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2013 Bankruptcy Filings & Reasons People File

The 2013 bankruptcy statistics reveal that 706,499 people filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and 330,899 people filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy for non-business consumer debt.  These numbers make up bankruptcy petitions received, terminated, and pending by the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts and reported to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. 

Some of the top reasons people file bankruptcy are:

To stop a foreclosure.    Some people file to save their home from foreclosure if they are behind in their mortgage payments.  They are able to design a Chapter 13 plan that will allow them to get caught up on back mortgage payments.

To stop a repo.  Again, some people are able to design a Chapter 13 plan that will allow them to get caught up on back car note payments or even lower their existing car note.

To eliminate IRS taxes. You may can discharge older tax debts in a Chapter 7 filing.  (Consult with a bankruptcy attorney.)  Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to pay back the debt over 3-5 years.

To eliminate credit card and other unsecured debt.  You may be able to discharge your credit card and other secured debt when filing a Chapter 7.  (Consult with a bankruptcy attorney.)  If you file a Chapter 13, you will pay back a portion of your debt through a court approved payment plan.

Overwhelmed with medical debt.  Medical debt can increase quickly when an unexpected accident or illness occurs.  It can put a strain on your finances if you don’t have insurance or under-insured.

Loss of employment.  Let’s face it, a job loss can be a devastating blow to anyone.  Some people exhaust all of their savings to keep up with bills while others don’t have a savings at all.

Stop harassing phone calls from creditors.  When you are in a bankruptcy, creditors may no longer contact you by phone or by mail.  This is the benefit of the “automatic stay”.

Lawsuits, judgments, garnishments.  Filing bankruptcy will most likely stop any collections, judgments and garnishments.  (Consult with a bankruptcy attorney.) 

To get a fresh start!  Are you drowning in debt, facing foreclosure, or suffering from a severe financial setback?  Bankruptcy can help you get a second chance at reclaiming your financial independence.  

Take a look at the infogram below outlining the number of filings in the state of Virginia compared to the number of filings in all 50 states.

DISCLAIMER: @AfterHoursVA is NOT a law firm, nor am I an attorney. I do not provide legal representation or advice. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney. @AfterHoursVA is a debt relief agency.

QR What, Huh?

What is a QR Code?-_kaywa.me_wtk6E

A QR Code , abbreviated for “Quick Response”, is a barcode that contains data that can be read by a smartphone’s camera using a QR reader/scanner.  QR Codes can contain information about a business such as a website’s URL, contact information or even social media platforms.  By scanning a QR code, you will be taken directly to that business’ information!

QR Codes have become increasingly popular in advertising and marketing efforts by small business owners too.  This is an easy and great tool to use on business cards, brochures, brand clothing and other print material. By placing your custom QR Code on the back of a business card, you can generate more traffic to your website by providing easy access to a specific page on your website, Facebook business page or Twitter account.

How can I create a QR Code?

If you attempt a Google search on “creating a QR Code”, you will get approximately 61,700,000 results displayed.  I’ve done the research for you!  Create your FREE QR Code here: http://eepurl.com/N5uvP.  (Yes, this a plug for my website freebie I’m offering now at www.AfterHoursVA.com)  Sign up now and download your QR Code in .jpg or .png format.  You can also choose your own colors for a more customized look!

QRCodeAppWhat software do I need to read a QR Code?

There are a ton of QR Code reader and scanner apps that are available for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets.  I personally use QR Reader for iPhone by TapMedia Ltd.  It scans QR codes, barcodes, words and even creates PDF files with the “Scan to PDF” feature.  Most importantly, it’s a totally FREE app!

Why Use A Mobile Notary Public?

The number one reason why people use a mobile notary public is convenience. Most people who contact me for mobile notary services, need me to travel to them or meet them after work. Yes, banks do offer notary public services, but between “banking” hours. I offer services “after” normal business hours, weekends and holidays. Flexible appointments and last-minute requests can be accommodated as well.

I’ve completed notarizations at hospitals, doctor offices, Starbucks, a skating rink and even a nightclub!
I come to you! Home, office or any location that is suitable for your needs.

Contact @AfterHoursVA for your notary public needs today! Serving Richmond, Virginia and surrounding counties. $5 per notarized signature and up to $25 travel fee for Richmond City, Chesterfield County and Henrico County.

Questions? Email: info@AfterHoursVA.com. Book with me! https://book.go-suite.com/20914 #GOBOOK
TEXT /CALL 804.867.2432

Check out this infographic for other reasons to use a mobile notary public:

November 7th is Notary Public Day!

Notary BlogI was sworn in and received my commission as a notary public on August 27, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. Since then, I’ve learned so much about being a notary and quickly realized it’s much more than stamping a document. I would like to say thank you to all of the great people I’ve met along the way who have given me the privilege of notarizing their most important documents.

The first Notary Public Day was celebrated on November 7, 1975, and was created to “recognize notaries for their public service and their contributions to national and international commerce.”

What is a Notary Public?

The Commonwealth of Virginia Notary Public Handbook defines a notary as a public officer “who acts as an official, unbiased witness to the identity and signature of the person who comes before the notary for a specific purpose. The person may be taking an oath, giving oral or written testimony, or signing or acknowledging his or her signature on a legal document. In each case, the notary attests that certain formalities [as required by law] are observed.”

What are the Official Acts of a Virginia Notary Public?

The code of Virginia specifies five basic notarial acts:
1) Taking Acknowledgments
2) Administering Oaths
3) Certifying affidavits
4) Certifying depositions
5) Certifying “true copies” of documents*

Why are documents notarized?

There are many reasons you may need to have a document notarized. Documents are notarized to deter fraud and to ensure they are properly executed. An impartial witness (the Notary) identifies signers to verify identity and to make sure they have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly.
Most official documents need to be notarized.

What kind of identification is needed to have a document notarized?

As per Virginia law, all signers must personally appear before the notary and present government issued photo identification. The name on the identification must match the name printed on the document. Acceptable identification documents are as follows:

State issued driver’s license
State issued identification card
United States military card
United States passport
Certificate of United States citizenship
Certificate of naturalization
Alien registration card with photograph
Unexpired foreign passport

Does notarization make a document “true” or “legal”?

No. A notarization typically means the signer acknowledged to the Notary that he or she signed the document or “swear or affirm” under oath or affirmation that the contents of the document were true.

Can a Notary refuse to serve people?

A notary may refuse to notarize a signature if he or she is uncertain of an individual’s identity, or if the notary is uncomfortable with the validity of the identification documents.

Need that doc notarized soon? Book with me! https://book.go-suite.com/20914 #GOBOOK

How To Get Started As A Notary Signing Agent

Takisha L. SmithI always get asked how I got started as a Notary Signing Agent (NSA)?

So first off, what exactly is a Notary Signing Agent? A notary signing agent is a notary public that notarizes mortgage docs for borrowers who purchase or refinance their current mortgage. Notary signing agents are impartial witnesses who identify the signer, verify that all documents are signed and dated, notarize the documents, and return the executed loan package to the lender.

In the state Virginia, you will need Errors & Omissions insurance (E&O). You can purchase a $25,000/1 year policy for about $26. Signing companies and title companies require that you have the insurance to protect against notary errors. Virginia does not require a bond like other states. So be sure to check your state’s requirements.

It also helps if you belong to a notary organization. If you do a Google search for “notary signing agents”, you will see that most people call themselves “certified notary signing agents”. All that means is that they have taken a course and test of their skills with loan documents. Many of the notary organizations offer their own version of becoming certified. It helps to become certified but it’s not a requirement. Also most companies require you to have a background check. (UPDATE: As of this current moment, November 2013, The Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) was formed to assist in the creation of professional standards for certified signing professionals. SPW created the Certified Signing Specialist (CSS) designation. The SPW also created standards to facilitate mortgage signings and to address regulatory requirements, state-law compliance, consumer satisfaction and consistency in delivery of notary services. http://signingprofessionalsworkgroup.org/)

Here are some links below that will help you get started:

National Notary Association (NNA) – most popular notary organization to join. You can also purchase E&O insurance through their website and also become certified and background screened. http://www.nationalnotary.org/virginia/notary_classes/index.html

American Society of Notaries – I belong to this organization as well as the NNA. They also offer NSA training and discounted notary supplies.
http://www.asnnotary.org/ 

Notary Cafe – It’s a must you sign up for Notary Cafe account! A lot of signing/title companies look for notaries on this website. http://www.notarycafe.com/Default.aspx

123Notary – This company is very good resource also. When you start signing up with different companies, you can go to this website to check the rating of the signing/title company. They also have a certification training program. http://www.123notary.com/

Notary Rotary lets you create a free profile and you can also purchase a notary background check. http://www.notaryrotary.com/

Notary2Pro – Other notaries rave about this training program. I haven’t personally taken it. It’s owned by a husband and wife team who have been in the business for over 30 years. http://www.notary2pro.com/

If you prefer to brush up on your notary skills or want to train in person to become a Notary Signing Agent, most states offer live training.
I have taken classes with Bryce Hall at Virginia Notary Public Classes http://www.vanotaryedu.com/. She is a great instructor with over 20+ years of notary experience.

I also suggest looking over your own home loan documents to get acclimated with the different types of docs and what they mean. If you do choose one organization to join, I suggest the NNA. Don’t feel like you have to join all of them. They all have the same mission.

Not sure if you are on LinkedIn or not, but they also have some great notary/signing agent forums that are really helpful. This is just one of the many groups I belong to:
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=112982 

Hopefully this info was helpful in getting you on your way to becoming a Notary Signing Agent. Let me know if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer.