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5 Things You Must Know Before Filing Bankruptcy

5 Things You Must Know Before Filing Bankruptcy

It’s the first day of the month and millions of Americans are not only experiencing payday but pay out day. Rent, car payments, mortgages, and so many other bills have many Americans dreading the first few days of the month.

Why is it that paying bills is so dreadful? Perhaps it is because 38.1% of Americans are in debt and every year approximately 1.2 million have been forced to file bankruptcy for a host of reasons including unemployment, large medical expenses, seriously overextended credit, and marital problems.

You Will Still Have to Pay Your Student Loans

Bankruptcy has continued to be a popular trend for those who find themselves in loads of debt and feel as if filing bankruptcy is all they need to do in order to obtain relief. One misconception that many people seem to have about filing for bankruptcy is that it will save them from having to pay off their student loans. While that would be an exciting benefit of filing for bankruptcy, it is not one of them. In fact, a student loan is the one thing that cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy.

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Before jumping the gun, it is vital that you do some research. In fact, many banks offer educational portals online that allow customers and consumers to do their research before making any decisions that can impact their finances. If after all of your research you determine you are ready to file for bankruptcy, there are a few things that bankruptcy lawyers suggest that you avoid doing:

1. Obtaining new Debt

Do not acquire more credit card or other types of debt if you are within 70-90 days of filing bankruptcy. If you choose to obtain new debt and later file for bankruptcy, that creditor has the ability to object to your request.

It can simply be discharged because the creditor can argue that they didn’t approve your loan with the knowledge that you had not intended to pay it back.

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2. Transferring Money

When you file for bankruptcy you are often asked to provide information regarding any assets you have, or will soon have, in your possession. Many people walk into bankruptcy so fearful that they operate in panic and end up selling or transferring assets out of their names in order to avoid losing the few assets they have remaining.

While this may seem smart to the individual who is filing bankruptcy, it is illegal to hide assets. Not only could your bankruptcy be denied but you would be putting yourself at risk for criminal penalties.

3. Paying off any Creditors

Many bankruptcy experts encourage individuals not to pay back loans or other creditors within 90 days of filing bankruptcy. If you do, you may be eligible for a preferential transfer.

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This can easily be undone once you file for bankruptcy. The trustee leading the bankruptcy can use this preferential transfer to help you get money back from the individuals that you paid off prior to your bankruptcy.

4. Cashing out Your Savings

Many people will attempt to cash out their savings as another way to hide money from their bankruptcy trustee or creditor but the joke may, in fact, be on them.

If you are caught cashing out your savings, you risk criminal prosecution. While saving a few assets may be important to you today they won’t serve any purpose if you are a convicted felon.

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5. Delaying the Process

If you have sought professional advice and it has been determined that you should file for bankruptcy, find out how long you should or should not wait and then take action. In some cases, you can run into bigger problems if you delay your filing.

Featured photo credit: economynewswire.com via economynewswire.com

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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