Our Holiday Bear Delivery for Parkland January 4th, 2016

Another great Teddy Bear Collection for our friends at Parkland Hospital. Thank you to all that helped up get there. We accept Teddy Bear donations throughout the year. Lets not wait for the holidays to start giving!  CLICK HERE to donate collecting bears to donate to the children at Parkland Hospital.


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Holiday Teddy Bears for Parkland December 13th, 2014

As we do every year, HMI Financial Services is collecting Teddy Bears to donate to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX!

A child at Parkland may be there with a sick parent, may have been in an accident or may be ill. A Teddy Bear brings tremendous joy to the child receiving it. Parkland Memorial Hospital is Dallas County’s only public hospital, which is supported through donations and taxpayer dollars as a public service.

Please join in HMI’s effort to bring some joy and happiness to a child in need. We will be accepting Teddy Bear donations through December 22, 2014 at our new office, located at 1700 Pacific Avenue, Suite 1020, Dallas TX 75201. We will be happy to pick up the bears for those who cannot make the drop off, please contact our office at 214-553-6900 prior to December 22, 2014.

Get involved! Join us in helping local children in need.

Teddy Bear image credit Matthew (falcon1961).

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What is a 1099-C and Why did I Receive One? March 14th, 2012

You may be subject to receiving a 1099-C form if you settled a debt with a lender and received $600.00 or more in savings as a result. A settlement is considered a “forgiven debt”, which is a positive net gain to the consumer and as such is considered income by the IRS. That money went somewhere, and the IRS doesn’t like to leave empty-handed, so the IRS then turns to you to collect income tax on your new “income” (in the amount of the forgiven debt).

For example: If the consumer purchased a $3500.00 living room suit, he defaults on his payments, and then he/she reaches a settlement with the lender for $1750.00, then the lender has forgiven $1750.00 of the debt, thus, its considered income to you and a loss for them.

Nothing in this world is free.

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Why Debt Collection is GOOD for the Economy February 21st, 2012

That’s right, debt collection is good for the economy!

The U.S. economy is strong because those who provide credit, goods and services have reason to expect they be repaid. ACA International commissioned global advisory firm Ernst & Young to conduct a survey in Fall 2011 to research the impact of third-party debt collection on national and state economies, and here is what they found:

For instance, recovering consumer debts helps…
•organizations survive (pay bills, payroll, etc.)
•prevent layoffs
•keep credit, goods and services available
•reduce the need for tax increases to cover government budget shortfalls

Of a net $44.6 billion recovered, third-party debt collection efforts saves the average household $396 annually by helping to keep the costs of goods and services lower. That’s more than those car insurance commercials can promise in savings!

We’re all in this together. For more information about debt, how it works, and how to get out of it, check out www.askdoctordebt.org.

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It’s Tax Season: How to make a deal with debt collectors February 13th, 2012

It’s tax season… again. For the first time in a year, many consumers are really looking at their debts and making decisions on how to move forward. This is TAX RETURN SEASON, and the time of year that people get tax returns back and are in a better position to liquidate some of their debt.

Pay off your debt! Start with the charge off accounts (the ones in collections), as this will surely affect your buying power.

To settle or pay in full?

Your credit score isn’t helped by paying a debt in full versus settling the debt. The fact is the debt needs to be resolved, the only difference settling versus paying in full will likely make will be to the person reviewing the report and making a credit determination. Here is the question you have to answer, “Am I credit worthy, and would I lend me money?”. What kind of risk are you?

Why you should pay off those collections accounts:

This talks about the importance of paying collection accounts, the length of time it may stay on your credit, etc. A creditor is more likely to lend you money if you have paid a collection account off, although, you still may be considered a risk just by having the collection account on your credit. If you’re high-risk, financing is usually still possible at a higher interest rate. The important thing is not to allow accounts to reach the point of charge off, slow pay is better than a charge of status. Consumers get very upset when accounts are reported to the credit bureaus with a “charge off” or “collections” status, and understandably. Making a good faith effort to pay off balances with a creditor is always the smart choice in preventing an account from reaching a collections status.

What you should know about settling debt:

You may be subject to receiving a 1099-C form if you settled a debt with a lender and received $600.00 or more in savings as a result. A settlement is considered a “forgiven debt”, which is a positive net gain to the consumer and as such is considered income by the IRS. For more information on 1099-Cs, check out our post on What is a 1099-C and Why did I Receive One?

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Personal Finance Tips for the Holidays December 14th, 2011

The holidays can be stressful, especially when money is tight. Follow these easy steps to make your holiday – on any budget – a real time for celebration.

Make a plan: Make up your mind to not let gift-giving break the bank. Come to terms with what you can reasonably spend this year and make a budget!

Stick to a budget: Once you have your budget, stick to it! Keep track of how much you spend and make sure that number never exceeds your budget. Don’t forget that credit purchases must be paid back in the future, so do yourself a favor now and stick to your budget for a happy new year.

Protect your identity: Monitor your accounts and report any unauthorized activity to your bank or credit card company immediately. Be cautious when giving credit card information over the phone or online. When making a purchase, be sure you called them, not the other way around. When buying online, double check the URL of the website you are on; is it the URL of the store or a reputable payment system like Paypal? The URL should begin with “https://” (instead of the usual “http://”), which indicates a secure connection. Get your free yearly credit report from annualcreditreport.com.

Communicate with your creditors: If you anticipate having trouble making a payment on existing debt, call your creditor to discuss a different payment arrangement. It won’t eliminate the debt, but it will help keep your head above water while you organize your personal finances. If you are already behind on payments, communicating with your creditor (credit cards, loans, mortgage, medical bills, etc.) can help keep negative reports off of your credit report.

Communicate with debt collectors: Ignoring a problem usually doesn’t make it go away and the same is especially true for debt. You must communicate with the debt collector – whether that communication is mean to collect payment on debt, verify an alleged debt, or to simply confirm the collector has reached the wrong person.

Know your rights: Consumers have rights under federal and state law. For more information about consumer rights in debt collection or to get your questions answered, go to www.askdoctordebt.org, a website created by the ACA International Education Foundation. It’s a FREE resource available in English and Spanish, so spread the word! Everyone should know their rights.

Additional information about consumer rights and debt collection are available from the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Jump$tart.

HMI Financial Services is a proud member of ACA of Texas. Image credit Alan Cleaver.

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