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People will make bad decisions and financial wellness suffers. They decide to use forbearance to manage a college loan or pay a medical bill before the health insurer has paid its share. It is unfair to say those with debt are frivolous spenders. However, it is safe to assume they don’t know what to do. Access to the right information is important.

So Many Options

Unreliable sources of information and online “experts” will give ideas that may not be good. Trouble arises when an individual is financially illiterate. His or her choices can be the result of believing the wrong money guru or a poorly written financial blog. No relationship develops. The online advisor addresses a general audience and rarely works with an individual. It is easy to make financial mistakes when there is a lot of information and no one to help sort the good from the bad. Continue reading

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Government does not dominate our lives, but it influences our decisions. Ordinary people rely on government services at local, state, and federal levels. Public bureaucracies do not have a great sense of urgency: things are done methodically and deliberately. The slow pace drives people crazy. The best group legal plans assist with public agencies as a pre-paid legal services benefit.

Walking through a Public Labyrinth

A government agency for most people is nothing but cubicles and doors. It’s hard to find the right public employee and time is wasted in the search. Certain public services have specific application deadlines. Those who are a day late may need to start over again. This is frustrating when major activities such as property tax appeals are delayed. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services knows how important speed is in obtaining required services. We help with public agencies as a Group Legal Plan benefit.

Proactive Countrywide Services

We have a nationwide network of lawyers who will provide help. These professionals practice law in a client’s community and are readily available for a personal conference. Continue reading

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The start of the new school year reminds many recent college graduates of an obligation they must meet. They financed their education through a series of loans that met the cost of tuition and other expenses, but that left them in a mess. The financial wellness of many is under a burden of payments which can last for decades.

An Educational Experience That Is Stressful

College is the first time many young people are away from home. Regrettably, it is also the first time these people confront a major, life-changing, debt. The FAFSA forms were tough enough to complete. Loan papers that were signed and perhaps cosigned by parents committed the students to a payment plan that would start in a few years.

You can’t blame a person for taking out a student loan. It is the only way to pay for the required college education for many. Not all the students understood what was required of them in the loan applications. As graduates, with the six-month grace time now over, they need to find ways to stretch their budget. Continue reading

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The market is not perfect. Products and services might be defective or have poor quality. Group legal plans offer benefits to help with many legal issues. It is all well and good, but consumer protection is a pre-paid legal service benefit many Plan members need.

Protected by Paper

We expect good quality in what we purchase, but we do not always get it. Appliances may arrive with defective belts or poor electrical wiring. The same is true for computer equipment. Software might contain glitches and even malware. Products are not the only potential problem area. Service given in health care facilities or offices of financial services can be substandard.

Posting bad reviews on consumer boards is a common practice, but it isn’t always enough to prevent later problems. Complaints filed with consumer protection agencies are more effective. The process can be frustrating. There are forms to be completed and evidence must be furnished to the proper public authority. Continue reading

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Consumers enjoy using credit cards. It is certainly convenient to buy with plastic and it is much safer than carrying a lot of cash. Nevertheless, credit cards can be dangerous in the hands of the wrong person. Even though credit cards make shopping easier, they pose a serious threat to anyone’s financial wellness. Here is how it happens.

  1. Retailers Want You to Use Your Credit Card

The reason is very simple: you are going to spend more with a credit card at the store than if you use cash. People are nowhere near as thrifty if there’s a special sale which encourages you to use your credit cards. While this ordinarily happens at Christmas time, consumers can run up a hefty balance on their cards with just a few shopping trips. The balances must be paid and the minimum monthly payment can become substantial.

  1. Forgetting to Pay the Monthly Bill Has Consequences

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 has reduced some of the negative impact of not paying your credit card bill on time. However, the credit card company can still charge a penalty for a late payment and impose a penalty APR (Annual Percentage Rate) that can be as much as 29.99% for an indefinite period. Continue reading

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Settling agreements with a handshake alone is not just old school; it is ancient history! This is not your grandfather’s society, and everything must be in writing. Contracts, leases, warranties, licenses, and all other types of arrangements are drafted in specific language that can be very confusing to an ordinary person. Group legal plans recognize that the average person is not a legal scholar. It is why document review is such an important pre-paid legal services benefit.

Legal Paper Scares People

We are told all the time how to read the fine print and avoid bad deals. The trouble is that too many people don’t understand even the plainest language in a legal document. It happens because the terminology is not in modern language. Instead, phrases used in the past are found in the text and these Latin words are important and have consequences. An individual can easily get trapped into a bad deal or purchase useless services because he or she is unfamiliar with the terminology. It helps to have a lawyer look at the papers. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services includes legal document review among its Group Legal Plan options.

Working with Experienced Professionals

Countrywide has a nationwide network of attorneys to provide the pre-paid legal services. These professionals will review contracts and legal documents up to six pages long. That is enough for most plan members. Continue reading

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Financial wellness is elusive for some of us. It seems as if as soon the books are balanced, there is a major medical bill or credit card invoice in the mailbox. Unexpected debt will cause carefully made financial plans to go out the window.

No one wants to lose control over their finances but breaking even every month isn’t easy. There is a secret to maintaining financial wellness. It is twofold and hidden in plain sight.

  1. Financial Information

Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services has a benefit which is committed to establishing financial wellness. Collecting data is the first step on the road to healthy finances. Our network of certified counselors performs that task for a plan member. Continue reading

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Capital One was a recent victim of hacking. Approximately 100 million subscribers were compromised, and their personal information was stolen. A theft this large should remind all of us about the magnitude of the danger posed by Internet pirates.

Cyber theft is a multi-billion-dollar crime industry. Hackers live anywhere on Earth and do business with global clients. Purloined data is sold in batches and bogus credit card accounts are created for dishonest use. Individuals’ existing bank and credit accounts are exploited. Most victims don’t know of the crime until they receive their monthly statements.

Companies will offer Group Legal Plans and Pre-Paid Legal Services. They don’t always provide Identity Theft Prevention or Credit Monitoring Plans. A victim often must restore credit ratings and financial integrity alone. It is a long process and can be stressful. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services offer Group Legal Plan benefits to organizations. We also offer Identity Theft and Credit Monitoring services to individuals. Continue reading

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The Los Angeles Times recently reported about a growing dissatisfaction with medical deductibles. Middle-class families are being squeezed by deductibles of $5000 or more. These costs can result in financial wellness emergencies as people struggle to pay a sizable bill.

The Increasing Debt Load

Deductibles are reinstated annually. If you paid all the deductible of your insurance policy in 2018, you started 2019 with the entire deductible required payment once again. This renewal will impact treatment and therapy which crosses over into the new year. It explains why the cost of a medical procedure can be thousands of dollars despite existing health insurance.

People get nervous when the final medical bill shows up. The stress level increases if  bill collectors start calling. Hasty decisions about paying can damage anyone’s financial wellness. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services appreciates how desperate some folks might become. We have a benefit that can ease a person’s troubled mind and prevent the wrong choices from being made. Continue reading

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Group legal plans have benefits that assist people in everyday legal problems. Pre-paid legal services such as drafting wills and consumer protection are standard options. Nevertheless, a good employee benefit must have more than just primary aid. A good group legal plan will have secondary benefits which support the main ones. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services offers comprehensive help to the employees of our clients.

Access to Required Help

There must be more than a call center for people who have legal issues. The law is a service best rendered in face-to-face conferences. This is not easy if the primary service providers are far away. Countrywide uses a nationwide network of attorneys. What is nice about our arrangements is the attorney practices law in the same community as our client. A face-to-face conference with a Countrywide attorney is convenient and easy to arrange.

The plan member may get nervous in the meetings and forget to ask some questions. Ordinarily, a follow-up telephone call is a billable service but not when it comes to the Countrywide benefit. We will allow an unlimited number of telephone calls on a given situation. That way, there is less confusion or misunderstanding about the assistance provided. Continue reading