Bound: Types of Bail

When you’ve been arrested for a crime you may or may not have committed, you’re usually held in jail until your court date or until you’re released on bail. Bail is the amount of money that you have to pay in exchange for your release.

Bail is set by the judge during a bail hearing. During that hearing, the judge considers the following factors when deciding whether to grant bail and what amount is appropriate:

  • Your mental and physical condition
  • Your financial resources
  • Any familial ties
  • If you have a history of drug and alcohol abuse
  • If you have any criminal history
  • Any previous record of appearing at court proceedings
  • Your residence in the community

Types of Bail

There are five main types of bail available. The folks at amistadbailbonds.com have helpfully listed them down.

Cash Bail

Cash bail is when the accused pays the full amount of bail in cash or checks. As long as the payer has enough money to cover the full amount of the bail, the accused will be released from police custody. If you show up to all of your court proceedings, you may even get back a majority of your bail money at the end of the case, regardless of the outcome.

Surety Bond

This can be used for any amount of bail. Also known as a bail bond, this type of bail is provided on the accused’s behalf by a bail bond agent. This type of bail is very useful if the accused cannot afford to pay their own bail.

With a surety bond, the bail bond agent posts the accused’s bond in order to release them from jail. The bond agent usually charges a non-refundable fee of 12% and 15% of the bond amount to cover the risk of the accused not appearing in court.

Bail Bonds and the advantages

Release on Own Personal Recognizance

Personal recognizance bail is when a judge decides to release the accused on their own recognizance, making them responsible for showing up at their court dates. They don’t have to pay any bail. This type of setup is usually only allowed if the accused’s charge involves a minor, nonviolent crime and if the accused isn’t considered a flight risk or a danger to anyone else.

Property Bond

A property bond or secured bond is a type of bail in which the accused gives the court a security interest in property that is equal to the worth of the total bail amount. If the accused fails to appear in court, the court can seize the property that they used as bail.

Signature Bond

Also known as an unsecured bond, a signature bond is issued after the court has held a bail hearing but does not require the accused to pay the bail amount to be released. Instead of paying cash, the accused must sign an agreement that states that they must appear at all court proceedings, or else surrender the whole bail amount.

No matter what type of bail is granted to you, you must show up to all of your scheduled court proceedings as part of your release. If you show up to all of them and are found innocent, then the bail amount will be returned. If you don’t, you may be arrested and you will have to forfeit the bail amount. To avoid any jail time, make sure that you show up to all court-appointed proceedings.

The Perks of Buying a Business

Business owners discussing about a business

Business owners discussing about a businessBuying an existing business makes the best choice compared to starting one from scratch when looking to save time. However, you need to tread carefully to avoid making some costly mistakes.

Gleaning from business professionals like Utah Business Consultants, there are many reasons to buy a business in Utah, and most of them have to do with saving time and effort. It takes a lot of hard work to get a new business off the ground. Experts advise that it takes an average of six months for a startup to realize a steady cash flow.

Some companies even take years before breaking even or turning a profit. If you’re keen to avoid such inconveniences, you are better off getting a business that is already operational.

Comb Through the Numbers

While a brand name can give you an edge on the market, the financial health of the business takes the crown. Therefore, you need to take a fine-toothed comb through the books of account before considering an offer. If numbers aren’t your strong suit, have an expert do it.

It wouldn’t do to have a horde of creditors beating a path to your door before the ink is dry. Again, you might be on the hook for tax arrears putting you on the warpath with the IRS. Knowing the financial status of a company is crucial in informing your acquisition plan.

Have a Clear Goal in Mind

Do you plan to run the business actively, or do you plan to be an absentee owner? Failing to address this issue before sealing the deal can leave your plans in shambles. If you don’t expect to run the business, you need to appoint a qualified person to oversee it.

On the other hand, if you plan to run it, you need to be sure that you’re adequately compensated for your time investment. Otherwise, you might quit your day job to run a business that doesn’t make enough money to cover your bills.

Buying an existing business trounces having to build one from the ground up, saving you valuable time. However, you need to tread carefully when acquiring one to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck.

Smart Tips on Being Financially Ready to Buy Your First Home

bought a home

Being financially ready to buy your first homeFirst-time home buyers are a dying breed. According to a 2017-published, Harvard study, more than 38 million households in America are stuck renting. Every situation is different, but the general culprits are a low inventory of properties for sale, stagnant income growth, and burdensome student loans.

Although the seller dictates the market in most of the country, gaining a foothold in the real estate industry more doable than you think. A mortgage company Like PRMI Louisville would say that all you need is patience and prudence.

To help beef up your credentials, do the following:

Build Your Credit

This one is a cliché, but it’s never wrong. Lenders would judge you with your credit score, giving them almost everything they need to know about you as a borrower. The lowest credit-score requirement you would find is 580, but it usually applies to FHA mortgages only; other housing loans are more demanding. Your credit score affects the interest rate you can lock down, as well as the private mortgage insurance (PMI) premium you must pay, if applicable.

There are many ways to increase your credit score over time. Ensuring that your credit card charges stay below 30% of your limit, keeping your old accounts alive, and settling bills punctually are the best practices.

Save as Much Cash as Possible

Even if you intend to seek financing for your home purchase, your lender would likely ask you to pay your share. Ideally, you should cover 20% of the cost of the property, but a 5% down payment is generally acceptable. Putting down less than 20%, however, would require you to pay for PMI until your balance reaches a “safe” level for the lender. The PMI premium would increase your monthly mortgage payments for many years.

Also, you need to provide proof of seasoned assets to show that you can maintain your loan even if you become jobless in the future. They have to be verifiable to allow the other party to see whether they’re truly yours or not.

Eliminate Your Debts

Keep your debts to a minimum, especially before applying for a mortgage. The highest debt-to-income (DTI) ratio most lenders want to see is 43%. Anything greater than that would make you an extra risky borrower. Studies reveal that borrowers with higher DTI ratio is likely to run into trouble and default on the loan down the road. Divide your gross monthly income by your monthly debts (for your mortgage, auto loan, and other financial obligations) to determine your DTI ratio.

It’s well-documented that millennials are destined to own their first homes older than their parents did, given the current circumstances. But if you’re smart with your finances, you could truly afford to buy a property sooner than your peers.

What Every Farmland Seller Should Know

farm landSelling your farmland is a tough decision to make. You want to get a fair deal for the property you’ve worked hard on. You also need to make sure that it gets enough exposure to receive the right offers. Overall, you just want to maximize the profits you could make out of this transaction. And to do so would require knowing critical information, like a tax strategy.

For instance, doing a 1031 land exchange would allow you to skip paying tax on the sale, and use the proceeds toward a property you want, according to 1031 Exchange Place.

What is the 1031 Exchange?

When you set up a 1031 exchange before you sell your farm, you may not have to pay the 20 percent to 30 percent federal and state taxes. This would be the difference between the cost of your property and the sale price. So instead of losing much of the sale from your land, 1031 exchange allows you to keep the money and put it to better use.

This option, however, requires a set of criteria. One is that owner-occupied properties don’t count; you should only sell investment properties, like farmlands or offices and not personal residences. Two is that you must exchange your property with the same kind.

In addition, you can’t exchange stock that’s currently in a trade or other properties held for resale. Others include:

  • Interests in a partnership
  • Stocks, notes, or bonds
  • Certificates of trusts or beneficial interests
  • Other securities or evidence of indebtedness or interest

This process comes with deadlines and time frames that you need to follow. It’s best to work with professionals to assist you.

Sell to an Investor

Another factor you may consider when selling your property is your target investor. Selling your farm to an investor could be lucrative, and there is a demand for such a transaction.  Institutional investors coming from various sectors are putting money in farmlands across the US. Investors are looking to own hard assets, and farms offer this opportunity.

You must work closely with your potential investor to make sure that your deal is favorable for both of you.

The process of selling your farmland is crucial. You can seek help from professionals to make an informed decision, and make sure that you get the best deal.

Here’s What You Need to Do Before Selling Your Business

Business people shaking hands

Business people shaking handsThere may come a time when you will need to sell your business. It could be an exit strategy for some. Others decide to go for this, as they want to venture into a new business. Regardless, selling a business is not always an easy task.

If you’re planning to do the same, keep in mind that there are many things you need to do for you to ensure a smooth transition. You may feel stressed, but do not worry too much. There are a few ways to make this process not just bearable, but an experience where you will learn a lot.

Whether you’re selling your business in Ogden or anywhere else, here are some of the things to keep in mind.

Choose the right time

You just can’t sell the business any time you want. Remember, there are a few processes you need to comply with. Don’t sell your business just because it’s losing. Make it healthy and profitable. Don’t sell it during the fiscal year, as the process will be longer than you have projected.

Screen your buyers

As early as possible, you need to screen interested buyers. Do a thorough background check to ensure that your business will be in good hands. You may find buyers through friends and business partners. You can invite them and ask them what has made them interested in buying your business.

Turn over the docs

As mentioned, there are many processes to comply with. That also means there are many documents to fill out and submit. A large chunk of it will be about the tax, valuation, and titles. Create multiple copies for you and the buyer who has finalized their decision to acquire your business.

Selling your business can be time-consuming. With that, you need to allot enough time not just for the processes but also for the preparation of your team for the transition.

3 Ways to Gain Higher Return on Investment

Wealth Investment Management

Wealth Investment ManagementMany investors aim to outperform the market. This is also known as beating the market or surpassing the market average. It occurs when an investment portfolio performs better than the 7% to 10% yearly average that the stock market has done over time, providing a higher return than the global market index.

Analysts use this term to recommend stocks they think you should invest in. To give you a better idea, experts from Alpha Wealth Funds share key strategies to outperform the market:

Hedge funds

These are privately-owned companies that pool their investor’s money. They claim to achieve above-average returns by using derivatives. The value of these investments lie on an underlying asset, like a bond or stock, and use leverage to beat the market. Traders often buy stock at a low price, wait until its value rises, sell it for a much higher price, and pocket the rest.

Stockpickers

This type of trader claims high returns by only investing in stocks that outperform stocks. This is also one of Warren Buffett’s strategies. He buys controlling shares of companies with a clear competitive advantage, as well as those of leaders he respects. Buffett is known to go for stocks that most traders ignore, often investing in lacklustre industries like insurance.

Actively managed mutual funds

Fund managers work on different strategies to gain a higher return on investment. They have a team of researchers, data-crunchers, and analysts that help them. They have an active role in the management of funds and put a premium on their expertise.

An asset’s reaction to the different phases of the business cycle can vary tremendously. If an economy heads into recession, holdings like gold and bonds are bound to rise in value. Timing the market is a tricky business that even pro traders have a hard time doing. That said, the safest way to outperform the market over time is to have a diversified portfolio.

What Can You Get From a Credit Union?

credit union wealth management

credit union wealth managementWhen you have money to save, you usually go to a bank to deposit it. Banks offer security for your money, but when they impose fees and similar hassles, it could make you wish you were better off with a different entity.

Thankfully, one such entity exists, called a credit union. You have probably heard of it, but how exactly does a credit union work, and what can you get from it? Here are four basics explained by Mutual Marketplace to get you started.

Like a Bank, But Friendlier

Credit unions work very similar to banks in that they offer savings or checking accounts, handle home, car and personal loans, as well as process mortgages. The difference is that credit unions are smaller than banks, and they are non-profit cooperatives.

This means credit unions are run by local efforts that put customers first and do not have any big business investors.

Committed To Communities

Whereas a bank is normally open to the public, a credit union usually caters to its community first. For example, credit unions could have eligibility requirements stating you should be an employee or a student of a particular university, or a resident of a certain neighborhood.

Unlike banks, which have ATMs everywhere, credit unions only have many branches due to their size. This is why it is ideal that credit unions serve the local community first.

Credit Union Guarantee

You do not have to worry about where your money goes when depositing to a credit union. This is because it has insurance from a larger entity that governs the cooperatives. For instance, the National Credit Union Association supervises and regulates American credit unions.

Proactive Officers

Members usually enjoy lower fees and better interest rates because credit union officers are more willing to help them instead of having to satisfy investors the way banks have to. For example, credit unions offer “source-to-pay” solutions in which they basically help you acquire goods or services while considering costs.

These four characteristics are reasons a credit union might be better for you.

House Buying Tips for Millennials

Young couple holding house keyring

Young couple holding house keyringMillennials, as defined by the duo Neil Howe and William Strauss, are individuals whose birth year fall between 1982 and 2004. Although there are variants of this interpretation, Howe and Strauss’s definition by far is the most accepted given they were the ones who coined the term in the first place.

Millennials exact timeframe of birth aside, the bigger issue is this: are millennials now equipped with all essential faculties to stand on their own in the world of adults?

Millennials and Property

Perhaps one of the most reliable barometers of adulthood is financial independence. This goes hand in hand with your ability invest in property. 

According to statistics, contrary to popular belief, millennials are not investment-averse. In fact, 86% of this demographic consider renting as less cost-efficient compared to owning a home.

Meanwhile, among those who have already made the jump into property investment, 80% say the decision has made a positive impact on their long-term finances. Still, it goes without saying that this is a jump not everyone can and should make.

Things to Consider

Your credit score greatly factors into applying for a home loan. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should not fall beyond 43% for you to earn the trust of your lenders.

Other considerations your loan provider will assess include your current income and how long you have been employed in your current company.

There is a rule of thumb that your home, or mortgage for that matter, can cost up to three times your gross salary per annum. Anything beyond that figure is a risky investment.

Working with a house buying solicitor could help you better navigate these risks.

In the end, only one question needs answering when it comes to property. Do you think you are financially ready for it or not? Should the former be your answer, then go for it and make other millennials proud.

Grow Your Savings Using These Strategies

Person putting coin into coin bankCreating a life of financial freedom is a worthy goal for many people. However, is it achievable with all the payments you have to settle and things you want to buy for yourself? You may be thinking to yourself that you will only be able to save if your salary increased or if you do not have to worry about paying bills every month.

One way to grow your wealth is to learn about different personal banking services in Illinois. Banks like American Bank & Trust provide you with savings and investment options that will help you save for the future.

Financial freedom is something that anyone can achieve with the right mindset and discipline. Whether you are earning big, or just enough every month, you can build a financial foundation that will let you take control of your money, instead of money controlling you.

Here are useful strategies you can utilize to achieve financial independence:

Start early

There is a reason why you were told to start saving money at an early age. Learning to put away money helps you develop the habit of being smart about handling money. As you get older, you will take this habit with you, and it will be easier to control unnecessary spending. Another advantage of saving early is that you will gather more money than those who start late. People who start saving at an early age will grow up with an understanding of its benefits in securing a more stable future.

Live within your means

The key to doing this is by knowing all your sources of income as well as your regular expenses. Start by making a list of all the income you receive from your job, side projects, or any other freelance work you are doing. Then jot down your bills: car payment, rent, insurance. Once you have a clear idea of your expenses per month, you should set aside a part of your paycheck for settling them and sufficient funds for other needs. Whatever is left after this can be listed as savings and investments.

Separate wants and needs

No one wants to get into debt because of too much spending, which is why it is important to know the difference between wants and needs. Before buying anything, ask yourself whether you need it or you can do without it for now.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What You Need to Prepare for Filing

Mid-section of man with empty pockets

Mid-section of man with empty pocketsIf you have problem debts that add up to more than half of your yearly income and it would take you several years to pay them off, it makes sense to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under this form of consumer bankruptcy, unsecured debts such as personal loans, credit card debt, and medical bills can be forgiven.

While some debts such as child support, student loans, and recent taxes can’t be discharged by Chapter 7, filing for bankruptcy may still be advisable, as it would free up enough money to pay the other debts.

A Provo bankruptcy lawyer from firms such as Utah Bankruptcy Professionals can help you determine if you qualify. If you do qualify, you should know there are some things you absolutely must do to prepare for filing.

To file your bankruptcy petition successfully, you need to have everything in order, especially your financial documents. Here’s what you need to do.

Complete a credit-counseling course

This goes for individuals with at least 50 percent consumer debt. This course should be provided by a government-approved agency or other education providers within 180 days before you file your petition.

During this course, credit counselors will make an in-depth assessment of your financial situation and even help you prepare to file your petition.

Hire a lawyer

Initial consultations with Provo bankruptcy attorneys are usually free. A lawyer with experience in Chapter 7 will assist you in accomplishing required bankruptcy forms, formulate a plan for repaying your debts and be your guide through the entire process.

Take the bankruptcy means test

The means test is an income-based way to assess your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You need to file the filled-out test forms along with your petition. If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7, you may be advised to pursue other debt relief options.

Make sure your paperwork is complete

Your lawyer may supply and accomplish all the bankruptcy paperwork necessary on your behalf, but it’s your responsibility to make sure the information is correct and complete. An intentional omission on your disclosures can lead to a delay in filing and may result in the dismissal of your petition.

Prepare a creditor matrix

You need to list down your creditors before filing your bankruptcy petition. This matrix or mailing list will then notify your creditors of your status. The creditors will then submit claims for payment against your bankruptcy estate, which comprises all of the liquidated property.

When making your creditor mailing list, be careful not to leave out a creditor because it may be an act of perjury, which may not only result in your case being dismissed but also criminal charges filed against you.

Organization and attention to detail are necessary in this preparation stage, so make sure you are focused. When you can account for everything, you can move on to filing your petition with the help of your attorney.