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How are budgeting and chapter 13 linked?

If you’ve been granted chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey, you probably know how important it is to keep current on your payment schedule. You may even create a budget for spending to ensure your creditors continue to be paid, and it can be difficult for many families to stick to the budget they create. To help you along, U.S. News & World Report offers the following advice.

Make a plan ASAP

You must reaffirm your mortgage during bankruptcy proceedings

Many people don't really understand the bankruptcy process. What they know about it comes from movies or stories that they hear, which may not be accurate. The lack of public knowledge about bankruptcy leads to the dissemination of misinformation about what happens during different forms of bankruptcy.

One of the biggest worries reported by those considering bankruptcy is the impact that it can have on their homes. The truth is that different forms of bankruptcy can impact your home ownership in different ways. Those who pass the means test and qualify for Chapter 7 need to look carefully at the amount of equity that they have in their homes.

Resolving tax debt without going financially bust

For many New Jersey residents, tax time is a time to rejoice, as it means a return on all the excess money they paid into their taxes throughout the year. For others, however, such as higher earners, small business owners and freelancers, tax time is a time to dread. These individuals often end up owing taxes. Some tax debts are as little as a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars, while others are well over $10,000. For those who owe money, tax time means refiguring their finances to pay off a large debt they cannot realistically afford. 

NerdWallet details three common ways debtors can repay the IRS without going financially bust. One such way is to request a payment plan. The IRS offers long-term payment plans to those who owe less than $50,000, including penalties and interest. Penalties and interest start accruing after 120 days, which is why the financial site suggests that debtors pay off their balances in full within that time frame.

Protecting a business from having to file for bankruptcy

When a company realizes that its financial situation will no longer allow the support of organizational processes, they may be considering alternatives to get rid of the debt. Unfortunately, if they have exhausted all other efforts, their only option left may be to file for bankruptcy in New Jersey. However, these types of situations can usually be prevented when company leaders take the initiative to strategically and wisely manage their finances. 

According to Actsoft, companies should be doing everything in their power to minimize the debt they accumulate from operating processes. They should be looking for innovative ways to fund business operations without spending extensive amounts that require significant credits to be opened. They should also create a reasonable budget that is cushioned by a safety net that may allow for a bit of support if something happens that requires money to fix. If they find themselves in a compromised situation, they may benefit from working with their lenders to renegotiate the terms of their loan or making the effort to consolidate as much of their debt as possible. 

Can you prevent foreclosure from destroying your future?

If you are facing a potential foreclosure on your property in New Jersey, it can be unsettling to think about your future and how this decision may impact your ability to get credit in the future. While foreclosure undoubtedly has consequences, you have the ability to overcome its effects by carefully planning your next steps and taking precautions to prevent similar risks from happening in the future. 

If you have been delinquent on your payments and are unable to continue to pay your mortgage, you may have been informed by your lender that they will be foreclosing your property. In these situations, you may have the chance to slow or even stop the process if you are able to negotiate the terms of your contract with your lender. If you are lucky, you will be able to modify the original contract to reflect how payments will be made going forward. However, if your inability to pay becomes a repetitive offense and is left unattended, your home will undoubtedly foreclose. 

Understanding the consequences of your foreclosure

Owning a home in New Jersey is certainly something to be proud of, but there may be times when the stress of homeownership could have you grasping for solutions to stay financially afloat. When weighing your options for financing your home when you have run into a cash flow issue, a foreclosure may be the most suitable option. At William H. Oliver, Jr. & Associates, we understand how a foreclosure may affect people and their ability to secure financing in the future. 

Stopping a foreclosure may be doable if you are able to renegotiate the terms of your contract with your lender. You may also be able to effectively reassess your budget and identify areas where you can cut back your spending to save money that you can put toward your house payment. However, if you have reached the point where you are no longer able to find any other solution to pay your mortgage and your ability to keep your property is hanging in the balance, you may be at risk of foreclosure. 

Did the shutdown wipe you out financially?

If you are a federal worker in New Jersey, this most recent government shut down might have wreaked havoc with your finances. But you don't even have to be a government employee to be adversely affected by this work cessation.

For instance, if you operated a food truck that served lunches daily outside of a federal courthouse that was shuttered or operating on only an unpaid skeleton crew, it's quite likely you took a hit just the same as the federal workers. For those Americans who are teetering on a financial brink and living paycheck to paycheck, an event like a government shutdown can be devastating to their financial security.

Are your personal assets at risk in a business bankruptcy?

If your New Jersey small business is struggling financially, you may wonder if filing for bankruptcy is a wise decision, or, more to the point, if filing for bankruptcy would jeopardize your personal assets. Intuit QuickBooks explores circumstances in which your assets may be at risk and what you can do to protect them in the event that your business defaults.  

The article suggests that you should only consider filing for bankruptcy on behalf of your business if your personal assets are at stake. If you do not have personal assets at stake, it may be best to close your businesses doors and walk away. Creditors then may seize your company's assets, but because you no longer run the company, it causes you no real harm.

Am I at risk of foreclosure?

Losing your home to foreclosure can be a devastating prospect. In some cases, there may be signs indicating a foreclosure is on the horizon and recognizing these signs will help develop a plan and potentially prevent the process from occurring. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers the following tips, so you can identify signs of trouble before this situation becomes much worse.

Your spending habits are a prime indicator of future troubles. For instance, using credit to purchase everyday items like groceries usually signals a serious issue. Also, failure to pay recurring bills, such as utility payments, is another common sign of money problems. Even if you’re financially sound right now, the onset of a serious medical condition or the loss of employment can also play a role in future financial stability.

How can I save money during the holidays?

For people in Monmouth County experiencing financial instability, the holiday season can be stress-inducing. Proper money management is crucial this time of year, as overspending on gifts and entertainment can leave you struggling once the new year arrives. The Balance offers the following budgeting tips, so you can enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank.

Put a limit on spending

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