Finances play an active role in their daily life whether an individual wishes to start a new business, buy real estate or decide on how to invest for their retirement. Should an individual wish to make a large purchase, choosing the right bank or financial institution is very important.

Also crucial is addressing credit problems, whether an individual has mortgages, liens or collections companies calling an individual. The competency of the financial institution and the quality of their credit are key features for personal and business financial matters.

Many companies offer a variety of insurances, in the event that an individual wishes to protect their investments. Insurance companies insure anything from their car, house or business, to their life and health.

Individuals attempt to enhance their financial capacity by investing money and minimizing their tax liability. Often people invest in 401K plans for retirement, or are curious about buying stock in particular public corporations. You should be aware of the legal obligations and risks involved in investments, as well as the potential tax consequences.

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What Does a Financial Lawyer Do?

A financial lawyer is a type of lawyer who assists clients with their financial legal issues. This type of lawyer can assist their clients with a wide variety of financial issues.

Finance law includes numerous different areas of law. It involves the rules which apply to financial matters. Finance law governs topics such as:

Financial services lawyers can help their clients with numerous tasks, which may include:

  • Banking matters;
  • Consumer and business bankruptcy claims;
  • Debts and collections;
  • Insurance and annuities;
  • Taxes;
  • Wills, trusts & estate planning; and
  • Securities law.

A financial services lawyer can help an individual with many banking issues, such as assisting with banking documents like loans and mortgages. In addition, they can help if an individual has a dispute or disagreement with their bank.

Bankruptcy issues can be very complicated. A specialized financial services lawyer will explain an individual’s rights and offer advice. If a business is involved in bankruptcy, an attorney can tell an individual how to best protect their company’s assets during the entire process.

A financial services lawyer can provide an individual with advice regarding debt and collection laws. An experienced lawyer can ensure that debt collectors follow the rules for collecting debt.

Also, the attorney will have knowledge regarding the specific rules under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). An attorney who specializes in financial issues will also be aware of debt collector harassment laws. A financial services lawyer can speak to collection companies on their behalf and help with a settlement plan for any debts owed.

A financial services lawyer can also help an individual understand their insurance or annuities, which are contracts that are used to create savings or retirement plans. A financial services lawyer will be able to explain the details of an individual’s annuity contract.

They will help an individual to understand how the contract affects them and their family. In addition, a financial services lawyer will know the law in their state that applies to insurance.

Tax law can be very complicated. Depending on an individual’s specific situation, different taxes laws may apply. A financial services lawyer who handles tax law can help an individual file their taxes.

They will explain what tax laws affect their personal taxes or their business’ taxes. They can offer advice during the entire process of filing their taxes. If an individual is audited, a lawyer can also help.

Wills, trusts, and estate planning is another complex area of law which is constantly changing and is very difficult to understand without an attorney. A financial services lawyer will guide an individual through the estate planning process.

They can explain and help an individual create trusts and wills. A financial services lawyer will make sure all their legal documents are correct, valid, and properly signed.

Securities law governs the creation, sale, and purchase of security interests. Common examples include stocks and bonds. Many federal laws apply to securities. A specialized financial services lawyer will help an individual understand this complicated area of law.

What Is Consumer Banking?

Consumer banking, also called personal banking, provides financial services to individuals as individuals and not as business owners. Examples of consumer banking services include:

  • Credit card services;
  • Checking accounts; and
  • Savings accounts.

Consumer banks also provide:

  • Mortgage loans;
  • Personal loans; and
  • Certificates of deposit (CODs).

What Types of Credit Are Available to Me?

There are a wide variety of consumer credit options available to consumers in order to keep up with their financial demands and necessities. These options can range from open credit accounts like utilities or cell phone bills to credit cards.

Common types of credit that individuals may be eligible for include:

  • Credit cards;
  • Charge cards;
  • Mortgage loans; and
  • Open credit accounts.

The majority of consumers are familiar with credit card accounts. These are classified as revolving credit accounts, which allow customers to borrow lines of credit which may be used to pay for various items up to a specific amount.

The balance on the credit card then carries over into the next month. Eventually, it will begin to accrue interest until the cardholder pays off their debt in full.

A charge card operates the same basic way as a credit card. The difference between the two is that the balance on a charge card must be paid in full each month or the cardholder will be subject to penalty fees.

Mortgage loans are typically provided by a bank or another lender when an individual purchases a home or real property. Mortgages can provide an individual with a good way to build their credit history, so long as they make their payment in full and on time each month.

An open credit account is a recurring monthly bill for services such as utilities, like power, or a cell phone. Although these payments do not always appear on an individual’s credit report, they may be counted against an individual if they are late or default on their payments.

What Is Consumer Bankruptcy?

If an individual finds that they have accrued more debts than they are able to pay, they may consider bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that is governed by federal law and is initiated when an individual or business is not able to meet their financial obligations.

Consumer bankruptcy may be filed when an individual cannot pay back the debts they incurred for personal needs, such as by using some of the types of credit listed above. Once the bankruptcy process is complete, the individual is no longer liable for the debts which they incurred.

The individual then obtains a clean financial slate. However, a bankruptcy may remain on the individual’s credit report for up to ten years. It is important to be aware that bankruptcy may have lasting consequences and should only be used as a last resort. There are numerous considerations an individual should review prior to filing for bankruptcy.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Finances are some of the most important considerations of an individual’s life. They allow you to take care of yourself and your family, as well as save for your future.

If you have any financial related questions or would like assistance with planning and tax implications, it would be very helpful to consult with an experienced financial lawyer. If you are considering bankruptcy, consulting with an attorney can help you determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you and if other options are available.