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3 Cool Apps to Help You Manage Your Money Smarter

Money apps

Money apps can help you deal with finances on the go

Image source: Flick User Intel Free Press

Let's face it, not everyone has stellar money management skills. When clients come in to see us because they're struggling with money problems, there is usually an underlying cause and the financial problems are the symptoms. Sometimes it's an illness or job loss, other times it's divorce. But once money gets tight, it's hard to make smart decisions because of the stress of being cash-strapped. Today we'll take a look at some apps that can help you wrap your head around making better better money decisions whether you're pre-bankruptcy and still struggling or post-bankruptcy and getting back on your feet financially.

Warning from the NC Dept of Justice: Beware the Apple iTunes Scam

Apple iTunes

Beware new iTunes scams!

Image source: Flickr User fdecomite

There are as many scams floating around as the day is long from fraudsters seeking to steal your personal information, identity and, ultimately, your money. Today we'll show you how a new iTunes scam is taking advantage, how it works and how to protect yourself from would-be scammers. This scam starts by inspiring fear. This is clever because fear can be a powerful motivator.

3 Great Alternatives If You Can't Get a Bank Account Because of Your Money Problems


WIthout a bank account, managing money can be a nightmare!

Image source: Flickr User Myfuture.com

There's a large segment of the US population that is unbanked or underbanked – roughly 30% of us in fact. Not having a bank can make life hard. For those without a bank account, simple things like having paychecks direct deposited are impossible and getting a paycheck cashed is a time wasting hassle. You can either head to the financial institution where your employer banks or pay a fee to get your check cashed. This makes life much harder on those already struggling and is just senseless.

Are Your Housing and Car Costs Out of Control? See How These Expenses Can Ruin Your Budget

House and car

Are your house and car expenses way too much?

Image source: Flickr User William Creswell

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a great organization that is always busy gathering data about how much money we all earn and how we save and spend it. Today we'll take a look at two of the most important pieces of that data – how much we spend on housing and transportation and how much heavier these costs weigh on those that are earning less. In fact, even though those that earn more can afford to indulge, the percentage of income remains about the same for middle to high income earners for most categories except for these two. Let's take a look.

5 Practical Money Tips for Middle Class Earners - Get Your Budget Under Control Now!


How much money can you really afford to spend?

Image source: Steven Depolo

Does it always seem like you're just scraping by? Do you run out of money a day (or two) before your paycheck is due? Are you always stressed and having to do last minute expense juggling? If you're experiencing any – or all – of these on a regular basis, you're not alone. This can be doubly confusing and stressful if you're earning a decent, steady wage yet the money never seems to go far enough to take care of your expenses. Even households with two income earners struggle to pay their bills, much less to have money to save for retirement or as an emergency buffer.

Attorney Ed Boltz Interviewed on Capital City Recap with Michael Cohen

On air interview

Ed Boltz on-air interview with Michael Cohen

On September 11, 2014, attorney Ed Boltz from the law offices of John T Orcutt was interviewed by Michael Cohen of WILS 1320 for his Michigan radio program, Capital City Recap, to discuss bankruptcy topics and student loans. This was a great Q&A on bankruptcy in general, so we're presenting the transcript in full here for your enjoyment. Click here to listen along while you read.

Older Americans Plagued by Student Loans – Is Your Social Security Being Garnished?

Older Americans

Older Americans are hard hit by student loans. Find out how to end this pain.

Image source: Flickr User Phil Roeder

Federal student loans are a great way for many to get a college education and greatly improve their lot in life. But for some, student loans are a trap that can ruin their lives. Student loans from the government have no statute of limitations and are tricky to discharge in bankruptcy. For those that can't afford them, student loans can become a lifelong nightmare. Increasingly, many older Americans are being hard hit by educational debt that is pushing them to the brink of poverty.

Home Depot Data Breach Could Put Your Money at Risk! Find Out How to Protect Yourself

The Home Depot

The Home Depot suffered the largest data breach ever! Protect yourself.

Image source: Flickr User Mie Mozart

Today we have news about another major data breach that could put your credit and/or debit card information at risk. The Home Depot was hit by a major data breach that means you could be facing fraud if the data thieves use your stolen info to rack up charges and try to leave you to pay the bills. This data breach is alleged to have been perpetrated by the same group that hacked Target's payment system just before Christmas last year.

New Rule Changes Allow You to Buy a House Faster After a Bankruptcy

House for sale

Ready to buy a house after bankruptcy? This new rule change will help!

Image source: Flickr User Images Money

For those that lose their home to foreclosure or surrender it as part of the bankruptcy process to get out from under an upside-down mortgage, a primary worry we hear from our clients is that they won't be able to buy another home. This was never true - there was just a waiting period before you could get another home. And now Fannie Mae has issued a new rules clarification that makes it easier to get another home loan after a bankruptcy.

Do More Wives Mean More Debt? Reality TV Star with 5 Wives Files Bankruptcy

Brady Williams and family

Brady Williams, his fives wives and twenty-four children

Image source: Twitter.com

What we see in our office is that many who come in looking for financial solutions have fallen behind on their bills because of a major life event like divorce. But today in quasi-celebrity bankruptcy news, we're covering the story of Brady Williams who got into financial problems not because his marriage split up but because he kept on getting married – a whopping five times with no divorces in between.

7 Pieces of Money Advice for Married Couples to Help You Get Ahead


Take care with your finances to get a real happily ever after

Image source: Flickr user Kelly Sue DeConnick

While marriage is on the decline in some parts of the world, for many it's still the traditional option that they prefer. Matrimony is all about sharing your love, but it's also about sharing your finances. What can be hard to fathom in the first blushes of your romance is that money problems can cause problems so serious that love may not be enough to get you past them. It's important that you both go into your marriage with eyes wide open about each other's financial situation. From there, you can work together to keep your finances healthy and in check so your marriage can be happy as well.

Money Miracle – Change Your Finances With an Envelope, a Sharpie and a Can-Do Attitude

Envelope of cash

One small envelope (or two) could change your finances!

Finances can be confusing. Most kids don't graduate high school with enough money savvy to serve them well and plenty of college graduates don't have a much better idea about how to deal with their finances. Even as an adult, money matters can be confusing and are made worse when there's not enough money to go around and you're trying to balance what to pay and what can wait. And, as we wrote recently, even those making big bucks may not know how to spend and save to keep themselves out of a money mess.

Bankruptcy Down Across the Country, Not So Much In North Carolina

North Carolina

North Carolina bankruptcies are down - but why?
Image source: Flickr User doug kerr

According to the national news, bankruptcy filings are down across the country. This is good. In North Carolina, however, the statistics show something a little different. Year over year, bankruptcy filings are down nationally by as much as 15% which bodes well for the economy. But let's take a quick look at what's going on in North Carolina compared to in the rest of the country, why and what we have to look forward to.

Bankruptcy and High Income Earners – How Going Broke Can Happen At Any Salary


Going broke can happen at any salary - and bankruptcy can help

Image source: Flickr user Images Money

We write here about those struggling with unemployment and low income and, on the other end, about celebrities that go bust. But what about those that are earning a good living but still struggling? In fact, many that come into our offices to file bankruptcy are neither low income earners nor outrageously wealthy but are earning a salary that most would find envious – around $100,000 a year – and still struggling. How does this happen?

5 Important Bankruptcy Questions Answered in Plain Language


Your questions about bankruptcy answered in plain language

If you're in a financial mess, it can be hard to know what your options are and what steps you should take. And if you start trying to research your options, the information is often written in language that's complicated or just plain doesn't make sense. What makes this worse is that when you're dealing with money troubles, you're usually under stress and can't process convoluted information while you're trying to figure out which bills you can afford to pay.

Do You Really Need a Chapter 7? Situations Where You Can Wait It Out


Waiting can be a sound bankruptcy strategy

Image source: Flickr user brian donovan

If you're really deep in debt you can't pay and can't get past, you may think that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is your best solution. But in some cases, it may not be. In fact, depending on your circumstances, you may want to wait it out and see what happens. Chapter 7 can be helpful to stop a foreclosure or protect equity in your home or another asset. But if you don't have anything to protect and you don't need to stop the foreclosure, it may be best to wait it out. Here are some things to consider.

5 Amazing Money Habits That Can Change Your Life

Money advice

Good money habits can be life changing

Image source: Flickr user espensorvik

The world is full of money advice, money gurus, get-rich-quick schemes and mumbo jumbo about cash that often either doesn't make sense or doesn't seem to apply to your situation. Because we deal with people here in our offices every day from all walks of life, we see what money practices cause problems and how people are able to recover and get on with their lives. Below are five amazing money habits that apply to everyone at any age, stage of life, occupation or financial situation.

Debt Collectors Know When You Get Money! Find Out How to Protect Your Cash

Paying bills

How do debt collectors know when you have money to pay bills?

Image source: Flick User Morgan

If you're behind on your bills, you'll get calls from bill collectors, but if you're unemployed and totally broke, you may notice that other than an occasional letter, you seem to drop off their radar. But as soon as you get a job and have some cash rolling in, your phone starts ringing again, almost like magic. How do debt collectors know you've got money? Simple – they use technology to know when they can likely shake you down for what you owe.

5 Ways to Help Your Family with Money Without Ruining Your Own Finances

Helping family

Family is important, but you have to keep an eye on your own finances too.

Image source: Flickr User US Army

One of the easiest ways to get into financial trouble is to try and bail others out of financial trouble, particularly your family. While it can be easy to turn a blind eye to the money woes of others, this isn't true with those you love. This dynamic is particularly true in two ways. One situation is when seniors help out their adult children that are struggling. The other is when adults are helping their aging parents who don't have the financial resources to pay their medical bills and living expenses. In both situations, helping out is the right thing to do, but there are smart ways to go about lending a hand.

Were You Foreclosed on in North Carolina? You May Be Owed Money!


If you were foreclosed on in North Carolina, you may be owed money!

Image source: Flickr user Fibonacci Blue

There are only 12 days left to file for a payment recovery if you are one of the thousands of North Carolina consumers that were victimized by Ocwen Financial Corporation in a wrongful foreclosure scheme. Nationwide, Ocwen has been ordered to pay back $125 million to homeowners they foreclosed on improperly. North Carolina's Attorney General Roy Cooper says, “People who lost their homes to faulty foreclosures now have a chance to recovery some money. Don't delay if you think you're eligible to get money back.”


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