. Contact those sites using their email address. You can also get my personal search list just for asking:

I also have a Back to School search list for those who have experienced the real world and are ready to continue their education.

My newsletter is full of tips and ideas at no cost

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Finding the Best Mileage Cards

You may notice all the great incentives that the major airlines are offering with their own mileage cards, however, you may learn if you investigate a bit more than you can find some even better deals for your choice of mileage cards. Many people are now choosing these mileage cards over the major airline cards and with good reason.

The mileage cards that are so popular are the ones that allow you to earn air miles or points when you make purchases with your mileage card, sometimes even doubling the benefits. What this really means is that you, in some cases, can earn points in two separate ways on the same flight, if you use your mileage card to book the flight. These points or air miles that you earn are not just good for redeeming toward an airline ticket but can also be used for hotel accommodations or car rentals. Some of these unique mileage cards can earn you points when you purchase items from some retailers and even food at restaurants that have nothing whatsoever to do with your trip.

There are four major types of mileage cards, which people use when traveling. You may wish to choose a mileage card that has collaborated with your favorite airline or hotel chain. If you only use one airline or prefer a certain hotel, this is probably your best bet. Even major credit card companies such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Diner’s Club also offer mileage cards with many great incentives and benefits and normally have more freedom when it comes to choosing an airline or hotel for your stay. Your own bank may also offer mileage cards with their own set of benefits. Some people just prefer to use their debit card, which normally does not have any type of rewards for benefits.

It can be very hard to decide which mileage cards are best for you and your particular lifestyle, so you may wish to read all the fine print to learn about the pros and cons of each mileage card before you apply.

As for airlines that offer mileage cards, American Airlines and United Airlines, both offer mileage cards. American Airlines along with Citibank offers the AAdvantage mile program. With this mileage card, you earn one AAdvantage mile for every dollar you charge on your mileage card. The United Airlines Card is known as the Mileage Plus First Card, which offers close to the same. Other airlines that also offer mileage cards include Northwest with the WorldPerks Visa and Delta Airlines with the American Express Optima.

There are many great incentives and benefits offered with mileage cards but these are usually only for people that travel quite a bit. The fees annually can be very expensive from $25 to $125. Not only are the annual fees more expensive but the interest rates are normally around 17% as well.

Now you must decide whether your travel habits will aid you in receiving the benefits from mileage cards so you can earn that great vacation.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finding Offshore Services

Many who are concerned about the safety of their assets have turned to offshore services as a way of helping them. If you are one of the many who worry that your assets could be sued by some frivolous lawsuit and you’ll end up losing everything, then the consideration of these offshore-services is something that you must look further into. The good news is that there is a wealth of information to be had that can help ease your fears considerably.

There are various types of offshore services that can provide you with the safety and secrecy that you may need. For example, one of the most common problems with keeping money in United States banks and financial institutions is the simple fact that they are easy to fall victim to possession should someone win a lawsuit against the individual. But, with offshore services, there are a number of remote ways to keep those assets safe from this type of action.

In order to find the right opportunities for your specific needs, simply invest some time in finding the opportunities available to you through the web. Not only can you find the information that you are looking for about offshore services, but you can find the companies and financial institutions that can help you secure them right here as well. The combination of these things will help you find trust and safety in your asset protection systems once again.

Whether you are looking for offshore banking or offshore financial institutions, you can easily locate them on the web. You can find companies that can help with investment protection or other services as well. In fact, you can also locate companies that have the ability to provide you with offshore software needs too. Offshore services can also be investigated on the web as well to find out how secure they are and how trustworthy they are as well. Offshore services like these offer you safety.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finding Lost And Unclaimed Superannuation.

Thousands upon thousands of Australian employees and employers have billons of dollars in unclaimed or lost (superannuation) Super.

So how do you know if you are one of the 4.3 million Australian with unclaimed or lost Superannuation, who have every right to claim this pool of almost 4.3 billion dollars?

Anybody who has worked for any amount of time at one stage or another has had employer contributed superannuation funds deposited into one of the many hundreds of superannuation funds now operating In Australia. Have you kept track of all the funds deposited into your Super fund?

Like most of us, you have had a least 4 to 8 fulltime or partime jobs in your career and with each job you have had super added to a Superannuation fund normally decided by your employee. Each year you may get a notice from the super fund stating how much money you have invested with them and now you should also get a statement on your pay slip, stating how much super has been deposited in your fund.

But none the less most of us would have no idea how much lost or unclaimed superannuation we have and even less knowledge of who is managing it and who is the funds with.

But, you can know find out and in most cases it totally free to find it. If you don't have the time to find it yourself you could employ a company to do it for you, and pay their fee. Or you could go online, go to the ATO website, and do a search for unclaimed or lost superannuation. Then add your details and they will tell you exactly how much you have and were it is.

The Australian Tax Office has a service they call SuperSeeker which searches the ATO Super database for contributions made by you based on your personal tax file number. The greatest benefit of this service, is that it can be done online and is in realtime.

To find Superannuation you may have forgot about or just wasn't sure the amount, visit You will need your tax File Number, date of birth and your full name.

It's your money, so go and get it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding Long Term Care Facilities In Missouri

When looking for long term care facility for a loved one in Missouri, there are a few questions you should ask yourself and a few things to be aware of:

What type of facility do I need?: There are several types of facilities, be sure to select one that will meet the needs of your loved one.

Residential Care Facility I: Will provide shelter, board and supervision. They may distribute medication and provide care during short term illness and recuperation.

Residential Care Facility II: Provides same care as a level I, plus provides dietary supervision and help with personal care.

Intermediate Care Facility: Provides personal care, board and basic health and nursing services under the direction of a licensed physician and nurses.

Skilled Nursing Facility: Individuals in Skilled Nursing facilities require 24 hour care and specialized services. These services will be performed under the supervision of a registered professional nurse.

Questions to ask the facility:
Can it meet the needs of my loved one?
Is it currently licensed?
How much does it cost and will they accept my insurance?
Are the current residents happy and treated with dignity?
Is the facility clean? How does it smell?

Resident's rights: Missouri residents who live in a state licensed long term care facility are guaranteed certain rights under the Missouri Omnibus Nursing Home act of 1979 and the Federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation act of 1987 such as:

You must be informed of your rights and responsibilities as a resident (oral and written)

You must be told of services available and costs

You must receive notice before a change in room or roommate

You may purchase or rent goods/services not included in the facility rate.

Please see our recommended sources for insurance and low rates. These websites are also great sources for information. These low rates will help lower your bills every month.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Finding Forex Trading Signals Services that are very profitable

Some Forex traders dream about finding great set and forget forex trading signal services which are easy to follow, profitable and convenient. They would then just copy the daily currency recommendations into their Forex broker dealing station and watch their trading account grow and grow.

A short while ago over 250 online Currency trading alert services were reviewed and alert services like the one described above do exist!

The big challenge to the average Forex Trader is firstly, finding forex trading signal services that fit the success mould and then secondly, making sure that the service is credible. This article will address the first question of how to find possible currency trading alert services to consider.

The technique mostly used by many forex traders is to search the Web using a good search engine and then to slowly search through the results to find say 20 alert services to consider for evaluation. This is a good starting point but remember to uses appropriate search terms. For instance currency trading signals, currency trading alerts and currency alert service bring up different results. This may seem like hard work but always use your trading dreams as a motivator. When on the search engine results pages do not neglect the paid adverts to further increase your chances of finding great currency trading signal services. You can find some unexpected gems by clicking on these.

An alternative good place to search for great forex trading signal services are Forex service review sites. Some of these sites give objective and paid reviews of many forex trading signal services on the market and allow users to post comments on their own personal experiences. Some of them list over a 100 forex trading alert services so your job can be reduced considerably. These are likely the best source of good forex trading alert services, as you get direct user feedback as well. We have also found these to be one of the best guides to the creditability of alert services. Use search engines to firstly find the review sites. Most of the review sites offer direct links to alert services providers.

Forex blogs are again a good source of alert service information. Going into discussion forums is a lot more time consuming and your return on effort will be less than the techniques already mentioned. We use this method to check on the credibility of a service rather than finding a service.

An often overlooked method is word of mouth. Use your network of other forex traders to enquire whether they have had any good experiences with forex trading alert services.

Using the methods above, alert services producing 27 000 pips a year and returns of between 200% and 1000% on capital used, have been found. Not a bad investment of time and effort but 250 alert services had to be researched to get there. You too can benefit from following the process described in this article and well as the articles to follow. It is well worth the effort.

The activities above should provide you with a list of between 20 and 50 Forex trading alert services to consider. How you then water these down to the few that will make you money is the subject of the next article to be published in the article directory. Make sure to watch out for them.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Find The Right Merchant Account Provider For Your Business!

Finding the right merchant account provider for your retail business can be a tricky process. There are thousands of merchant account providers to choose from with all sorts of rates and fees associated with them. So how can you possibly save your time and money making the right decisions for your business?

Well the first typical move for a business owner would be to jump onto a popular search engine, type in "merchant account" and start searching through each merchant account providers website right? Well the thing is that when you type in those keywords you'll be matched with over 75 million merchant account websites!!! Now tell me, who has the time to find a legitimate, merchant account website that won’t charge them thousands of dollars a year in hidden fees claiming they have the lowest rates on the internet? That's exactly the problem with finding a legitimate merchant account processor over the internet.

You need a company that you can trust to compare multiple merchant account quotes with while saving your time and money. Stop stressing yourself out from searching through the millions of merchant account websites that are out there to charge you tons of hidden fees. The solution is here and it's PayOne Solutions, Inc. They take your current processing statement, and make the banks compete for your business guaranteeing you get the lowest processing rates and on top of that they throw in up to $1000.00 of Free POS Equipment, which means you never have to pay for your equipment ever again. The choice is simple; you want the lowest rate with absolutely no hidden fees with no equipment costs for your retail business?

Then visit or call 1-877-876-4456 for your free merchant account quote and let the banks compete for your business, not the other way around!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Financial Terminology: Jargon Buster A - E


1. Account holder
The person who has a personal loan account.

2. Advance
The mortgage loan itself is called the advance.

3. APR (Annual Percentage Rate)
An interest rate designed to show you the total annual cost of getting credit. It should include all the interest and charges payable by you as a condition of taking the loan. Where taking Payment Protection Insurance is a condition of taking the loan, this should also be included in the APR. The typical APR is the APR that 66% of customers applying for the providers credit card can expect to get.

4. Applicant
You become an applicant when you complete and submit an application form for a personal loan.

5. Applied or nominal interest rate
The rate used to calculate the interest due on your mortgage.

6. Arrangement fee
The fee payable to the loan provider by you (the applicant) to open the account.

7. Arrears
Mortgage payments which have not been paid and are overdue.


1. Bank of England base rate
The Bank of England sets or reviews their interest rate on a monthly basis and this is the main factor influencing interest rates charged by mortgage and other lenders.

2. Buildings insurance
Covers your actual building(bricks and mortar) and is usually required as soon as you exchange contracts on your house.


1. Capital
The amount you owe excluding costs and any interest outstanding.

2. Capital and interest mortgage
This is when your monthly payments go to pay off the outstanding mortgage in addition to the interest on the mortgage. At the end of the term you will have no more to pay. Also called a repayment mortgage.

3. Capped rate
This is a mortgage where a maximum interest rate is agreed which the rate cannot go above. This deal lasts for a set period of months or years. Should the variable rate go below the maximum, the pay rate falls with it.

4. Cashback
An amount, either fixed or a percentage of a mortgage, which you can opt to receive when you complete your mortgage. The lender will likely claw back this money through a higher interest rate.

5. Charge-off
The removal of an account from a loan provider's books. When an account is charged off, the loan provider absorbs the outstanding balance as a loss. Charge-off is also referred to as Write-off.

6. Closing administration charge
A final charge made by the lender to cover their administration costs when a mortgage is fully repaid.

7. Completion
This is end of the mortgage process, when the contracts are signed, all questions have been answered and the keys are handed over and the funds transferred. Happy moving!

8. Consumer Credit Act (CCA)
The Act which defines how personal loans may be advertised, and what rules need to be followed by loan providers in the presentation of loan features such as the interest rate and typical APR that are applicable. The Act also covers the information that needs to be available to the consumer such as product terms and conditions.

9. Contents insurance
Insurance that covers your personal belongings

10. Contract
A contract is a binding agreement between two and more parties. In the context of house buying, a contract is signed by both the buyer and the seller and then 'exchanged' between the respective solicitors, at which point the house sale is binding on both sides.

11. Conveyancing
The legal work involved in the sale or purchase of land.

12. Credit Reference Agency (CRA)
An agency that gathers and maintains information on the debts and repayment records of individuals and businesses. CRAs prepare reports that are used by personal loan providers to view an applicant's credit history. There are two such agencies for consumer credit in the UK - Experian and Equifax.

13. Credit scoring
The process by which your credit worthiness is checked. Weights or 'scores' are associated with your personal attributes, such as your income and the time spent at your current address. These 'scores' are added to give a total credit score. Each total credit score is associated with a prediction of how likely a person with that score is to default. The loan provider then checks this score against the minimum required to be accepted for their loan, determining whether they accept you or not.


1. Debt consolidation
The process of combining all outstanding debts in one loan account. For example, you may have an existing loan with a balance of £2,500, a credit card balance of £1,000 and a store card balance of £500. These could all be consolidated into one loan of £4,000. The purpose is usually to lower monthly repayments, through either lower interest rates on the new loan, or lower repayments from an extended repayment term, or both.

2. Default
Non-payment of an account according to the terms of the loan agreement. If you are declared in default, your account may be subject to higher interest rate and other charges. Failure to keep up with repayments may result in the fact being registered at the two main consumer credit agencies in the UK- Experian and Equifax. This may reduce your chances of obtaining credit in the future. If the loan is secured against your home, your home may also be at risk.

3. Deferred payment
Delayed payment. Also referred to as a deferred start, this facility allows you to delay the date on which the first repayment is due. The deferred period could be from one to three months, meaning a loan opened on the 1st January may not require repayments to start until 1st April.

4. Deposit
The deposit paid towards the total price of the property, normally payable at exchange of contracts.

5. Direct debit
Apre-authorized debit on the payer's account initiated by the payee. Most loan providers would require you to set up a direct debit to make the monthly repayments on the loan.

6. Discounted rate
This is where the lender makes a guaranteed reduction off the standard variable rate for an agreed period of time. After the period ends, the borrower will go onto the Standard variable rate. often used by loan providers as an added incentive to apply for a loan.

7. Drawdown date
The date when the contracts have been completed and the mortgage starts.


1. Early repayment charge (ERC) / Early settlement penalty
The charge payable to some loan providers should the loan be repaid in full before the full term of the loan has expired. For example, an arranged loan over 36 months may incur an ERC if it is repaid after 24 months, or any point before the 36 months has been reached. The average ERC can amount to the equivalent of 2 months interest.

2. Early redemption charges
Redemption is when the borrower pays off the capital and the interest on the mortgage and thus has full rights to the property. Early redemption fees are the charges incurred for paying off the mortgage early, either to buy the house outright or when you re-mortgage. Always ask about these before you take out a mortgage.

3. Endowment
Endowments are life assurance policies with an investment element designed to pay off the outstanding capital on an interest-only mortgage. There are a few types of endowments, such as 'with profits', 'unitised with profits' and 'unit-linked'. in the 1980s, these were sold to customers by salesman who promised that they would be guaranteed to pay off the mortgage at the end of the term. This is not the case, and many endowment holders are having to bump up their premiums.

4. Equity
In housing terminology, equity is the difference between the value of the property and the money owed on the property. So if the property is valued at £200,000 and you owe £150,000 on the mortgage, you have equity of £50,000. If you sold at that moment, you would receive £50,000. Should the value of the home be less than the mortgage outstanding then you are in negative equity. Not to be confused with the stock market use of the word "equity", which is completely different.

5. Exchange of contracts
In England and Wales (not Scotland), the point when both buyer and seller are legally bound to the transaction.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Financial Success Isn't Difficult

Financial success isn't a hard task to master. It simply takes dedication, hard work and a little old fashioned commitment.

But it also takes a little knowledge. Too many consumers are ignoring what are financial truths. They run up large amounts of debt just to appear successful to those around them. They surround themselves with things that only make them feel better for a minute.

They ignore the fact that a debt-free and well managed financial life is a wonderful way to eliminate stress, which is all too common in today's world.

What do you need to do to become financially successful?

First, you need to spend less than you earn. Sounds easy, but it really isn't. It is easier to spend less than it is to earn more. You simply have to cut your costs. You have to stop charging on your credit cards and you have to stop shopping. Look closely at where your money is going. Look at what you already have around you. Get all those projects completed before you buy things for a new project.

You have to have a budget and stick with it. Budgets don't tell you how to spend your money, they tell you how to save your money. You can easily see where your money is going. You can identify areas that you can cut back on. Then, you can set spending goals. A budget is a great way to challenge yourself. There is nothing better than saving more money than you thought you could. Surprise yourself with a budget that works.

From your budget, you should be able to find the money to start paying off that credit card debt. If you are severely in debt, you may need to get a second job and sell some things to get a head start. Stop using those cards and start paying them off. They are draining the life out of your finances on a daily basis.

You should be contributing to a retirement plan. Research your options and take advantage of them. Don't wait until tomorrow, it will be too late. Start now. When you pay off your debt, put that money to your retirement as well. Who knows -- you may be able to retire early.

Once you have your debt paid off you should have a savings plan. There are goals that you can set for your savings. You may want new furniture or to go on a vacation. You should also save at least three to six months of money to cover your monthly expenses in the case of an emergency. This will cushion your budget from any repairs, emergencies, illnesses or job losses that may happen.

Financial success isn't difficult. It is simply a habit that you have to nurture and maintain. Take the time to sit down and get started. Work on it until it becomes second nature. The more you work on it, the better you will become at it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Financial Security through Structured Settlements

Structured settlements have become a natural part of personal injury and worker’s compensation claims in the United States, according to the National Structured Settlements Trade Association (NSSTA). In 2001, life insurance members of NSSTA wrote more than $6.05 billion of issued annuities as settlement for physical injury claims. This represents a 19 percent increase over 2000.

A structured settlement is the dispersement of money for a legal claim where all or part of the arrangement calls for future periodic payments. The money is paid in regular installments—annually, semi-annually or quarterly—either for a fixed period or for the lifetime of the claimant. Depending on the needs of the individual involved, the structure may also include some immediate payment to cover special damages. The payment is usually made through the purchase of an annuity from a Life Insurance Company.

A structured settlement structure can provide long-term financial security to injury victims and their families through a stream of tax-free payments tailored to their needs. Historically, they were first utilized in Canada and the United States during the 1970s as an alternative to lump-sum payments for injured parties. A structured settlement can also be used in situations involving lottery winnings and other substantial funds.

How a Structured Settlement Works When a plaintiff settles a case for a large sum of money, the defendant, the plaintiff's attorney, or a financial planner may propose paying the settlement in installments over time rather than in a single lump sum.

A structured settlement is actually a tradeoff. The individuals who were injured and/or their parents or guardians work with their lawyer and an outside broker to determine future medical and living needs. This includes all upcoming operations, therapy, medical devices and other health care needs. Then, an annuity is purchased and held by an independent third party that makes payments to the person who has been injured. Unlike stock dividends or bank interest, these structured settlement payments are completely tax-free. What’s more, the individual’s annuity grows tax-free.

Pros and Cons

As with anything, there’s a positive and negative side to structure settlements. One significant advantage is tax avoidance. When appropriately set up, a structured settlement may significantly reduce the plaintiff's tax obligations (as a result of the settlement). Another benefit is that a structured settlement can help ensure a plaintiff has the funds to pay for future care or needs. In other words, a structured settlement can help protect a plaintiff from himself.

Let’s face it: Some people have a hard time managing money, or saying no to friends and family wanting to "share the wealth.” Receiving money in installment can make it last longer.

A downside to structure settlements is the built-in structure (no pun intended). Some people may feel restricted by periodic payments. For example, they may want to buy a new home or other expensive item, yet lack the funds to do so. They can't borrow against future payments under their settlement, so they’re stuck until their next installment payment arrives. And from an investment perspective, a structured settlement may not make the most sense for everyone. Many standard investments can provide a greater long-term return than the annuities used in structured settlements. So some people may be better off accepting a lump sum settlement and then investing it for themselves.

Here are some other important points to keep in mind about structured settlements: An injured person with long-term special needs may benefit from having periodic lump sums to purchase medical equipment. Minors may benefit from a structured settlement that provides for certain costs when they’re young—such as educational expenses—instead of during adulthood.

Special Considerations

- Injured parties should be wary of potential exploitation or hazards related to structured settlements. They should carefully consider:

- High Commissions - Annuities can be highly profitable for insurance companies, and they often carry very large commissions. It is important to ensure that the commissions charged in setting up a structured settlement don't eat up too much of its principal.

- Inflated Value - Sometimes, the defense will overstate the value of a negotiated structured settlement. As a result, the plaintiff winds up with much less than was agreed upon. Plaintiffs should compare the fees and commissions charged for similar settlement packages by a variety of insurance companies to make sure that they’re getting full value.

- Conflict of Interest – There have been situations where the plaintiff's attorney has referred the client to a particular financial planner to set up a structured settlement, without disclosing he would receive a referral fee. In other cases, the plaintiff's lawyer has set up a structured settlement on behalf of a client without revealing the annuities are being purchased from his own insurance business. Plaintiffs should know what financial interest their lawyer may have in relation to any financial services being provided or recommended.

- Using Multiple Insurance Companies – It’s advisable to purchase annuities for a structured settlement from several different companies. This offers protection in the event a company that issued annuities for a settlement package goes into bankruptcy and defaults.

Benefits of Selling A Settlement

A structured settlement is specifically designed to meet the needs of the plaintiff at the time it’s created. But what happens if the installment arrangement no longer works for the individual? If you need cash for a large purchase or other expenses, consider selling your structured settlement. Many companies can purchase all or part of your remaining periodic settlement payments for one lump sum. This can boost your cash flow by providing funds you can use immediately to buy a home, pay college tuition, invest in a business or pay off debt.

If you’re considering cashing out your structured settlement, contact your attorney first. Depending on the state you live in, you may have to go to court to get approval for the buyout. About two thirds of states have laws that limit the sale of structured settlements, according to the NSSTA. Tax-free structured settlements are also subject to federal restrictions on their sale to a third party, and some insurance companies won’t assign or transfer annuities to third parties.

When selling your structure settlement, check with multiple companies to make sure that you get the highest payoff. Also, be sure the company buying your settlement is reputable and well-established. And keep in mind that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Financial Readiness: How Prepared Are You?

Home is where most people feel safe and comfortable. But sometimes — say, when a hurricane, flood, tornado, wildfire, or other disaster strikes — it’s safest to pack up and go to another location.

When it comes to preparing for situations like weather emergencies, financial readiness is as important as a flashlight with fully charged batteries. Leaving your home can be stressful, but knowing that your financial documents are up-to-date, in one place, and portable can make a big difference at a tense time.

Here are some tips for financial readiness in case of an emergency:

Conduct a household inventory. Make a list of your possessions and document it with photos or a video. This could help if you are filing insurance claims. Keep one copy of your inventory in your home on a shelf in a lockable, fireproof file box; keep another in a safe deposit box or another secure location.

Buy a lockable, fireproof file box. Place important documents in the box; keep the box in a secure, accessible location on a shelf in your home so that you can “grab it and go” if the need arises. Among the contents:

- your household inventory

- a list of emergency contacts, including family members who live outside your area

- copies of current prescriptions

- health insurance cards or information

- policy numbers for auto, flood, renter’s, or homeowner’s insurance, and a list of telephone numbers of your insurance companies

- copies of other important financial and family records — or notes about where they are — including deeds, titles, wills, birth and marriage certificates, passports, and relevant employee benefit and retirement documents. Except for wills, keep originals in a safe deposit box or some other location. If you have a will, ask your attorney to keep the original document.

- a list of phone numbers or email addresses of your creditors, financial institutions, landlords, and utility companies (sewer, water, gas, electric, telephone, cable)

- a list of bank, loan, credit card, mortgage, lease, debit and ATM, and investment account numbers

Social Security cards

- backups of financial data you keep on your computer

- an extra set of keys for your house and car

- the key to your safe deposit box

- a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks. ATMs or financial institutions may be closed.

- Consider renting a safe deposit box for storage of important documents. Original documents to store in a safe deposit box might include:

- deeds, titles, and other ownership records for your home, autos, RVs, or boats

- credit, lease, and other financial and payment agreements

- birth certificates, naturalization papers, and Social Security cards

- marriage license/divorce papers and child custody papers

- passports and military papers (if you need these regularly, you could place the originals in your fireproof box and a copy in your safe deposit box)

- appraisals of expensive jewelry and heirlooms

- certificates for stocks, bonds, and other investments and retirement accounts trust agreements

- living wills, powers of attorney, and health care powers of attorney insurance policies

- home improvement records

- household inventory documentation

- a copy of your will

Choose an out-of-town contact. Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be the point of contact for your family, and make sure everyone in your family has the information.

After some emergencies, it can be easier to make a long distance call than a local one.

Update all your information. Review the contents of your household inventory, your fireproof box, safe deposit box, and the information for your out-of-town contact at least once a year.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Financial Planning For Retirement: For Worry-Free Retirement

Planning can be a tedious activity especially if you are planning for retirement. Many people realize how advantageous financial planning for retirement can be while others find it mysterious.

In fact, most experts say that for people who are only making enough money to make due payments in each month, then it means that they should start contemplating on how they can still make money even if they are already retired.

Surveys show that almost 75% of the American population is earning enough money to pay their monthly bills. This means that they do not have any extra money to put in a bank or in any financial institution that could provide them enough profit after their retirement.

What's more Social Security is not enough guaranteed income for retired people to live on. Actually, it is still a big question if one’s Social Security will still exist when the retirement day comes.

Hence, it is extremely important to generate some methods that will provide an individual a reasonable amount of money in the future. This should be done regardless of how much an individual earns, the important thing is to start saving today.

1. Visualize and calculate

It is important for a person to visualize his or her own situation after retirement. Then, you can calculate how much money is needed to live on after retirement. Furthermore, people need earnings that compensate 75% of the present amount that he or she is expected to take home.

2. It is important to seek the help of a financial planner or any person competent in financial planning.

By asking for advice from the experts, you will be able to gain more knowledge know how to proceed for you situation. These people are proficient and knowledgeable in all kinds of financial planning and they can provide the most feasible and workable approach for your individual needs.

3. Get rid of loans, debts, and other financial obligations in as little time as possible.

By simply paying off all debts, loans, and other financial obligations in a shorter period of time, you can realize a substantial amount to invest for that retirement. A good financial planner will know exactly how to direct you so you can meet your retirement goals.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Financial Plan your way to success

Financial planning is often considered a boring strategy used by our parents to manage our money. For a long time, financial planning was considered the way to manage one’s money because it helped people keep track of money coming in and going out. But lots of people are choosing not to do any financial planning because it seems so needlessly complicated with little or not benefit.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth! There is a benefit to financial planning; the real trick is finding a financial planning method that works for you. Here is an excellent strategy to help you manage the money in your personal portfolio.

The first thing you need to do is create a financial plan. Creating a financial plan does not have to be restrictive, but it should be a guideline to help you manage your income and your expenses each month. The first thing you want to do is list all your expenses on a month-to-month basis. The next thing you want to do it list all of your income on a month-to-month basis. Then compare. Many people who have trouble saving find that their expenses are very close to their income. So what can you do?

One option you have is to reduce your expenses. This might mean going out with friends a little less or giving up on some luxury that you typically enjoy. Another option you have is to increase your income. Unfortunately, for many people, this is easier said than done.

One way that you can reduce your expenses and increase your income is by using a debt consolidation loan. By consolidating many outstanding debts that are due throughout the month into a single loan with a single monthly payment you will be accomplishing several things.

First, you will be reducing your monthly payment because you will be securing a larger loan and is spread out over a longer period of time. Second, you'll be reducing the amount of interest you pay because you will be consolidating your many debts into one debt from one provider. Reducing your interest not only helps to reduce your expenses but also increases your income!

And if you are able to find some assets that can help you get a UK Secured Loan, you'll be able to spread out your payment over a longer period of time and you will likely qualify for a lower interest rate because you have some security to offer the lending institution to back up the loan.

Now that you are actively pursuing a financial plan, you will need to find a way to continue to reduce your expenses over time. A UK Secured Loan will help you do that. But don't forget that there are many ways you can also increase your income.

Congratulations! You are assembling a financial plan and getting control of your finances and at the same time you are reducing your expenses and increasing your income.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Financial Options After One Has Declared Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a financial option for those individuals whose debt has run away from them. It is not that hard to experience debt issues and individuals have had to declare bankruptcy in order to dig themselves out of the surmounting debt. The term bankruptcy has negative connotations however this should not be the case. An individual who declares bankruptcy is taking that big step in order to get their finances under control and wipe the slate clean. Individuals may be hesitant to do so as they feel their life post-bankruptcy will be financially constrained. This is not so and the following paragraphs will highlight some financial options one has following the declaration of bankruptcy.

Mortgage after Bankruptcy

One issue that disturbs individuals considering filing for bankruptcy is that they may never be able to obtain a mortgage after bankruptcy declaration. The fact is that individuals who have declared bankruptcy have been able to obtain a mortgage after that proceeding has been completed. Most individuals looking to obtain a mortgage post-bankruptcy will have to wait until the bankruptcy is final and proceedings have been completed yet there are lenders who are more than willing to lend to an individual post-bankruptcy. Bankruptcy mortgage financing is available to many individuals who are in that predicament. Some lenders may deny loans to these individuals yet there will always be other ones who will finance home loans after a bankruptcy declaration.

Credit Cards after Bankruptcy

Another issue which individuals find themselves contemplating both prior to and after declaring bankruptcy is whether or not they will be able to obtain credit cards after bankruptcy. Credit cards are extremely important items for many individuals as they provide a way for people to make large or vital purchases and then pay back the debt on a monthly basis. It is important to note that credit card companies will and do provide credit cards to individuals who have declared bankruptcy. Although some credit card companies will be more selective than others, it is necessary to point out that there are options with regard to obtaining credit after bankruptcy.

Personal Loans after Bankruptcy

Individuals who have declared bankruptcy may also be able to obtain personal loans. Personal loans are used for a variety of reasons such as college, home improvements, or purchasing a car. A personal loan after bankruptcy is not a rare occurrence and a variety of lenders will make this option available to borrowers who may have fallen on hard times in the past


There are certain instances in individual’s lives when they need to declare bankruptcy. It is crucial for these individuals to keep in the back of their mind that declaring bankruptcy will not definitively thwart any future loans which they need to acquire in the future. One who seeks bankruptcy advice should also inquire about credit repair after bankruptcy and what the future may hold for individuals like themselves who need to declare bankruptcy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Financial Mistakes To Learn From

In this day and age, there really shouldn't be any reason to make certain financial mistakes. Do a search of the internet and you will find that there are thousands of articles out there that warn you of the pitfalls of certain choices. Advice for living a financially stable life is everywhere. What are you waiting for?

Here are the most common mistakes that I've seen people make. I've even made a few of them myself. These are the financial mistakes that you can learn from. You've probably made a few of them yourself, they are very common.

Mistake #1: Using that little plastic card to get what you want.

We'll just start off with the number one mistake out there. This is probably the most common mistake in the country. Almost every person in the US today has a credit card. It is almost like a right of passage when you turn eighteen. There are even people out there that aren't eighteen yet that have them.

Credit card debt is the fastest way to ruin your finances. It is easy to acquire and difficult to pay off. The minimum balance doesn't pay off enough of your outstanding balance to help you very much. You will be paying on your balances for decades. Even a $500 balance can take you over a decade to pay off if you simply make the minimum payment.

Add in the interest rate, which rarely goes down. If you miss a payment, you will really be paying the bank. Thirty percent interest is common on a credit card once a payment has been missed. And you only have to miss that payment by a day -- which can happen in the mail or processing if you don't plan ahead well enough.

Mistake #2: Buying more home than you can afford.

With the real estate market in the state it is today, many people are regretting their housing decisions. Adjustable rate mortgages are acceptable loan products for some people. But only if they can afford the maximum rate that the loan can hit if interest rates go up. Too many people only consider that introductory rate. They stretch and purchase as much as they can afford. Then, when rates go up and their rate adjusts, they can't afford the payment. Add that to a slowing housing market, and you may have a foreclosure on your hands.

If you are going to buy a home, make sure that you purchase what you can afford. Take out a fixed-rate mortgage so that you know what your payments will be. If rates go drastically down in the next couple of years, you can always refinance. If rates go up, you are protected. Try to aim for a 15-year mortgage over a 30-year. It will save you hundreds of thousands in interest. But if you can't do it, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is an acceptable loan choice for the purchase of a home.

Mistake #3: Not controlling your money.

Too many people live paycheck to paycheck. They have no savings. They have no retirement plan. They have nothing to back them up in the case of an emergency. They have no control over their money.

You have to take control of your finances if you want to retire someday. You have to learn how to budget, save, invest and spend. All it takes is a little time. And once you get in the habit, you will notice that your life has more control. You should say where your money goes, not lenders or creditors or anyone else.

Mistake #4: Not saving for retirement.

There are more seniors in the work place now than there were twenty years ago. And even more than there were fifty years ago. If you want to retire with enough money to live comfortably, you have to start putting something back today. Start an IRA. Contribute to your employer's 401(k) plan. Figure out how much you need to invest and find a way to do it. This is your future. You don't want to reach sixty and realize that you can't afford to stop working. There is no guarantee that you will be able to draw social security or other forms of assistance then. What if you become ill and have to retire? What if you get hurt? Prepare for the future. Start saving for retirement today.