The Anatomy of a Successful Budget

I think most everyone agrees that it’s important to live on a budget. However, budgets are NOT one size fits all. Just like with a diet, if you can personalize your budget to fit your family’s needs, you’re more likely to stick to it, as this article from MSN Money suggests.

What items can you not live without in your budget?

As always, contact Powell Law Offices, P.C. with any questions about your credit or debt. Powell Law Offices, P.C. also offers small business and short sale representation services, with free consultations.







5 Easy Ways To Repair Your Credit Score

It IS possible to fix errors on your credit report and raise your credit score yourself – don’t hire a credit repair company and pay those exorbitant fees. Here are some tips to help you do it:

1) Pay bills before the statement date. Credit-to-debt utilization is a huge part of your credit score, and is often calculated on the statement date, not the due date. So, if you pay a credit card off before the due date, the card may still report a balance as of the statement date. Pay it off before the statement date and prevent this.

2) Ask for a goodwill deletion. If you have an excellent history with a creditor and forgot a payment for whatever reason, call that creditor and ask them to remove the late payment off your credit, due to the fact that you normally make every payment on time. They will often do so.

3) Protect yourself in a short sale – If you have to sell real estate on a short sale, make sure to negotiate with the mortgage company during the process to not report a balance owed after the sale, and not report the account as settled for less than full amount.

4) Pay for removal – Once an account has gone to seriously delinquent status or collections, negotiate with the creditor to pay the account in full in exchange for all negative information related to the account.

As with anything related to your credit and debt, it’s important to get the right information before dealing with it. Contact your Dallas Ft. Worth Bankruptcy Attorney at Powell Law Offices for a free consultation! We also have offices in Allen, Arlington Frisco, Plano, and Richardson to serve you.

The Benefits of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy has gotten a bad rap. When I discuss bankruptcy with a potential client, I often am told, “Well, I’m not a bad person. I really do want to repay my debts.”

Filing bankruptcy doesn’t make anyone a bad person. No one files bankruptcy because he/she wants to (most of the time). For those who do so, filing bankruptcy is a necessity.

Bankruptcy can save marriages, save businesses, greatly reduce stress, improve health, and allow someone to breathe and regroup. Most of the time, someone has paid the debt back already, through interest payments alone! Filing bankruptcy allows people to unsaddle their debt load and start contributing to the economy again – no more debt payments means more money to spend.

The point is, don’t let misconsceptions about bankruptcy keep you from learning about all of your options to deal with your debt, including bankruptcy. Sometimes you just need to do what you need to do.

Dealing with debt and creditors is a very stressful process. Contact your Dallas Ft. Worth area bankruptcy attorney at Powell Law Offices to discuss your options, and allow us to take the stress out of it for you!

Common Mistakes That Hurt Your Credit Score

Someone always asks me how he/she can increase his/her credit score. Trying to increase a credit score is a lengthy process, but there are things you can do to try to prevent your credit score from decreasing in the first place.

1) Don’t max out your credit limit. A good part of your credit score is based on your balance to credit limit ratio. The lower this is (the lower the balance), the better.

2) Don’t apply for too many new accounts at once. (Each inquiry will cost you between 3 and 5 points on your credit score).

3) Don’t miss a payment. (A missed payment can drop your score by 100 points!).

4) Don’t close an old account, even if you’re not using it. Another large part of your credit score is the length of time you’ve had open accounts.

5) Don’t forget to check your credit report regularly. It is estimated that at least 30% of credit reports have errors on them. Even something as simple as an account being reported twice can lower your score.

6) Don’t ignore an account that has gone into collections. The longer it sits in a collections status, the worse for your credit score.

As with anything related to your credit and debt, it’s important to get the right information before dealing with it. Contact your Dallas Ft. Worth Bankruptcy Attorney at Powell Law Offices for a free consultation! We also have offices in Allen, Arlington Frisco, Plano, and Richardson to serve you.