May 2015
     Phone Number: 877-600-9743
Spanish Speaking: 714-835-5155
Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook    Visit our blog

Practice Areas

Tips For Effective Debt Management

In a sluggish economy, it can become commonplace to rely on credit just to meet your daily obligations. The problem with doing this is that when not paid off in full every month, even a small balance can soon spiral out of control. Bankruptcy is a viable option for those in over their heads financially, but for some there is the desire to exhaust all possible solutions before seeking the protection offered by bankruptcy. Managing your debt in a way that works for your budget and keeps you out of bankruptcy is an individual choice, and there are several methods that will help you reach your goals.


Picking a debt management method that works for you can be overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, the following synopsis of a few popular methods is helpful:

  • Snowball method: this method requires the debtor to pay off the highest interest rate debt first, then apply that monthly payment to the next highest rate debt.
  • Quick and easy: when some of your debt is made up of several balances, some of which are small, paying off the smallest balance first and then focusing on higher interest rate debts is a good method.
  • Stacking: this method requires minimum payments to be made on all debt, but putting all extra cash to the highest rate card. Once paid off, the next highest card is targeted for repayment.

The snowball and stacking methods are usually used together to pay off debt. The quick and easy method works well for those that need to see instant results.  The key is to find what works for you and then see it through. It can also be beneficial to keep a written record of your progress so you can easily see when your goals are being met. Debt management takes discipline and sacrifice, but that does not mean you have to go without rewards. Giving yourself a small reward when a goal is reached will help keep you on track and give you something to work towards. Keep in mind though that you should not incur additional debt to reward yourself, so get creative and come up with things you enjoy that have little or no cost. Maybe you allow yourself an extra 10 minutes of sleep on the weekends, or take an extra jog to get your blood flowing. Once you get the hang of it, debt management can become a way of life instead of a "chore". We have experience helping people develop plans that will provide a bright financial future, and are here to help you too.

Important Changes to "Jessica's Law" 

In 2006 California voters went to the polls and 70% of those voting to enact a law that places certain restrictions on sex offenders. The law increased penalties for sex crimes, added to the legal definition of what constitutes a sex crime, and also imposed certain geographical limitations on those defendants convicted of a sex crime. In everyday conversation the law is referred to as "Jessica's Law", or Proposition 83. While some parts of the measures were reasonable and necessary, some of the restrictions imposed significant hardships on criminal defendants. Most notably, the restriction that a convicted sex offender not be allowed to live within 2,000 feet of a school or playground made it hard for those convicted of these types of crimes to find adequate housing. 



The result was that many of the defendants falling within this category became homeless, without adding any increased protections for the targeted group: children.


To remedy this flaw in the law, the California Supreme Court  recently handed down a decision that changed parts of Jessica's Law. The changes struck down the geographic prohibition on the residence as unconstitutional. The result of this decision can best be summed up as:

  • Sex offenders are no longer required to live outside the 2,000 feet restriction.
  • The Department of Corrections can still impose other residency requirements for those on parole.

When a restriction is placed on a parolee, it must be related to the terms of the probation. The change is also not applicable to high risk sex offenders, who are still prohibited from living within half a mile of a school. A high risk offender is one where the age of the victim is under 14. While the original law was limited to San Diego County, the Supreme Court's recent ruling makes it clear that the prohibitions are unlawful in every county. The ruling is a win for sex offenders, and will help these defendants find appropriate housing and give them access to valuable community resources such as, 



drug and/or alcohol treatment and medical care. If you have questions about how these requirements impact you, call our office for more information.


Knowing how the law applies to the specifics of your case helps you plan for your future, and stay on track with the terms of your probation or parole. Our experienced team of legal professionals stays on top of the latest criminal laws and knows how to apply any changes to your case. Call us today to schedule an appointment to learn more.

"Mr. Serafano is kind and courteous. He is an excellent criminal defense attorney."
- Chananel Nakasaka

"I endorse this lawyer. Don is an excellent lawyer. He is one of the best in the business."
- Joseph Higuera

"Donald is an excellent and experienced attorney who will successfully litigate cases. In addition, Donald is a honest and personable. I highly endorse this lawyer."
- Linda Luna

For more information on how to manage debt, call our office to speak with a trained professional. Schedule an appointment today and take back your financial future!


9841 Irvine Center Drive

Irvine, CA 92618

Ste. 140

1666 North Main Street

Santa Ana, CA 92706 

Ste. 320