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Checklists & Sample Forms

Many consumers get into financial trouble by failing to consider the repercussions of irresponsible spending. We often spend now and worry later. However, this short-term thinking can lead individuals deep into debt. As a result, it’s wise to have a plan in place to save money for short or long-term goals and to effectively pay off any debts. The resources listed below will help individuals in organizing a budget and determining which creditor to pay first.

  • Checklist - Debts to Pay First - Checklist of suggested financial priorities, beginning with items like food and other necessities, to help those having financial problems devise a strategy for paying down debts and balancing a budget. The checklist is a useful tool in organizing your debts and determining which debts have a higher consequence to you. This can help you decide which debts to pay off first in order to get out of debt as quickly as possible..
  • Sample "Cease Communications" Letter to Creditor - Sample “cease communications” letter to stop creditors from calling and sending letters demanding payment for debts, in accordance with your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Creditors are not allowed to contact you after they receive a written cease communications letter. This is extremely important if you have creditors who are harassing you. There are rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that dictate when and how creditors can contact you. Some useful rules to keep in mind are that creditors are not allowed to contact you at work, can only contact you between 8am to 9pm, and are not allowed to use profane or threatening language.
  • Sample Budget - A sample household budget to help families organize their income and expenses, with directions on how to calculate your average monthly discretionary income. A budget will be useful in knowing where your money is going to be spent and how much you want to save each month to meet a financial goal.
  • Sample Personal Financial Statement - Sample form to help individuals and households determine the value of their finances at a given point in time or to monitor fluctuations in the value of assets. This statement provides a useful tool in determining the extent of your assets. You may be surprised about some of the assets you own.
  • Sample Billing Dispute Letter - Sample letter to send creditors when disputing a billing statement, including a synopsis of important legal requirements (such as required billing statement disclosures and time limits for responding).  Billing errors are far from abnormal, so it’s in your best interest to correct these errors as soon as possible. Giving written notice to creditors of any billing errors will require them to resolve your dispute.
  • Sample Request For Credit Report If You Have Recently Been Denied Credit - Sample credit report request letter for consumers who have recently been denied credit, including contact information for the three main credit reporting agencies. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors are required to inform consumers about the reasoning behind a denied credit application.
Next Steps
Contact a qualified debt and bankruptcy attorney to find out your options
for navigating the best path forward.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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