Debt Settlement Explained in a Nutshell

Debt settlement is a debt relief option available to consumers in America. A debt settlement program is a very powerful and aggressive form of debt relief meant to relieve debtors within three years. There are many companies ready to help consumers negotiate with their creditors. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how these programs work:

  • The client enrolls their debts into the program.
  • The company opens a trust savings account in the client’s name.
  • The client makes one monthly payment for all of the debts combined into the savings account.
  • The company’s arbitrators negotiate with the creditors when there is enough money saved.
  • After one card is paid off, the cycle repeats until the program period has passed – the client continues making payments into the savings account and the arbitrators negotiate when funds are available.

Once your debts are paid down, make sure you stay current on your secured loans like mortgage payments and auto loans because they’ll help improve your credit score tremendously and within a year or two your credit score will be in the 700s allowing you to apply for loans and lines of credit while keeping the interest rates low and somewhat reasonable.

Debt settlement is one of the most powerful tools available for consumers today. It’s the most aggressive approach to relieving debt and should be used for relieving legitimate financial and medical hardships. Always remember, before putting your trust with any company, make sure they have a high rating with the Better Business Bureau and an impeccable proven track record.

New Franchisee? How Franchising Lenders Work in Canadian Franchise Finance

Being the ‘ new person ‘ is not always beneficial, especially when it comes to a major life decision such as your new career as a franchisee in Canada. Not knowing about franchise finance or franchising lenders work is definitely a set back – so lets get you ‘ armed and ready ‘ with some solid info on financing your franchise.

First of all, here’s the good news – financing a franchise in Canada is certainly possible – It’s mostly done by a guy named BILL! And we’re not kidding. More about him later.

In fact though, the franchise industry is currently viewed as quite healthy as lenders feel that the concept of proven business models and branding of your franchise are great steps to opening what ultimately is a ‘ start up ‘ business. Clearly we all agree a franchise ‘ start up ‘ is steps ahead of opening up your own business and ‘ taking a chance’.

So, can you get a ‘ standard’ bank loan to complete your franchise finance? We don’t want to be too sarcastic here, but the answer is, yes, if you have a million dollars net worth, pristine credit, and some outside collateral and guarantee ability. So what we are saying, putting that sarcasm aside, is that conventional lending doesn’t really work if you’re a new franchisee seeking an independent business opportunity financing.

So, that brings us to our friend BIll, remember we told you he finances most of the franchises in Canada. Clearly a popular guy, as he finances millions of dollars of franchises. Our clients want to immediately get to know this Bill guy. So, who is Bill?

Actually we have spelled his name wrong, its BIL, because that is the name of the government sponsored loan programme in Canada (in the U.S. it’s called the SBA loan) that funds most franchisees in Canada.

How can one program be so popular? It’s simply because it’s well suited to what you are trying to accomplish. It provides great rates, terms and structures, limited personal guarantees, and requires what we in our firm call a reasonable or decent personal credit history. I.E. You don’t need that million dollar net worth we spoke of earlier?

So how do you achieve franchise finance success with franchising lenders on the BIL loan? Again, pardon our humor, but investigate the Boy Scout motto – Be Prepared!

The essence of approval for your franchisee venture for franchising lenders under a BIL loan is a crisp business plan, a financial projection that makes sense, and various back up documents as required by the program. Naturally you also need assistance in determining who offers this loan program, how it can be sometime augmented with other financing, and it sure helps if you present it professionally and properly.

So, we always try to have a bottom line, and in this cases its pretty simple – investigate the BIL program, do your homework, identify key requirements, and, if you are challenged by any of the above seek a trusted, credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can help you achieve franchisee franchise finance success with the right franchising lenders for your BIL. And, by the way, congratulations on your new role as a Canadian entrepreneur!

One More Article About Auto Insurance

What Is Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance is a product that is purchased and also that can pay for damages to your vehicle or others’ vehicles in the event of a car accident or non-accident related harm. Each state has its laws regarding the amount of car insurance that each person should have to be able to drive legally. Many different factors influence auto insurance rates, as well. It does not even base on various companies; it is up to the insurance industry to determine what car insurance is and how much each person will pay for auto coverage.

What is car insurance? It seems like a very fundamental question. However, there are many different facets and elements to consider about car insurance that it can get complicated very fast if you’re not that prepared for what you’re getting in. You need to know how rates are more calculated what types of coverage are available, how much coverage you need or can get, and which companies offer the best auto insurance for your needs.

What Does Auto Insurance Cover?

Auto insurance is used to protect you the individual or a business or organization from financial loss in regards to a motor vehicle. Financial loss can happen due to many reasons, and having auto insurance can cover your losses in a variety of ways.

Liability for Property Damages

Responsibility for property damages is coverage against damage you or a person driving your vehicle with your permission does to someone else’s property. Costs can include the other vehicle, utility poles, fences, buildings, homes, businesses, or almost any type of structure your car comes into touching.

Collision

Collision coverage usually protects your vehicle from damages resulting from an accident with another vehicle, pothole, car flipping over, etc. Collision coverage will pay for repairing your vehicle, or if your vehicle has damaged in the accident, it will reimburse you for the value of the car subtracting deductible and in many cases other costs.

AUTO INSURANCE IN THE USA

Auto insurance is a necessity, and this is amply evident from the fact that all states of the USA have made it mandatory to have car insurance on all vehicles. Most of the time, this appears to be a bothersome exercise, but why to wait until you get involved in an accident to find out how taking an auto cover takes care of your assets and you. High medical expenses and lawsuit judgments on the rise make it worthwhile to protect yourself and your precious vehicle with car insurance.

Furthermore, all jurisdictions have made it compulsory to have two auto insurance systems – the no-fault system, and the Tort system. The former type of insurance favor in most states dictates that your insurance carrier shall pay the injury claims no matter who caused the accident in reality. The amount payable is up to a specified limit, and if you are involved in an accident, your carrier is liable to pay for the injury. As against this, the Tort system the injured party will have to take care of the medical expenses from their packet and then claim it from the guilty driver’s insurance carrier as recompense.

With the number of accidents and theft occurring widely in the USA, it is essential for every auto owner to buy such an insurance coverage to secure both the vehicle as well as its owner in times of need.

In the USA if you want to have a car on the road you have to have auto insurance. Some states even have coverage minimums where you have to have a certain dollar amount of coverage; usually, this is called primary coverage.

How To Get Better Auto Insurance In The USA

Auto insurance covers accident to a car. The insurance company pays for the financial loss to the owner in return for a small amount of money paid periodically. The amount paid annually is called premium, and the contract you draw up with the insurance company is known as the insurance policy. The insurance company allows you to hold the contract, and you become the policyholder.

Car insurance may not come cheap. However, under unforeseen circumstances of loss or damage to your vehicle, compensation will seem like a godsend. Periodically shelling out lumps of money for protecting your car or cars owned by your business, may look expensive. There could be a tendency to try and cut corners by availing the minimum motor insurance packages. However, even minor car damage is overly expensive; therefore, a minimum package may not give you the extensive coverage at a time when you need it most.

Types Of Auto Insurance In the USA

The most common types of auto insurance available in the US are the Liability Insurance, Auto Collision and Comprehensive Insurance, Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection, and the Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorists coverage. Most modern companies offer these.

Liability insurance cover pays for the damage you cause to others and their property. It pays for the legal expenses involved and for the expenditure for the victim going to the court claiming damages, within your liability limits. In a case of an accident, the costs of repairing your car are covered by the collision insurance. The comprehensive insurance covers damages caused by incidents other than car accidents, such as natural calamities, theft, fire, vandalism, and hitting an animal.

In a case of the insured person and the co-passenger needing medical treatment for bodily injury due to an accident, this is covered by the Medical Payments coverage. Personal Injury Protection will cover the medical expenses and the wages lost by you and the co-passenger if injured in the accident.

Why You Need Auto Insurance

The primary objective of any insurance is to protect the policyholder and his family against the consequences resulting from an unexpected injuries or death and financial burdens in the event of these disasters. It is a contract between the related insurance company and you, where you agree to pay the premium for the losses that the insurance company will need to cover in the event of accidents.

The auto insurance covers these three main areas:

Property coverage – refers to the damage or the theft of your car

Liability coverage – relates to your legal responsibilities to others whom might in the cause of the property damage loss be incapacitated

Medical coverage – refers to the medical treatments, therapy charges, rehabilitation, lost in the ability to work, or even funeral expenses where there are faculties.

The Work Of Auto Insurance

The auto insurance also protects you from uninsured drivers or motorists. In this case, the uninsured motorists or drivers have no insurance company to pay you for the damage which had happened, but luckily you still have your insurance company to bear the losses.

Protect the bank which had provided the car loan to finance your vehicle. Because if there are any disaster happening to your vehicle, no one will be able to lend or provide any additional money to you to fix the car other than the auto insurance company. Otherwise, you will need to repair the damage made to the car by your own, and this would prevent you from paying for the periodic monthly loan payment on time. The consequences are that the bank will not lend you any more money in the future, with the bad credit standing which you are in at least for some considerable amount of time.

Proof of Claim Objections in United States Bankruptcy Court

A proof of claim objection in United States Bankruptcy Court is the topic of this article. The United States Bankruptcy code provides that any party in interest may file an objection to a proof of claim filed in a Bankruptcy case. All debtors in Chapter 13 cases are considered a party in interest and therefore have the right to file an objection to any proof of claim filed in their case. Debtors in other cases such as Chapter 7 may or may not be considered as a party in interest depending on the unique circumstances of their case.

It is vitally important to properly object to any claims filed in a Bankruptcy case that is not timely filed, is defective for failure to comply with Bankruptcy code requirements or is defective in any other way or relates to any debt the amount or existence of which is disputed. The reason for this is that Bankruptcy law states that unless a party in interest objects any claim filed is deemed allowed.

It is therefore critical that all proofs of claim filed in any Bankruptcy case be carefully reviewed to determine if there are valid grounds for filing an objection. The pertinent law is 11 U.S.C. § 502(a) which states in pertinent part that, any claim filed “is deemed allowed, unless a party in interest… objects.” The burden is on the party filing the objection to prove to the Court that the claim is not valid and should not be paid.

In particular a debtor or their attorney should carefully review any proof of claim filed to determine if the claim was timely filed as Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002(c) requires most proofs of claim to be filed no later than 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors called under § 341(a) of the Code.

It should be noted that Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3001 contains numerous detailed requirements for each specific type of proof of claim and the proof of claim should be carefully reviewed to determine if it meets the strict requirements of Rule 3001.

Any objection to a proof of claim should be filed and served as soon as it has been determined that there are valid grounds for filing an objection.

Some of the more common grounds for objecting to a proof of claim are:

The creditor failed to attach sufficient documentation to prove that a debt is owed;

The amount of the claim is incorrect;

The same claim was filed more than once;

The claim was not filed in a timely manner;

The classification of the claim as secured or priority is incorrect, and

The claim states improper interest amounts or fees.

Anyone wishing to view the entire text of any of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure cited in this article or any other pertinent rules can visit: https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frbp

Small Business Loan Update – Stimulus Bill Helps Bailout Businesses If They Cannot Pay Loans

As we continue to sift dutifully through the over 1,000 pages of the stimulus bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), there is one provision that is not getting much attention, but could be very helpful to small businesses. If you are a small business and have received an SBA loan from your local banker, but are having trouble making payments, you can get a “stabilization loan”. That’s right; finally some bailout money goes into the hands of the small business owner, instead of going down the proverbial deep hole of the stock market or large banks. But don’t get too excited. It is limited to very specific instances and is not available for vast majority of business owners.

There are some news articles that boldly claim the SBA will now provide relief if you have an existing business loan and are having trouble making the payments. This is not a true statement and needs to be clarified. As seen in more detail in this article, this is wrong because it applies to troubled loans made in the future, not existing ones.

Here is how it works. Assume you were one of the lucky few that find a bank to make a SBA loan. You proceed on your merry way but run into tough economic times and find it hard to repay. Remember these are not conventional loans but loans from an SBA licensed lender that are guaranteed for default by the U.S. government through the SBA (depending upon the loan, between 50% and 90%). Under the new stimulus bill, the SBA might come to your rescue. You will be able to get a new loan which will pay-off the existing balance on extremely favorable terms, buying more time to revitalize your business and get back in the saddle. Sound too good to be true? Well, you be the judge. Here are some of the features:

1. Does not apply to SBA loans taken out before the stimulus bill. As to non-SBA loans, they can be before or after the bill’s enactment.

2. Does it apply to SBA guaranteed loans or non-SBA conventional loans as well? We don’t know for sure. This statute simply says it applies to a “small business concern that meets the eligibility standards and section 7(a) of the Small Business Act” (Section 506 (c) of the new Act). That contains pages and pages of requirements which could apply to both types of loans. Based on some of the preliminary reports from the SBA, it appears it applies to both SBA and non-SBA loans.

3. These monies are subject to availability in the funding of Congress. Some think the way we are going with our Federal bailout, we are going be out of money before the economy we are trying to save.

4. You don’t get these monies unless you are a viable business. Boy, you can drive a truck through that phrase. Our friends at the SBA will determine if you are “viable” (imagine how inferior you will be when you have to tell your friends your business was determined by the Federal government to be “non-viable” and on life support).

5. You have to be suffering “immediate financial hardship”. So much for holding out making payments because you’d rather use the money for other expansion needs. How many months you have to be delinquent, or how close your foot is to the banana peel of complete business failure, is anyone’s guess.

6. It is not certain, and commentators disagree, as to whether the Federal government through the SBA will make the loan from taxpayers’ dollars or by private SBA licensed banks. In my opinion it is the latter. It carries a 100% SBA guarantee and I would make no sense if the government itself was making the loan.

7. The loan cannot exceed $35,000. Presumably the new loan will be “taking out” or refinancing the entire balance on the old one. So if you had a $100,000 loan that you have been paying on time for several years but now have a balance of $35,000 and are in trouble, boy do we have a program for you. Or you might have a smaller $15,000 loan and after a short time need help. The law does not say you have to wait any particular period of time so I guess you could be in default after the first couple of months.

8. You can use it to make up no more than six months of monthly delinquencies.

9. The loan will be for a maximum term of five years.

10. The borrower will pay absolutely no interest for the duration of the loan. Interest can be charged, but it will be subsidized by the Federal government.

11. Here’s the great part. If you get one of these loans, you don’t have to make any payments for the first year.

12. There are absolutely no upfront fees allowed. Getting such a loan is 100% free (of course you have to pay principal and interest after the one year moratorium).

13. The SBA will decide whether or not collateral is required. In other words, if you have to put liens on your property or residence. My guess is they will lax as to this requirement.

14. You can get these loans until September 30, 2010.

15. Because this is emergency legislation, within 15 days after signing the bill, the SBA has to come up with regulations.

Here is a summary of the actual legislative language if you are having trouble getting to sleep:

SEC. 506. BUSINESS STABILIZATION PROGRAM. (a) IN GENERAL- Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall carry out a program to provide loans on a deferred basis to viable (as such term is determined pursuant to regulation by the Administrator of the Small Business Administration) small business concerns that have a qualifying small business loan and are experiencing immediate financial hardship.

(b) ELIGIBLE BORROWER- A small business concern as defined under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632).

(c) QUALIFYING SMALL BUSINESS LOAN- A loan made to a small business concern that meets the eligibility standards in section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) but shall not include loans guarantees (or loan guarantee commitments made) by the Administrator prior to the date of enactment of this Act.

(d) LOAN SIZE- Loans guaranteed under this section may not exceed $35,000.

(e) PURPOSE- Loans guaranteed under this program shall be used to make periodic payment of principal and interest, either in full or in part, on an existing qualifying small business loan for a period of time not to exceed 6 months.

(f) LOAN TERMS- Loans made under this section shall:

(1) carry a 100 percent guaranty; and

(2) have interest fully subsidized for the period of repayment.

(g) REPAYMENT- Repayment for loans made under this section shall–

(1) be amortized over a period of time not to exceed 5 years; and

(2) not begin until 12 months after the final disbursement of funds is made.

(h) COLLATERAL- The Administrator of the Small Business Administration may accept any available collateral, including subordinated liens, to secure loans made under this section.

(i) FEES- The Administrator of the Small Business Administration is prohibited from charging any processing fees, origination fees, application fees, points, brokerage fees, bonus points, prepayment penalties, and other fees that could be charged to a loan applicant for loans under this section.

(j) SUNSET- The Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall not issue loan guarantees under this section after September 30, 2010.

(k) EMERGENCY RULEMAKING AUTHORITY- The Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall issue regulations under this section within 15 days after the date of enactment of this section. The notice requirements of section 553(b) of title 5, United States Code shall not apply to the promulgation of such regulations.

The real question is whether a private bank will loan under this program. Unfortunately, few will do so because the statute very clearly states that no fees whatsoever can be charged, and how can a bank make any money if they loan under those circumstances. Sure, they might make money in the secondary market, but that is dried up, so they basically are asked to make a loan out of the goodness of their heart. On a other hand, it carries a first ever 100% government guarantee so the bank’s know they will be receiving interest and will have no possibility of losing a single dime. Maybe this will work after all.

But there is something else that would be of interest to a bank. In a way, this is a form of Federal bailout going directly to small community banks. They have on their books loans that are in default and they could easily jump at the chance of being able to bail them out with this program. Especially if they had not been the recipients of the first TARP monies. Contrary to public sentiment, most of them did not receive any money. But again, this might not apply to that community bank. Since they typically package and sell their loans within three to six months, it probably wouldn’t even be in default at that point. It would be in the hands of the secondary market investor.

So is this good or bad for small businesses? Frankly, it’s good to see that some bailout money is working its way toward small businesses, but most of them would rather have a loan in the first place, as opposed help when in default. Unfortunately, this will have a limited application.

Wouldn’t it be better if we simply expanded our small business programs so more businesses could get loans? How about the SBA creating a secondary market for small business loans? I have a novel idea: for the moment forget about defaults, and concentrate on making business loans available to start-ups or existing businesses wanting to expand.

How about having a program that can pay off high interest credit card balances? There is hardly a business out there that has not been financing themselves lately through credit cards, simply because banks are not making loans. It is not unusual for people to have $50,000 plus on their credit cards, just to stay afloat. Talk about saving high interest. You can imagine how much cash flow this would give a small business.

We should applaud Congress for doing their best under short notice to come up with this plan. Sure this is a form of welcome bailout for small businesses, but I believe it misses the mark as to the majority of the 27 million business owners that are simply looking for a loan they can repay, as opposed to a handout.