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Bankruptcy in retirement: Protect your future

Retirement is not always the easy time of your life that people expect it to be. Costs are high, and if you don't have enough to make ends meet, you could end up facing bankruptcy during a relatively vulnerable time of your life. If you have to file for bankruptcy in retirement, there are some things that you should know.

To file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in retirement, you'll need to pass a means test. A means test shows if you have an ability to repay your debts based on the amount you currently owe. It takes into consideration your annual income and monthly expenses. The good thing about the means test is that your Social Security benefits won't be considered income for the purposes of the test, so you may qualify for bankruptcy even if you're getting a decent amount of money each month.

The truth about credit reports: What you need to know

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding which activities adversely affect a consumer's credit rating. For instance, some erroneously believe that checking their own credit reports will lower their score.

While there are numerous actions (and inactions) which can lead to a lowered credit rating, auto-checking your credit score is not one of them. In fact, routinely checking one's credit rating can help consumers detect and report any unauthorized charges on their credit card accounts.

Remember these things before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

With so many benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many consumers dive right into the process without first learning more about the potential impact on their life. Rather than make this mistake, it's important to compare the pros and cons to ensure that you know exactly what you're getting.

On the positive side, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate some or all of your debt. Furthermore, it's a fast and efficient process, with a discharge likely taking place within three to six months.

3 ways to protect your finances in a divorce

No matter the specific circumstances surrounding your divorce, calling it quits will take a toll. Ending a marriage is not as easy as simply saying this is my stuff, this is your stuff and signing the divorce papers. You will have to make decisions regarding how to value your assets to divide them fairly. Also, you will have to split any debt the two of you have accumulated during your marriage. If you have children, custody will be another issue you must address.

Sometimes people make some serious missteps during the divorce process and end up with their finances in shambles. To keep your divorce from ending in bankruptcy, follow these tips.

Can my auto loan company repossess my vehicle?

If you took out a loan to purchase your vehicle, your car is at risk of repossession if you default on the loan. Whether it's a car you use for business or personal reasons, the creditor that loaned you the money to buy your car has various rights over your vehicle. These rights were established via the contract you signed when securing the loan.

Here is more information about auto repossession in Virginia:

Tips to help you get through property division during divorce

Divorce is usually a difficult and drawn out process. For some people, it could take months to work out all the details. This is especially true when you own extensive assets and other property. For example, you may have a long argument ahead of you concerning who gets the dog or which one of you will keep the house in Manassas. You might spend a significant amount of time working out how to divide retirement accounts and your stock portfolio.

Many people look for ways to make their divorce process smoother, but, unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to divorce. However, the following property division tips might help make your divorce a little easier.

Determine if you need a qualified domestic relations order

There's no reason that most people will ever hear of a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) unless they are getting a divorce and have a pension plan to split. So it can become an afterthought that needs to be addressed after the divorce has already been finalized.

That can add unnecessary charges to one's legal bills, so it's better to decide ahead of time whether or not you will need a QDRO drafted, filed and signed in your Manassas divorce.

Should you file for bankruptcy before filing for divorce?

If you are a Manassas resident who is contemplating getting divorced, it's important to get your ducks in line before filing the petition in the civil court. Divorce can be an expensive undertaking, but there are ways for the parties to reduce the costs they incur. Read on for some tips from divorce and finance professionals to learn how you can minimize the expenses of your divorce.

Tips for saving money for divorcing couples

  • Work out the details yourselves. While this is not possible on every issue or even for every couple, the more issues that are settled between the two of you, the fewer that must be litigated between opposing counsels in court.
  • Take advice from professionals. It's human nature that as soon as friends and colleagues know that you are divorcing, they dispense all sorts of advice, welcome and otherwise. Remember that you are paying good money for professional legal advice from your family law attorney. It makes good sense to heed it.
  • Close joint accounts. Open new checking and savings accounts in your name only and remove your spouse's name from your credit accounts.
  • Change estate planning documents. Choose another beneficiary for retirement accounts, wills, health care proxies and living wills, powers of attorney and trusts.
  • Switch utilities and post office boxes to your name only.
  • Review joint debts. A divorce will not negate jointly-acquired debts during a marriage, and spouses can be responsible for debts that they didn't even know their husband or wife incurred.