Atlanta Shoppers Take Advantage of Expiring Credit for New Appliances

A new washing machine is the really expensive equivalent of getting a pair of socks or underwear for Christmas. It's not fun per se, but it's useful - especially if you can buy said washing machine before Dec. 31.

For the past 24 months, shoppers have been able to get back 30 percent - or up to $1,500 - of the money spent on energy-efficient products like dishwashers, windows, refrigerators and more. It's been an easy way for short-on-cash Americans to upgrade to modern and more environmentally-friendly appliances, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. But it's about to disappear. To get the discount, homeowners must have eligible products installed and ready to go by the last day of 2010.

So if you've been mulling over upgrading some of the appliances in your home, it might be time to start hinting to your significant other about what you want for Christmas - or to take matters into your own hands and head to the home improvement store. You won't just get the tax credit, but you'll also be able to take advantage of the savings that come from better efficiency. For instance, a new refrigerator uses less than half the energy of one 12 years or older, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Over the 10-20 year lifespan of a new appliance, it can pay for itself by lowering your bills.

Unless, of course, you manage to erase all of those savings with interest. While our grandparents used to save up cash for big purchases like new refrigerators and washing machines, our generation tends to put them on our credit cards. Not necessarily because we're impulsive or lazy, but because we've got so much credit card debt already that we can't afford to pay cash for anything else - so we keep using credit, and our bills keep growing.

Fortunately there's another government-sanctioned way to save money - and this one doesn't expire. Bankruptcy has the power to lower your bills so you can wean yourself off plastic. It has the ability to protect your home from foreclosure and your assets from seizure. It's also your constitutional right as a U.S. citizen. Find out if bankruptcy is your one-way pass to financial freedom when you sign up for a free personal debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.

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