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What Constitutes Knowledgeable Possession?

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money |

When you’ve hired a digital forensics professional to track down old financial files or other information, it’s often very important to make sure that you have knowledgeable possession of the file. There are four main factors that will determine whether or not you or the forensic professionals have knowledgeable possession of the files. You only need to have one of these to have attained this status.

1. You Can Perform Timeframe Analysis

Timeframe analysis is when you are able to identify exactly when the file was last accessed and on what date. This is helpful because for businesses, you can often determine who had access to the computer on that date, and then use security cameras to figure out who accessed the computer at that specific time. This will help reinforce any evidence that you find on a person’s computer by proving that he or she was indeed the one who altered the file.

2. Check the Contents For User Identification

If you can’t perform timeframe analysis, then you can always check the contents for user identification. Examples of user identification could be unfinished resumes, personal bank account numbers, a social security number, and other information that would definitely identify the person who had been modifying the file. 

3. Check For Non-Default File Locations

Suppose that you’re looking for proof that someone was evading their taxes and had tax forms that didn’t match those that were put out by the IRS. User created files will always have the name of the person who created them in their “Properties” tab, or at least the label “Owner” on them. For example, if a person downloads his or her tax forms off the Internet and saves them in a folder labeled “Taxes” rather than the “Downloads” default folder, then a folder tag will be created with the name of the computer user who created. This is most helpful for shared computers.

4. Check For Password Matching

If an employer suspects that an employee is downloading information on his or her own time and finds a password protected folder, he or she could determine that the employee created the folder if the password that is protecting the folder is similar to the one that the employee uses to log into his or her own account.

For more information, contact a company of digital forensics professionals (such as http://www.eppsforensics.com). They will be able to help you determine if you have knowledgeable possession, or help you obtain knowledgeable possession if your case needs it.

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4 Ways To Protect Your Personal Banking Account From Overdrafting

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money |

Are you tired of paying fees for overdrafts? Overdraft fees can quickly stack up, especially if your balance is negative for multiple days. Still, you should never have to overdraft as long as you are careful. Follow these tips to protect your personal banking account from overdraft problems.

1. Put Your Automatic Bills On Your Credit Card

Many people automatically draft bills from their checking account, but this can lead to overdrafts — especially when the bill is much higher than they expect. If your mobile phone bill and your electricity are both much higher than usual, will your transactions begin to bounce? A credit card is ideal, because it gives you time to review the transaction before you actually pay it. 

2. Avoid Using Your Debit Card For Purchases

Debit cards should be avoided for purchases for two reasons: they can overdraft your account by taking a few days for the debits to transfer, and debit transactions are harder to get overturned if you have issues later on. If you need to reverse a credit card transaction, it’s usually far easier. Debit cards also shouldn’t be used online for security reasons — if your debit card number is stolen, your account can be emptied and you’ll have to fight to get the money back.

3. Request Bank Checks Rather Than Writing Checks

Do you have a problem with forgetting checks that you’ve written? Many people do, especially as checks become more infrequent. Rather than writing out a check, you might want to consider getting a check directly from your bank. You can request a bank check at the teller window; it will be debited from your account immediately so that there is nothing to track, and it will still be written to a specific person so it is secure. 

4. Get A “Sweep” Account

If you have both a savings and checking account, consider looking into sweep accounts. A sweep account is a checking account that will “sweep” funds from another, related account, into itself rather than overdrafting. If you find yourself juggling savings and checking transfers, this is likely the solution.

You can also turn off overdraft protection on your account entirely, but this is inadvisable. When you turn off overdraft protection, none of your transfers will go through if you don’t have the funds. This can lead to very difficult situations, such as having a $900 rent check bounced because you only had $895 in your account. Most of the time, bouncing a check is not preferable to paying off a small fee.

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Want To Pay Down Your Mortgage This Summer? 4 Ideas To Consider

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

If you are trying to pay down your mortgage this year, summer time is a great season to make some extra money. The summer season is an optimal time to take advantage of several ways to raise extra capital that can be used towards your mortgage principle, especially because the children are out of school and can help. Here are a few methods you may want to consider:

1. Have a Community Rummage Sale

Summer time is a great time to organize community rummage sales. The weather is beautiful, people are interested in getting their homes cleaned out, and the children are home to give you a hand. Go through your entire house and sell anything that you know you aren’t using. Even if it is something you think no one would every buy, put it in your sale anyway. Your trash may be another person’s treasure.

2. Get a Part-Time Job

Many businesses begin hiring part-time help during the summer months, especially in retail and food service. Try to find a small part-time job you can do two or three evenings a week. The money you earn will quickly add up to a nice boost to your mortgage payment.

3. Use Alternative Transportation

Summer is notorious for its beautiful weather, so why not take advantage of it? If you are within walking distance to any of your regular stops, ditch the car keys and walk instead. The less you use your vehicle, the more money you save in gasoline and car maintenance. Not to mention it is great exercise.

4. Start a Side Business

If you have a special talent that someone will pay for, you may want to start your own side business to make extra money for your mortgage. If you play piano, offer lessons to local children in your area. If you are a teacher, offer your tutoring services during the summer. If you enjoy baking, you may want to sell cakes and pastries for all of the summer events that are coming up. Think about some things you enjoy doing and figure out a way to get paid for them.

These are only a few ways you can raise some extra money this summer to put towards your mortgage. Even if you only raise a few hundred dollars, you will be that much closer to paying off your home. Make a little extra effort to be frugal and you will notice that you may be able to get your house paid off in no time. To learn more about paying off your mortgage, contact Commonfund; Mortgage Corp

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4 Ways To Protect Yourself From Checking Account Fraud

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

Checking account fraud happens more often than people think. In fact, over 500 million checks are forged each year in the US. If you are not careful you can easily become a victim to this crime. Luckily, there are a couple things that you can do to protect yourself from checking account fraud. Here are some things you should do.

1. Protect Your Checks

You should never leave your checkbook lying around the house, or in your car. You should protect your checkbook like you would cash or your credit card. Someone could easily take you checkbook and write checks under your name, or get your bank account information and use it for their benefit. This is why you should keep your checks in a safe place, and only use them when you have to.

2. Use Online Bill Pay

Many banks have started using a process called online bill pay. This allows you to send bills from your checking account. The great thing about this option is that the bank can verify the check so that you are sure that the check came from you. This allows you to set your checkbook aside and just have the bank do the work for you.

3. Use Online Banking

With online banking you can see everything that is going on in your bank account. No longer do you have to keep track of every penny, you can see the activity of your account as often as you want. The bank may not always catch problems since they don’t know what purchases you did and didn’t make. Instead, you should be checking frequently to make sure that you authorized every transaction and if there are any problems, call the bank immediately.

4. Never Print Your SSN On Your Checks

You should use the bare minimum information on your checks. Some people think it is best if they print their SSN on their checks, but this can get you into a world of trouble. All the seller needs for your check is a way to contact you, your bank number and the amount you wrote the check for. Don’t give anyone more information that is necessary. In addition, never give out this information to anyone unless your bank tells you to.

By doing these simple things you can protect yourself from bank fraud. If you ever have any concerns or are worried that you might have been victimized, talk to a place like Visterra Credit Union right away. They have precautions set in place to protect you. 

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DIY Credit Repair: Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

If you have poor credit, then you may find it difficult to get approved for loans–especially those with reasonable interest rates. If you’re tired of your less-than-perfect credit score looming over your financial life, then you might be wondering what steps you can take to gradually increase your credit score over time. Aside from working with a professional credit repair service, there are some specific credit mistakes you can avoid making over the next few years to help salvage your credit.

Cancelling Credit Card Accounts

Misuse of credit cards is often what gets people into problems with their credit scores in the first place. As such, it makes sense that many people turn to cutting up their credit cards and cancelling their lines of credit in an effort to increase their scores. However, not using your lines and closing accounts can actually make things worse. Instead, the best thing you can do is scale down your use of credit cards to the point that you can pay off at least the minimum balance (if not the entire balance) with each bill.

Not Monitoring Your Credit Report

Believe it or not, credit reporting bureaus make mistakes on credit reports from time to time. As such, it’s up to you to monitor your credit and be on the lookout for mistakes. The best way to do this is to utilize a free credit monitoring service, which will alert you to any changes on your report as they happen. If you do run into any mistakes on your report, you can then file an official dispute with the reporting bureau to have them corrected.

Turning to Bankruptcy

Finally, don’t make the assumption that filing for bankruptcy will take care of all of your financial woes. In many cases, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Filing for chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy should only be seen as a last resort–and you should never file without first consulting with a financial advisor. After all, a bankruptcy isn’t going to help your credit. It will actually have the opposite effect and result in a significant drop in your credit score.

As you can see, there are many mistakes that you’ll want to be careful to avoid as you work to increase your credit score. By doing so and by working with a professional credit repair company, you’ll be well on your way to a better score in no time. Talk to experts like Nationwide Credit Repairs for more information.

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Three Ways A Payday Loan Can Save You Money

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

Emergencies can happen that affect your personal finances in temporary ways, and this unforeseen expense can create a shortage of money during the month. When you take care of an emergency expense, you will likely take funds from another area of your budget. This will likely make you short of cash for a monthly bill. This problem can be solved with a payday loan, and you will save money at the same time. There are three situations in which a short-term loan will do this.

Avoid a late fee on your rent or mortgage

If you will be short of money in paying your mortgage, you will incur a late fee. The chances are that a short-term loan will cost less than a late fee on your mortgage, so you will save money. The same will hold true on paying your rent; however, in the case of a mortgage payment, a late payment will also affect your credit rating.

Avoid a late fee on a car loan

A late fee on your car loan will likely be high enough to justify getting a short-term loan. It may be tempting to call your lender and let them know you will be late. In some cases, they may let you make two payments the following month. But this type of strategy will cost you a late fee and additional interest. A smarter choice is to get short-term loan. You will likely save money, and your credit will be unaffected.

Prevent your car insurance from lapsing

This is huge. If the one bill you come up short on is your car insurance payment, you can easily have your policy cancelled. Many insurance companies now report cancelled auto insurance policies to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Upon receiving this information, they can cancel your vehicle registration. This will result in a fine that must be paid in order to have the registration reinstated. This fine is usually several times greater than the flat fee charged for a payday loan. Of course, if you get caught driving without insurance, you will face additional fines and penalties.  

Always remember to first look at the amount of money it will cost you by not paying a bill on time, and then look at how much the loan will cost you. If this is less than the late fees and other charges you incur for not paying on time, then a payday loan will likely be a smart choice for your personal finances. For more information, contact a local payday loan company like #1 Cash Stop.

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