February 24, 2010
I received a phone call from a company asking me did I have any loans, credit cards, overdrafts or debts that originated in a 6 year period prior to April 2007?
“Yes” I answered.
The salesman then continued to tell me that if I had any loans, credit cards, overdrafts or debts that originated in a 6 year period prior to April 2007 that they were are not enforceable and therefore can be written off.
“It’s a no-brainer,” claimed the salesman “I will guarantee you, that we can get all your debts written off if you took the loan or credit card out before April 2007.”
Now at this point many people with debts would have bit his hand off there and then, in the hope that they were being told that they were guaranteed to have their cards and loans written off, but there’s a catch…
What most people are not made aware of is that the route to possibly getting their debt written off or gaining compensation is through a process called litigation and that it is not a quick process and that you normally pay for the privilege, whether you win or lose.
Getting your credit cards and loans written off through litigation, is not an exact science, in fact it could be described as being nearer to a lottery and a long one at that. In fact the whole process that the salesman was describing currently takes between 12 and 24 months to complete, as well as costing me £500 in up front fees, whether I won or lost.
In addition to this, many people are unaware that when it comes to litigation, there can be a downside as well as an upside. For example, it is estimated that there is little more than a 60% chance of success for even creditable cases and, should the claimant (you) loose the case, they are likely to be responsible for not only your costs but the defendant’s (ie the loan / credit card companies) costs in defending their position.
Legal and solicitor costs plus their disbursements can amount to anything from £500 to £800 (plus VAT) for each side in such cases, so even with “no win, no fee firms” where they take their fees out of any compensation won, the compensation may not be enough to cover all their costs accrued, in which case you may be responsible for finding the balance.
So unless you owe more than £2,500, you may not get enough back to cover the solicitors fees.
That’s why you should think long and hard when the salesman comes knocking saying he can get you out of debt and get your money back because, as the old saying goes, “If its too good to be true, it probably is”.
Idea taken from an article by Ashley Longmann Associates. you can read the original article entitled: Debts: Getting your debt written off on their website. www.aladebtsolutions.co.uk
February 10, 2010
Conveyancing solicitors deal with the legal aspects of the process by which ownership of a property is transferred from seller to buyer.
Yes, hiring one means more paperwork, form filling, red tape and lots of coffee, but it must be done in order to successfully and properly complete a property transaction.
So where to start? Sorry, but there are many, many conveyancing solicitors to choose from, all of which can make finding the right one even more daunting and complex.
But don’t panic.
Help is on hand, right here, with our guide to help you hitch hike through the maze and find the right one for you.
Firstly, three important words to bear in mind: research, research and research. Buying a selling a property will be the single most important transaction you will deal with during your life, so it is vital to know exactly what is involved and what you’re going to be getting into.
If you just reach for the phone book and call the first one you find, you can be sure of extra worry, work, stress and expense.
So, try and make it easier for yourself by doing the following:
1. Select a conveyancing solicitor offering a personalised service. They may already have a number of clients, but if they know exactly what you need they will be the ideal solicitor to work with. Just ensure they deal with all your questions truthfully, and so give you confidence in their services.
2. Find one offering modern and up to date services. In recent years the property market has found new outlets for growth and development online, and the right conveyancing solicitor should be able to deal with this by providing their services accordingly. This will help ensure you receive a fast and more business-like service.
3. You need to hire a conveyancing solicitor who can give the very best possible value service for your money. Don’t make the mistake of hiring one who will try and entice you with a lower price for their services, or you will be risking getting a lower quality service and probably ending up paying even more for yet another conveyancing solicitor to finish the job.
Always closely examine the services the conveyancing solicitor is offering. Calculate their fees according to their offer and compare them to those offering lower fees. By doing this, you increase the odds of finding the right one and also the best one.
When you have checked out all of the above, only then can you feel confident you’ve found the right conveyancing solicitor. It is also advisable to check out their credentials and background.
For further information and advice, it is essential for you to contact The Law Society, the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales. Their members are bound by a code of practice and the society also has advice on what to do if things go wrong.
You can find a local solicitor specialising in conveyancing on their website at www.lawsociety.org.uk.
February 7, 2010
Do a budget; work out how much money you have for fees, deposit and the monthly mortgage you can afford comfortably.
Credit rating: make sure your credit rating is solid and pay off any debts you can.
Approach a mortgage adviser or broker for advice
Research high street mortgage products independently
Choose a mortgage that is realistic and fill out application
Decide on a location: Be practical. Think about the commuting time and if you can afford to buy in the area.
Research the area: Check out crime rates, new transport links.
Register with local estate agents and look online for properties.
Arrange viewings of properties that fit your budget.
Narrow down your choices and arrange second and third viewings, some at different times of the day.
Make an offer and be ready to negotiate.
Make sure your mortgage offer still stands before spending any money. Instruct a reliable solicitor and conduct a survey/valuation
Keep in contact with your solicitor to make sure searches, deeds and the contract have been received.
Study the survey: You are still able to negotiate on price, especially if there are any expensive problems.
Study the contract with your solicitor, who should advise on any discrepancies.
Exchange: At this point you may need to put down a deposit and the property is yours. Get building insurance.
January 16, 2010
MOVING home is quite an undertaking, a big and stressful task, riddled with potential disaster after disaster, so it is vital to save yourself heartache by finding the right firm for the job.
The first place many will look is their handy, under the coffee table, repository of local knowledge, the phone book. It is worth bearing in mind that many firms are also online, so it could be worth letting Google do the walking for a change.
As well as removal firms in your own locality, you might save money by finding a firm in the area you are moving into.
Whether you choose a local, national or international moving firm, it is advisable to get a minimum of three quotes before making your final decision. Other factors to consider include discounts and cheaper insurance coverage. Bear in mind that just because a particular firm seems more costly by their headline quote figure, their overall services offered could make them the best value choice.
Most reputable firms will send a representative to your home to discuss your moving needs and give you a quote, which will factor in the predicted time to complete the move and any additional services you require. You may wish to hire their crates and containers or have them take up your carpets or do all the packing. But whatever you need, ask the price first and make sure you have an agreed list of services with them before signing on the dotted line.
There could be extra charges for large, heavy items like a piano.
It is also worth looking into insurance as a safeguard in case anything is damaged or last in transit.
The planned time of your move is also a cost related factor. You might get a discount for moving outside of peak hours, so it’s worth asking. A move on a Friday will allow you more time over the following weekend to get settle in to your new home, but be expected to pay more. The same goes for moves during school holidays.
You also need to check if insurance cover is included in case of accidents or injury to removal staff during the move. You could be liable for any costs otherwise.
Other factors include reliability. Will the move be delayed if an employee is ill or off work for some other reason at short notice.
Choosing a well established and known removal firm with a good reputation is advisable, as most will have procedures in place to deal with complaints and grievances. The last thing anyone doing anything as stressful as moving home needs is to find they’ve hired cowboys for the jobs.
Any reputable firm will be probably be member of The British Association of Removers (BAR). This won’t automatically guarantee all will go well without any problems, but membership does mean the firm concerned meets particular professional standards.
You could also request written references, something which no reputable firm will object to or refuse.
By taking all the all the above steps, you increase your odds of finding a professional removal firm to take care of your property during a move.