Archive for November, 2010

Car Shopping? Should you Buy Pre-Owned or New?

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Aerial Shot of Car Buyers Chinese Shopping Mall

Credit: Ivan Walsh

If you’ve recently experienced a car accident, you may be in need of new vehicle to help you get back on your feet, back to work, and back to your daily life. But if that insurance reimbursement check isn’t matching up to the sticker price on a new set of wheels, you may want to take another look at the “Certified Pre-Owned” options available. Here’s why:

1) You’ll pay less for close to the same quality as a new car.

2) The dealership will generally offer a full certification inspection and warranty.

3) You may pay less for insurance & taxes.

4) You’re pre-owned car may have a very similar look and feel to the newest model on the market.

5) That “new car smell” doesn’t last as long as the higher payments on the current year’s model.

The caveats?

While there are many benefits of purchasing a new vehicle, there are also several limitations, so you’ll want to weigh the costs and benefits against your own personal situation before deciding. For instance, the warranty you’ll likely receive with a pre-owned vehicle will likely be more limited in length and coverage than with a new model. And if new features were introduced in later models, you likely won’t have access to those.

But for the most part, a Certified Pre-Owned car can be a great option to save costs while ensuring that you have a safe, reliable means of transportation to get back to your routine after an accident.

Client needs lawsuit financing? 3 Factors to Consider.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

As a Personal Injury Attorney, you may have clients that come to you for guidance on how to handle the mounting medical and household bills that pile up while they are out of work due to injury.

While you certainly aren’t expected to offer specific financial advice, you may be inclined to offer guidance that can help them through this tough time.

We have put together a quick list of factors to consider when helping a client find support during this difficult time, and invite you to leave a comment with additional feedback and suggestions of your own.

Factor 1:

How urgent is the financial situation vs. how long until a Settlement Agreement is reached?

If you expect that a settlement won’t be reached for a few months or longer, and creditors are knocking down your client’s door, it may be time for them to explore alternate sources of temporary funding. Of course, this depends on the next two factors, which will help them determine the actual need for financing, if any.

However, if the debt can easily be paid off once a settlement is reached, and you expect that to happen soon, then it may be worth their patience in waiting for the final agreement.

Factor 2: What types of debt are involved?

Let’s face it: some debt can be pushed off for awhile (some loans, credit cards, medical bills, etc.), while mortgage & car payments, insurance, and other non-negotiable needs must be taken care of. If your client is not in a credit-threatening situation and is not at risk of losing the most important necessities (shelter, transportation, etc.), it may make sense for them to explain the situation to creditors and wait for a settlement to be reached.

If the client’s home, transportation, daily needs, or health care are in jeopardy, you may want to advise them to seek alternative funding for immediate expenses.

Factor 3: Are the creditors flexible?

When faced with calls from creditors and threatening letters, many people may get to a point where they can’t handle the pressure and they resort to avoidance. In order to help your clients through this difficult time, you can advise them to contact their creditors and request deferment of debt until their Settlement is reached. If creditors are flexible in terms, this would resolve the crisis.

However, if some or all of the creditors are not willing to offer flexibility or delays in repayment, your client may wish to seek out alternative sources of funding to avoid further collection actions.

The Bottom Line:

If the above factors lead you to advise your client to seek an outside funding source, there are many options available. Installment Plans, which allow a total funding amount to be distributed to the client in regularly scheduled installments, can result in substantial savings on the total cost of funding. Lump Sum  Payments, which would be provided up-front to the client, can be used to immediately pay off larger debts and help the client dig out of a hole of accruing interest & late fees from overdue debts.

Involved in a Lawsuit? 5 Ways to Keep your Sanity.

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

If you are involved in a lawsuit, or are currently weighing your options, there are a few things you should keep in mind during the process to help it move smoothly, and keep your stress levels at bay. The legal process can be overwhelming, especially if you have medical bills piling up or are unable to work. These tips will help you keep your sanity and get through the process smoothly.

1.Do Your Homework.

1.The quality of your Attorney’s service, their compatibility with you, and their understanding of your case can all have a significant effect on your outcome.

2.Once you’ve created an initial list, be sure to speak with those you would like to work with directly. You’ll want to make sure you have a good rapport, and they are able to provide the time and resources you may need.

2.Don’t Take It Personally.

1.Lawsuits can be extremely stressful, especially when they involve someone you’re close to, or the company you still work for. Try to keep in mind that this process is business, not personal, and avoid taking offense to the people on the other side. Everyone has their own understanding of a situation, and your case shouldn’t have to lead to a soured relationship.

3.Accept Advice.

1.Before writing a letter, sending an angry email, or making a decisive phone call, be sure to consult with your Attorney first. They understand the implications of these actions, and will be able to advise you on the appropriate response (or lack thereof).

4.Maintain a Professional Image.

1.Although you may be out of work due to your situation, or may be overwhelmed with errands related to your case, it is important to always maintain a clean, professional image in meetings with your legal team and court appearances. Showing up early, turning off the cell phone, and dressing appropriately will all help you to maintain your credibility during this difficult time.

5.Leave it in the Courtroom (or Office).

1.The last thing you want to do is let your lawsuit cause detriment to your relationships with family and friends. Everyone has an opinion, and conversations can get heated quickly. Children may worry about the family’s situation, and relationships can become strained. So above all else, wherever possible, try not to discuss your case at home, or with family and friends.