5 Common Misconceptions About Bankruptcy

Misconception #1: YOU LOSE ALL YOUR BELONGINGS IN BANKRUPTCY. Truth: Many of the bankruptcy cases that are filed by individuals are known as “no asset” cases. This means that the debtor or debtors preserve all of their belongings. The reason for this is bankruptcy gives you the privilege to keep a certain amount of property … Continue reading “5 Common Misconceptions About Bankruptcy”

Misconception #1: YOU LOSE ALL YOUR BELONGINGS IN BANKRUPTCY.

Truth:

Many of the bankruptcy cases that are filed by individuals are known as “no asset” cases. This means that the debtor or debtors preserve all of their belongings. The reason for this is bankruptcy gives you the privilege to keep a certain amount of property in which you can start over with. The belongings that you are able to keep are known as exempt property. Depending on the state you live in will determine what you can keep.

Misconception #2: BANKRUPTCY RUINS YOUR CREDIT FOR 7 TO 10 YEARS.

Truth:

This misconception is unbelievable. There are many cases in which filing for bankruptcy will improve your credit. This is accurate for many debtors, because upon receiving their discharge, they are debt free. Often, their debt to income quota is zero. Once your bankruptcy is over, you can then begin the development of rebuilding your credit. If you are a proactive person, it is important to obtain new credit and to pay all of your necessities on time. If you are doing this for a constant two to three years you can reestablish good credit.

Misconception #3: YOU CANNOT DISCHARGE TAXES IN BANKRUPTCY.

Truth:

Conflicting with the common misconception, typically income taxes can be freed in bankruptcy if you have the following information:

1. The taxes have to be a minimum of three years old

2. The associated return must of been filed a minimum of two years ago

3. Any added appraisal was more than 240 days ago.

4. There was no engaging in fraud or tax evasion from the taxpayer

There are many reasons in which these time periods have the possibility to be extended, do not count on these things alone to determine the discharge-ability of taxes depending on your situation.

Misconception #4: MEDICAL BILLS CANNOT BE DISCHARGED IN BANKRUPTCY.

Truth:

Just like most bills, medical bills can also be discharged in bankruptcy. There are many suspicions in which individuals think otherwise. Wherever this misconception is coming from is false. In fact, one of the main three reasons that an individual will file for bankruptcy is medical bills, alone with job loss and divorce.

Misconception #5: YOU CAN PICK AND CHOOSE WHICH DEBTS TO LIST IN YOUR BANKRUPTCY.

Truth:

False. It is mandatory for all debts to be filed, including debts owed to family and personal friends, business partners, and future debts that you may have. It is not possible for you to eliminate one credit card from the bankruptcy.

Filling Up With The Wrong Fuel – A Customer Experience

October 17th 2014 – Accidentally putting petrol in my VW Passat instead of Diesel

The following is my tale of woe about my wrong fuel experience. Please don’t make the same mistakes that I made and save yourself the hassle.

On the Friday morning in question, I was driving my 6 month old VW Passat to work in Worcester as usual. The car is a B7 model 2 litre turbo diesel, not as good to drive as my previous VW Passat which was the B5.5 2 litre petrol model but not a bad car either. I had only had the car for 3 days and I picked it up with about a third of a tank of fuel in it on the previous Tuesday. I was sitting in the crawling traffic going into the town centre when the low fuel warning light lit up with a ping. I could easily have made it to work and back home on the remaining fuel but as there was a fuel station on my route into work and I was early anyway, I thought I would stop off and fill up with diesel before the weekend as I had a lot of running around to do on Saturday with the kids.

I pulled up at the pump and I remember running through the day’s tasks in my head so I wasn’t really concentrating on putting in the fuel, I was just doing that on autopilot. I filled the tank right up and then went to the kiosk to pay. I got back into the car and started the engine. It sounded rough which worried me and as I drove to the exit the engine stalled altogether. It then dawned on me what I had just done. I’d filled up with the wrong fuel. I’d had my previous car for 10 years and had got so used to filling up with unleaded petrol that I had just done what I was used to doing. I’m sure I probably turned as pale as a ghost and I just had an almost overwhelming feeling of panic because I was sure that I had just ruined a £14,000 car. To make matters worse I was blocking the station exit and there was a line of motorists behind me waiting to leave the station. I had to sheepishly explain to the chap behind me what I had done and I asked him if he would help me push the car out off to one side. He refused and told me to get it moved. Nice. The young lady in the next car, however, did volunteer to help and together we managed to move the car with her steering and me pushing on my own.

Wrong Fuel Removal – The Wrong Approach

The forecourt staff were sympathetic but I could tell this was a hassle for them too, one of them handed me a card that someone had left on the desk from a firm of wrong fuel removal engineers. I didn’t realise that the industry even existed until I saw the card, I did think that I should call my breakdown assistance firm and ask their advice first and they explained that they could have someone out to me in an hour and a half and that if they could remove the fuel from the car then it would cost me £250. I didn’t fancy sitting around for that long and I thought the cost was a bit steep so I called the firm on the card I had been given and spoke to a bored sounding lady who said they could have someone with me in about 30 minutes as there was a van in the area and that the cost would be £150. Whilst I waited I used my smartphone to search for “wrong fuel Worcester” to see what came up on Google. I found quite a few other companies offering the wrong fuel removal service but I couldn’t find the company named on the card who I had just called. I decided to sit tight and see what happened anyway.

About 45 minutes later a scruffy, dented Ford Transit pulled up next to me and door opened and clattered into the driver’s door on my car, my mood wasn’t good as it was and I got out of the car to confront this individual who had gone around to the back of the van. Thankfully, there was no damage to my car as the van had a plastic protector on its door. The van driver then appeared and announced that he was here to do the fuel drain. He was dressed in a paint covered overall and had paint all over his face and head. Quite obviously, he had just been painting. I followed him to the back of the van where he had an array of large 5 gallon plastic containers, a length of rubber hose and some sort of electric pump contraption. The equipment looked like it had just been thrown in to the back of the van along with various bits of rubbish and paper towels and the smell of petrol coming from the back of the van made my eyes water. I began to feel the panic rising again and had visions of a huge explosion occurring with me in the middle of it. When the “engineer” started to attempt to feed rubber hose down into my new car’s fuel tank (with no care being taken of the car bodywork which was now filthy all around the fuel tank aperture) something told me that this just wasn’t right and was probably downright dangerous. My sense of duty towards my fellow motorists on the forecourt kicked in and I asked him to stop what he was doing. I explained that I thought what he was doing was putting everyone at risk and he became somewhat aggressive and began to demand payment for wasted time. I had no intention of giving this chap my credit card and so I locked the car and told him I was going to speak to the police which, unsurprisingly, changed his attitude. As I walked off towards the kiosk I looked behind me to see him hurriedly packing the hose and container back into his van which then sped off in a cloud of smoke.

The Wrong Fuel – The Right Approach

It was more than an hour since I had put the wrong fuel in my car by this time, so I called work to keep them updated and then looked at my smartphone search page again for another wrong fuel removal company. The company that came top for the search “wrong fuel Worcester” had a great website, tailored for mobile display and had images showing uniformed engineers with well-maintained vans and also, many positive customer comments. I called the number and explained my predicament to a kind and sympathetic operator who assured me that an engineer was close and would be with me very quickly. My previous experience had left me a little suspicious and so I questioned her about the company, their engineers and their vehicles and she explained clearly to me about the procedure and the professionalism with which their representatives conducted themselves. This was good enough for me and 20 minutes later a smart looking van with company livery pulled up next to me on the forecourt and a uniformed engineer with a big smile on his face, got out.

He was a real breath of fresh air after the last chap. He was kind and courteous and spent a couple of minutes talking me through the process of removing the wrong fuel from my vehicle, explaining what the sparklingly clean equipment in his van did and roughly how long this would take. He explained about the cost involved and made sure that I was comfortable with this before going ahead. As he put protective padding onto my car around the fuel tank aperture, which he cleaned up beforehand, the engineer explained about the SPA passport that he held and he also gave me his Environmental Agency paperwork which allowed him to handle and transport dangerous chemicals, legally. This information and the engineer’s general attitude and consideration put my mind at ease and filled me with confidence that, this time, I had done the right thing.

I also discussed my fears about the damage done to the vehicle engine when the wrong fuel is introduced to the system and he supplied me with the following information which put my mind at ease on that front. Firstly, it is very rare that damage occurs to the engine of fuel system of a diesel vehicle when petrol is added. Only in circumstances where common sense is not applied, is there a risk of long term damage. Petrol is a solvent and doesn’t have the lubricating qualities of diesel fuel, therefore, if any amount of petrol is introduced to the system and is allowed to remain in the system then there is potentially a risk that, where there is metal to metal contact of components within the fuel system and the normal lubrication is compromised, excessive wear of those components can occur leading to failure in extreme circumstances. Also, the seals within the system can be affected by the solvent properties of the petrol which may lead to damage. There is a myth that it is OK to top up with diesel fuel if you’ve only added a little petrol to the tank, and to continue driving. This will lead to fuel system damage as described previously resulting in potentially expensive repairs being required. The most sensible and cost effective action is to get the fuel system completely drained and flushed through with fresh diesel to remove all traces of unleaded petrol.

This is just what the engineer did to my VW Passat and within 25 minutes I was ready to go. I was very impressed with the second wrong fuel removal company that I called out, they were prompt, efficient and the customer service and general attitude were brilliant, unlike the first company. The engineer explained to me about the problem existing within the industry whereby various “cowboy” companies had been set up and were being run by inexperienced and unlicensed individuals who were taking advantage of motorist’s vulnerable positions when they had put in the wrong fuel. Many people were being intimidated into paying up front for a fuel drain that was then performed by dangerously ill equipped individuals with no regard to the customer’s safety or the safety of others in the locality. He told me of many cases where he had been called out to jobs that he had to rectify after the “cowboy” wrong fuel company had done an incomplete job and had still made off with the money. It seems that I had had a lucky escape.

Once the fuel drain and fuel system flush was completed, the engineer started my car and it ticked over as if nothing had happened. I paid him with a credit card and thanked him for his assistance, in just 45 minutes he had come out to me and carried out a professional service with which I was very happy.

The Conclusion To The Wrong Fuel Situation

It’s fair to say that I learned a few things on that day when I put in the wrong fuel. Hopefully, someone else in the same predicament may come across this article before taking action and avoid some of the potential pitfalls. In summary, this would be my advice:

Pay attention to which fuel nozzle you pick up on the forecourt (this one goes without saying!)
If you have put in the wrong fuel, let the forecourt staff know, so that they can help you move your vehicle, if necessary.
Once you have told the staff or if you have left the forecourt, do some quick smartphone internet research and choose a wrong fuel recovery company with good customer feedback and a good informative website that shows a well organised and professional outfit.
If you don’t trust the engineer that arrives or you feel there is anything amiss with his/her conduct, don’t be afraid to speak up and, if necessary, turn them away from the job. Your safety is paramount and your vehicle was probably expensive. Don’t take a risk either way.
Don’t pay up front. Make sure you’re happy with the cost and the work involved. A good engineer will be courteous and will check with you beforehand anyway.

Buy Personalized Mugs – Things to Remember

Buying gifts is never an easy task. Any festival, holiday or occasion just puts an added pressure on us. It is frustrating to research and dig for a gift that the other person is more than okay with. You can’t really leave getting gifts to luck and wait and see if your loved ones like them when they are unwrapped. Mostly, you do not want to disappoint them because they mean something to you.

Keep in mind that shopping is fun and there are gifts that can warm the hearts of anyone with just a touch of personalization. If you are not a planner, you will most probably succumb to frustration that one undergoes when it comes to last-minute gif shopping.

Personalization of mugs

When you are puzzled for a gift idea or have hit a wall thinking of ideas of gifts, you can always go for a personalized mug. It is something all of us every day, it can be custom-made and it can be useful. Coffee cups are most considered impersonal. It’s usually a gift considered appropriate for a colleague, boss, teacher or an acquaintance.

But that’s old story. These days there are a multitude of ideas to personalize mugs and make it special for your loved ones. Mugs can be personalized irrespective of the gender or age. Mugs can be made as appealing to your friends as to your family. If you are creative and have an idea about their likes and dislikes, making the mug unique is an easy task. Here are a few ideas how you can convert coffee mugs into amazing personalized gifts that would be cherished by your loved ones.

Photo mugs

One of the easiest ways to make your mug personalized is adding a photo to it. Mugs can be personalized by simply adding images on them. Photos can be printed on the mugs easily. All you need is a digital copy of the image. An image or a collage of images that will bring back fond memories can be added to the mugs. Another great thing about these mugs is that they will remind the person for whom the gift is intended about you every time they use the mug, which can be every day.

Quote mugs

Sometimes, when you are not very sure what gift you should buy; mugs can seem like a great idea. They can be great gift for employees, colleagues or clients. They can be personalized with your company logo, tag line or quotes praising people.

Sharpie mugs

While sharpie mugs are a very successful DIY project you will see around the internet, it doesn’t mean they do not make excellent gift. These mugs carry messages and can be ordered online or be your own DIY project. The best thing about these mugs is that they can carry your unique message and will always stand out from other gifts. Also, these mugs are affordable.

Other personalization

The person whom you are going to gift the mug will have hobbies, interests or passion. Why not choose a mug or personalize a mug that talks about their work, quirks or something unique about them. Are they Harry potter or Spiderman fan? A mug with a quote or picture can be a great option. For photography fans, there are lens shaped mugs. The possibility is endless. With a little creativity a research, mugs make an awesome and unique gift.

Dollars and Sense: How Bankruptcy Lawyers Will Help You Out of Your Sticky Financial Situation

The word “bankruptcy” tends to strike fear into our hearts, especially if we’re going through financial trouble. But most people can’t see themselves ever filing for bankruptcy. The process seems like it’s made for failing businesses, government bodies, and other organizations. But personal bankruptcy laws exist to protect citizens who find themselves struggling with severe debt. If your finances drop into the red zone, taking the following steps will get you back on your feet:

Assess the Damage

Look closely at your financial portrait. If you owe large sums to multiple creditors, if collectors are calling your house, or if you find yourself paying for essentials with a credit card, you should start to consider remedying your situation. Begin by tallying up your financial assets – bank account balances, retirement funds, stocks and bonds, real estate, vehicles, and anything else of value. Once you have a grand total, compare it to the amount you owe. If your assets are worth less than your total debts, you should seriously consider filing for bankruptcy.

How Do I File?

You may voluntarily file for bankruptcy as soon as you determine it’s necessary. Alternatively, you may be compelled by your creditors to file. However your legal process originates, don’t try to navigate it by yourself. Get in touch with bankruptcy lawyers who will look closely at your circumstances and advise you on how to proceed. There are two different claims you can file, so an attorney will help you determine the legal route that best serves your interests.

Filing a Chapter 7 Claim

A Chapter 7 claim is fairly straightforward. If approved, this claim liquidates your assets and uses them to pay off a large chunk of your debt right away. In other words, it turns most of what you own into cash, and then distributes this cash among your creditors. It sounds scary, because you lose most of your holdings. But it’s not the end of the world – many people bounce back and rebuild their assets without all that debt holding them back. Especially with trusted bankruptcy lawyers on your side, this process can lead to a much-needed fresh start.

Filing a Chapter 13 Claim

Since they involve seizing most of the filer’s holdings, Chapter 7 claims aren’t great for people who own businesses, property, and other major assets. When you have large properties that you don’t want to lose, a Chapter 13 claim is the better choice. It allows people with consistent, predictable annual incomes to pay off debts over a three- to five-year grace period. Once a judge approves a Chapter 13 claim, creditors must stop contacting the debtor. The debtor then continues to work, paying off his or her debts as best they can during the grace period. No property or other assets are liquidated in this process.

Bankruptcy lawyers will tell you: filing isn’t so scary, and can drastically improve your situation. If you’re letting unpaid bills stack up and trying to ignore them, know that you can pursue legal options to relieve the stresses of debt and protect what you own

Are You a Reluctant Wanderlust in Business?

Are you a multi-talented, multi-passionate person who finds it hard to “commit” to doing “just one thing”?

Sometimes I feel like a loser when I couldn’t just “stick with it” when something ceases to give me a deep sense of excitement and purpose. Some may call it ADD.

Do you identify with being a “wanderlust” in life – not only having a desire to travel physically but also (and more importantly) to embark on a personal journey that involves experiencing all parts of SELF and all aspects of LIFE?

In different stages of my life, and especially in my own business, sometimes the tension between the strong pull to EXPERIMENT, to DARE, to chase FREEDOM, and the fear that comes up when I untether from the “known” would tear me apart.

Do you know the wanderlust part of you and the primal part of you may be at odds with each other, resulting in conflicting/self-sabotaging behaviors that hold of you back from soaring in your business?

Sometimes the restlessness eats me up as it turns into a nervous energy. Sometimes I fall into the comparison trap when I see my college classmates climb up the corporate ladder and score impressive titles. Sometimes I just feel plain lost and doubt… why can’t I just be everyone else and “settle down?”

***

COMMITMENT. FREEDOM. ANCHORED. EXPERIMENT.

HOME. WANDERLUST.

What some consider to be a daring experiment may be judged by others as “hopping from one thing to another” or being a flake.

It’s hard enough when the judgment comes from outside of us. But it can be downright self-sabotaging when the conflict comes from within ourselves.

The tension created by Commitment vs. Abandonment, the longing to Trust vs. the need for Certainty sends mix messages – to our selves, to others, and to the universe.

The conflict turns us into Reluctant Wanderlusts.

I don’t know about you but I have heard enough of those “free calls” to encounter quite a few of them talking about “commitment”… and, ha, to commit you just pull out your credit card and pay the money… only if it’s that easy!

“Commitment” on a superficial level can feel binding to us who has a fierce streak of wanderlust. How do we discern being committed from “staying put” out of fears or past/outdated conditioning?

When are we going to stop beating ourselves up from not being able to “stick with it”… just because others manage to stay in the same job for 10 years?

What is being daring, adventurous and open to experimenting to uncover a deeper part of us, to challenge the status quo and to stretch ourselves; and what is just plain “avoidance” – running away from what we have to face in order to expand and grow (but feel hard and gut-wrenching)?

The lower chakras’ need for certainty and safety fighting the upper chakras’ desire for inspiration and expansion creates conflicts that muddle up our energy and make everything feels like we have one foot on the gas and one foot on the break.

How do we commit, without feeling being tethered? How do we make the wanderlust in us and our need for certainty play nice together so we can finally lift the foot from the break?

With the propensity toward “freedom” also comes the intense desire to find “home.” Without properly defining what each one means, we fall prey to internal conflict that keeps us from moving forward.

***

Can “wanderlust” and “home” co-exist?

1. Accept

Accept that we have that wanderlust part in us, and we have the “cave(wo)men” part in us. They are all parts of us being us and denial or avoidance will only create more tension that triggers self-sabotaging behaviors.

We need to have ALL of us on board for the actions we need to take, in order for the actions to be aligned, meaningful and impactful.

2. Commit

Commit to BEING someone, not to DOING something.

Make that commitment to yourself, not to someone else.

Commit to an identity and use it to guide actions. This can be exceptionally freeing because there is room for possibilities, adventure and experiment.

3. Anchor

Life is dynamic, not static. To soar upward, there needs to be a grounded-ness.

We need some kind of reference point, or else we can be just plain lost.

But you are free to choose your anchor. What can give you an unwavering reference point so you can feel SAFE in the world?

If the “primal” part of you doesn’t feel its need for “safety” acknowledged, the subconscious mind (which affects 95% of our thoughts!) can throw a thousand “blocks” at you.

Is this anchor something you can hold onto, something you have “control” over? If it depends on other people or external circumstances, you can get into a shaky situation when the rug gets pulled out under you.

4. Find your place in the world

This is “home” (which doesn’t mean a physical location); this is your CORE message. When you know what you are about, you develop a deep Trust to give you a sense of Inevitability that serves as rocket fuel behind all your intentions and actions.

“Niching”, in its truest and broadest sense, is about finding our role in the community, our place in the world.

When you can articulate your core message into how you fit into the larger ecosystem (aka, how you create value and why you are relevant to the community you want to serve), you have found home through your business endeavor – a “home” that allows you to be YOU anywhere in the world.

When you find the WORDS to talk about how your conviction is translated into your work, you turn the inkling in your Guts into something your “logical mind” can get on board with.

When you find the WORDS so you can step up to own what you do, you voice it and set the intention for it to materialize.

When you get your entire SELF on board, you find a renewed excitement and commitment for your business.

Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, Ling Wong helps Maverick Entrepreneurs nail their message, claim their superpowers and muster up the GUTS to monetize their Truth.

Ling helps her clients find their Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to work it, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.