Monday, December 30, 2013

Class of 2012 Owes Almost $30K Each

Class of 2012 Owes Almost $30K Each

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

(Newser) – The class of 2012 entered a tough jobs market buckling under an average debt load of $29,400, according to the annual report from the Institute for College Access and Success. That's up from an average $26,600 in 2011, and the rise can be blamed on rising tuition fees combined with stagnant family incomes. The struggling economy is a "double-edged sword in many ways because (students) and their parents have fewer resources to pay for college costs, which may lead them to take on more debt," the institute's research director tells USA Today.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

When should you start cashing in on Social Security?

If you wait until 70 to collect and live to your mid-eighties, you win big. But who says you'll make it that far?

FORTUNE -- Year-end festivities are approaching, with Hanukkah lights nearing their peak, Christmas lights going up, and the New Year's celebration almost upon us. So what better time than the season of light is there to talk about ... mortality?
No, I'm not raising this gloomy topic just to be contrarian at a time of widespread celebrations.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Obamacare Medicaid Enrollment Outpacing Private Insurance 

  NEW YORK (MainStreet) — According to data published by the Kaiser Family Foundation regarding Obamacare state marketplace statistics, 523,973 of 1,360,231 people who have completed applications have been determined to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.

Friday, December 20, 2013

White House: Extend jobless benefits



President Obama's newest priority is pushing Congress to extend federal unemployment benefits by another year, and Republicans say they're willing to consider the idea.

Benefits for 1.3 million workers will expire Dec. 28 if Congress fails to extend a recession-era program by the end of this month.

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business From Home

Launching a business from home can provide tremendous flexibility and the kind of work-life balance that we all crave. But the reality is that home businesses bring their own set of challenges, says Caroline Daniels, lecturer for entrepreneurship and technology at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. For example, "doing your business on your own from home can get stale. It's hard to keep feeding the imagination all on your own."

Read more:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rent or Buy? The Ultimate Real Estate Question



NEW YORK (MainStreet) — That is the urban question: should I rent or should I buy?
Flashback to 2007 and the answer - from just about every expert - was rent, moron, because real estate is hideously overpriced.
Then the crash came, home prices tumbled by 50% or more in many areas and, suddenly, the obvious answer became: buy, because you will never again see home prices so low along with mortgage interest rates that are at historic 3% lows.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How to Protect Yourself from Overzealous Debt Collectors: Know Your Rights


A couple of weeks back, a debt collection agency based in Glendale, Calif., agreed to pay $1 million to settle complaints from the Federal Trade Commission over its business practices. The agency, which went by the name "National Attorney Collection Practices," had been harassing delinquent borrowers with debt collection notices bearing an illustration of Uncle Sam's fist upending some hapless soul and "shaking him down" for loose change.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Saving Money Broken Down into A Doable Plan


Saving money seems to be problematic for so many people. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that they’re going to move into a less expensive home to save money or that they’re going to go with a less expensive cell phone plan to save money. But let’s be honest; how many of those people are actually saving that money? Probably very few; the rest are using what they saved on their monthly expenses to go out, go shopping or do something else. Saving money isn’t hard; here’s some advice you should keep in mind.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Some families left out in the cold by Obamacare



Those families will find themselves ineligible for Obamacare subsidies to buy their own insurance on the state-based exchanges, even though their coverage at work is considered unaffordable.

That's because the way the Affordable Care Act is written, employers only have to provide "affordable" coverage to their workers, but not to their dependents.
An affordable policy is one where premiums total no more than 9.5% of household income. If a worker's employer-sponsored insurance costs more than that, he can opt to apply for federal subsidies to buy a policy on the Obamacare insurance exchanges.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

15 Credit Score Facts That Might Surprise You


They say age is nothing but a number, but what about your credit score? The problem most people have is that they don’t consider their credit score on a regular basis. In fact, most people don’t consider their credit score at all – ever – until it’s time to go out and buy something that requires a loan. All of a sudden they realize just how important that little number really is in the grand scheme of life. Read on to find out 15 things you might not know about your credit score.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How Will Obamacare's Uninsured Penalty Work?



Beginning in 2014, Obamacare requires all but a few Americans to obtain health insurance. The question is, will they?
Odds-making by health care experts on whether nearly 50 million uninsured Americans will respond to the Affordable Care Act's "individual mandate" has been rivaled only by prenatal speculation surrounding the birth date and gender of Britain's Prince George.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Home Prices Will Do This Over the Next Year


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ways to Save Big Bucks On a Patent Attorney

 Over the past 25 years, I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorneys alone. I have filed more than 25 patents, some of which I unfortunately had to defend in federal court. I've learned how to save money while getting the most out of working with an attorney. Here are seven key lessons:

Read more:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Where is Your Money Going? You Might be Wasting It

One of the biggest questions many successful women ask is where their money is going. You earn a comfortable salary, save and you don’t spend frivolously, so where’s all that extra money at the end of the month? After all, you’d like to take what you don’t spend on entertainment and extras and add it to your savings account once your new monthly budget kicks in, but there never seems to be anything left. Where’s it going? Probably to one of these three sneaky places.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Use Cash or Mortgage to Buy Vacation Home?


We are looking at purchasing a second home to use on weekends. The houses we are looking at range in price from $75,000 to $100,000. As I write this, mortgage rates are around 4.5%. Should we refinance our current house and use the extra funds to buy the vacation home outright, adding the balance from our savings? We owe $66,000 on our current mortgage at a rate of 6%. The house was purchased in 2003 for $90,000

Read more:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How Safe is My Home in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?


Dear Liz, 
This is an excellent question. I sometimes wonder whether this fear inhibits people from filing for bankruptcy protection. I have seen this fear keep someone from filing when the house value would not have been an issue, only to file much later when the value became an issue.

Read more:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What to Know About Financing Your Car Through an Auto Dealership

We’ve all heard the TV and radio advertisements from car dealerships promising financing programs with low rates, no money down, or 0% financing—but only if you act now.
These offers are enticing and lure many car shoppers into a dealership thinking that a loan offered by the car company is the best one out there. But experts say that isn’t likely, and that buyers tend to find better rates from an outside lender.

Read more:


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's the Right Mortgage for You?


Every year, millions of people get a mortgage, even though they are complicated and can be anxiety-inducing.
But how did they do it? What was the most important factor in their decision? Are they happy with their decision?
To find out, commissioned an online survey in December 2012 which netted over 500 responses. (In several cases, respondents were allowed to select more than one response.) Here's a look at some of the findings:

Read more:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tips for Preparing an Offer in Compromise


The IRS’s offer in compromise program allows taxpayers facing financial hardships to settle their outstanding tax liability for pennies on the dollar.
The amount the IRS will accept is dependent upon a stringent formula, but the variables are subject to massage. When working with the agency to get a compromise approved, there are things about your story that the IRS should know in order to move it in the direction of acceptance.
The IRS will always consider the statute of limitations when evaluating an offer since it has 10 years to collect an outstanding tax debt. If you are between jobs and have no means to pay your tax bill but there’s eight years left before the statute runs out, the IRS will likely want to deem you ‘currently not collectable’ for a year rather than accept a reduced amount. This is especially true if you are young and healthy with good prospects

Read more:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LAPD's New Smartphone App: Will Your Criminal Record Show Up?

The Los Angeles Police Department will soon have access to a new smartphone app called "JusticeMobile," reports ABC News.  Developed by Attorney General Kamala Harris, the San Francisco Police Department, and various technology companies, the app is funded by federal, state, and local governments.
According to Harris, about 600 San Francisco police officers have already used the app. In addition, more than 3,600 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers will soon begin using an updated version of the app.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Small Company Workers are Losing the Race to Retirement


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Working for a small business may reduce your retirement readiness. A newly-released Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey finds that the estimated median household retirement savings among Baby Boomers is lower among small company workers ($92,000) compared to large company workers ($113,000). And while 88% of small company workers think company-sponsored retirement plans are an important benefit, only 58% are offered such a plan by their employers.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make


It might be a seller’s market right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to put some effort into listing their home.
Expert say potential buyers decide whether they like a house within 15 seconds of walking through the door, so sellers should make sure they aren’t making mistakes that turn off potential  buyers

Read more:

Monday, October 21, 2013

9 Building Blocks that Should Be Part of Everyone’s Retirement Plan


When it comes to planning for retirement or prepping for their next vacation, most Americans choose the later.
“Planning for retirement is overwhelming and not as fun, so of course they are going to plan something that is more immediate and put off planning for the future,” says Larry Rosenthal, financial advisor for ING Financial Partners, referencing the company’s recent informal poll showing Americans spent more time this summer talking about and planning their vacation than their retirement.

Read more:

Friday, October 18, 2013

3 Techniques for Growing Your Savings Account


For many, saving cash is an impossible task. They've tried budgeting, jotting expenses in diaries, reducing indulgences. Nothing works. Their wallets remain as flat as a Nebraska cornfield prior to planting.
It's time to try a different tack, and the following three-step approach to savings is one that can yield success for many people. If you're one of those with problems growing your savings account, try following these steps.
Step 1: Grow your saving account by earning more
Many people try to save more by spending less, but can never quite pull off the task of reducing their cash outflows. Spending is just half the equation. The other half, of course, is earning. The more money you can bring in, the less mindful you have to be of pinching every red cent.

Read more:

Monday, October 14, 2013

4 Tools to Help Sellers Price their Home


When it comes to selling a home, it’s all about picking the right listing price.
Listing too high could turn off potential buyers and force a price cut later to ignite interest, which could mean less negotiating power during the closing process.
While real estate agents have a wealth of knowledge and data to determine the right listing price, that doesn’t mean they are the only reliable source of information

Read more:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

College Finance Tips for 40-Somethings: Fighting a 2-Front War



In decades past, people in their 40s had largely already put their own student-loan debts behind them and were able to turn their attention to preparing to help their children pay for their educations. More recently, though, educational debt has become a persistent trouble for Americans, weighing down their finances well into adulthood.

Indeed, a 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of New York study showed that student-loan delinquency rates among those 40 to 49 were the highest of any age group as of the fourth quarter of 2012 -- more than 16 percent -- with other age groups falling in the range of 9 percent to 13 percent. With a third of student loan debt held by Americans over age 40, many parents don't have the luxury of being able to give their children's education as much financial attention as they'd like

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fake Bank Scamming Victims Out of Hundreds


(Newser) – A new scam is bilking people looking to rebuild their credit rating out of hundreds of dollars by offering semi-secured credit cards then pocketing their deposits, TheStreet reports. The Treasury has sent a letter to US bank executives and federal and state regulators warning them of the scam, run by an outfit named Freedom Gold Club, which claims to be associated with a bank called Freedom 1st National Bank—which doesn't exist—and also sometimes Credit One Bank, N.A., which does exist but isn't actually involved.
Freedom Gold Club contacts people by mail, offering them the secured cards for a deposit of $500 to $900. When victims send in the money, "the checks are cashed by an individual using the name of Bradford C. Ege II, and the victims never receive the anticipated credit card," says the letter.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Will Automatic Bill Pay Ruin Your Finances?


NEW YORK (MainStreet)—For many of us, paying bills automatically is a decision we make, because it is easier than managing our money manually. But is it good for your bottom line? Below we are going to look at which people automatic bill pay is right for, and which folks might be better off taking the hard road to bill paying.
We will talk with a few experts and look at who might want to use automatic bill paying, who will want to steer clear and why automated bill paying is not free pass to stop paying attention to your finances completely.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Because of Student Loans, Boomers Buy More Cars Than Kids

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — A study released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York yields new analysis on auto loans and how student loans may interact with them.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis data indicates that consumer vehicle sales - chiefly two- and four-door cars plus some SUVs, which fell sharply during the Great Recession to levels that had not been seen since the early 1980s - have made a V-shape recovery.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

5 Mistakes You Make When Managing Your Debt


NEW YORK (—Not all debt is created equal. With that being said, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your debt and avoiding excessive interest, fees and other penalties that could result if not handled properly.
Here are five mistakes consumers commonly make with their debt (and ways to avoid them).
1. Depleting Your Emergency Fund
If you have a substantial amount of cash in your savings account, allocating a vast majority of it to get out of debt may seem like the wise thing to do. However, the problem with this approach is that it fails to get to the root of the problem. The ultimate goal should be to get out of debt and stay out of debt, and not simply write a fat check to serve as a temporary patch. It is more sensible to jump-start your management efforts and cut costs elsewhere in your spending plan because emptying out your emergency fund can mean even greater debt if an emergency arises and you do not have an adequate amount of cash on-hand to cover the costs.

Friday, October 4, 2013

With 36% of Grads Back at Home With Parents, How Long Is Too Long?


  NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Much has been written and said about America's growing "lost generation," those 20- and even 30-somethings that are either out of a job or underemployed due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession.
According to the Center for College Affordability & Productivity, no young American over the age of 22 is immune.
Even half of college graduates are working in jobs that don't require a college degree, the Center reports, and the youth unemployment rate stands at 16.2%.
  • The Law Office of Susan J. Salehi has helped 1000’s of people like yourself with Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies since 1992, both in the Santa Barbara/Ventura and Kern County areas. We offer a free consultation, reasonable rates and payment plans. All of your options will be explained during your free consultation with the attorney at the Law Offices of Susan J. Salehi. Start at only $999 Attorney Fees. Restrictions Apply. Stop Foreclosures with a Chapter 13. Operators 24/7. (805) 654-1467, (818) 880-8305, (661) 631-0252, (805) 202-4688.


    Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    Can't Afford a 20% Down Payment, Can I Still Buy a Home?

    When is it okay to purchase a house without making a 20% down payment?
    Dear Hannah,
    When you’re willing to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). And that’s not something you want to do.
    PMI costs about $75 a month per $100,000 borrowed. So, if you borrow $200,000 on a home, and you don’t put down at least 20% on the transaction, you’ll have to pay out an extra $150 a month as part of your mortgage payment.

    Read more:

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    In a Win for Small Merchants, Judge Overturns Fed Ruling on Debit Card Fees


    Score one for Main Street. In the ongoing saga between the nation's biggest banks and small retailers, the courts today ruled in favor of small businesses.
    The United States District Court for Washington, D.C., Judge Richard Leon declared that the Federal Reserve was "non-compliant with Congress's clear mandate" when it set fees for debit card transactions in 2011 right.

    Read more:

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Looking for a Bank Loan? Don't Forget About the Little Guys


    Trying to get a business loan from a bank? Don’t skip over the little guys in your quest for capital.
    Loans at smaller banks grew at a 6 percent annualized rate in the second quarter of 2013, according to a recent report on the lending activity of banks in the U.S. That’s three times the annualized growth rate recorded for the nation’s 25 largest banks, which stood at 2 percent, according to the report by New York-based financial-services firm Keefe, Bruyette and Woods. Loans are measured by dollar volume rather than the number of loans made.

    Read more:

    Saturday, September 28, 2013

    5 Questions You Should Ask Before Accepting a Job


    Question 1: How does my position and department fit into the overall organization and what are my future opportunities within the company?
    Delve into the fine details of a position, including advancement opportunities, before signing an offer, says LinkedIn career expert Nicole Williams.
    “Make sure you have a good picture of what the levels ahead of you look like as well,” says Williams. “Are they mostly glorified titles? Would they require a lot of management or travel?”
    Read more:

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    7 Simple Numbers That Can Grow Your Business

  • The Law Office of Susan J. Salehi has helped 1000’s of people like yourself with Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies since 1992, both in the Santa Barbara/Ventura and Kern County areas. We offer a free consultation, reasonable rates and payment plans. All of your options will be explained during your free consultation with the attorney at the Law Offices of Susan J. Salehi. Start at only $999 Attorney Fees. Restrictions Apply. Stop Foreclosures with a Chapter 13. Operators 24/7. (805) 654-1467, (818) 880-8305, (661) 631-0252, (805) 202-4688.


    One of my main business mantras is "Know Your Numbers," and because numbers are the language of business, it is numbers that will ultimately determine your success.
    Business is literally a numbers game, but what numbers should you know?

    Read more:

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    4 Kinds of Fraud That Could Destroy Your Business

     Get two entrepreneurs in a room and chances are one, if not both, have been the victim of accounting fraud. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners annual report, nearly half of all small businesses experience fraud at some point in their business lifecycle. It will cost these organizations an average of $114,000 per occurrence. Worse, such fraud is usually committed by a "loyal" employee.

  • The Law Office of Susan J. Salehi has helped 1000’s of people like yourself with Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies since 1992, both in the Santa Barbara/Ventura and Kern County areas. We offer a free consultation, reasonable rates and payment plans. All of your options will be explained during your free consultation with the attorney at the Law Offices of Susan J. Salehi. Start at only $999 Attorney Fees. Restrictions Apply. Stop Foreclosures with a Chapter 13. Operators 24/7. (805) 654-1467, (818) 880-8305, (661) 631-0252, (805) 202-4688.


    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    Why Your College Student Should Start a Business

    Have you seen the cost of tuition lately? This hit home for me personally as my oldest child is heading off to college this fall. While the options vary on how to pay for tuition, it is certainly a challenge when a college degree can be equivalent to the cost of a new home.
    You may have heard of the proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." We have the perfect opportunity to implement this powerful concept in helping our children pay for their own college, rather than flipping for the bill ourselves.
    There is a huge opportunity to involve your children in a business to help pay for the cost of college, as well as teach entrepreneurship and responsibility. In my practice over the years, I have helped many clients start businesses with their children.

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Questions to Ask Before Taking Out a Home Equity Loan


    Borrowing money against a home isn’t as simple as applying for a new credit card. Not only do homeowners have to understand the differences between a home equity loan and line of credit, they must also calculate the costs that come with taking equity out of what’s probably their biggest asset.
    “It’s incredibly important before you take on any form of credit--including a home equity line of credit—that you assess your overall assets and credit picture,” says Adam Nash

    Read more:

    Saturday, September 14, 2013

    A Little-Known Way to Reduce Your Mortgage Payment

  • The Law Office of Susan J. Salehi has helped 1000’s of people like yourself with Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies since 1992, both in the Santa Barbara/Ventura and Kern County areas. We offer a free consultation, reasonable rates and payment plans. All of your options will be explained during your free consultation with the attorney at the Law Offices of Susan J. Salehi. Start at only $999 Attorney Fees. Restrictions Apply. Stop Foreclosures with a Chapter 13. Operators 24/7. (805) 654-1467, (818) 880-8305, (661) 631-0252, (805) 202-4688.


    For consumers purchasing or refinancing a home with less than 20% equity or 20% down, there’s a little-known fee that will apply to the total mortgage payment, effectively inflating the monthly outlay.
    Mortgage insurance is paid by the the homeowner to insure the lender against future mortgage payment default. Mortgage insurance, also dubbed as PMI (an acronym for private mortgage insurance), can easily be several hundred dollars per month depending on the loan program. This added premium makes the cost of homeownership more expensive. However, there is a way to cut your mortgage payment using single-pay mortgage insurance

    Read more:

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Retirement Statistics: Then vs. Now


    Retirement statistics: Then vs. now
    How long will $1 million last in retirement?
    Is this truly the worst time to retire? Bankrate took a look at some key factors to determine what today's new retirees are up against. What follows are some key statistics that don't bode well for the boomer who's planning to retire today.
    Timing is everything. A typical portfolio (60% stocks, 40% bonds) enjoyed great success in the 1980s. A retiree could have withdrawn 4% a year and still watched the investment grow, thanks to a confluence of strong yields, bull market returns and low inflation. That wasn't the case in other years. A similar portfolio from which funds were withdrawn beginning in 1960 and 1970 each would have run out of cash before 30 years elapsed, due to high inflation. In 2013, low starting yields are expected to shorten the life span of a $1 million portfolio to 25 years. Some investors wonder, is the golden age of retirement gone?

    Read more:

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Why Summer Home Buying is So Hot


    June 21 marked the first day of summer. But to Realtors, only one season matters: home-buying season, which occurs annually from March to September.
    Seasonality presents important implications for buyers and sellers, and is naturally most pronounced in markets with seasonal change. But other factors like the school year and expiring leases have a lot to do with home-buying season as well

    Read more:
  • The Law Office of Susan J. Salehi has helped 1000’s of people like yourself with Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies since 1992, both in the Santa Barbara/Ventura and Kern County areas. We offer a free consultation, reasonable rates and payment plans. All of your options will be explained during your free consultation with the attorney at the Law Offices of Susan J. Salehi. Start at only $999 Attorney Fees. Restrictions Apply. Stop Foreclosures with a Chapter 13. Operators 24/7. (805) 654-1467, (818) 880-8305, (661) 631-0252, (805) 202-4688.