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Money Saving Tips After Bankruptcy

When recovering from financial issues, it’s easy to feel stressed, as well as negative, especially when it has dramatically affected your life style. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a household of one, two, or more. There are ways that you can cut costs, save, and find more enjoyment in life.

Picking up the pieces after personal bankruptcy begins with a reevaluation of your needs versus wants.

The most important thing is to have a budget, stick to it, and most importantly-make prompt payments to avoid added costs, and to reestablish your credit bit by bit.

Gas prices can be unpredictable! You can search online sites like gas buddy to find the best prices. Sometimes, just a short drive to a neighboring city can affect prices in a big way.

Consider carpooling if it’s a feasible option for your work. Is your place of employment close enough to consider biking? Does your city offer public transportation? When it comes to driving, remember that gradual acceleration helps to conserve gas.

Speaking of driving, adding fifteen minutes extra to your trip can eliminate the need to rush, which could result in unwanted traffic tickets, as well as stress!

Food is definitely a necessity, but you can closely plan and monitor to keep those costs down. Meal planning is probably one of the most important things you can do. This helps to not eat on impulse, in unhealthy ways both nutritionally and financially!

It helps to use coupons, pick up store flyers, or check online sales to see what’s a bargain to guide the weekly meals.

You can get help from apps that focus on meal planning and budgeting. This helps with month long meal plans that are both easy and tasty. It generates the shopping list for you. Dietary needs can really strain the budget. There are apps that have meal plans for gluten free, paleo, vegetarian, etc. Sometimes we find ourselves not knowing what in the world to make for dinner based on the items on hand.

Recovering after personal bankruptcy is possible. These are just a few of some cost saving ideas. They do add up in the long run!

The goal of bankruptcy is to provide debtors with a new beginning. If you are drowning in debt and overwhelmed with your finances, bankruptcy may be an option for you. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law are experienced and committed to doing what is best for your situation.

Call us today for a Free consultation, we are here to help!

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Tips to Avoid Risky Financial Practices that Can Jeopardize Your Financial Health

In one of our previous posts, we talked about how millennials are facing financial woes and how bankruptcy can be an option for a better financial future. We addressed uncontrollable factors such as student loan debt and a competitive job market that contributes to large debt at a young age.

There are also some controllable factors or practices that contribute to the overwhelming debt situation many millennials face. Nowadays, it seems that earning a good living is not enough…or is it?

Anyone facing financial hardship, not just millennials, would benefit from being aware of some common financial mistakes that seem to have plagued a generation.

Pay Attention to Your Expenses – Not keeping track of what you are spending outside of your basic needs can really put pressure on your finances at the end of the month. Food, dwelling, car, gas and utilities come first. If you are not paying attention the “extras” it can really add up and distort your finances. Try writing everything down so you are aware and can have better control of your money.

Make Sure to Save, Even if its Small – Not saving on a regular basis can lead to trouble and jeopardize your financial future. Its wise to have some money on the side for emergencies. Any small amount saved on a regular basis adds up. It is an important practice, to say the least.

Avoid or Try Not to Use Credit Cards – Credit cards provide you with a false sense of spending unless you have the money to pay them at the end of the month. They can be tempting, and we often find ourselves spending more than we should. Try not to use them, or at least limit use to just one card on an as needed basis.

Pay More Than the Minimum Balance on Your Credit Cards – If you must use a credit card and you are guilty of just paying the minimum balance, it will take many years and extra money to pay off the balance! If you can’t pay it in full, be sure to pay more than the minimum, at the very least.

If you are in debt and feel like you have lost control of your finances, personal bankruptcy might be the answer for you. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law, representing clients throughout Massachusetts have extensive knowledge and experience. We handle all types of personal debt relief matters and are committed to safeguarding your interests and future. Call us today for a Free consult!

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Tips to Handle Finances and Stress

If you are drowning in debt, and can’t seem to make ends meet, personal bankruptcy may be an option for you. However, in order to benefit from debt relief, it’s wise to reevaluate your situation and make some changes.

What is creating this emotional and financial downward spiral? It’s important to be honest. It’s important to focus on the big spending items. What are the absolute needs that must be met. It is crucial to accept the difference between needs and wants. What can you live without, or dramatically pare down?

If you don’t seem to have enough money to pay for the necessities of life, it generates a lot of stress, anxiety, and often depression. How do you cope?

Coping begins with being realistic. You need to be realistic about the money that is coming in and what payments you must meet monthly. Take a good look at your spending habits. Set goals for buying the essentials and stick to it.

Along the way, strive to envision the debt you have gradually being reduced. This will reduce the stress bit by bit. Try to remain positive. It helps if you are working along with other family members to support, encourage, and hold each other accountable.

Also, try and be practical by cutting out frivolous costs. They may not seem like much, but little by little they can really add up. Eating out less is one biggie, or if you do go out, choose lunch time. It is generally less expensive. Many places have specials on different nights, or different times of the day. For example, movies. Try to catch a matinee instead of an evening show.

When it comes to groceries, check the flyers for weekly sales. Let this help in planning meals. Also cut coupons. Absolutely have a shopping list and stick to it no matter how tempting those end cap signs might be to influence what you put in your cart. Store brands are often offered at a lower cost. Also, as you compare costs, look at the sign by the item and check out the price per unit. This clearly shows what is a better deal.

You can also cut costs within your home just by turning off lights that aren’t needed. Not only that, but unplugging items can actually save you money. Just because something isn’t turned on, if it’s plugged in it still has a cost to it.

Investigate your utility company too, either online or by phone. Inquire about peak and off-peak times. Many companies actually charge you more during those peak times. It can really add up in the long run if you use the dishwasher, laundry, vacuum, computer time, etc. during off peak times.

Stay mindful of the numbers, the debt getting smaller. Let this lift your spirits. It takes time, but time will always be passing. Let it take you to a better, more peaceful mindset.

Personal bankruptcy won’t solve all your debt problems but offers a chance for a new beginning. Hines Law can help you make an informed decision about your financial health and future. You will find the bankruptcy lawyers at our legal practice, compassionate and skilled at understanding the realities common to debt relief.

We have five locations throughout Massachusetts, including Framingham, Westborough, Leominster, Watertown, and Worcester. Call today to set up your appointment 781-277-0411.

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Millennials Facing Financial Woes; Personal Bankruptcy for a Better Future

Millennials seem to be facing numerous financial woes. With rising education costs, an unpredictable housing market as well as an extremely difficult and challenging job market, they are entering adulthood with tremendous debt.

More and more people under the age of 35 are filing for personal bankruptcy in hopes of redemption from their financial woes.

If done right, with the help of a trusted attorney, bankruptcy can set you up for a much better financial future.

How does this happen? How do so many “younger” people get to this point?

Loan Debt
Student loans, car loans, medical loans and credit card loans are the biggies. Massive debts from loans consume younger people as they enter into the professional work force and must begin paying back all these loans at once. There’s not much money left over after loan payments are made, forcing many millennials into financial desperation quite quickly.

They Don’t Save
Not being able to save money due to their tremendous debt is not only scary, it’s also not wise. Medical emergencies, car repairs and job loss are just a few unpredictable instances which rely on savings. Without savings you are vulnerable and may put your family at risk. Also, not being able to save makes for a scary future.

Quick to Spend

Characterized as the generation of immediate gratification, meaning they buy what they want, when they want even if they don’t need it, seems to contribute to their unstable financial situation. Expecting instant results is only short-term gratification and leaves the “spender” with an empty bank account. They turn to credit, which only makes things worse in the long run because it undermines the need to save money.

It is crucial to address these financial issues and find a lasting solution. Bankruptcy options are available. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law can help you make an informed decision.

We have five locations throughout Massachusetts, including Framingham, Westborough, Leominster, Watertown, and Worcester. Call today to set up your appointment 781-277-0411.

The post Millennials Facing Financial Woes; Personal Bankruptcy for a Better Future appeared first on Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving Framingham, MA and Beyond.
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The Basics of Chapter 13 Personal Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a court monitored repayment plan. It helps individuals pay off their debt within 3-5 years and provides the debtor with an alternative to the liquidation process.

Everybody’s financial situation is unique and it’s important to pick the right debt solution for your situation. However, if you are in financial straits, its wise to speak to a personal bankruptcy attorney and explore your options. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law, serving the greater Boston area can help.

To get you started, the following is a brief overview of what Chapter 13 bankruptcy is all about.

There are a few key reasons why individuals choose to file under Chapter 13:

-It is difficult for you to make payments on secured loans such as your home or car and are being threatened with foreclosure or repossession.

-You have a tax obligation or other non dis-chargeable debt such as a student loan. These debts may be included in your repayment plan under Chapter 13.
You want to retain your non-exempt property (assets).

-You have a co-debtor (co-signer) on a personal loan and you want to protect them. Chapter 13 provides protection to the co-debtor as long as the debtor is making payments on a court monitored repayment plan. The creditors can only go after the debtor.

-In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you pay what you can afford. It allows you to make one monthly payment to a bankruptcy trustee that covers all your debts. It will also keep further interest from accruing on your dis-chargeable debt.

It is a powerful debt repayment plan that can help you become debt free in 3- 5 years and be able to save your home from foreclosure and discharges some of your debt.

If you are looking for a long-term solution to your financial health and current debt and are a wage earner, Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy may be an option for you. The goal of bankruptcy is to provide debtors with a new beginning.

The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law are experienced and committed to doing what is best for your situation. We have five locations throughout Massachusetts, including Framingham, Westborough, Leominster, Watertown, and Worcester. Call today to set up your appointment 781-277-0411.

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Ordinary Wage Garnishment and Federal Laws

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure where a portion of a debtor’s earnings are withheld by the employee to repay creditors. This is regarded as a severe consequence and is usually used only when an employee is seriously behind on their debts.

Wage garnishment is the most common type of garnishment and is usually a result of a court order.

It may continue until the entire debt is paid or arrangements are made to pay off debt.

Federal and state law limits the amount of money that can be taken from an employee’s paycheck to pay their debts. When it comes to state laws regarding this issue, there are sure to be differences among them. Due to this, the information provided here will be in accordance with federal law.

The United States Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division has specific details regarding a limit on wage garnishment. Details from the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), Title III, protects an employee from being fired if pay is garnished for only one debt.

This applies to all of the fifty states, District of Columbia, U.S. territories and possessions. It lets creditors get repayment directly from an employee’s paycheck or bank account.

Title III sets maximum amounts that can be garnished in any work week or pay period, no matter how many number of garnishment orders received by an employer. For ordinary garnishments (not those for support, bankruptcy, state, or federal tax), it can be 25% of an employee’s disposable earnings, or the amount where the employee’s earnings are greater than 30 times the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25).

If weekly earnings are less than 30 times minimum wage, garnishing cannot be applied. If wages range between 30 times $7.25 and 40 times $7.25, the difference can be garnished. If the weekly disposable earnings are greater than 40 times minimum wage, then 25% can be garnished. Should a state law regarding wage garnishment differ from Title III, then the lower amount of earnings will be focused on.

Wage garnishment can turn a tough financial situation into an impossible one. When income is tight, the added pressure of a smaller paycheck often becomes the tipping point. A bankruptcy lawyer from our law firm, will work for you and help turn things around. Don’t wait any longer, get the legal help you need today!

At Hines Law, serving the greater Boston area, we give our clients the ability to fight back. Don’t let the large financial institutions push you around. Let our Massachusetts Bankruptcy Attorneys help provide you a fresh start. Call us today for  Free consult!

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Advantages of Personal Bankruptcy in Massachusettes

Bankruptcy is a complicated and serious situation! Whether it’s a business or an individual, declaring bankruptcy involves a public declaration that you are unable to pay your bills.

Having quality counsel is a crucial. Businesses must be represented by a lawyer. Individuals can represent themselves, but it’s not advisable, and not an easy thing to do. Laws differ from state to state, are changing frequently, and they’re complicated. Any mistakes can have a lasting effect!

Bankruptcy cases can be thrown out of court without the option of ever bringing it back!

With so much intensity and so much at stake, are there any benefits, any advantages to filing bankruptcy?

When you owe money and can’t make payments, you find yourself with demands at your doorstep, never ending threatening letters, and irate phone calls. This magnifies your level of stress. It impacts relationships negatively. It cancels out even the thought of quality of life.

You can feel like you’re drowning with no help to resurface. Once you declare bankruptcy, this hounding madness stops. The creditors can’t even talk to you. They aren’t allowed to.

Now it takes dozens and dozens of numerous forms to fill out, file and wait to be accepted. Once that happens, the bankruptcy court enacts what is called an automatic stay, protecting the debtor from collection attempts. This brings about a little bit of peace back into your life.

It eliminates the debt you owe, or else a plan is put in place to repay all or some of your debt. You get a new beginning.

Now, it won’t be easy, but you get a new start. Gone will be the credit card bills, old medical bills, and unsecured debt. You begin to feel your dignity returning.

Learning to live within your means is key! Paying anything on time is crucial, as it is just this that positively impacts the rebirth of your credit score. One late payment sends you so far back, you want to avoid it al all costs. Learning to meet your obligations enables you to rebuild your life, as well as your relationships that may have been strained, or even lost.

The goal of bankruptcy is to provide debtors with a new beginning. If you are drowning in debt and overwhelmed with your finances, bankruptcy may be an option for you. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law are experienced and committed to doing what is best for your situation.

We have five locations throughout Massachusettes, including Framingham, Westborough, Leominster, Watertown, and Worcester. Call today to set up your appointment 781-277-0411.

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The Basics of Chapter 7

Filing for bankruptcy is overwhelming. Although the laws vary from state to state the general process is the same. If you are thinking about filing, obtaining a bankruptcy attorney is always a good idea. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law have been helping clients near and beyond Framingham MA obtain debt relief with a high level of success for over 20 years.

Personal bankruptcy situations can be complicated and confusing, especially without an attorney.

When a person is drowning in debt and in severe financial straits, it is important to have an understanding of how a debt solution will work and if its right for your financial situation. Here is a brief explanation as to how the process of Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy works.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process takes from four to six months to complete. Depending on where you live and the complexity of your case, the cost varies. Prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must receive credit counseling from an agency that has been approved by the United States Trustee’s Office.

Next, you will be spending most of your time completing and filling out forms. These include a bankruptcy petition, schedules that list financial information, forms that list your income and expenses and you will need to claim your property exemptions. You will then need to file your bankruptcy petition and show that you can pass the Chapter 7 means test.

Once you file your petition, the automatic stay goes into effect. This stops most of your creditors from collecting against you. A bankruptcy trustee is then assigned to administer your case. He will review your paperwork, look for inaccuracies and check for possible fraud.

Then you will have a meeting with the creditors. This meeting is when you have to answer questions about your petition and finances from the trustee and creditors, if they show up. It is usually a short meeting.

 

After the creditors meeting, there is a 60-day window in which the creditors or trustee can object to a discharge of any particular debt. If they do, they need to file a lawsuit in bankruptcy court. If there is no discharge filed within the 60 days, the court will issue an order to discharge your unsecured debts. There are debts such as taxes, child support and student loans that are non-dischargeable.

 

When and if your discharge is ordered, you no longer owe unsecured debts and your creditors have no legal right to collect from you. The automatic stay is lifted and your case will be closed. It’s time to start over and follow a new financial path.

You will find the lawyers at our legal practice, compassionate and skilled at understanding the realities common to debt relief. At Hines Law, we provide clear and practical advice so that our clients capture the best the legal system can offer. We look forward to completing the filing process and obtaining the discharge order, so that our clients can get a fresh start in life!

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The Process of Foreclosure

The bottom line with foreclosure, it means losing your home. It’s a legal process to recover the balance of a loan from the borrower who has stopped making payments.

When people purchase a home, we refer to them as homeowners, but they really aren’t. They are officially borrowers. They don’t truly own anything yet. This involves either a mortgage or deed of trust for the loan agreement.

There are a number of reasons why a borrower stops paying their home loan. It is usually due to unemployment, divorce, death, or medical issues. Perhaps it involves an out of state work transfer, or even unaffordable maintenance issues. Sometimes it involves a reduction in property values, owing more than what the home is worth and it’s overwhelming. No matter the reason, possible foreclosure is a stressful situation for sure! Bankruptcy may be option for you.

Specific aspects of foreclosure can vary from state to state, but it generally involves five general steps.

It all begins with missed payments, and not meeting the terms of the loan. Following this is a public notice. After a number of months of missed payments, the lender records a public notice with the County Recorder’s Office. It is to make the borrower aware that the danger now exists with losing all rights to the property and they may possibly be evicted. It is a clear sign that they are now in danger of foreclosure.

 

Some states require this notice to be placed on the door of the property. The pre-foreclosure stage is a grace period, which does depend on local regulations. This is a time when the borrower can perhaps work out a deal with the lender, or pay off the outstanding amount. An auction is next. If it is not sold at auction, then the lender takes ownership and it becomes bank owned or referred to as real estate owned. Here it is generally listed for sale on the open market, or sold at a liquidation auction.

 

A serious result of foreclosure is that it ruins your credit. The timing can vary by state, but it’s on your record for years. Eventually, you may qualify for another home, but it’s going to involve inflated interest rates until your credit is reestablished.

It is a difficult time for sure, but time, patience, and diligence with spending and baby steps to reestablish credit can bring about a financial healing. A new beginning is possible. It just takes one day at a time.

The attorneys at our bankruptcy firm are skilled and experienced in helping people through the foreclosure process. Depending on your situation, our counsel can help you every step of the way, beginning with your legal rights and options on how to move forward. We have five locations throughout Massachusettes, including Framingham, Westborough, Leominster, Watertown, and Worcester. Call today to set up your appointment 781-277-0411.

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Financial Exposure and Bankruptcy

Debt issues can lead to a world of emotional stress and mental anguish. Being aware of your finances and taking control of your “financial exposure” can reduce your risk of insolvency. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law serving the surrounding Boston area can help you decide what is the best option for you and your financial future.

In one of our previous posts, we talked about financial exposure and how to avoid it. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind about being overly exposed financially.

Retirement Plan
Tapping into your retirement money to pay off credit cards or other debt is not very wise. Your retirement plan will almost never be at risk because they are protected by claims from creditors. So ‘dipping’ into your retirement before you actually retire puts you at financial risk for exposure.

Insurance
Health insurance is a need not a want.

Failing to buy a health insurance plan puts you at financial risk.

Anything thing can happen at any time to anyone in terms of health, illness or accidents. Not having insurance can catapult you into tremendous debt overnight.

Earning Extra Money
If it’s hard making ends meet, try looking for opportunities to earn extra money. It may be difficult but if you have a passion, hobby or expertise you should explore your options.

The internet and today’s connected economy provides endless opportunities to earn extra cash on the side. It will not only keep you financially afloat, it may lead to something bigger and better.

Your Health
It is important to take care of yourself. Do not neglect your health. The more unhealthy you are can make you less productive and less motivated. The healthier you are, the more energy you’ll have and the more productive you’ll be. Your physical health can have a direct effect on your financial health. Not taking care of your health can lead to financial exposure and debt issues faster than you think.

If you are in debt and feel like you have lost control of your finances, personal bankruptcy might be the answer for you. The bankruptcy attorneys at Hines Law, representing clients throughout Massachusetts have extensive knowledge and experience. We handle all types of personal debt relief matters and are committed to safeguarding your interests and future. Call us today for a Free consult!

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