4 Bankruptcy Myths People Believe

According to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, at least 500,000 people in the U.S. file for personal bankruptcy each year. Even though that number is so high, bankruptcy is not talked about frequently and is often seen as a shameful or embarrassing thing to go through. Because of the relative silence surrounding filing for bankruptcy, myths abound about the impact that bankruptcy has on a person or their finances. Consider these four common myths and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: You’ll Be Free of All Debts After Filing
One common misconception is that following either Chapter 7 or 13, you will be relieved of all your debts. This is untrue. While you will find relief from most of your debts (credit card balances, personal loans and medical bills), by filing for bankruptcy, you will still be responsible for personal debts, which include child support, taxes and any court rulings related to fraud. Additionally, you will likely still be responsible for any student loans you have.

Myth 2: You Will Lose Everything
Some people are afraid to file for bankruptcy because they believe they will have to forfeit their car, house and personal assets. Assets necessary for living, such as a house, are typically considered exempt, which means you’ll be allowed to keep it. However, if you have a luxury vehicle, the court may require you to put it up for auction. What about expensive equipment you have, such as a surround-sound system for your OLED television? Most creditors don’t want to deal with auctioning items like that off, so you’ll probably be allowed to keep them. If you’re concerned about what will stay and go, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer Rockville MD.

Myth 3: Your Financial Future Will Be Ruined
Filing for bankruptcy does not signal the end of your financial future. It’s the opposite: an opportunity to start fresh unencumbered by stressful debt. Yes, you will have to rebuild your credit and will probably even see an increase in interest rates on credit cards and personal loans, but your credit score will come back if you pay your bills on time.

Myth 4: You Are Bad With Money
There is so much judgment surrounding bankruptcy, but did you know that nearly 60% of people who file for personal bankruptcy did so because they had crippling medical debt? Regardless of your financial situation, filing for bankruptcy should not be considered a personal failure but a chance to free yourself of unmanageable debt.

4 Types of Finance Experts

Different kinds of experts can serve as witnesses during financial litigation proceedings. These experts are usually able to understand complex money-related concepts that members of the general public cannot. A lawyer may utilize a finance expert witness to highlight the misdeeds of a particular company or to showcase that an individual’s financial health was compromised by the actions of others. Check out this list of four types of finance experts.

1. Certified Fraud Examiner

Certified fraud examiners (CFEs) are trained on how to spot whether or not workers in a small or large business setting are engaging in fraudulent practices. CFEs must have a solid understanding of complicated financial transactions, be knowledgeable of the law, and be able to conduct investigations. Oftentimes, CFEs will devise fraud prevention strategies involving things, such as auditing policies, corporate governance systems, risk management, and risk assessment.

2. Certified Financial Planner

Certified financial planners (CFPs) are financial advisors that help clients develop a financial plan for their enterprise. They can create a plan by taking into account their clients’ needs and goals as well as their clients’ investments, liabilities, assets, and income. Many CFPs will monitor the transactions their clients make and discuss specific investments and risks. Some CFPs will pinpoint ways their clients can save money or make the most out of an upcoming venture.

3. Certified Financial Consultant

Certified financial consultants (CFCs) take part in many of the same practices as CFPs. However, CFCs engage in more consulting than they do planning. CFCs will examine the financial problems their clients are having and offer a set of solutions. They will assist their clients in making pertinent financial decisions by generating information about the risks and benefits associated with each decision. There are CFCs that will extensively study the corporate structure and policies of their clients’ companies so that they can better aid them in making crucial choices.

4. Certified Management Accountant

Certified management accountants (CMAs) are accountants who have an in-depth understanding of financial planning, analytics, and management. Many CMAs will devise financial statements, produce budget reports, conduct internal audits, influence investment-related decisions, and prepare tax returns. CMAs are a vital part of any corporate finance team. Many of them go on to assume senior executive roles, such as Chief Financial Officer.

Finance experts are well-trained and well-educated and can provide a great deal of information during a case. They are an important part of the legal community.

Is Your Industrial Plant Efficient and Profitable? Consider These Four Factors

Business owners focus on the bottom line; therefore, when running an industrial plant, managers should consider factors that influence operations, focusing on reducing factors that interfere with production. The easier things go, and the more consistent they are, the more likely the operation is to increase revenue. With this in mind, it’s important to evaluate the following four factors consistently.

1. Lack of Interruption

Your product cannot be produced when materials run short or your equipment breaks. Both of these elements stall your output, limiting your gross income for the month. As a manager, be proactive and plan to minimize interruptions as much as possible. 

Stay ahead of supply shortages by remaining in contact with your contractors, determining when it’s best to order again. Understand the time those places require to locate the materials and get them to you.

While you cannot predict when something may malfunction, you could have professionals regularly inspect the equipment to see that it’s in good shape. Work with experts in heavy-duty maintenance projects Los Angeles to schedule evaluations. Replace parts before they go out on you.

2. Contract Supplier Costs

Not only should you know when to order, but it’s also good to be aware of supplier costs. Research several comparable companies, and use the amounts to bargain with the one you like the best. Much in business is negotiable, so don’t hesitate to ask for something when writing a contract.

3. Energy Consumption

Have the local utility company or a professional engineer perform an energy assessment on the property. Be aware of the numbers, and see how much you’re racking up. Then, actively seek out ways to reduce that amount.

Some simple changes could make a difference. Swap out your lightbulbs for ones that use less energy. Change out light switches so that they are motion-activated. This choice avoids lights staying on when people aren’t in the room. Larger products such as newer HVAC units and other energy sources may also be considered.

4. Staffing Costs

Meticulously track your operational costs, especially that amount you’re spending on employee staffing. Are you putting too many people on the floor? Do you have too many people in management? The number of workers and positions should fit into your profitable budget. If you’re not a numbers person, contact an accountant who could audit your books and assist with creating a better staffing number.

Your factory’s efficiency relies on awareness. Learn about your expenses, and then network with experts to reduce your costs. Doing so could keep operations running smoothly.

3 Best Practices for Special Needs Financial Planning

Financial planning can be complicated. When you have special or uncommon things you need to prepare for, it can be even more confusing. Here are three best practices for special needs financial planning.

1. Plan a Timeline

The most effective way to begin special needs financial planning is to plan a timeline. Ideally, you would begin planning for your child’s financial future when you begin planning to have a child, but with a special needs child that usually isn’t possible. Instead, you should begin planning as soon as you know your child will need specialized assistance. Consider what kinds of treatments and accommodations your child will need and when. You should also think about when and where your child will begin and end schooling, what kinds of accommodations he or she will need after becoming an adult and how to provide financial support for him or her after you die. A timeline can give you a set of touchstones to prepare for, which makes it easier to strategize.

2. Apply for Power of Attorney or Guardianship

In some cases, your child may need assistance even after reaching adulthood, in which case you should consider whether you need to consider whether it’s necessary for you to assume power of attorney or guardianship over your child. These applications are usually only filled out if your child is considered incapable of making his or her own financial or medical decisions, so you should discuss your situation with an attorney and with your child’s doctors.

3. Develop a Letter of Intent

In addition to preparations like a will and savings, you need to ensure your child will be cared for personally and financially in the event of your unexpected death or if you’re otherwise incapacitated. Effectively, you need to prepare for the unexpected and unthinkable. A letter of intent can help ensure your child’s needs continue to be met even if you’re no longer capable of meeting them. In this letter, you should include all relevant information about your child’s condition, treatments, needs and schedules. You also need to include contact information for any professionals, family and friends involved in caring for your child. It may also be beneficial to include contact information for any financial advisors or attorneys involved in your child’s financial and legal care. You should update this letter annually or as needed.

Financial planning is highly individualized. No two people’s financial situations or needs are the same, so you should consider which aspects of financial planning are necessary and unnecessary for your situation.

General Requirements for a Commercial Driver’s License

Many drivers who have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) have gotten it for employment purposes. It is required to operate certain types of larger equipment. If a driver is operating in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce with a commercial motor vehicle that meets the requirements of a CDL, they must carry one.

There are three classes of CDL: A, B, and C. There are also endorsements and restrictions attached to the class. Several requirements must be met before someone can earn a CDL. Each class may have specific standards to meet, but they all include the main general conditions below.

Traffic Record

Infractions under your non-commercial driver’s license may impact your CDL eligibility. Once you are licensed, CDL traffic tickets can lead to suspension. For many, this can disrupt their livelihood. When it comes to the rules, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are the two main regulating bodies. Private trucking companies may have their own standards to meet as well.

Physical Condition

To receive a CDL, a driver must have excellent vision and hearing. Drivers must have at least 20/40 vision and at least 70 degrees peripheral vision in each eye. Hearing aids are permitted.

Certain medical conditions may prohibit you from CDL eligibility. Some examples are diabetes, irregular blood pressure, and sleep apnea issues. Upon passing a physical, the DOT will provide you with a medical card.

Criminal Record

Criminal acts may prevent you from getting a CDL. Drivers must pass a background check before obtaining a CDL. The license can also be suspended after it’s issued for reasons like traffic violations, changes in health, or driving under the influence.

Age and Residency

You must be at least 18 years old to receive a CDL for intrastate driving and 21 years old to cross state lines. There are no maximum age requirements. Proof of citizenship will need to be provided.

Written and Road Test

Drivers will need to pass a written knowledge test. It will cover topics such as CDL rules, driving a commercial vehicle safely, and transporting cargo. You can study your state’s handbook and take practice tests to prepare. You will also need to pass a road skills test using the commercial vehicle you will be driving with the CDL.

In addition to Federal requirements, each state will have its own application, forms, and fees. Acquiring your CDL can be a tedious process, but the result is safe drivers on the nation’s highways.

Focusing on Growth: 4 Steps to Ensure You’re Moving Up the Corporate Ladder

The corporate ladder isn’t an easy thing to climb. In fact, for many, it may feel a bit like the old childhood board game of Snakes and Ladders. You go up for a bit, only to slide backward, sometimes even starting over. You have to watch out for the falls and strive for the top. Although challenging, this escalation is possible, especially when people apply important concepts to their daily habits and mindset. To rise to the top, consider doing the following four things.

1. Begin With the End

Set a goal or goals for yourself. To reach something, you have to know what you want a how to get there; otherwise, you could flounder about searching for what you think is a success. Consider your field and interests, and sketch out a list of where you see yourself in 10 to 20 years. 

What do you want? Are you looking at running your own company? Do you desire to sit on an executive board? Are you interested more in financial compensation? These ideas are all worthy of consideration. Once written out, note the steps necessary to achieve those goals.

2. Find a Mentor

Put aside arrogance, and learn from others. Working with those who are successful is a way to understand how to reach that point yourself. Find a company that likes to train people. These businesses look for growth, and they may pair you with people who know the field and are eager to see you do well.

Observe and listen to their habits, becoming aware of what you could use and what you might like to tweak. Then, as you work on projects, think about how this person interacts with others and organizes his or her time.

3, Keep on Networking

The more people you know, the more opportunities you may have. Embrace friendships and working relationships. Go to meetings and gatherings. 

4. Continue To Learn

Demonstrate that you are open to change and knowledge by continuing your education. For example, is your company struggling with getting people to pay bills? Ask to learn more about remittance payment analysis. The information could prove useful for the establishment’s success, and you become an asset. New technology, software and programs are released regularly. Keep up with them to show you’re ready to grow.

Begin with a goal.  Then work hard to get to that big dream. It may not be easy. There are likely to be some ups and downs, but if you accept help, learn from others and push yourself to study, the top of the corporate ladder is attainable.

How To Choose a Desk for Your Home Office

Whether you work remotely for a large company or run your own eCommerce business, you may find that working from home is your best option logistically and financially. After all, you won’t have to worry about commuting in heavy traffic or renting a pricey workspace downtown. Even so, setting up your home office may not be as easy as you might think. When it comes to your desk, in particular, there are a number of factors to bear in mind before making your final selection.

Create a Budget

You can no doubt find a wide variety of desks for home offices by looking online or in your local furniture store. The problem is, many of these items can be quite pricey. Before launching your search, be sure to think through your budget, setting aside funds for office furniture, technology, and other necessary supplies. 

While it may be tempting to purchase the cheapest desk you can find to save money, these pieces may be uncomfortable or flimsy. Try looking for discounted or used furniture that is of higher quality. Additionally, remember that the goods you buy for your home office are likely tax deductible.

Consider Your Daily Activities

Not every desk is well suited for the type of work you do. Will you be meeting with clients at your home office? Do you like to lay out many sheets of paper to sketch, read, or edit? How much equipment does your job require? The answers to these questions may help you decide what style of desk is best for your circumstances. Don’t forget to factor in the amount of space you have available in your home.

Prioritize Organization

Unless you work best in a messier environment, having plenty of storage space is key to being productive. Consider where you will store your pens, paper, printer, computer, important documents, and other gear. While you can always purchase separate storage containers to place beside, under, or on top of your desk, purchasing a desk with built-in compartments may help your space feel less cluttered. Look for options that include drawers, filing cabinets, and shelves.

Test for Comfort

Finally, try to sit down at several prospective desks before buying one. This may help you determine whether you will be able to work comfortably while sitting at a particular desk. Make sure the height is suitable and that you can easily reach all of the storage spaces.

Setting up your home office may seem time-consuming at first, but it will be entirely worthwhile once you have an area that is conducive to completing your very best work.

Alarm Systems: Keeping Your Business Safe

Protecting your business is essential to your livelihood as a business owner and should be taken seriously. There are various types of alarm systems on the market that can provide protection for your business. Below are several alarm options to consider in order to protect the business you have worked so hard to build.

1. Smoke or Fire Alarm

Everyone knows about smoke and fire alarms, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Smoke and fire damage can reak havoc on a place of business. It can also wind up costing a fortune to replace potentially expensive merchandise. The best move here is to ensure your place of business is equipped with smoke detectors in accordance with local fire regulations. If possible, invest in upgrades to ensure your property is protected to the furthest extent possible.

2. Snow Alarms

For those of you who live in areas with frequent snow fall, consider investing in a snow roof system to let you know when the snow gets to be too much for your roof to handle. These alarms allow business owners to rest easy knowing that the alarm will let them know when rooftop snow removal is necessary. The added bonus is that these alarms allow you to save on rooftop snow removal when you don’t actually need it. Save your money for when you’re actually in need of snow removal.

3. Security System Alarms

There are multiple types of security system alarms including motion detector alarms, door and window contact alarms and glass break detectors. These alarms alert home and business owners to the potential of an intruder trying to enter their property. Motion detection systems alert when motion is detected in an area or at a time movement is unexpected. Door and window contact alarms sound when contact is broken between two sides of a door or window once the alarm has been set. Glass break detector alert you to broken glass such as in windows by utilizing sound to detect when glass has broken. You can go with one of or all of these types of alarms to protect your place of business. 

Keeping your business safe from fires, snow damage to the roof and intruders will help you protect the investment you have made into your business. Consider several types of alarms to get the right level of protection for your specific situation. You’ll rest easy when you know the business you’ve spent so much time and energy building is as safe as possible.

3 Easy Ways To Set Your Business up for Success

The events of 2020 have shown that today’s businesses must be agile in order to retain customers and turn a consistent profit. Doing things “the way we’ve always done them” is no longer an option if you want to stay competitive in the current market. Read on for a few ways to increase your business’s chances of long-term success.

Implement Safety Measures

Every one of your customers and employees will have different comfort levels regarding interpersonal contact. Even in the absence of government mandates, it is a good idea to introduce changes to make people feel safer and more comfortable. One great example would be to install plastic sneeze guards at food preparation stations and cash registers. Workers and customers will still be able to interact, but the risk of anyone getting sick will be reduced.

Go Virtual

Having a well-functioning website and app as well as contactless service options is more important than ever. They help some people feel safer, while others simply appreciate the ease and convenience that they provide. If at all possible, stores should continue to offer online ordering and curbside pickup. If you run a service-based business, such as a fitness studio, plan to offer online classes if you are not doing so already. They are convenient for members who may be out of town or simply unable to make it out of the house, and they reduce the demands placed on your physical space and equipment.

Stay in Touch

Every business faces competition, and one great way to stand out is to keep the lines of communication open between you and your customers. Be sure to maintain an active social media presence by posting several times per week, and if you aren’t doing so already, send email newsletters to existing customers with business updates. You can encourage active participation by offering incentives, such as a gift card or discount, for completing a survey or referring a friend.

It can be difficult to stand out in the modern business world, but there are several strategies that you can implement to achieve success. Above all, make sure to be flexible since the future is unpredictable. On its own, “because we’ve always done it that way” is not a legitimate reason to continue any business practice. In addition, build up a nest egg if you can, since you never know when events out of your control may affect your business.

How To Get Fast Cash in an Emergency

It seems like bad things always happen at the worst possible time and usually when you don’t have any money. If you’re experiencing something that can’t wait such as a car breakdown, furnace malfunction or dental trouble, you need cash now. Not everyone has a rich uncle to bail them out, so here’s how to get cash fast in an emergency.

Apply for a Quick Loan

There are several types of quick loans that you can apply for that will get you the cash you need. First, there’s what is known as a payday loan. These types of loans are a convenient advance to your next paycheck. You get cash in hand for your emergency and agree to pay back the loan on your next payday. Loan company Mississippi also offers title loans for larger amounts of money.

Sell Something Valuable

If you need funds fast, look around your house and see if there’s something of value you can sell. Valuable doesn’t have to mean sentimental and could be as easy as selling an item of clothing online like a leather jacket that no longer fits. Perhaps you have a collection that you’re not interested in anymore. You’d be surprised how many people are looking for a used bike, electronic item or unused gift cards. 

Take a Cash Advance

Financially savvy people will tell you to never take a cash advance from your credit cards because of the high interest and fees. However, if you’re desperate for money in a true emergency, it’s a quick solution. A cash advance from a credit card should only be used if you can pay the money back right away. If your credit card is accepted instead, always use that before withdrawing cash.

Ask To Skip a Payment

Another option for fast cash is foregoing a bill payment. If you have a good credit history, try contacting your credit card company or other lenders to see if you can reduce or skip a monthly payment altogether. You may be surprised to find that many companies are happy to work with you as long as you explain your situation. This will free up the money you need without impacting your bills.

When an emergency happens and you need money right away, don’t panic. Applying for a payday loan, speaking to your creditors or selling something you no longer use are all ways to get the money you need now.