Posts Tagged ‘Debt Settlement’

Resolve Your Student Loan Default In 2017

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GEODEX Provides Update on Restructuring, Non-Brokered Unit Financing and Goldway SRL Acquisition

TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / January 6, 2017 / Geodex Minerals Ltd. (GXM.V) (the Company or Geodex) is pleased to provide the following update on its previously announced initiative to become a Next Generation Metals and Mining Company. Each aspect of the Companys restructuring, financing and acquisition and growth strategy is discussed below.

Restructuring – Debt Settlement and Share Consolidation

At the Companys special meeting of shareholders held on January 29, 2016, the shareholders approved: a) the consolidation of the common shares of the Company on the basis of one (1) post-consolidation common share for every ten (10) pre-consolidation common shares (the Consolidation); b) $386,059.30 in debt settlements to arms length and non-arms length parties through the issuance of 3,860,593 post-consolidation common shares of the Company at a deemed price of $0.10 per post-consolidation common share (the Debt Settlement); and c) the conversion of special warrants (converted into 670,000 common shares) issued in connection with a private placement in July 2015. The Consolidation and conversion of special warrants received final approval from the TSX Venture Exchange on February 9, 2016 resulting in 2,779,827 common shares issued and outstanding. Completion of the Debt Settlement will result in the issuance of an additional 3,860,593 common shares (or 6,640,420 pro forma shares) issued and outstanding prior to completion of the proposed non-brokered unit financing (the Offering) and Goldway SRL acquisition. The Debt Settlement is expected to close concurrently with the first tranche of the proposed Offering, subject to final approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Financing – Non-brokered Private Placement of Units

The previously announced private placement offering of up to an aggregate of up to 2,000 Units (the Units) of the Company for gross proceeds of $1,800,000 (the Offering) has been revised. Each Unit is now comprised of: (i) a note in the principal amount of C$1,000, bearing a coupon of 10.0%, payable semi-annually (the Note); (ii) 1,500 common shares (the Unit Shares); and (iii) 1,500 common share purchase warrants (the Warrants), with each Warrant exercisable into one common share of the Company (a Warrant Share) at an exercise price of $0.10 per Warrant Share, provided that the Warrant is exercised on or before the date that is 5 years from the date of closing.

The Notes will have a 5-year term and are being sold at a 10% discount to their par value for a deemed offering price of $900.00 per Unit for gross proceeds of $1,800,000.

The Offering may close in multiple tranches with proceeds of the Units sold under the Offering to be used for metal trading activities, project development capital for the Companys operations in Bolivia and for general working capital purposes.

Goldway SRL Acquisition

Key to the Companys growth strategy is the acquisition of Goldway SRL. (Goldway), a privately owned gold and metals trading company with operations in Bolivia. The original Letter of Intent (LOI) entered into on July 22, 2015 has been amended pursuant to a share exchange agreement dated August 12, 2016, and it is intended that the shareholders of Goldway will receive: (i) $100,000 on closing of the acquisition; (ii) 5,000,000 of common shares in the capital of the Company (Geodex Shares), to be issued in tranches of one-third (1/3) on each of the closing of the acquisition, and the dates that are six (6) months and twelve (12) months following completion of the acquisition; and (iii) future cash payments equal to 10% of the operating earnings (EBITDA) for the first year following the acquisition, 9.5% of EBITDA for the second year, and 9.0% of EBITDA for the third year. In the event that Goldway has minimum EBITDA of $1,000,000 for the 12 month period following completion of the acquisition the sellers may elect to receive a one-time payment of $500,000 in lieu of the annual payments.

The transaction will be completed by way of cash and equity payments as described above, a considerable portion of which will be deferred and aligned to the profitability of Goldway. No finders fee will be paid by Goldway pursuant to this transaction, and the transaction does not involve any non-arms length parties.

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MoneyTips: Pay down debt with your tax refund

The tax refund you receive in 2017 could be just what you need to pay down any credit card debt you rang up over the festive season. It may help you to clear your balances and enjoy the rest of the year with fewer struggles.

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year for families, but many Americans spend more than they can afford, leading to acredit hangoverafter Christmas. Mark DiGiovanni, a Certified Financial Planner, says that due to a lack of budgeting and restraint over the festive season, many people spend themselves into a hole by the beginning of the next year, and they spend the better part of the year trying to dig themselves out.

A recent study found that credit card debt in the US variesfrom state to state. DiGiovanni suggests the rising number of loans are due to the improving economy, with many households becoming more optimistic about taking on extra debt. For those in states like Georgia, which ranks third in the country for average credit card debt, and where the average income is lower, this has led to more spending on plastic.

To tackle these debts, DiGiovanni suggests households try to cut their expenses during the first few months of the year and put any savings towards credit card bills. If yourbalancehas not been cleared by April, he recommends using yourtax refundto reduce the remaining debt.

If you want to settle outstanding debts for less than what you owe, try ourdebt settlement tool.

Originally Posted at:

Many Do Not Claim Their Tax Refunds Each Year

Tax Day Last Minute Filing

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Do You Know How to Escape Credit Card Debt?

By Andrew Housser

It’s January – a month that represents a fresh start for everything from diets to getting finances in shape. If your household is like many in the United States, you may be greeting 2017 with a resolution to get out of debt.

Approximately 38 percent of US households carry credit card debt from month to month. The financial industry calls these people debt “revolvers,” because they allow their debt to turn over each month, instead of paying it off. As the new year arrives, households that carry debt have reached a new high: Each owes an average of more than $16,000 on credit cards.

For debt revolvers, now is the time to become a “transactor” – someone who repays any credit card charges in full every month. This not only eliminates the burden of debt. It will save even more in interest charges. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates last month, for only the second time since 2006. As interest rates increase, so does the cost of interest on revolving debt, including credit card debt.

The average household currently pays nearly $1,300 each year in interest. Can you think of a few things you could do with $1,300, other than give it to your credit card company? Read on for options to eliminate your debt in 2017.

  1. Profit from decluttering. Look around your house and decide if you have items you no longer need. Determine if you can sell unwanted and unused belongings through a yard sale, online site or to friends. Use the money to make debt payments, even if it is only a few dollars at a time.
  2. Reconsider your vehicle. Millions of people have purchased new vehicles this year, motivated by redesigned models and low interest rates. If you fall into this group, carefully evaluate if you really need that car or truck, or if you could get by with something less expensive. A high car payment might be better put toward getting out of debt. Do not sacrifice reliable transportation to work – after all, your income is the way to get out of debt – but consider whether you could trade in your car for a less expensive but still dependable model. Alternatively, you might be able to travel by public transit, bike or carpool.
  3. Use a bonus wisely. If you are among the fortunate people who receive a holiday bonus or monetary gifts, you may be tempted to buy something special for yourself or a loved one. The best gift you might buy, though, is freedom from debt. Put your bonus toward your credit card bill and celebrate your reduced balance.
  4. Ask for a raise. Are you getting the most from the work you do? If you have not had an increase in your wages in quite a few years, perhaps now is the time to thoroughly review your work and consider asking for a new performance review. Prepare a list of what you have done for your company.
  5. Transfer a balance – carefully. People with excellent credit histories may have access to low promotional interest rates on new credit cards. Transferring a balance from one card to another can be a useful way to pay off a high-interest rate account at lower cost for some people. Carefully check the fee and the new rate. The new rate should be significantly lower than the interest rate, or you will not save money with the transfer. And before transferring, make sure you can pay off the balance before the promotional rate expires. If you cannot, you may well end up paying interest on the entire amount, in addition to the transfer fee.
  6. Think about debt consolidation. If the problem is many accounts with high interest rates, consolidating debts may help. This simply means combining debts to have one interest rate and one payment to focus your efforts. Some people borrow from a friend or a bank. Others consider consolidating debt with a personal loan from an online lender. These loans usually offer somewhat lower interest rates than credit cards do. They can be beneficial for individuals whose credit scores do not reflect repayment capabilities, as they use different criteria than a traditional bank or credit union to evaluate how likely a person is to repay a loan. Some companies, such as FreedomPlus, even offer a discounted interest rate if you use the loan proceeds to repay credit card lenders directly.
  7. Call creditors to ask for hardship status. If you have fallen behind on payments because of a temporary hardship, such as losing your job, you can call creditors and ask for temporary hardship status. Some creditors may work out payment plans with you. For student loans, you might qualify for a deferment, forbearance or an income-based repayment schedule, all of which can ease your monthly burden and free up money to repay credit cards.
  8. Consult a credit counselor. Credit counselors help consumers repay their debt on a set schedule. When you sign on with a credit counseling agency, the agency typically arranges a debt management plan (DMP) to reduce the monthly payment obligation. Credit card companies agree to accept a lower interest rate on existing debt, called a “concession rate.” Choose a credit counselor very carefully. Some credit counseling agencies are nonprofit, but some earn a profit. The fees can be high, at $10-15 each month per enrolled debt, and the plan may take up to five years to complete.
  9. Seek debt negotiation help. Firms that provide debt negotiation (also known as debt settlement) negotiate directly with creditors to resolve unsecured debt balances, generally in 24 to 48 months. Often, debt negotiation firms can reduce your debt load by 50 percent (not including fees). The process is best suited to people who are struggling to make even minimum payments and would otherwise need to consider credit counseling or bankruptcy. .
  10. File bankruptcy as a last resort. Many people see bankruptcy as a last resort – with good reason. Bankruptcy harms credit ratings for many years, the legal fees can be expensive and it can be difficult to qualify for a Chapter 7 filing, which eliminates most consumer debt. (With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, consumers are required to repay debt if they have income to do so.) Before filing bankruptcy, speak to a bankruptcy attorney licensed in your state.

It’s difficult to stay the course until you become debt-free. The challenge is worth it, though. When you succeed, you will gain financial security, the freedom to save your money or spend it on things you choose – instead of things you owe – and most of all, your peace of mind. Is 2017 your year to get out of debt? Start working toward your goal now, and you will reap the rewards.

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Podcast: Start the New Year Motivated for Success

Podcast Transcript

JESSICA LOVE: Welcome to 2017. Two Januaries ago, we asked a number of Kellogg professors what advice they had for listeners looking to make changes to their lives. And it turns out, their advice is as relevant today as it was in 2015. So please enjoy this podcast from our archives. And at the very end, you’ll learn something that may forever alter the way you think about the ever-lengthening holiday shopping season.

[music prelude]

JESSICA LOVE: Welcome to 2015. The new year is a good time to return that ill-fitting sweater and reckon with the damage youve done to your bank account over the holidays. Its also a time for resolutions. Giving yourself goals is a great way to ring in the new, but a year is a long time. How do you stay motivated?

Speaker 1: When I have a long-term goal, what I do to stay motivated is to make sure that I have a core group of people that I can discuss these problems with to help me reflect and move forward.

Speaker 2: For me, when you have a goal, I just keep going and thats it.

Speaker 3: Small daily goals, because for me, the big picture is kind of really overwhelming, like with New Years resolutions, stuff like that. Just tiny little goals that I cant necessarily procrastinate on, because I will if I can.

[music interlude]

LOVE: Hello and welcome to Insight in Person, Kellogg Insights monthly podcast, produced by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Im your host, Jessica Love.

This month, we look at what it takes to start off 2015 right. Whether youre trying to save money, become healthier, or make your company more efficient, weve got insights to help you, so stay tuned.

[music interlude]

BLAKE McSHANE: You know, like most things in life, when we
find ourselves with a task to complete, whether its being mired in debt
or anything else, a strategy to help us get out of that hole can really

LOVE: Thats Blake McShane, an associate professor of
marketing at the Kellogg School. When McShane and his research
colleagues started to delve into what makes people more likely to
complete a task, a lot of strategies presented themselves.

McSHANE: One could proceed linearly, right? Just think about
the beginning, the middle, and the end, and proceed in that direction,
and lots of tasks lend themselves to that. Alternatively, you might
think about tackling your toughest task first or, for that matter, your
easiest task first.

LOVE: One common goal is to get out of debt, but juggling
multiple accounts with varying principles, interest rates, and payment
schedules can make coming up with a strategy a daunting task. The advice
we hear time and time again is to pay off your highest interest debts
first. This ensures that you pay the least amount of interest in the
long run, but it turns out this perfectly logical advice may not always
be the best. Heres McShane again.

McSHANE: Theres another strategy, which has been called the
snowball strategy, or the snowball approach to debt, which takes the
idea of starting with your easiest task first. It says you should find
your smallest debt, and first pay that one off.

LOVE: Along with colleague David Gall, McShane studied people
who enrolled in programs with debt settlement firms. These firms
negotiate with creditors on debtors behalf, often getting them to
accept a much smaller lump sum than the amount they originally owed.
Since the debt settlement firms handle the haggling, participants in
this study had no control over the order in which their debts were paid
off. Still, order mattered when it came to motivation. Regardless of
interest rates, people whose smaller debts were paid off first were much
more likely to finish the program and eliminate all their debt. So
should people disregard interest rates when paying off debts and stick
to a smallest-to-largest strategy?

McSHANE: We wouldnt say that you should absolutely disregard the interest rate on your debt.

LOVE: But, McShane says, within a specific class of debt, like
credit card debt or car loans, your interest rates are likely pretty
similar, so going after the smallest debt first within a specific class
of debt could be motivating.

McSHANE: Also, quite nicely, is that when you think of
different classes of debt, usually its the very, very big ones that
comes with smaller interest rates. So, for instance, your mortgage is
typically your biggest debt that you have, and usually those have much
smaller interest rates than something like a credit card.

LOVE: Why exactly is starting small a good choice for getting out of debt?

McSHANE: First of all, its the idea of getting a quick win.
It makes you motivated, it makes you feel pumped, and youre ready to
continue doing what youve just successfully done. It also sort of
instills confidence. You think that, you know, maybe when you start the
task, you have no idea whether you can complete it, but the fact that
you got a win made you say to yourself, Hey, I can do this now. I
think in any long-term goal you might have, particularly one where
partial progress is not so important, then this idea of focusing on
checking items off the list can be really helpful.

[music interlude]

LOVE: Many of us enlist the support of those around us when
tackling long-term goals. If we set out to lose 10 pounds in 2015, we
might make sure our family and friends know not to tempt us with sweets
and French fries. It turns out this strategy can backfire.

Eli Finkel is a professor of management and organizations at the
Kellogg School. His research points to a phenomenon he calls
self-regulatory outsourcing. This means that when we work on reaching a
goal with the help of another person, there is a risk that we come to
depend on that persons help so much that we let our own efforts flag.

ELI FINKEL: When people help us in a way that makes it clear
that we dont have to work as hard, we take that as a signal that in
fact we dont have to work as hard.

LOVE: In one study, Finkel looked at women in romantic
relationships who wanted to lose weight. One group of women was asked to
think about how their partners help them with their weight-loss goals.
Another group was asked to think about how their partners helped with
their career goals. Afterwards, both groups were asked how much time
they plan to spend working out the following week. It turns out that the
women who thought about their partners help with weight loss planned
to work out less than the women who thought about their partners help
with their careers.

FINKEL: Because you can think about how somebody else might
help you achieve that goal, it frees you up to think about or to use
your resources, your goal-pursuit resources, on other goals rather than
that goal. Then, consequentially, it has this ironic undermining effect,
such that thinking about how somebody else helps you achieve a
weight-loss goal actually makes you lazy.

LOVE: That doesnt mean you shouldnt enlist people to help
you achieve your goal. Its all about how they approach their role as

FINKEL: The crucial distinction is the way we offer help, and
in particular, when we offer help to other people, do we offer it in a
way that promises to substitute for their own effort versus promises to
support their own effort? A husband might make sure he does all the
healthy cooking to help his wife lose weight, for example, but the
better way to provide social support, and to help people achieve their
goals, is to mention, Im here, Im hanging back, and you can count on
me if you need it, but Im not going to be intrusive. Im not going to
get in the way or take over the pursuit of the goal. Im just going to
be here to support you and encourage you.

[music interlude]

LOVE: If youre someone who sets incremental goals to help you
achieve big ones, youll be pleased to hear how you can trick yourself
into taking that next step. Kellogg School associate professor of
marketing Miguel Brendl has found that how we measure our progress
toward a goal can impact motivation.

MIGUEL BRENDL: We need to take a step back and ask, What
motivates people? One thing they do is they constantly ask themselves,
maybe not consciously, but in the background somehow, How valuable is
it to take the next step?

LOVE: He finds that, while pursuing a goal, we make continual
calculations. How much is the next step going to accomplish compared to
how far Ive already come or how far I have left to go?

Lets say you have a goal to run ten miles. After you run the first
mile, you calculate what that second mile is worth. One mile to run
versus the one mile youve already finished. That ratio is 1:1, meaning
that second mile is pretty valuable. At mile nine, you make the same
calculation, but this time you focus on how close you are to finishing.
Since you only have one mile to go, the value of that last mile is very
high. This knowledge pushes you to the end.

BRENDL: This is just perception. You know, we normally think
of in motivation is, How much willpower do I have to force myself to
move on? Its not about willpower; its just perception of the sizes of

LOVE: Switching your perception of your progress from how much
you have completed to how much you have left works well at the
beginning and the end of a task. But in the middle, youre far from both
ends and that next step doesnt seem so valuable anymore.

BRENDL: We call it, “stuck in the middle.”

LOVE: The way to get unstuck, Brendl says, is to set sub-goals
for yourself. Lets say your 2015 resolution is to save $8000, so you
need to squirrel away about $650 a month. In January, no problem. Youre
super motivated. February is probably pretty easy too, but what about
when you get to July? By then, youve saved nearly $4000. That next $650
doesnt feel as valuable compared to either the $4000 youve saved or
the $4000 you have left to go, so you set yourself a sub-goal to get
past that $4000 hump.

BRENDL: Maybe they could reward themselves and say, okay, if I
hit $5000, Im allowed to go out and have a nice dinner. Then they
will be focused on that and they may save a little less because they
spent the money on the dinner, but then are more likely to save the
entire goal.

[music interlude]

LOVE: Weve been talking about ways you personally can
accomplish your goals in the new year. But how about retailers that have
their own goals, like selling out all of the holiday merchandise they
stocked? If you walk into the mall this week to use up those gift
certificates you got for the holidays, youll probably notice some
stores packed with 50 percent off signs, return-seeking customers, and
scrambling employees, while others appear almost completely dead. The
dead stores probably did a much better job of managing the holiday rush:
they better predicted total customer demand and, more importantly, just
what customers were demanding. Heres Sunil Chopra, a professor of
Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School.

CHOPRA: Its relatively–relatively speaking–easier to prepare
for a total demand that will arise and the total need for staff, because
total sales become much more predictable. What is much harder to do is
figure out which are going to be the winners and losers because you have
so little time to react if you guessed wrong.

LOVE: Thats right. Retailers biggest challenge isnt volume
but timing. People like to lament how the holiday shopping season seems
to stretch longer and longer each year. We generally chalk this trend up
to retailers wanting people to spend more. This is undoubtedly true.
But the biggest benefit to a longer holiday shopping season for
retailers may be that they have more time to get the right products into
the store. Heres Professor Chopra again.

CHOPRA: What youd like to do is, as early as possible, get a
sense of where the market is going. Waiting till Black Friday to have
your first taste of what Christmas shopping is going to look like is too
late, because youll have less than four weeks to react and arrange for
supply if you guessed wrong. Its impossible. On the other hand, you
run in early November, late October–so the earlier things move, I get a
second chance to react, which corrects my predictions quite
significantly. Because from a retailers perspective, the best possible
outcome after the holiday rush is that they have nothing to do.

[music interlude]

LOVE: This program was produced by Jessica Love, Fred
Schmalz, Emily Stone, and Michael Spikes. Special thanks to Kellogg
School of Management faculty Miguel Brendl, Sunil Chopra, Eli Finkel,
and Blake McShane, as well as Northwestern students including Jose
Martinez and Elizabeth Frieda, who shared how they stayed motivated. You
can stream or download our monthly podcast from iTunes or from our
website, where you can find articles on debt consolidation, motivation,
and supply chain management, in addition to plenty of other business
insights. Visit us at Well be back
next month with another Kellogg Insight podcast.

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Despite optimism, consumers just want to get out of debt

Photo (c) AdobeStock

When you ask consumers what their top five financial goals are, usually “saving money” and “paying down debt” are among them.

This year, after what may have been a very robust season of holiday spending and rising consumer confidence, an online poll shows that getting out of debt is far-and-away the top priority among consumers.

The end-of-the-year poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)shows 80% of respondents picked “paying down debt” as a top goal to start 2017.

Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC, says he isnt surprised.

“It’s a sobering moment when the credit card bill arrives in January and reveals a mountain of debt fueled by holiday spending,” McClary said. “January is a good time for planning to get debt under control before it becomes unmanageable.”

Debt can quickly mount

And that can quickly happen. If you start January with a balance of $1,000 but only pay $150 of it, then add $500 in spending the following month, youve suddenly got a balance of $1,350 – plus monthly interest charges.

McClary says consumers facing mounting debt in January shouldnt panic, but should also realize that it will take some time and effort to bring that balance back to zero.

Here are some things to do to begin to shrink that credit card balance:

Look at the details of each debt. That means drilling down through balances, transactions, interest, fees, terms and conditions. Try to identify the debt that is growing fastest.

Not all debts are equal

Prioritize. Place the most attention on the credit accounts with the highest interest rates. If you can speed up the payment process on these accounts, it will save money that can be allocated to other debts. Remember that high interest rates and lengthy repayment schedules are a costly combination.

There is always hope. Even if you think there is no extra money in your budget to apply to debt repayment, reach out to trusted sources. Your lender may be able to make some accommodation. A non-profit credit counselor may be able to provide helpful guidance.

Avoid so-called debt settlement companies that promise they can settle your debt for pennies on the dollar, as long as you pay an advance fee.

Its also helpful to remember that repaying debt is a marathon, not a sprint. It might not have taken very long to run up that huge credit card bill, but unless you win the lottery, its going to take a while to pay it down.

Thats the toxic element of debt. When you borrow against the future to spend today, you are in essence reducing tomorrows income. Future income will not only have to cover current expenses, but pay back what you spent in the past.

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Credit Coach: What to do when debt becomes a problem

Each day many individuals and families struggle with debt and debt repayment.

Working with BDO First Call Debt Solutions as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee provides me the opportunity to sit and review family budgets and debt problems ranging from the very simple to the complex. One question that continually arises when talking with people about debt is “What are my options?”

This blog is the first in a four-part series that will take you through an overview of the various personal debt management options available. Parts two, three and four of this series will detail the ins and outs of the various options.

Option One: create a budget and try to cut costs to manage debt repayment

Once an individual realizes that their debt loads are causing stress and anxiety the first step to solving the problem is to sit down and create a detailed budget to take control of the household finances.

In an earlier blog I talked about the raw data you need to create that budget. Hopefully you already know how much your household spends each month on items like groceries, clothes and household sundries. If not you should compile this data before you can begin. Try not to overthink the budgeting process — keep it as simple as possible.

A budget does not need to be an elaborate spreadsheet with fancy calculations. It can be as simple as writing out a list of your household costs for a two-week period and matching that against your total household income for the same period.

You are either going to have a surplus or a deficit. If you have a surplus, that’s great — make a plan to apply that surplus to credit card debt (or any other high interest debt). If you have a deficit, it’s time to sharpen the pencil, review your food costs, review your fuel consumption and review your personal expenditures — such as dining out, alcohol consumption and tobacco use. Hopefully by trimming a few of these expenses you can put together a budget that balances, with enough room left to spare for debt repayment,

Option Two: seek help with your debt

So what do you do if you have sharpened that pencil as much as you can and the budget still doesn’t allow for payment of all the household debts and living expenses? It may be time to seek professional help with your debt. In Canada, there are a few different agencies you can consult. Essentially what you are looking for is an opportunity to have a third party work with your creditors to arrange payment terms — most often, the plan involves repaying your debts over an extended period of time.

  • A for-profit debt settlement company offers a debt settlement plan. In short, you will sign a contract with the company to pay them a monthly amount. You stop paying your creditors while the debt settlement company attempts to negotiate with your creditors to repay less than what you owe.
  • A not-for-profit credit counselling agency will assist you with formulating a family budget. A credit counsellor can also help you design a repayment plan commonly referred to as a Debt Management Plan (DMP). The credit counsellor will communicate with each of your creditors seeking acceptance of repayment of your debt in full at a reduced rate of interest over a 48 month period. You will pay back the total amount of your debt.
  • A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) will review your finances during a free consultation. The LIT will begin by reviewing options offered by other debt professionals with you. If you choose one of those options, a LIT will provide a referral to a third party if this is appropriate.

Options three: prepare a consumer proposal to your creditors

Once you have taken the step to contact a LIT for a free consultation and assessment of your financial situation, you will be presented with all of your available options.

If you are no longer a candidate for some simple budgeting help and if your financial situation is such that a debt management program won’t be successful, the LIT will explain the two formal legislated credit management processes.

The first is called a consumer proposal. This process is essentially a plan or proposal you present to your creditors. Depending on your financial situation this process often results in you repaying only a portion of your debt with no additional interest charges over a period of up to 60 months. The consumer proposal offers relief from your debts without having to dispose of or lose control of your property.

Option four: file personal bankruptcy

During your consultation with a LIT, you may be presented with information on filing a personal assignment in bankruptcy. This option is available to individuals without sufficient income or assets to enter into any form of formal debt repayment.

The bankruptcy process is a legislated process governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. This process can only be administered by a LIT. Each individual’s bankruptcy experience is unique depending on income levels, dependents and asset ownership.

Unlike some of the myths and legends to be found on the internet, going through a bankruptcy does not mean losing everything. And you can often rebuild your financial life once the process is over.

While this has been a general review of four basic options for resolving your debt and dealing with creditors, most people will need a detailed assessment to pick which option is best. The first step in any process is arming yourself with information. If you have debt worries, please visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website and the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada website. Each site offers valuable information about dealing with debt that will help you make an informed decision. You can also make an appointment for a consultation with a LIT. Most importantly, before you commit to any debt solution, make sure you feel comfortable with the person and the plan that you have chosen.

Jayson Stoppel is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Chartered Accountant with BDO First Call Debt Solutions. With over 15 years in practice, Jayson assists individuals, families and companies with financial difficulties in Thunder Bay and throughout Northwest Ontario. To reach Jayson by email:

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Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys Launch Foreclosure and Debt Relief Legal Services

CHICAGO, IL, US, January 5, 2017 — The Chicago bankruptcy attorneys at the law office of Gregory K. Stern, PC, announces the launch of its bankruptcy and foreclosure services in the city. The firm specializes in legal advice for bankruptcy and foreclosure legal services.

More information about Gregory K. Stern, PC, and its bankruptcy and foreclosure legal services is available at

Bankruptcy remains one of the last legal recourse available individuals who are unable to repay their loans to their creditors. In the United States, more than 900,000 individuals and businesses file for bankruptcy to restructure existing debt or discharge that debt by the sale of applicable assets. Industry analyses indicate that unbearable medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcy, while IRS actions, civil lawsuits, auto repossessions, and mortgage default are also major reasons for bankruptcy.

With more than a century of collective debt relief counseling experience, the law office of Gregory K. Stern, PC, offers its legal expertise in Chicago. The firm offers comprehensive legal expertise and services to individuals filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The firm offers its services to businesses that are reorganizing debt through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy allows individuals and businesses gain a fresh start by having their debts discharged or restructures. Most people can file bankruptcy, however, you may be ineligible based on assets, transfer, prior bankruptcy filings, or having a household income above the medium income based on the Internal Revenue Service guidelines (the “Means Test”). Other times, individuals and businesses choose to not file bankruptcy for personal reasons. There are alternatives to explore including debt settlement, business and corporate wind-down, defense litigation, debt negotiation and restructuring, and more. Call our attorneys at Gregory K. Stern, PC to discuss your options.

Bankruptcy is not always the solution. The attorneys at Gregory K. Stern, PC take time to listen to your situation and provide you with your options. Since 1983, our attorneys have helped thousands of individuals and corporations resolve their financial difficulties.

For individual filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sound legal advice and the effective administration of qualifying requirements is crucial to the protection of assets covered by exemptions. The law office of Gregory K. Stern, PC, works with a client to ensure the proper implementation of all exemptions permitted by the law. In the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the firm helps working individuals pay off their debt through a repayment plan.

According to a spokesperson for Gregory K. Stern, PC, “Our commitment is to help the people of our great city eliminate or restructure their debt through bankruptcy while protecting their assets. Bankruptcy laws are specifically designed to help individuals who face financial difficulties. We provide compassionate, humane, and pragmatic legal advice for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 11 bankruptcy to help our clients successfully navigate through the process.”

The Chicago bankruptcy attorneys at the law office of Gregory K. Stern, PC specializes in legal advice for individuals and businesses affected by foreclosure and bankruptcy, offering debt relief legal services in Chicago. The firm’s award-winning team of attorneys helps individuals from diverse backgrounds discharge or restructure their debt.

For more information, please visit

Gregory K. Stern,
Gregory K. Stern, PC
312- 427-1558
email us here

Chicago Personal Bankruptcy Attorneys – Gregory K. Stern, P.C

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Debt Consolidation Take 5 – Why Take the Debt Consolidation Route

There are numerous debt relief and management processes. They include budgeting, living within your means, debt relief, debt settlement, debt management, and bankruptcy. Despite these avenues, when you are in debt, the first place and option that you will think of is debt consolidation.

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Ready to Tackle Your Debt? 10 Tips to Get Free or Cheap Help

Watch the video of ‘Ready to Tackle Your Debt? 10 Tips to Get Free or Cheap Help’ on

If you’re carrying a load of debt — maybe staggering under its weight — you are not alone. US households hold, on average, credit card balances totaling $16,061, according to the annual survey of household debt by Nerdwallet. For some, the big burden is student loan debt or tax debt. The average household with any kind of debt owes $132,529, including mortgages, Nerdwallet said.

Debt — especially credit card debt — is expensive, and it’s only becoming more so as interest rates climb.

In short, 2017 is an excellent time to get some help and bring your debt down to manageable levels.

Fortunately, there are many excellent, trustworthy credit counseling agencies able to help. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to stumble into the hands of a bad “adviser” — including debt-settlement companies that may leave their clients in worse shape than they were. So, as you resolve to tackle your debt, follow these tips:

To be safe, get financial counseling from a nonprofit agency. Here’s where to find one:

  • Money Talks New Solutions Center: Find a reputable expert to help you with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, and more. These are partners we’ve hand-picked to help our readers.
  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling: The NFCC agency locator shows local, regional or national organizations operating near you that provide credit, debt and budget counseling in person, online or by phone. You can get started by submitting information online.
  • The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies represents independent nonprofit agencies providing credit counseling and debt help to consumers. Find a member agency here.
  • Other sources of help: The Federal Trade Commission says:

Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the US Cooperative Extension Service operate nonprofit credit counseling programs. Your financial institution, local consumer protection agency, and friends and family also may be good sources of information and referrals.

What to expect

Trustworthy credit counseling agencies offer help with reducing debt and establishing and maintaining good credit. They can help you set up a budget. With their debt management plans, you may be able to have fees waived and interest rates and monthly payments reduced. But they can’t reduce the balance (the total amount) of debt you owe.

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, a NFCC network member, explains a debt management plan:

It’s a systematic, step-by-step, personalized plan for paying off 100 percent of your debt. Participants make a single monthly payment to a consumer credit counseling service such as ClearPoint, and the agency distributes the funds to their creditors.

Get a plan in place to chipping away the debt — that would be an accomplishment in itself — but the duration of that plan will depend on your obligations. For many people it takes three to five years to pay them off.

Be wary

Credit counselors can negotiate with your creditors to reduce your payments by lowering your interest rate or spreading payments over a longer time. But be wary of companies promising to reduce the amount of debt you owe. The CFPB says to distrust debt settlement companies that:

… typically offer to pay off your debts with lump sum payments that are less than the full amounts you owe. For example, for every $100 of a loan that a creditor agrees to forgive, the debt settlement company will charge you some portion in fees.

If you sign up for a debt management plan, make sure it includes all of your debts, not just some. And be certain that you’ll be able to receive regular reports on your accounts. The NFCC explains in detail how to assess debt management plans and credit counselors.

When shopping for help managing your debts, here’s what to look for:

1. Free or low-cost counseling

Many nonprofit credit counseling services provide free advice about credit, debt and budgeting.

And when it comes to getting help with a debt management plan, USA.Gov says there’s no reason for an agency to charge consumers high fees: “The cost of setting up this debt management plan is paid by the creditor, not you.”

For example, for a debt management plan, GreenPath Debt Solutions, an NFCC member, charges a one-time setup fee of zero to $50 and a monthly fee averaging $36.

2. Straight talk about fees

Don’t trust a company that gives you the runaround when you inquire about the cost of its services.

3. Free information

You should be able to learn all the details you need about an agency and its debt management plans for free. Don’t surrender your personal details to get information about a company or its fees.

4. Free help for serious hardships

Agencies should waive fees if you have a serious financial hardship. “If an organization won’t help you because you can’t afford to pay, go somewhere else for help,” advises

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