Get your Financial House in Order Before the Holidays
November, 2010 - Issue #73
Prep in November for a
Nicer April

You may not be thinking about your tax return right now, but November is a great time to start planning for next year and to make sure your records are organized. Maintaining good records now can make filing your return a lot easier and it will help you remember transactions you made during the year.

Keeping well-organized records ensures you can answer questions if your return is selected for audit. The IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.

Individual taxpayers should usually keep the following records supporting items on their tax returns for at least three years: bills; credit card and other receipts; invoices; mileage logs; canceled, imaged or substitute checks or any other proof of payment; any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.

You should normally keep records relating to property until at least three years after you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. Examples include: a home purchase or improvement; stocks and other investments; Individual Retirement Arrangement transactions; rental property records.
by Michael L. Green of Michael L. Green Tax and Financial 257-4111

Business Challenges Require Financing that
Works with your Budget

Small businesses need financing to grow and stay competitive. Maybe you want to make improvements, need permanent working capital, or want to expand. Or perhaps you need to purchase new equipment, a company car, or even your own building. Small business owners should know that there are still banks that are willing to work with you on a loan to make your business a success.

From time to time, your small business may need immediate cash for short-term working capital, seasonal purchases, inventory, trade discounts or to carry accounts receivable. With a line of credit, you will have funds available to cover your needs without depleting cash on hand. It's the ideal way to give your business a cash infusion for short term needs.
Submitted by Union Bank, a member of FDIC total housing lender Canyon Country 299-2651; Stevenson Ranch 253-5772; Newhall 287-6369; Valencia 260-2720

Forget The National Economy -
How is your Personal Economy?

Americans are carrying more debt than ever. According to the Federal Reserve, consumer debt has hit a record of almost 2 trillion dollars. That's an average of $18,700 in debt per household, which includes credit cards and car loans, but not mortgages. The current mortgage crisis is another story.

Everyone is concerned about the national economy, but regular folks are justified in being even more worried their own personal economy. Do you have your debts under control or are your debts controlling you? Did you know that if you owed $25,800 in credit cards, at an average annual interest rate of 22 percent, paying the required minimum of 2 percent ($500 per month), it will take you 11 years and four months to pay off your debts? But that's not the worst part. Over that same period of time, you would also be paying a total of $43,384.14 in interest alone!

Now this is where it gets even more interesting. The same amount of $500, invested every month and earning 8 percent interest per year, would grow to $104,150 over that same amount of time. In this scenario, how you use your $500 per month results in either being more than $43,000 poorer in 11 years or more than $104,000 wealthier over the same time period.
by Ray Bulaon, esq. of Ray Bulaon Law Offices, Inc. 866-477-7772

Don't be "Taken" by Loan Modifications
If you have a high mortgage payment, the position of the Law Offices of Hale A. Antico is that, while loan modification is a noble goal and a desirable result, the mortgage companies are not rewriting everyone's loan. In fact, they are not changing half the people's loans. Chances are, if you begin down the road of loan modification, your life will be put on hold for many months hoping to get an answer from the lien holder, and the answer is most likely going to be "no."

Want a short sale? Again, that's desirable and wonderful, but banks aren't buying back everyone's houses. Short sales fall through, people don't qualify for financing and you've put your life on hold for months.

However, as a State Bar-certified attorney who has been licensed for 15 years and specializes in helping people with debt, I can suggest that maybe a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to catch up on late mortgage payments. Maybe a bankruptcy can allow you to lose a second mortgage. This option is tried, true, legitimized by Congress and flows from our Constitution.
by Hale Andrew Antico, Esq. of the Law Offices of Hale A. Antico 267-6200
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