Finances News - Law and Daily Life
Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Recently in Finances Category

How to Modify a Loan Agreement

Are your loans getting too hard to pay? In certain instances, you can take advantage of the fact that loan agreements aren't set in stone.

If you're in trouble and are unable to pay your loans, you may want to request a loan modification. Banks and the government offer many loan modification programs that can help you. For example, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), created in 2009, allows eligible homeowners to reduce their mortgage payments to 31 percent of their pre-tax monthly income.

Sounds great, but how do you get a loan modification? Here are some steps to help guide you through the process:

Attorneys can be expensive, and often the better the attorney, the higher the cost. So what can you do if you can't afford an attorney?

Just like most other 21st Century problems, this one can be solved with the internet. Over the last five years, crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe have contributed to a $5.1 billion worldwide industry. But does that make it a good place to turn to when you need a lawyer?

Going through your credit card bill, you find a $400 charge at McDonalds in Bangkok. Wait! When did you go to Bangkok, and what would you buy for $400 at McDonalds?

Chances are, your credit card information was stolen, and there's been some fraudulent charges on your account. Usually, the process of disputing those charges is relatively painless. You call your credit card company and make a report. They freeze your card, give you a refund, and send you a new card. Easy, and done.

Sadly, it doesn't always happen that way. Your credit card company may deny your fraud claims. What do you do then?

Can You Go To Jail For Debt?

Nothing in life is free. For some, the costs of court fines and fees hurt more because they're poor.

When Conner Comeau was convicted for graffiti, he was sentenced to two days in jail and a fine of $1,300 for restitution. Four years later, he was sentenced to 100 days in jail. His new crime? Not being able to pay his restitution debt.

Is debtor's prison back?

What is a 529 Plan?

Are you ready to pay for your child's college education?

According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 69 percent of all graduates from public colleges in 2013 have an average student loan debt of $28,400. That's only for a bachelor's degree. If your child goes to law school, add about $84,000 to $122,000 more in student loans. Does your kid want to be a doctor? Expect to pay nearly $300,000 for medical school.

Have you been saving for college? Have you heard of a 529 Plan?

Not many people have the luxury of taking days off of work and giving up money.

However, despite your willingness to work, you may not have a choice if your work shuts down. If your employer shuts down the business temporarily due to an emergency or other reason, do they still have to pay you?

When Can I Retire?

It's less a practical question nowadays and more of an existential angst: "Will I have enough for retirement?" And depending on your age, your job, and your marital and family status, figuring out your retirement plan can seem like an impossible bit of calculus.

The key word there is "seem" -- with a little information and some careful planning, figure out when you can retire can get a lot simpler.

Sometimes it's hard to see and other times it's hard to admit, but the law affects our lives on a constant and daily basis. We don't always realize we're making legal decisions, let alone if those decisions are right or wrong.

So here are some common legal mistakes you might have already made, how to fix them if you have, and how to avoid them if you haven't.

In a move criticized by many, Kansas enacted new rules limiting the use of cash assistance (also known as public assistance, or welfare).

Kansas' new law, which goes into effect on July 1, is an extensive ban on products and services that can't be purchased with cash assistance. Items that cannot be purchased with welfare include alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco products, lottery tickets, concert tickets, professional or collegiate sporting tickets, or sexually oriented adult materials. Cash assistance also cannot be used at casinos, tattoo parlors, nail salons, bail bond companies, or fortune telling businesses.

While Kansas' welfare law is the most restrictive law so far, laws prohibiting use of cash assistance for certain purchases are not rare

It's out of sight and out of mind, but your credit report can affect your life in many ways you never expected. A bad credit report can make it hard for you to get a loan or a credit card. It can get you rejected for a rental apartment. It can even hurt your job search efforts.

Mistakes on credit reports happen all to often. You expect to have great credit, but suddenly you're rejected for a home loan. There may be an error on your credit report, hurting your score.

Here is how you can check for errors and correct your report: