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November 27, 2017

How to Avoid the Exploitation of Elders with Advice from Freedom Debt Relief

elders debtsWhile it is hard to imagine, a crime that we see committed over and over, are crimes against elderly people by way of fraud and other forms of exploitation. Not only is this illegal, but it is also immoral and it is hard to imagine something like this happening to someone we know and love. At Freedom Debt Relief, we want to help caregivers and loved ones to avoid the older people in their lives from becoming victims of elder exploitation.

Sadly, a recent study Freedom Debt Relief reviewed shows that almost $3 billion is fraudulently exploited out of seniors each year. That is each and every year. This is a huge loss of money for people who generally live on a fixed income and this reduced income can spell disaster for the person’s ability to meet their daily needs. While it would be nice to think that this is rare, the numbers just don’t bear that out.

As Freedom Debt Relief found out, 1 out of every 5 people over the age of 65 has or will suffer from some form of elder fraud. This is a huge number and it means that, chances are, you or an older person you love could also be a victim of these predatory processes. What follows are just a few tips and hints on how to manage your own, or help the older person in your life manage their finances in a way that reduces the likelihood of becoming a victim.

Cognitive Decline and Finances

One thing that Freedom Debt Relief found is that those who are of advanced age (80+), as well as those who are suffering from some form of cognitive decline are far more likely to be victims of fraud than those who do not. If you start to notice that your memory isn’t what it once was, or if you are a caregiver who notices this about a loved one, you might want to turn over control of the finances to someone who can manage it. This will reduce the likelihood that your finances or your loved one’s finances are compromised as a result of someone taking advantage of their decline.

Avoid Scams

While Freedom Debt Relief knows that we want to be able to trust in the kindness of others, the sad fact of the matter is that there are people out there that are looking to scam people. You need to be wary of anyone who is selling something that seems to good to be true or that comes along, promising that, for a fee, they will be able to solve all your problems. Older people are far more likely to be targets and victims of such scams as they tend to not be as technically savvy and are more likely to trust other people.

Freedom Debt Relief notes that being open with your finances with someone you trust as you get older is just a smart way to help avoid becoming a victim to fraud. Being willing to turn over your finances to someone you trust if you start to notice some memory slips could ultimately save you your entire savings. Be skeptical and wary of anyone who is trying to sell you something that seems way too good to be true or anyone who thinks they can solve your problems (for a fee, of course) and make your world as good as new. Maintain a high degree of skepticism and enlist the help of someone you trust when making big decisions.

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October 18, 2017

ALL ABOUT OWNER FINANCING

property financeYou and your family have made the decision to move out of your house and sell it. Or, perhaps you are wanting to sell an office building or a piece of vacant land. Most people think that there are only two ways that a potential buyer could pay for that property. Either the buyer has to have a load of cash or they must be able to get a loan from their friendly, neighborhood bank (or a less friendly mega-bank, but that is a discussion for another time).

What is Owner Financing?

A third way of selling a property – one which has been used for centuries – is to offer owner financing. You could use owner financing to sell a used car, an appliance, or just about anything else of value, but using owner financing for real estate is the safest and most profitable way to do it. So, what is it? Owner financing means that you are acting in some ways like a small bank, albeit a nicer and easier-to- work-with bank. When selling the property, you receive a down payment from the buyer and set up a real estate note stating the interest rate, term, and monthly payments.

Let’s try an example in which you are wanting to sell a house valued at $100,000. You and Betty Buyer agree that she will give you a $10,000 down payment and make payments to you on the first of every month at an interest rate of 6% and a loan term of 30 years. An attorney or title company would normally prepare the needed documents, including the real estate note, a deed of trust (or mortgage, in some states), and a title commitment. Each side signs in the appropriate places, the deed of trust or mortgage is recorded with the county, and you are done.

Advantages of Owner Financing

  1. There are a number of positives from offering owner financing, which include:
    Can be completed much more quickly than with a bank loan, and you have the flexibility to set up the note however you want, subject to state and national laws.
  2. The pool of potential buyers becomes much larger. They may be good credit risks but perhaps do not qualify for a bank loan.
  3. More income for you since you are recovering the original profit plus interest from the note.
    4. It helps the buyer to purchase a property that they probably could not have otherwise have bought.

When Not to use Owner Financing

  • Of course, owner financing is not appropriate for any of the following situations:
    You, as the property owner, still owe a lot of money on the property to a bank or other financial entity.
  • You need all of the cash from the property right away.
  • You need the cash from the incoming payments to survive. If the payer ever defaults, you may need to pay for a foreclosure and go without the note income for several months.

What’s Next

You successfully sold the house to Betty Buyer and all of the documents were properly created and signed. The hard work is done, so you can mostly wait for the monthly payments to come in. However, at least once per year, you will want to make sure that the property has adequate fire insurance (with you as the primary beneficiary), that property taxes are kept current, and that the property is kept in good condition.

If, down the road, you decide that you need some cash out of the note right away, you can contact a note buyer. Good note buyers will explain that you can sell all of the note or just some of the payments, how the process works, and when you can expect to receive funds.

There are a lot of note buyers out there, with varying levels of expertise and integrity. Be sure to work with a real estate note buyer with whom you feel comfortable, that is a licensed real estate broker, and that has a high rating from the Better Business Bureau or a comparable entity.

Alan Noblitt is the owner of Seascape Capital Inc., which buys real estate notes and business notes. He may be reached at (858) 672-4678 or toll-free at 1-800-634-4697. If you would like to learn more about real estate notes and read informational articles, visit www.seascapecapital.com.

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September 5, 2017

Why property investment should be a key part of Estate Planning?

plan for your estatePeople underestimate the importance of property investments within estate planning until it’s too late. Estate planning is your declaration after you pass away. You may not want your family to receive money and other assets you intended for your wife and children. Molly McCollough found out how essential property investment within estate planning is the hard way.

Meet Molly

Molly McCollough is a 54 year old woman who is the founder of Theature Company. Molly thought she and her husband has everything figured out. They never thought they needed life insurance or a strategy for financial planning because they were married and didn’t have children, so everything would be left to Molly. After her husband, Joe died, Molly found out being his wife didn’t carry much weight in collecting his estate.

The Issue

Molly’s husband didn’t have a will, and the money he left behind was in a foreign bank account that did not have her name on it. Because Molly’s name was not on any of the accounts, she didn’t have access to anything.

Molly was afraid and mourning the death of her husband. Molly needed to figure out a way to gain access to his estate before his family tried to claim any part of the estate. Molly felt her husband was hiding secrets, and she didn’t know where to turn or who she could trust.

Molly said, “There’s just something about death and greed and money and long-buried resentment that bubbles to the surface when there’s any substantial inheritance. It tears families apart. People lie and steal and cheat.” In her situation, she was right. Joe’s family did just what Molly hoped they wouldn’t. They came and took all of his estate and left her with nothing. Inheritance drama is something no one wants to deal with and it can cause years of frustration, and put a rift between families.

Life insurance, financial planning, and estate planning are things you need to discuss with your partner before it’s too late. Make sure you and your partner have a will whether you have children or not. If these things are not in place before you pass away, the state will do what they see fit, and most of the time, it’s not what you wanted.

The Solution

At Unified Lawyers, we work tirelessly to help people who don’t understand wills, trusts, estate planning, and similar assets. We understand the urgency in these situations and always put our best foot forward. We are not a traditional law firm. We believe in helping people instead of collecting a check. All our fees and costs are straightforward so each of our clients know how every cent of their money was spent. We are here to help you get your situation resolved.

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September 4, 2017

Loan Types to Consider if You Own a Small Business

offering business loansSmall business owners are earning increasing visibility in Western society, and are increasingly applauded for their courage in setting off on their own. Founders pour their hearts and souls into both startups and other types of small businesses, and for many people their lives revolve around their company. But even once your small business is off the ground, you’ll likely need to take out loans of some type to cover expenses and to help you expand your company. Read on for some basics on the different types of loans that you could take out, depending on your business’ specific needs.

Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit offers you readily available cash whenever you need it for your business. Like a line of credit for a credit card, there is a fixed maximum, but you only pay interest on the amount of money that you actually use. Also as with a credit card, funds are there for your business when you need them, even if what you really need is physical cash.

Different lenders will have different terms with your business line of credit, but some may require that you routinely pay off the entire amount. Even if your specific line of credit only requires you to pay interest, it is always a good idea to pay off portions of the principal as regularly as possible.

Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards are very similar to the personal credit cards that you already have open. Unlike a business line of credit, withdrawing cash from a business credit card typically incurs high fees, but there are other benefits to business credit cards. Depending on the specific card, you can earn cash back bonuses or “points” on various purchases, which may help you cut costs in the future. You can also build your business’ credit, even if you already have the capital you need, by making relatively small purchases on your business credit card and paying them off quickly.

Term Loans

Small businesses can apply for term loans, which would give you a lump sum of money that must be repaid within an agreed-upon amount of time. Term loans do also accrue interest, which typically must be paid back monthly. Term loans may be repayable in extremely variable time periods, from several months to several years. These loans are best for business that are looking to make big purchases or investments, but need a one-time financial boost in order to do so.

Equipment Loans

If your business needs to purchase new equipment or machinery (including computers, printers, or other industry-specific needs), equipment loans may be the way to go. These are especially beneficial when a business has no other costs that require a loan, except for the equipment costs. Equipment loans are typically made for the exact amount of the desired equipment, and may sometimes be kept for the entire lifespan of the equipment. As with all loans, equipment loans will accrue interest, which will need to be paid back regularly.

In addition to these more standard loan types, there are also some less traditional loans, such as competitive loans offered to small businesses by online companies such as LendGenius. To learn more about these non-traditional finance options, and the potential benefits for your business, visit their website.

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August 7, 2017

The Path to Paper Trading and Beyond

trading papersBecoming a day trader is a great way to start an alternate career that will prepare you as jobs become obsolete and independent sources of income are needed. And to become a good day trading you need to spend time in a trading simulator.

As we make our way in a world that is awash in information, the future for traditional jobs is bleak. You are not going to sit at a desk for years, poring over spreadsheets and writing articles for a paltry salary and benefits. That model is going to go away, slowly and then very quickly.

The question is: what do you do about it? Here is one solution: Start day trading. Day trading penny stocks is an exciting and interesting business that can be very lucrative for the right people. It takes time to be able to learn the techniques that will make you a good day trader and it takes grit to work your way through the hard-knock experience it takes to become profitable.

But by cultivating an independent source of income, you can insulate yourself against the trials and tribulations of the regular economy. Not many companies, and not many industries, for that matter, are ready for the coming waves of technological change.

So day trading is a way to protect yourself from what is ahead. In fact, to get good at day trading you need to be OK with volatility and uncertainty. Volatility is a day trader’s great friend. However, you need to be able to see the patterns in a chaotic market in order to profit from them.

Day trading education sites like Warrior Trading can teach you skills and strategies for spotting those patterns. You can learn about stock scanning and advanced chart reading, it is just as vital to move from study to practice.

That is where the paper trading comes in. Spending time in trading simulator is important, because it allows you to understand how to trade at the speed of the regular market, but with virtual currency, so you are not risking any real money. That allows you to make mistakes and learn from mistakes without endangering your life savings.

Working in a trading simulator with Warrior Trading means you will be able to trade in real time, with Level II quotes and veteran traders looking over your shoulder as resources to rely on. It is the ultimate practice for becoming a profitable day trader and creating an independent source of income for yourself.

To learn more about how working in a trading simulator can bring you from novice to expert, check out Warrior Trading on Facebook.

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