Acquiring and Financing a Semi Truck, Big Rig and Over the Road Truck

In today’s economy, start up and seasoned businesses have an unique opportunity to acquire an attractive deal for semi trucks, big rigs and over the road trucks. The first option, for the buyer, is to visit their local dealer and find his truck there. This is great place to start and obtain pertinent information that will be used later in the data gathering process. From there, it is recommended searching the internet and its mass volume of data that is available. The potential buyer can visit such sites as truck paper and truck trader etc to view thousands of listings of trucks available across the United States. He is able to sort and sift through this vast data and should be able to find a truck, in any city and/or state across the U.S, that meets his acquisition requirements. Once he has located a source of trucks available to him, he is able to contact these sellers and negotiate a deal that might be able to meet his needs. Once he is agreed to a price and its particulars, his next hurdle is to find adequate financing in today’s complex lending world of this commodity.

Today, the financing arena for semi trucks has become much smaller. Lenders, in the past, that use to finance this niche market have either pulled their portfolio funds out of this area or have modified its’ lending requirements. It is not unheard of today that a start up business must commit to a down payment of between 10% – 30% of the acquisition cost of the truck to enter this market. The seasoned business with good credit might be able to get in as little as one payment down plus documents fees but must have either A or B Credit. Other seasoned businesses that don’t meet these credit requirements, may be required to put up 10-20% down or either put up additional collateral as their credit scores fall below 600. Most buyers don’t enjoy these tightening financial requirements, are locked out of this market, and will start looking for alternatives that are available due to market conditions. In addition to the market requirements of substantial monies due upfront, the conventional lender has modified his risk/reward factor for the failure and possible repossession of these trucks. Therefore, the rate and/or interest factor that the lender charges has gone up making it a bigger challenge to complete the financing end once the want to be buyer locates his acquisition….

As the economy has weakened due to market conditions, including diesel gas reaching $5.00 or more per gallon in certain states, the route of conventional financing has changed as we know it. The lender has acquired another problem that makes their equation a little more complicated. In the past year as the price of food has gone up, the real estate markets have taken a toll for the worse and other world factors have caused the banks to be more unstable, the trucking industry has become more volatile. As the increase of defaults on the payments of over the road trucks, semis etc have risen to all time highs, the lenders have been taking back these trucks by the droves that are earmarked as repossessions. This has caused a problem with normal lending practices and trying to balance it with a non producing income portfolio. If these lenders don’t act swiftly and prudently, the combination of these two type of portfolios can be devastating to the lenders’ bottom line. A third factor to consider is the off lease truck. These trucks are being returned to the lender and they must act accordingly with this third factor.

By definition, an off lease semi truck, over the road truck, big rig etc has been returned to the lender as the lease has expired. The lessee has made a decision to return the item in lieu of exercising the buyout option. A repossession is different than an off lease because it has arisen due to a default of the lessee for non payment terms or a violation of the terms of the lease. Either way, the lender has taken these trucks back and/and now must recondition these trucks and either sell these trucks or re-lease them.

The lender can either advertise their off lease and repo inventories through their internal sales force, trade journals such as truck paper, truck trader etc or utilize outside professionals such as brokers to move their inventories as quick as possible. Sometimes, as these inventories either sit or whatever reasons aren’t moving, the lender will put these items up for auction.

At the present time, the lenders have two different types of financing portfolios to consider and must act accordingly. Normal lending on new business deals still require stringent lending practices based upon the credit markets and the risk/reward factors lenders perceive out there in the financial markets. The second type of portfolio, for the off lease and repos, require possibility a more lenient approach to liquidating their inventories prudently and recreating the income stream for the lenders. This will be discussed below.

Today, some of the lenders in the financial market have advertised personal credit qualifications as low as 575, prior bankruptcy rules amended or ignored, and start up businesses welcome. Additionally, the front money to commence a lease can start as low as first payment only to whatever you might able to negotiate. Some of the lenders have application only programs up to $250,000. There are no financial statements, income tax returns or bank statements required. Additionally, some lenders may defer some of payments to get the semi trucks financed. The buyout clauses on these over the road trucks can range from a $1.00 buyout to 10% to 20%, Trac leases to possible fair market value buyouts. One should understand these clauses because they have an impact on the passing of title.

These favorable financial arrangements by the lender has stimulated the buyers wants and needs to either enter the trucking industry as an owner operator and/or possibility an expansion of a existing business. First Time buyers, whom were locked out of this market in the past, now has an unique opportunity to earn more revenue by acquiring a truck for himself. A $50,000 over the road truck might require as little as $1400 down to commence the financial obligation. Other lenders that might have required up to 30% down in the past might accept as little as 10% to acquire one of their repos and/or off leases…Additionally, some lenders may offer favorable monthly payment terms vs standard lending to acquire their off lease and repos vs. the buyer looking to acquire a truck at a dealership..

For this article, potential deals for over the road trucks, semi trucks and big rigs for the customers relate to the following manufacturers: Petebilt, Mack, Kenworth, International, Freightliner, and Volvo.

In conclusion, this is a buyer’s market for semi trucks, big rigs and over the road trucks. One should evaluate all the factors relating to this acquisition including gas costs, air emissions, environmental type requirements., buyout clauses acquisition costs and its related financing. Additionally, there are two distinct financing markets out there, one for the normal acquisition from the dealership and the possibility of acquiring a repo and off lease from a lender at favorable market and financing terms. As always it is advisable, if possible, to locate financing prior to truck shopping, it could save a lot of time and stress.

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Stop Working Hard and Grow Money on Trees

For the average person today, getting ahead financially seems like an almost impossible feat. It’s difficult for many to envision ever escaping the rat race when the cost of living is so high and wages are so low. Seeing no way out, most just suck it up and push through, trying to make the “best of it” the only way they know how – by working harder.
WORKING HARD DOESN’T WORK
The problem with this approach is that the rules of money have changed, and working hard simply doesn’t work anymore. Most people have no idea that the rules of money have changed and that they are being penalized for playing by the old rules. Working hard used to work. Saving money used to work. However, after the rules changed in 1971, working hard and saving money progressively makes you poorer.
Because of a lack of financial education, a number of people find themselves metaphorically attempting to push a boulder up the side of a hill. A very few might make it, but for the majority the hill wins. This is what life is like today for those who don’t have a financial education and choose to play by the old rules and work hard.
The new rules require that your money work hard for you, instead of you working hard for money. You can look at this as “growing money on trees.” The rich don’t work hard for money. The rich have their money grow on trees, and so should you!
WORK TO ACCUMULATE ASSETS
The rich work to accumulate assets. In very simple terms, assets are things that place money in your pocket. Some examples are businesses, stocks, real estate, and precious metals. When we speak of growing money on trees, the asset is represented by the tree. Whether it is a business, real estate, stocks, or precious metals, the tree – as an asset – represents something that places money in your pocket.
How the asset performs is represented by its quality of DIRT. DIRT stands for debt, inflation, retirement, and taxes.
IT’S ABOUT HAVING GOOD DIRT
Having a sound financial education provides you the ability to increase the amount of money that goes into your pocket because of a high quality of DIRT. The poor and middle class suffer due to a lack of financial education. This is why they end up deeply in debt, destroyed by inflation, sold the riskiest of investments, and paying the highest in taxes.
Playing by the old rules is a losing proposition and dangerous! Learn to have your money work hard for you. Learn to grow your money on trees through assets – just like the rich.

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Bankruptcy and Your Vehicle

The bill collectors are calling you and everyone you know, your wages are about to be garnished and you can barely pay the necessities. You know you need to file bankruptcy. So what is stopping you, the fear of losing your car, truck, or motorcycle?
In most cases when you file bankruptcy you can keep your vehicle. Of course, it is a little more complicated than just file bankruptcy don’t worry about your car. This article will explore several scenarios I have dealt with in the past dealing with bankruptcies and client’s vehicles. Motorcycles come with a caveat, here it is… Motorcycles are slightly different from other vehicles in that they can been classified as non necessity luxury items so contact your attorney to see what your specific options are regarding motorcycles.
Scenarios in a Chapter 7 Fresh Start Bankruptcy.
Scenario 1. You owe nothing on the car and it is not worth that much. You do not make enough money to cover even your basic needs, you have a car and you do not want to lose it. Chances are if you have a car in this situation you own it outright. Whether you can keep it or not will depend on the value of the car. In Washington, for example, the automobile exemption for an individual is $3450.00. Washington also allows a wildcard exemption of $3000.00. If your car is worth $4500.00 in its current condition, an individual could use the full motor vehicle exemption and then use $1050 of the wildcard. That will fully protect your car and still save $1950.00 of your wildcard. Your car is safe.
Scenario 2. You owe nothing on the car but it is worth more than the exemption value. This is the most complicated scenario in a chapter 7 bankruptcy and may be better dealt with in a chapter 13. Nevertheless, there are options in a chapter 7. Let’s say the car is worth $10,000.00. As discussed above, you can use the current vehicle exemption of $3450.00. You can then add to that the wild card exemption of $3000.00. That protects $6450.00 of value in the vehicle. meaning that you have $3550.00 unprotected. Now we have a couple of options.
You could:
1) Let the trustee take and sell the vehicle and use the proceeds to pay off some of your creditors. If you do this, the trustee will cut you a check for $6450.00 and use the $3450 that is unprotected to pay some of your creditors. You could then use this money to help get a new car or to buy a used car outright.
2) Try to work out a deal with the trustee to repay the unexempt equity. Trustees are usually willing to work out a reasonable payment plan to allow you to keep something like a vehicle. Common terms might be to pay back the equity in six equal installments, or to make a down payment with a monthly payment that ends in a larger payment when you get your tax refund. You need to be careful with this useful arraignment, if you default on your payments your discharge could be denied or revoked.
3) Try to get a new loan on the car after the bankruptcy is finished which would allow you to pay the equity to the trustee. You would then have a car payment to pay the newly incurred loan.
Scenario 3. You owe less on the car than what the car is worth. If you are looking to file a chapter 7 to obtain a fresh start and avoid making a chapter 13 trustee payment, you should be able to protect that car. Say the car is valued at $15000.00 and you still owe $12000.00. In this case you have $3000.00 in equity. Because the automobile exemption is worth more than the equity you have in the vehicle, your car will be protected. You will need to speak with your attorney about what to do during and after the case, but you will need to maintain your loan payment if you wish to keep the vehicle.
Scenario 4. You owe more on the car than it is worth. In this scenario you might owe, for example, $15000.00 on a car that is only worth $7000.00. You have several options under this scenario.
You could:
1) decide to let go of the car. Why pay more than double the value of anything? You could surrender the vehicle and then look to purchase a vehicle with better terms after the discharge;
2) You could continue to pay on the vehicle at the terms provided in the loan agreement;
3) We could seek a redemption loan whereby you get a new loan that is only up to the value of the car in its current condition. In this case you need to qualify for the new loan and there may be additional attorney’s fees but it could potentially save you a lot of money and keep you in a car that you love.
Scenario 5. Bonus Scenario! You have unexempt equity in your vehicle but you also have tax liens which attach to personal property. This one is a little tricky, but if you have no other equity in any other property and the amount of the tax lien is greater than the unexempt equity in your vehicle, the trustee is not likely to bother with you or your vehicle. The down side to this is that if they were to take and sell the car for the unexempt equity, they would then use that money to pay off or to pay down your tax lien. If the trustee leaves you and your vehicle alone, you are still going to have to find a way to deal with those taxes once your bankruptcy is done.
Scenarios in a Chapter 13 repayment plan bankruptcy:
Scenario 1. You owe nothing on your car and it is worth less than the exemptible amounts. Under this scenario, your vehicle would have no impact on your chapter 13 plan payment.
Scenario 2. You owe nothing on your car but it is worth more than the exemptible amounts. Under this scenario, we have to offer the unexempt value to the creditors in the form of your trustee payment. While this goes beyond the scope of this article, we can pay the unexempt value by way of the trustee payment over a period of time lasting as long as 60 months. This is a valuable tool if you have a car that is worth a lot of money and you cannot bear to part with it.
Scenario 3. You owe money on the car and you want to keep it. This scenario gets complicated depending on whether the loan on your car was taken out at the time that you bought the car. It also matters as to how long ago you bought the car. If you bought the car more than 910 days ago, we can cram down what you pay on the car based on its current value. So say that you owe $15000.00 on the car but it is only worth $7000.00, we can propose a plan that only pays that creditor back $7000.00 as a secured claim. We can also lower the interest payment on the car depending on the rate that the loan is for and depending on the jurisdiction. If you bought the car less than 910 days ago, we may still be able to lower the interest rate that you pay on the car, but the full dollar amount of the outstanding loan would have to be paid back as a secured creditor.
Scenario 4. You owe money on the car and you just do not want it any more. In this scenario a chapter 13 can also be a good option depending on what the rest of your financial situation looks like. We can propose a plan that surrenders the collateral. The lien holder will come and get the car. They then have to sell it and credit your account for the amount of the sale. In the chapter 13 they are then able to file an unsecured claim for the remaining balance. The benefit to you though is that you will end up paying less than you owed (possibly zero) and paying no further interest on the loan.
Conclusion: As you can see, there is no simple answer to what happens to a car in a bankruptcy. The good news though is that there are many options that allow you to keep your vehicle and still other options that will allow you to escape from a bad deal. If you find yourself in financial difficulty and the thought of losing your only car is stopping you from filing, call your local bankruptcy attorney to discuss which option might be best for you.

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How First-Time Homebuyers Can Save Money

There are many reasons it would be financially advantageous to purchasing a house. You may have recently graduated from college, are a newlywed, expecting your first child, or have accepted a new high-paying job. There are long-term financial advantages and tax benefits to homeownership, but one of the largest roadblocks to purchasing a house is often the down payment. Below is a list of suggestions that you can use to save money towards a down payment on a new house.
• Create a Household Budget – Write out a list of all your monthly expenses. Go through your checkbook and receipts for the past three months and find out exactly how much you are spending per month. Create a budget that you can live with that limits your expenses. Track your spending, this will help you realize what expenses you may be able to eliminate.
• Open a Savings Account – After creating your monthly budget, devote a certain amount or percentage of your monthly income to savings. Your savings should be used only for special purchases or holiday spending to avoid using credit cards or creating new debt.
• Bank Account Fees – Check your bank statements to find out if you are paying a monthly service fee for your checking and/or savings accounts. If you are, it would benefit you to research banking options from other institutions. You may not only eliminate monthly fees, but possibly receive a bonus for opening a new account.
• Credit Cards – If you carry balances on your credit cards, you’re paying an extraordinary amount of interest. Be prudent, focus on paying your credit cards off or consolidate the debt to an installment loan with a lower interest rate.
• Shopping – When going to the store for groceries, clothing, bathroom and household necessities, always write out a list and stick to it. This will help you eliminate impulse buying. Many individuals purchase unneeded items when they shop and regret the purchase later.
• Entertainment Budget – Most people do not have a household budget, therefore they have no idea how much they actually spend in entertainment dollars. Institute a weekly or monthly entertainment budget, based on your past spending habits. Your plan should include money to continue your normal routine, such as: money for lunch, dinner, and/or going out with your friends. If you pack your lunch and eat at home a few more days per week, you will undoubtedly save money.
• Insurance and Mobile Phone – Compare the rates that you are paying for your auto insurance and cell phone to currents offers. If rates have gone down, you may be able to save on both of these expenses.
There are countless ways to eliminate expenses and save money, implementing just a few of these cost-saving measures in your monthly budget will help you save faster than you may have thought possible. There is no magic pill or instant solution to saving money; it will take a variety of changes as well as time to save the money needed for a down payment. As an alternative to saving the down payment for a house, most lenders will allow gifts from family members as well as grants from nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Check with your lender to find out if you qualify for any down payment assistance grants in your area.

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