Economic Development Assistance Programs

The United States Economic Development Administration (USEDA) has announced new funding opportunities through The Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. This new economic effort was created to help revitalize communities that have been impacted by negative changes in the energy sector. Through this partnership, the EDA solicits applications in rural and urban areas that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving fund projects. Economic development assistance grants and awards may be available to the companies responsible for helping with the ongoing revitalization efforts of our community.

What Are The Qualifications?

You must be a company operating in the region that supports the economic growth and revitalization of our community. Questions about whether your company meets the qualification standards may be inquired through our office.

Do I Have to Pay Interest on Grants?

No. Grants are considered gifts. Economic development assistance grants are awarded to companies and do not have to be paid back as long as the conditions of the award are met. It is important to note that you may have to file progress reports from time to time in order to keep your award. Detailed information regarding filing these kinds of reports, if applicable, will be included in your award letter.

How Much Does My Company Qualify For?

This amount is calculated by a measurement developed by the Indiana Business Research Institute, based on an area’s level of distress and its predetermined need. You will have to apply to find out how much your award might be worth.

How Do I Apply For a Grant?

Applications are available online. The grant application process can be very time-consuming, so be sure to apply early and to carefully read the instructions before submitting.

Do I Need to Hire a Grant Writer?

No. Although you may apply for a reward without the assistance of an experienced grant writer, you might consider hiring one. The EDA does not specify who should write your proposal, but we highly recommend having an experienced professional write one. In most cases, you will only have one chance to ask for grant money. Make it count!

How Long Until I Receive a Decision?

It’s impossible to calculate the length of the decision process. Many factors, including the volume of awards sought, should be taken into consideration. You would have to contact the EDA directly to evaluate how long an award might take to be determined.

Are You Losing Out on Unclaimed Funds?

Believe it or not, uncashed checks resulting from bankruptcy cases often go unclaimed, but you can now find out if the Federal Court System is holding onto funds with your name on them. There’s a new search tool available that will let you quickly and easily see if there are some funds out there belonging to you that were never claimed.

Accessing Unclaimed Funds

A new online search tool developed by the Federal Court System makes it simple to search for any unclaimed funds simply by entering your last name into the database. The ‘Bankruptcy Unclaimed Funds Locator’ can be accessed through 39 of the country’s 94 court websites. Why would so much unclaimed money exist?

At the end of bankruptcy cases, monies owed are sent (usually via check) to those people that are part of a court case. Sometimes, addresses are wrong, people have moved and other details don’t add up. Many times, these individuals don’t even realize they are owed money and this means that the funds in question become unclaimed and left idle. Unless a person claims those funds (rightfully), there is little to no chance of those funds being returned to the person that was originally owed a specific amount.

What Happens to the Funds?

Bankruptcy courts in the U.S. will hold onto funds for many years. If the funds are not claimed, they are eventually turned over to the U.S. Treasury. It is estimated that around $280 million funds are currently unclaimed in the U.S. Surprisingly, these millions are all sitting idle as a result of bankruptcy cases. How long can one debt linger? It depends on each individual court, but some claimants have managed to retrieve funds going back as far as the 1970s.

Getting Your Money

Step 1 of this process is searching the web to see if you actually are one of those who is owed money. If you do discover that some unclaimed funds are in your name, it might be a challenge to try and claim those funds. Due to complex court systems and laws, getting the money that is owed to you is often easier said than done. The best way to retrieve any funds that are owed to you is to hire a bankruptcy attorney. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will know the ins and outs of bankruptcy laws and can help you to claim funds that are rightfully yours.

What Are The Alternatives If You Can’t Afford A Bankruptcy?

After you finally decide that none of the alternative options are good for you to get a relief from debts and you need to file for bankruptcy, there are some other things to consider regarding the payments, for example paying the lawyer, document fees, court fees and some additional costs as well. What will happen if your finances are so bad that you feel you can’t afford even to file because the bankruptcy process can be costly. It is not uncommon for people who have been struggling for years to make minimum payments on their debts to suddenly find out they are too broke to pay a lawyer or pay the bankruptcy filing fees.

Many debtors which are unfamiliar with the complexity of the process are trying to deal with the process by themselves on their own “Pro Se”. But in this way they may get a poorly filed bankruptcy that can be dismissed, which means you will not get any relief from creditors. On top of that, filing your bankruptcy incorrectly could leave some of the property and assets unprotected which could lead to losing a lot of things you could have kept after the bankruptcy is finalized.

Even if you think you can’t afford it, you still may have options that will allow you to get help with filing bankruptcy without putting your finances into an even worse situation:

Save up some funds prior to filing. While the process of interviewing some potential lawyer and getting ready the documentation you can still try to save up some money away.

Think of ways to collect the money needed. Sell some items that you are likely to lose in a bankruptcy. Stop making payments on debts that you are hoping to erase in the bankruptcy process.

Look for low cost bankruptcy attorneys. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer discounted initial sessions. Use this session to explore whether or not filing bankruptcy is going to be right for you and what you will need to do to proceed with a bankruptcy filing.

Negotiate a reduced fee amount. Try to negotiate with your attorney for an amount that you are able to pay. Propose some terms and ask about a payment plan, see how will the attorney reacts.

Get a loan from a friend or family member. This can help reduce the burden of paying fees by yourself.

Look for attorneys who provide services free or “Pro Bono”. Research to see if there are legal services in your area that provide services for those with limited income. You can typically find more information on pro Bono attorneys online, through your state bar or by talking to lawyers in your area. Many experienced attorneys set aside a certain amount of time each year to do cases for free.

Control your spending and budget. Try to get on a tight budget and keep track of your spending so you can put aside some necessary money for the bankruptcy filing.

Tax Refund. If you receive a tax refund every year you can use that money to pay attorneys’ fees with it.

Talk to a Bankrupcy Attorney Before Filing Your Case. Most attorneys provide free consultation and give information about the bankruptcy process, the specifics of your case and type of bankruptcy you should use.

Pay your fees through your Chapter 13 repayment plan. If you can afford to pay your attorney, you can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy for the sole purpose of paying your lawyer’s fees through your repayment plan.

Instead of paying to the creditor, pay your attorney. The money that would have gone to the creditor, is now being paid to your attorney, and you can afford yo pay those fees.

Cut out unnecessary monthly expenses. Take a look at your bills and see if some of them can be eliminated. Can you live without cable TV, pest control, alarm system, or your home phone?

Work more hours. Maybe you can consider picking up a second job or working extra hours on the one that you already have.

Look for legal clinics. Legal clinics offer advice and representation at low or no cost depending on your income. Some bankruptcy courts have clinics or information centers that are designed to help self-represented debtors with their cases or provide further information about the free legal services in their area.

Represent yourself. If you decide that you still don’t have enough money and you will represent yourself, you need to do some research and take the time to do a good job. But there are some things to consider before starting representing yourself.

Time available. You need to have enough time to get into the role of part-time attorney.

Type of bankruptcy case. On the other side the Chapter 13 bankruptcy can last three to five years. If you have a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to successfully file on your own. But even a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that you put in a significant amount of effort and research.

The complexity and nature of your case.

How comfortable you are with researching the necessary legal information and representing yourself.

Before deciding that you can’t afford bankruptcy, examine your budget and all the alternative options available to you. Your self-represented bankruptcy filing may also be riskier than a lawyer led affair. You’ll need to research the process thoroughly before committing to a course of action. A poorly filed bankruptcy can be dismissed, which means you will not get any relief from your creditors. If you don’t put in the time and effort into researching all necessary laws, rules, and procedures, you risk having your case dismissed without a discharge or losing your property.

Tips To Take Control Of Company Insolvency

There are so many companies going through liquidation today. Even though for most this is welcomed and planned, for others it is not a very much welcomed process and it can be the root cause of stress and worries. It is very normal to feel frustrated, helpless and angry when going through insolvency, but there are simple ways you can use to take control of the situation and it keep stress levels minimal. Here are some tips that can help you reduce the upset and worry that usually accompanies company insolvency.

1. Get as much information as you can about the process. There are very good insolvency practitioners you can involve in the process to make it easier for you. They can help you with deciding the next best course of action and to know the possible outcomes. Liquidation services can actually go a long way in reducing your stress levels because the experts offer you a better sight of the next path to take.

2. Remain focused on the future remembering that liquidation and insolvency is not a process that is unique to you. Gone are the days when they carried stigma; the recent recession has made them common. Therefore, the best you can do is to start by putting everything into perspective and work towards a better future.

3. Take some time out even though liquidation is a process that can be demanding. When you take a little time to breathe, you will find that you are more prepared and positive about the current business situation you are facing. Do some fun activities such as listening to music and dancing, walking the dog or even hitting the gym to take your mind off things for a while. It is a simple way of reducing stress and renewing your thoughts and moods.

4. Vent. When you have an ally you can share feelings and thoughts with without feeling judged, then you definitely will be in a better position to take control of the stressful state. Expressing how you feel about the process loud might not do much in stopping the liquidation or insolvency process but it does help relieve anxiety. You will feel calmer and relaxed when you share your deepest feelings with a trusted friend.

5. Accept things that cannot be changed. The liquidation process might be inevitable, but instead of regretting certain decisions you made in the past, it should be time to focus on areas that can be changed to improve the situation. Let go of issues that you can do little to change and focus on turning the situation around to your advantage.

6. Create a plan even in the tough situation. Don’t let the liquidation be the end of the world for you. Start by identifying areas that need help and find professional help and advice to help you pick the pieces. A qualified and experienced liquidation consultant should be professional enough to help you build a winning plan for the future of your business.

GAAP Vs IFRS

After the stock market had crashed in 1929 our federal government had established the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It was the SEC’s job to help develop and standardize financial information that would be presented to stockholders. The SEC now requires all public companies to adhere to GAAP. Although they have the power to enforce GAAP in the private sector, they decided to allow the American Institute of CPA’S (AICPA) to enforce financial standards. The AICPA established the Committee on Accounting Procedures and the Accounting Principles Board. These two organizations failure to narrow areas of difference and inconsistency in GAAP had led to the creation of the Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB).

GAAP includes a mixture of over two thousand documents that have been urbanized over the last 70 years or so. All of these documents have made it very hard to research certain topics in GAAP without obtaining old or incorrect answers. FASB was able to solve this problem by constructing the FASB’s GAAP Codification. This had organized all authoritative U.S. GAAP in a single location. It made GAAP research much more effective and efficient by providing one place for all literature related to different accounting topics. It simply changed the way GAAP is documented, presented and updated. It did not create any new GAAP but eliminated nonessential information like reductant document summaries, conclusion sections and historical content.

Companies outside of the United States often prepare financial statements using standards different from U.S. GAAP. The two sets of accounting rules accepted for international use are GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IFRS was issued by the London-based International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). U.S. companies overseas are permitted to use GAAP and foreign companies listed on the U.S. exchange are required to use IFRS. Although GAAP and IFRS are quite similar most parties find that global markets will benefit from only one set of accounting standards being used. Over 120 countries around the world have adopted IFRS and the European Union requires all of its companies to use it. The SEC believed since most companies throughout the world are using IFRS that they would require all U.S. companies to use it by 2015. It is now 2015 and the U.S. is still adhering to GAAP. There is hope for a conversion of the two systems with the official obligation of both FASB and IASB to converge GAAP and IFRS. The two boards have acknowledged some short-term and long-term projects that will jump start the conversion. These projects have involved each sides system adopting rules of the other sides system, making GAAP and IFRS more consistent.

Generally U.S. GAAP is identified as being more rule based where IFRS is seen as more principle based. Recently with the attempt to converge the two systems FASB has issued a short-term project with a rule that permits a fair value option for financial implements. On the other hand IASB has finalized a short-term project associated with borrowing costs, which has made IFRS more regular with GAAP. There have been many long-term projects that relate to issues of revenue recognition, the conceptual framework and leases. These projects are merely just a step in the right direction for the long-term goal of converting GAAP and IFRS into one set of accounting standards to be used throughout the world.

Converging into one set of accounting standards is easier said than done. This is most likely why the date the SEC had originally set had been pushed back. There are many different accounting topics and many disagreements that may arise between FASB and IASB. For example one of the major difference between U.S. GAAP and IFRS is that U.S. GAAP functions in an atmosphere with real methods and IFRS favors accrual methods. U.S. GAAP uses real methods primarily because firms are less able to adjust earnings when they are spiraling downward. This forms a more effective way of detecting error in financial records and also creates enforcement of efficient reporting. Real methods give outside investors more creditable ideas on values of firms. Firms that are seeing a decrease in earnings may favor IFRS accrual method because of these reasons. With that being said there may be a lot of unhappy firms out there if IFRS sides with U.S GAAP on this topic. There is a large amount of topics that IASB and FASB will have to decide upon but both side will have to compromise if they truly want to converge into one set of accounting standards for the global market. Who knows when the complete convergence will happen?