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#AskanExpert: Is it Legal for Creditors to Sell Part of a Debt to Debt Collectors?

Q. Can Creditors Sell Part of a Debt to Collection Agencies? Is that legal? Hello, I’m trying to help my wife with a credit card debt. In 2014, she had medical issues and was unable to make payments to her credit card. The account was referred to a collection agency, with which she negotiated a settlement (less than the original debt) and paid-off the account via authorized withdrawals from her …Read More

Ask an Expert: Is a Debt Management Plan Right for Me?

Q. What types of situations are recommended for Debt Management Plans? How much debt do I have to have? Dear reader, A Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a service offered by credit counseling agencies, where they will work with your creditors and establish a payment plan that will help you repay your debt in full. It may be a debt repayment option, if you have considerable credit card debt and you …Read More

Ask an Expert: What are the Best Small Business Healthcare Options?

Q: What are the best small business healthcare options? Dear Reader, Navigating the jungle of employee benefits can be a daunting challenge for small business owners, no matter if the decisions involve a sole proprietorship or a team of several employees. First and foremost, it should be noted that employer sponsored healthcare coverage is optional for businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees. As the owner, you have a wide …Read More

Ask an Expert: Is it ok for the Collection Agency to do this?

Q. Is it ok for the collection agency to do this? My husband and I are trying to get out of roughly $50k worth of credit card debt. We are considering refinancing our home and using the equity to pay the debt. However, three years ago my husband moved out of his apartment in Seattle to the Midwest with me. He gave his notice to the apartment complex and paid the …Read More

Ask an Expert: Should I take out a startup loan for my small business idea?

Q. Should I take out a startup loan for my small business idea? Dear Reader, The prospect of starting your own business and growing your ideas must be very exciting. And the most difficult part is getting the capital to get it going, especially if your business is just starting out. Taking out a loan to grow your business has its pros and cons, but the ultimate decision depends on the …Read More

Ask an Expert: What’s the Best Way to Use My Inheritance?

Q. I have an inheritance of $19,000. I have some credit card debt (almost $20,000) on a card whose introductory 0% interest. I do not have an emergency fund for some repairs that are currently needed and would probably have to go back into debt to make the repairs. Should I start making payments on the current credit card debt and use the inheritance for repairs?   Dear reader, It …Read More

Ask an Expert: What’s the Difference Between Disposable and Discretionary Income?

What is the difference between disposable and discretionary income? Dear Reader, This is a very good question. Although you only have one income, there are many ways of describing it based on the amounts withheld or deducted. For instance, your disposable income is the amount of money you have left over after you’ve paid all of your federal, state and local taxes. On the other hand, your discretionary income is …Read More

Ask an Expert: What is a Judgment?

Q. What is a judgment?   Dear Reader, Dealing with a judgment can be a terrifying ordeal. As it relates to credit, it means that a creditor or debt collector has taken you to court to collect your unpaid debt and they have won the lawsuit.   Like any legal matter, a judgment is a process. It’s the debt collector’s last recourse to legally collect the debt after all other …Read More

Ask an Expert: What are the Consequences of Bankruptcy?

Q. What are the consequences of bankruptcy?   Dear Reader, Bankruptcy is a legal process that can eliminate many of your debts and even help you keep some of your property. It is the fresh start some people need to rebuild their finances, yet it has long-term negative consequences.   For instance, a bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7–10 years, depending on the type you file, even …Read More

Ask an Expert: What is a Charged Off Account?

Q. What is a charged off account on my credit report? Dear Reader, Seeing a charged off account on your credit report can be a bit confusing because the term is not self-explanatory. It doesn’t help that “charged off” is used interchangeable with “written off,” which in many scenarios means that the account has been paid off. In this context, charged off refers to an account that has become so …Read More