Molycorp, Inc. Files for Bankruptcy

Pic

Earlier today, June 25, 2015, Molycorp, Inc., along with 20 of its subsidiaries, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Molycorp mines 15 rare-earth elements, which are used in magnets, batteries, catalytic converters and many other high-tech products, which are specifically used by the military.

The Colorado-based company, which is the only miner and producer of such rare-earth elements in the United States, has failed to turn a profit since 2011. Molycorp states in court documents that it has secured $225 million in new financing to continue operations and has brokered an agreement with creditors to restructure its $1.7 billion in debt. The company’s facilities in the U.S. and around the world will continue to operate as usual. Representatives from Molycorp say they expect to exit Chapter 11 before the end of 2015.

Advertisements

What Happens to Your Credit When You Die?

Pic

What exactly does happen to your credit when you die? It’s certainly not an everyday question that comes up, but whether you’re dealing with the estate of a loved one, or you’re wondering for your own estate-planning purposes, it’s certainly an important one. It’s no minor detail to secure the credit details in the event of one’s death, as a person’s credit can still be vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.

When someone dies, all the creditors of the deceased need to be notified, as do the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This responsibility falls to the executor of one’s estate. When contacting the credit reporting agencies, an executor of the estate should request that the credit file be flagged as “Deceased: Do not issue credit.”

The executor of the estate also must forward copies of the death certificate to creditors and credit reporting agencies. Be sure to send certified letters and keep copies of all correspondence regarding the deceased’s credit.

To check whether there are any outstanding debts, the executor of the estate also may wish to request a copy of the deceased’s credit report.

If you jointly held debt with your spouse, for example, the joint account holder or co-signer on a credit account becomes solely responsible for the payment of the account.

When it comes to solo credit accounts, however, heirs are generally not responsible for them. However, there are exceptions.

In community property states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and, if you choose it, Alaska) one spouse may be liable for the debts of another, even if they didn’t agree to them or even know about them.

So in a community property state, a surviving spouse may be held accountable for the credit card debt of a spouse after he or she dies.

Many community property states do offer exceptions for education debts, unless the surviving spouse co-signed for the loan.

According to the U.S. government, federal education loans will be canceled once the borrower dies and the school or lender is sent a copy of the deceased’s death certificate. But lenders of private student loans may have different policies.

So it’s all the more important to be on the same page with your spouse on an ongoing basis about all outstanding debts, and know which ones you might end up being responsible for. And, of course, have a plan to pay them off if and when you need to.

Checking your own credit reports regularly can help you keep track of your own debts, as well as any of your spouse’s debts that are also in your name. You’re entitled to your free credit reports once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. Another good habit to cultivate is checking your credit scores regularly, as a sort of snapshot of your credit. There are a number of ways to get your credit scores for free, including through Credit.com, where they are updated for you every 30 days.

By Lucy Lazarony of Credit.com

http://blog.credit.com/2015/04/what-happens-to-your-credit-when-you-die-114954/

18 Ways to Save $100 This Week

Pic

Does this sound familiar? Every month you set a goal to save a small portion of your income, only to end up failing miserably.

It would be nice if we could all save money in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, it’s a task that requires effort, discipline and — most importantly — some sort of income.

If you’re in a bind or just want to stash a little extra cash, here are 18 ideas about how to make your savings grow;

  1. Keep the change. Retain the change from each of your transactions for an entire week and store it in a Mason jar, Ziploc bag or piggy bank. At the end of the week, count the coins to see how you did. Depending on how much you spend, you may have reached your goal by following this one simple tactic.
  2. Reduce transportation costs. Download the GasBuddy or GasPriceWatch.com application onto your smartphone to locate the best deals in the local area on gasoline. You can also try carpooling with others from your job, or using public transportation for a week.
  3. Eliminate dining out for one week. This suggestion is made over and over again, but it works. Brew your own coffee to start the day and use the leftovers from the prior night’s meal for lunch. And if you’re tempted to pick up an item from the snack shop, come prepared with your own treats and drinks in tow. Also, kindly inform co-workers that you will not be accepting invitations to dine out for lunch during the week.
  4. Skip entertainment. Don’t plan on going to a play or the movies. An alternative is to find free entertainment at local community events. There’s also the library, which is jam-packed with books and DVDs that you can borrow free.
  5. Find free workouts. Do you pay weekly for fitness classes? Try finding fitness programs on television or the Internet, or at the library. I prefer SparkPeople when I need to change things up because it’s a fitness hub with a variety of workout plans, many of which are customizable. It also offers meal plans for those looking to get fit. If you’re a member of a gym, consider canceling the membership and embracing the great outdoors or group workouts. Check the local recreation or community center for free exercise classes that you may be able to attend.
  6. Only carry cash. Can you spare $100 each week without turning your finances upside down? Force yourself to save the funds by setting aside a cash-only expenditure budget for the week. Once the cash is gone, your spending is done. Can’t wrap your head around that? Break the task into small increments of $20 a day. Once five days have passed, you will have met your goal. High five!
  7. Sell some stuff. Head to a local consignment shop or a retailer, such as a Plato’s Closet, that will pay you on the spot for gently used goods. Can’t find one in your area? Try hosting a garage sale, or set up shop at the local flea market.
  8. Get to work. Pick up a temporary side gig to quickly accumulate funds. Or, let your creative juices flow and sell your products and services to others.
  9. Clip coupons. No newspapers lying around? No problem. Head on over to a website like The Krazy Coupon Lady or Coupon Mom, where you will find printable coupons and corresponding instructions for putting the coupons to use. In some cases, a coupon can actually qualify you for cash back from the store.
  10. Call your car insurance company. Inquire about any discounts that may be available. Also, raising the deductibles on your auto and homeowners insurance will drop your premiums. Just be sure you have money in savings to cover your increased out-of-pocket expense in case you have to file a claim.
  11. Decrease your energy consumption. Reach out to your utility company to schedule a free energy audit of your home. Also, unplug any chargers or appliances that are not in use. Set the thermostat a little higher to cut your air conditioning bill. Lower the temperature in winter and layer up. Also, consider hanging your clothes out on the clothesline to give the dryer a break.
  12. Don’t use your credit card. A high interest rate can greatly increase the cost of things you buy with your credit card if you don’t pay off the balance in full each month. Hide the magic plastic and don’t increase the amount you owe on the card.
  13. Disconnect the cable. Freaked out by this suggestion? At least shave off the extras and try online television instead. Also, inquire about any discounts on bundles for which you may be eligible.
  14. Skip the spa. It’s always great to pamper yourself, but it can also add up quickly. My last spa visit, which consisted of a manicure, pedicure and massage, was well over $100.
  15. Iron your own clothes. You can iron shirts and blouses, can’t you? No need to pay a professional unless an article of clothing truly requires professional handling by a dry cleaner.
  16. Call your cellphone provider. If the provider isn’t willing to reduce your monthly bill, switch providers or get a prepaid plan. Also, check out the free or steeply reduced price options, such as Republic Wireless. They do the job just as well as the big boys. I know from experience.
  17. Track your expenses. The simple act of paying attention to all of your daily expenses may be motivation enough to spend less. Join a free expense-tracking service like PowerWallet, then check in daily to see where your money’s going. PowerWallet will automatically send you money-saving coupons based on what you’re buying.
  18. Pick up some free cash. Does your employer match retirement contributions? Add another $100 to your 401(k) and get a free $100 from the boss.

By Allison Martin of Money Talks News

http://www.moneytalksnews.com/21-ways-save-100-this-week/

10 Items to Always Buy in Large Quantities

Pic

Despite the obvious discounts that come from buying items in bulk, doing so is not always a smart move. That’s because purchasing too much, even of a good thing, can lead to waste and clutter. There are some cases, though, where buying a lot of something at once can actually be a good move for your wallet. Here are 10 items to buy in large quantities:

  1. Toilet paper

Buying this essential paper product in bulk can be up to 50 percent cheaper than buying a few rolls at a time. So find a place to store some extra toilet paper (try under your bed if you run out of cupboard space in the bathroom) and save yourself a few bucks. Just make sure you always store it in the same place, so you know where it is and don’t buy even more when you’re already fully stocked.

  1. Soap and shampoo

Buying these items in bulk saves a few cents an ounce on shampoo or per bar of soap. While this may not seem like very much, it adds up over time. Since you know from your washing habits how often you need to replenish your supplies – perhaps you go through one bottle per month – you can easily buy a few containers at once in advance to score the discount.

  1. Office supplies

The next time you need office supplies such as pens, folders or staples, be sure to buy them in bulk. Doing so can save you up to 50 percent off the price you would have paid if you didn’t buy in bulk. Whether you compare prices online at big office supply stores or prefer to visit the grocery store or discount store in person and stroll through the aisles, you can usually get a better deal by stocking up on items you know you’ll need – and use.

  1. Toothbrushes and toothpaste

If you practice good dental hygiene, and we hope you do, then you purchase new toothbrushes and toothpaste every few months (or at least you should). You could either buy two toothbrushes for $8 or six for $14. Similarly, you could buy a tube of toothpaste for $5 or get three for $10. If you’re buying for your whole family, then the available savings are even bigger.

  1. Vitamins

Spending money in the name of health is always a good idea; be sure to read up on the latest recommendations to pick the vitamins that provide the biggest benefit. You can save a few cents per pill by buying in bulk. Again, this may not seem like much, but over time, the savings add up.

  1. Pantry items

When it comes to buying food items that will not perish quickly, such as cereal, canned tuna or soft drinks, opt to buy in bulk. Doing so is typically 30 percent cheaper than just buying one box, can or drink at a time. Just be sure to stick with items that have a long shelf life to reduce the chance the items go to waste. Paper towels, cotton swabs and cereal are all among the most popular items purchased through Amazon Prime Pantry, which can offer lower prices than brick-and-mortar stores when multiple items are purchased at once.

  1. Coffee

Whether you grind your own beans or use K-cups, purchasing coffee in bulk can significantly reduce the costs of your caffeine habit. Signing up for automatic delivery through a monthly delivery service also ensures you’re never out of your morning pick-me-up.

  1. Diapers

If you have babies in the house, then you’re probably constantly buying diapers. Save yourself some cash by using Amazon Subscribe & Save or a similar service to keep yourself well-stocked while benefiting from discounts.

  1. Batteries

You don’t want to notice you’re all out of batteries when the lights go out and you can’t find a working flashlight. Stock up on batteries by buying large packages of them to get the best deal and also make sure you don’t run out at key moments.

  1. Detergent

Everyone does laundry, and there is no way to get around it. By spending a little more to get a huge tub of detergent instead of a smaller one, you can save up to 17 cents a load. So when it comes to laundry detergent, always reach for the larger container.

By Wise Bread and Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News and World Report

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/05/26/10-items-to-always-buy-in-large-quantities