Save Your Time By Paying Your Bills Online How To Find Government Grants Learning Basic Accounting Principles An Overview Of The Escrow Account Tenant Loans No More Torn Pockets The New Bankruptcy Law

Just about every big bank with a website offers you some bill pay online functions. If your bank doesn’t have a website, or if they do but haven’t quite figured out the whole bill pay online thing, you may want to consider finding a new bank.

I think one of the greatest functions of the internet today are the bill pay online options with bank accounts.

Email is nice sure, sites like Ebay are neat, shopping from home without having to talk to anyone is a novelty, but paying bills online is simply fantastic.

I hate paying bills, I’m almost afraid to get the mail every day because I know there is going to be at least one bill in the pile. Not only is the financially obligation part annoying, but is mostly the actual act of writing the check, filling out their little forms, and sending it in that irritates me.

When you have 10 or more bills coming in every month, it seems like you’re always paying bills. Bill pay online is therefore priceless to me, because I get far more bill every month than I can count.

I’ve been using Bank of America for some years, and their convenient and user-friendly bill pay online options has redeemed themselves for a long and convoluted history of ridiculous fees. Finally, they are offering me something worthy of a small fee, and the ironic thing is they offer it for free.

Most banks have a similar bill pay online set up. You have to create an online account, and once you do you can access any money accounts you have with that bank. If you have a checkings account for example, it shows up on your screen, showing you your current balance and a transaction history.

You can then select a number of preset companies to choose from to pay bills directly from your account. Most banks have a huge list of companies you can select from, and if the company you want to bill pay online with is not there you can enter it in manually. Once you’ve paid an bill online this way, paying future bills is as easy as logging into your online account and clicking some buttons.

If your bank for some reason does not offer online bill payments, or you don’t have a bank account, there are also a number of companies that offer online bill pay with out having a money account. These companies typically operate by way of credit card.

Online bill pay is worth looking into. It may sound daunting, but it’s easy to use even if you have very limited experience using computers, and it’ll save you both time and postage.

Each year, the federal government gives out over 150 billion dollars in Government funded grant programs to businesses and individuals. These grants are provided to assist businesses in growing and providing jobs, and to help individuals raise funds for education or other personal needs.

Despite the abundance of grant programs available, many businesses and individuals are finding it difficult to locate grants. The system can be very confusing. Luckily, there is progress being made. The federal government actually has a website, Grants.gov that you can visit and you can search by agency, category, or browse the available grant opportunities. Now, this is a step in the right direction, but as you will see, their site is still hard to use and the search function is well, somehow lacking. Also, this is not a complete list of all grant programs that are available. You will likely need to employ additional research methods to uncover many government grant opportunities.

When researching for Government Grants, one of the best resources for research is the Internet. Try searching for the type of grant that you are hoping to apply for. Try putting the type of grant in quotes – ex. “grants for single mothers”, and search with the quotes. This instructs most modern search engines to search for the exact phrase. This will often times narrow down the results to a more manageable size for research.

If this fails you, you may try visiting another government run website, cfda.gov – The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. You may try searching this for related government grant programs. There is a third government run website that may help as well, located at firstgov.gov.

If you still cant find information on the type of grant that you require, there are many commercial products available that maintain private databases of grant opportunities. Usually, this costs money, but the small fee might be worth it

if it saves you time and helps you find the grant that you are searching for.

Once you have found information on the grant that you hope to apply for, it would be a good idea to contact the funding organization and verify the details of the grant. Alot of times, information is out of date and you want to make sure that you have the most recent data before you attempt to apply for a grant. A phone call or letter to the group that funds that grant could save you a great deal of time and aggravation later on if you wind up with out dated information.

There are numerous government grant programs available. Locating them can be tricky, but is often times well worth the effort. With diligent research, you should be able to uncover some good opportunities for federal government grants.

Accounting has been defined as, by Professor of Accounting at the University of Michigan William A Paton as having one basic function: “facilitating the administration of economic activity. This function has two closely related phases: 1) measuring and arraying economic data; and 2) communicating the results of this process to interested parties.”

As an example, a company’s accountants periodically measure the profit and loss for a month, a quarter or a fiscal year and publish these results in a statement of profit and loss that’s called an income statement. These statements include elements such as accounts receivable (what’s owed to the company) and accounts payable (what the company owes). It can also get pretty complicated with subjects like retained earnings and accelerated depreciation. This at the higher levels of accounting and in the organization.

Much of accounting though, is also concerned with basic bookkeeping. This is the process that records every transaction; every bill paid, every dime owed, every dollar and cent spent and accumulated.

But the owners of the company, which can be individual owners or millions of shareholders are most concerned with the summaries of these transactions, contained in the financial statement. The financial statement summarizes a company’s assets. A value of an asset is what it cost when it was first acquired. The financial statement also records what the sources of the assets were. Some assets are in the form of loans that have to be paid back. Profits are also an asset of the business.

In what’s called double-entry bookkeeping, the liabilities are also summarized. Obviously, a company wants to show a higher amount of assets to offset the liabilities and show a profit. The management of these two elements is the essence of accounting.

There is a system for doing this; not every company or individual can devise their own systems for accounting; the result would be chaos!

Whether buying or selling real estate, you will inevitably deal with an escrow account. If you are not familiar with an escrow account, here is an overview.

An Overview of the Escrow Account

A real estate transaction is a high dollar transaction. In fact, you will probably never make a bigger one in your life regardless of whether you are buying or selling. Given the high stakes and the fact that feelings can sometimes get ruffled on each side of the fence, the escrow account was created.

An escrow account is really a part of a larger beast known as escrow. To keep the real estate transaction running smoothly and organized, escrow is undertaken. A third party, known as the escrow agent, is retained to collect documents, money and such. Since people can be tense during transactions involving large sums of money, it is important to have a party involved that is not emotionally attached.

The escrow account is an industry term that can mean a few different things. In its strictest sense, the account is a trust account opened to hold monies deposited by the parties for appraisals, inspections and remedial work. It is also used to hold the money provided by the buyer for the purchase. This is true regardless of whether the money is submitted directly from the buyer or a mortgage lender.

In a larger sense, an escrow account refers to the total services provided by the escrow account. In addition to finances, the escrow agent will collect contracts, documentation set out in the purchase agreement and so on. In some sense, this makes the escrow agent the referee for the real estate transaction. That being said, an escrow agent does not call penalties, to wit, they will never determine that one party or the other is in the wrong. They will simply facilitate the requirements of the contract. If one party fails to comply with those requirements, the escrow will not close and lawyers typically get involved.

Escrow is standard operating procedure for nearly all real estate transactions. In the end, it is an effective way to get the transaction closed.

Introduction:

To lead a happy life is the main aim for everyone in this world. For this they will be having a planned monthly budget and they will be maintained it nearly perfectly. But in this fast moving world it’s a bit tough task maintaining the entire family budget easily without any ups and downs. If some ups and downs occur in your monthly budget the first idea that comes in your mind is taking a debt to tackle those problems. But being a tenant it is little bit tough getting debts. For tenants there are specially designed loans called as tenant loans.

Main features:

As you are a tenant, you will not be having an own home to keep as a collateral against the loans from lender. In these cases you can go to the help of tenant loans, which are specially designed to help tenants. In these loans you can get money in huge amounts. The interest rate for these loans will be also very low so you need not get tensed about it. These loans are available online with a variety of schemes.

Types:

In tenant loans that come to help you in cases of financial crisis, there are two types of loans available.

1) unsecured loans for tenants.

2) Secured loans.

In unsecured loans for tenants, you need not submit any collateral to the lender for getting loans. All you need to do is to prove to the lender that you will be able to pay the rate of interest in time and the loan amount that the lender provides will be secure.

In secured loans for tenant, you need to submit some collateral some collateral to the lender. The collateral can be any of your personal assets like own car, own land area, jewelries, etc. In these loans the loan amount depends on the equity of the collateral. The repayment term will be 2 to 3 years.

With the new bankruptcy law in effect as of October 17, 2005, there is a lot of confusion with regard to the new “means test” requirement. The means test will be used by the courts to determine eligibility for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The purpose of this article is to explain in plain language how the means test works, so that consumers can get a better idea of how they will be affected under the new rules.

When most people think of bankruptcy, they think in terms of Chapter 7, where the unsecured debts are normally discharged in full. Bankruptcy of any variety is a difficult ordeal at best, but at least with Chapter 7, a debtor can wipe out the debts in full and get a fresh start. Chapter 13, however, is another story, since the debtor must pay back a significant portion of the debt over a 3-5 year period, with 5 years being the standard under the new law.

Prior to the advent of the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005,” the most common reason for someone to file under Chapter 13 was to avoid the loss of equity in their home or other property. And while equity protection will continue to be a big reason for people to choose Chapter 13 over Chapter 7, the new rules will force many people to file under Chapter 13 even if they have NO equity. That’s because the means test will take into account the debtor’s income level.

To apply the means test, the courts will look at the debtor’s average income for the 6 months prior to filing and compare it to the median income for that state. For example, the median annual income for a single wage-earner in California is $42,012. If the income is below the median, then Chapter 7 remains open as an option. If the income exceeds the median, the remaining parts of the means test will be applied.

This is where it gets a little bit trickier. The next step in the calculation takes income less living expenses (excluding payments on the debts included in the bankruptcy), and multiplies that figure times 60. This represents the amount of income available over a 5-year period for repayment of the debt obligations.

If the income available for debt repayment over that 5-year period is $10,000 or more, then Chapter 13 will be required. In other words, anyone earning above the state median, and with at least $166.67 per month of available income, will automatically be denied Chapter 7. So for example, if the court determines that you have $200 per month income above living expenses, $200 times 60 is $12,000. Since $12,000 is above $10,000, you’re stuck with Chapter 13.

What happens if you are above the median income but do NOT have at least $166.67 per month to pay toward your debts? Then the final part of the means test is applied. If the available income is less than $100 per month, then Chapter 7 again becomes an option. If the available income is between $100 and $166.66, then it is measured against the debt as a percentage, with 25% being the benchmark.

In other words, let’s say your income is above the median, your debt is $50,000, and you only have $125 of available monthly income. We take $125 times 60 months (5 years), which equals $7,500 total. Since $7,500 is less than 25% of your $50,000 debt, Chapter 7 is still a possible option for you. If your debt was only $25,000, then your $7,500 of available income would exceed 25% of your debt and you would be required to file under Chapter 13.

Now, in these examples, I have ignored a very important aspect of the new bankruptcy law. As stated above, the amount of monthly income available toward debt repayment is determined by subtracting living expenses from income. However, the figures used by the court for living expenses are NOT your actual documented living expenses, but rather the schedules used by the IRS in the collection of taxes. A big problem here for most consumers is that their household budgets will not reflect the harsh reality of the IRS approved numbers. So even if you think you are “safe,” and will be able to file Chapter 7 because you don’t have $100 per month to spare, the court may rule otherwise and still force you into Chapter 13. Some of your actual expenses may be disallowed. What remains to be seen is how the courts will handle cases where the cost of mortgages or home rentals are inflated well above the government schedules. Will debtors be expected to move into cheaper housing to meet the court’s required schedule for living expenses? No one has any answers to these questions yet. It will be up to the courts to interpret the new law in practice as cases proceed through the system.

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