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Tax sales can be deals or disasters in disguise

If a homeowner or the owner of commercial property fails to pay property taxes, that property may eventually be sold by a city or county municipality at a tax sale (also known as a sheriff's sale or an upset sale). These sales are part of the foreclosure process as stipulated in Pennsylvania's Real Estate Tax Sale Act (RETSA).

In a tax deed sale, the property is often sold for the amount due in unpaid taxes, plus interest and fees. Acquiring a property at a deep discount may seem too good to be true; in some cases, it is. Veteran and inexperienced real estate investors alike have entered into tax sales they thought they researched thoroughly only to discover it wasn't the deal it appeared to be.

When Your Dream Kitchen Turns into a Nightmare

Has this ever happened to you? Your friend tells you about her great plans to renovate her kitchen - new cabinets, granite counter tops, maybe a stainless steel fridge, but when you ask her how the project is going a few months later, she sadly shakes her head and replies, "Can you believe it? We paid the contractor half of the money up front for supplies, he started the job, but then he just disappeared and my kitchen is a wreck."

Don't Make This Mistake!

As you probably know, the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16 after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. The singer, a mother of four, never made an estate plan, leaving her "intestate," which means died without a will. Now her four children, including a son with special needs, will have to go to court to have her estate probated and these matters will no longer be kept private. Additionally, according to her state's law, when a person dies without a Last Will and Testament the assets of an unmarried mother are divided equally among her children.

Answer these questions as you prepare your finances for divorce

As you ponder life after divorce, a good portion of your attention will turn to your finances. Although things are sure to change, especially if you were not the primary breadwinner in your marriage, there are steps you can take before and during your divorce to put yourself in the best possible position for success in the future.

Here are five important questions to answer as you prepare your finances for divorce (and the years to follow):

  • Do you have copies of all your most important financial records? You'll need this during the divorce process and maybe in the future. These can include but are not limited to: bank account statements, retirement account statements, pay stubs and life insurance policies. You can never collect too much information.
  • Do you have a clear idea of your assets and debts? You don't want to assume you'll work through this as you move through your divorce. It's best to get everything in order as soon as possible. For example, make a list of both joint and separate property.
  • What is your credit score? This doesn't seem important, until you realize that it is a big deal when applying for a loan. Maybe you want to buy a house or a car after your divorce is finalized. With good credit, this is possible. With bad credit, you'll run into some issues along the way.
  • What's the best way to cut expenses? You don't necessarily have to do this, but if you're going from two incomes to one, it's probably in your best interest.
  • Where can you turn for help? Although you know your finances better than anyone else, there may come a time when you require some assistance. From a tax professional to a financial planner or an experienced family law attorney, there are people who can show you the way.

Ensure your Child's Summer Fun with Forms and Permissions

For many children, summer vacation is for fun and adventure. During the months from the beginning of June to the end of August, children may participate on sports teams, go to day camps, overnight camps, or enjoy vacations with friends or family. In order to ensure the health and safety of children while having summer fun, parents may need to fill out and sign forms and waivers. Here's what moms and dads need to know:

Don't Drink and Drive

With Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer,  this weekend, comes summer fun -- barbeques and beer, champagne toasts at weddings and merriment at graduation parties. While we hope you have fun, please remember to be safe when having a drink and it is most important to not drink and drive.

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Vinsko & Associates, P.C.

Vinsko & Associates, P.C.

253 South Franklin Street | Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701 | Phone: 570-550-0815 | Fax: 570-970-9711 | Map & Directions

Philadelphia Office | 1700 Market Street | Suite 1005 | Philadelphia, PA 19103 | Phone: 215-309-8275 | Fax: 215-278-4764 | Map & Directions

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