Consequences of Concealing Assets in Bankruptcy

September 17, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A Palm Beach couple is facing criminal charges for attempting to hide pricey assets, such as jewelry and silverware from bankruptcy court. The couple filed Chapter 7 in 2008 hoping to discharge $2.9 million in debt. Dr. Richard Krugman heads a medical practice in New Jersey that lost a $4.3 million judgment to an insurance company. The couple claimed available assets of less than $13,000, but a court review found significantly more than that.

According to the federal criminal complaint, the couple fraudulently failed to disclose that they owned the following pricey items:

• A woman’s gold wedding band with two carats of diamonds.
• A woman’s platinum hoop earrings with pave diamonds.
• A woman’s gold cocktail ring with blue stone.
• A woman’s silver bangle bracelet.
• A man’s Swiss army diving watch.
• A Royal Doulton China set.
• A high-end silverware set.
• A Waterford Crystal glass set.
• A Lalique leaf bowl.
• A Lalique caviar bowl.
• Two George Rodrigue “Blue Dog” lithographs, signed and numbered.

As a result, the bankruptcy court refused to grant them a discharge. Now the couple could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for excluding these assets. The defendants intend to plead guilty.

This should come as a warning to anyone who plans to hide assets from the bankruptcy court and their attorney. Bankruptcy trustees are experts at finding undisclosed property, vehicles, boats, jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. If you are caught trying to hide assets, the consequences are big. Your discharge will be denied, and you will be unable to discharge the debts you listed in a subsequent bankruptcy filing. In addition, the potential penalty for bankruptcy crimes include fines and imprisonment of up to five years.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/bankruptcy-trustee-find-property-not-in-bankruptcy-paperwork.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2014/09/15/couple-faces-criminal-charges-for-hiding-pricey.html?ana=e_sflo_bn_breakingnews&u=um2Eyo72dYSImvglWn/0xO6wsIE&t=1410970294

Florida’s “New” Foreclosure Initiative Favors Banks not Homeowners

September 15, 2014 Posted by kingcade

In the past year, Florida judges have been working under explicit directions from the state Legislature and Supreme Court to get rid of old foreclosure cases and clear the court dockets- largely by awarding tens of thousands of homes to the banks.

The state’s so-called “foreclosure initiative” is set on clearing the court system of cases and cutting the time it takes banks to foreclose. This is a nightmare for many underwater homeowners struggling to hold onto their homes.

State legislative and judicial leaders have ignored the ramifications of foreclosing on thousands of families and turning these properties over to the banks. In an attempt to clear the backlog of foreclosures, the state has set up a parallel legal system in which judges hear only foreclosure cases — often more than 100 motions a day — in courtrooms set up solely for that purpose.  In another twist, the rules will differ from those that guide civil law in other types of cases in Florida and across the country.

Homeowners and foreclosure defense attorneys are outraged, saying “the state’s entire court system is being compromised” and they are not getting a fair hearing in a legal system that is favoring the banks from start to finish. In statements from the bench and other public forums, judges have made it clear that speed is their top priority. The rights of homeowners come, at best, second.

The state Supreme Court set a target of disposing of 256,000 foreclosure cases each year for three years. That works out to about 700 cases per day. The courts have gone as far as to hire retired judges solely to hear foreclosures and case managers. These clerks and judges schedule hearings and trials even if both parties do not consent.

According to data collected by the state, one judge in Broward County closed 786 cases in a single day! Overall, Florida judges disposed of 193,922 foreclosure cases in the first nine months.  Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of those judgments were against homeowners.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://www.newsweek.com/floridas-foreclosure-nightmare-269526

Senior Americans Burdened with Student Loan Debt

September 11, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The student loan crisis is not just affecting young college graduates, it is reported that a growing number of aging Americans are struggling to pay their student loans. Even a senior’s social security benefits become fair game for lenders when borrowers cannot keep up with their payments.

Among Americans ages 65 to 74, 4 percent in 2010 carried federal student loan debt, up from 1 percent six years earlier, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released. For all seniors, the collective amount of student loan debt grew from about $2.8 billion in 2005 to about $18.2 billion last year.

Student loan debt hits seniors especially hard because many of them are also struggling with other challenges such as health problems, divorce and job loss. Some went back to school in hopes of making a higher salary, or co-signed on loans to help fund their children’s education.

The GAO found that about 80 percent of the student loan debt by seniors was for their own education while the rest was taken out for their children or other dependents. Federal data revealed that seniors were more likely to default on loans for themselves compared with those they took out for their children.

The GAO found that about a quarter of loans held by seniors’ ages 65 to 74 were in default. In addition to docking Social Security benefits, the government can use a variety of collection methods to recoup student loans, such as docking wages or taking tax refund dollars.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at http://www.miamibankruptcy.com

Related Resources:
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/older-americans-struggle-student-debt

FICO’s New Credit Score and What it Means for Home Buyers

September 10, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Following the 2008 housing crash, your credit score now plays a major role in the home buying process. Having a low credit score can result in borrowers having a higher mortgage interest rate and sometimes not qualifying for a loan at all.

FICO’s new credit score model is expected to change all that. The upgrade, called FICO 9 is likely to result in a seismic shift in credit reporting, helping those who have had less than perfect credit.

FICO 9 will be released this fall and will be less sensitive to medical collections information reported to credit bureaus. According to FICO, the median FICO score for consumers who only have medical collections on their credit report will increase by 25 points with the changes.

The new model also drops collection agency accounts that are paid off either in full or via a settlement. In addition, under FICO 9 people will be able to get a credit score even if they lack credit history.  Credit bureaus will instead be able to pull their phone bill or cable bill. This will tell lenders if the applicant is at risk of defaulting or if they have a good track record of paying their bills on time.

Mortgage experts do not anticipate FICO 9 having a dramatic increase in new home sales, but they do say, “It will help a set group of people secure a loan or get better terms.”

Under the current FICO score, a settled collection account can drop a score down low enough to not qualify for a mortgage. Under FICO 9, borrowers who could not pay their debt in the past but are now back on track, will not be penalized for past credit mistakes.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/09/10/what-fico-new-credit-score-formula-means-for-home-buyers/

Is it better to file bankruptcy BEFORE or AFTER foreclosure?

September 9, 2014 Posted by kingcade

If you plan to file bankruptcy and are also facing foreclosure, the timing of your bankruptcy can make all the difference- depending on whether you want to keep your home. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect. This freezes all collection activities against you, including any collection attempts from your mortgage lender. Once the automatic stay goes into effect, creditors cannot take money from you or pursue any lawsuits against you. Even collection phone calls and letters violate the automatic stay.

If you file for bankruptcy before your home is sold at foreclosure, the automatic stay will prevent the foreclosure from moving forward. This will also allow you to stay in your home longer and add to the time it takes the lender to sell your home.

If you do not want to keep your home and your bankruptcy is complete before the foreclosure, this can give you peace of mind.  You will not need to worry about any lingering deficiency balance once the foreclosure goes through. Bankruptcy will eliminate this. Even if you try and negotiate a loan modification with the bank and do not succeed, you can still walk away without owing anything.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://www.thebankruptcysite.org/resources/is-it-better-file-bankruptcy-before-or-after-my-home-fore

BOA’s $17 Billion Mortgage Settlement Explained

September 8, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Bank of America has agreed to a legal settlement with the Department of Justice to avoid prosecution for hundreds of billions of dollars in bad mortgage loans, making it the largest corporate legal settlement with the government in U.S. history. The total “on-paper” cost of the deal is reportedly as high as $17 billion. But many are calling the deal deceptive. In reality, the settlement is unlikely to cost BOA anywhere near that amount. Much of the deal will be tax deductible and half of its cost is made up of actions on behalf of homeowners that are in the bank’s best interest- not in the form of cash refunds that will cost the bank money.

So what does this settlement mean for struggling borrowers and underwater homeowners? While the details are still being worked out, the deal includes roughly $9 billion in cash payouts and $7 to $8 billion in “consumer relief” actions such as mortgage write-downs and refinancing for struggling borrowers. These consumer relief provisions do not require the bank to spend money they would not already spend in the normal course of business operations. For BOA, helping people stay in their homes and keep making payments is better for the bank’s revenue than foreclosing on struggling homeowners.

The settlement requires BOA to relax loan terms, reduce principal amounts and destroy abandoned properties that are hurting property values. Even at face value, the reported settlement is minuscule compared to the harm caused by Bank of America companies. The on-paper cost of the deal is less than 7 percent of the value of the mortgage deals Bank of America and its subsidiaries Countrywide and Merrill Lynch made before the housing crisis that have since gone bad.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/08/07/3468558/bank-of-america-deal-shrinkage/

Avoid Making these EXPENSIVE Student Loan Mistakes

September 5, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Student loans have become a necessary evil for many students wanting to attend college or graduate school these days. A number of students fall into the gap of being “Too Poor to Afford College, Too Rich for Financial Aid.” There are two detrimental mistakes that many graduates are making when it comes to their student loan debt.

1.) Delaying the Inevitable. There are very few ways to get out of paying your student loans, even with the student loan forgiveness programs available. Waiting to pay back your loans, just allows them to grow. Interest will accrue and the debt will grow over time. Even waiting 1-2 years after graduating could cause your loan balance to increase by 10%. So instead of waiting until you earn more money or find a better job, negotiate with your lender to work out a repayment program that works for you.

Ask your lender if you qualify for any income based repayment plans or pay as you earn programs. In many cases, you could have $0 repayment until you start earning more money. This will help you map out a plan to have your student loan debt forgiven after a set number of years, and also keep your payments manageable until then. It is estimated that roughly 5 million borrowers qualify for these income based repayment plans or pay as you earn programs. However, only about 700,000 borrowers are enrolled in these programs.

2.) Paying for Student Loan Help you do not need. More and more businesses are entering the “Student Loan Forgiveness” and “Student Loan Consolidation” market. It’s a booming business!  Unfortunately, many of these can be classified as student loan scams. These companies advertise on TV and radio that they can help struggling borrowers qualify for student loan forgiveness programs or lowering their monthly payments through consolidation.

What many of these companies are doing is charging borrowers anywhere from $200 to $1,500 (or more) a month to fill out paperwork that you can fill out yourself. Instead of paying these companies, call your student loan provider yourself. For Federal student loans, the servicing companies have very specific rules they must follow for offering repayment plans, forgiveness programs, and consolidation. Bottom line, you should NEVER pay for student loan consolidation out of your own pocket. If you have Federal student loans, you can get a consolidation loan for free through StudentLoans.gov.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at http://www.miamibankruptcy.com

Related Resources: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertfarrington/2014/08/29/two-expensive-student-loan-mistakes-to-avoid/

Debt Collectors Come under Fire in Recent Lawsuit

September 2, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed its first lawsuit against Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, a debt-collection firm, based in Marietta, GA. The firm is accused of violating federal consumer protection laws, processing more than 350,000 credit card collection complaints against consumers, some of whom may owe nothing or owed less than was claimed.

These collection practices are widespread. Roughly 77 million Americans have debt in collections, according to a recent study published by Urban Institute. CFPB officials say the regulator may sue law firms if they operate as debt-collection businesses rather than legal advisers.

The vast majority of borrowers sued in these cases do not appear in court and as a result, many of the cases end in a default judgment allowing the collector to garnish wages, freeze bank accounts or put a lien on property. These judgments can be difficult to correct.

CFPB officials are weighing regulations that would impose tougher requirements on debt collectors to establish they have the right to collect on a debt and ensure the amount is accurate. These rules would also impact banks and debt buyers as well.

Legal experts say the suit could signal the regulator’s intent to target similar high-volume law firms, and potentially banks and debt buyers, over allegations that debt collection claims can be out of date, incorrect in their amounts, lacking in documentary support or overlapping with claims filed against the same debtors.

If you are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://online.wsj.com/articles/regulator-targets-legal-debt-collectors-1407105604

Miami Mortgage Fraud Scheme Costs FHA $50 Million

August 29, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Greater County Mortgage Bankers owner Hector Hernandez was indicted along with seven of his employees for a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme.  Wire fraud charges were filed against developers Armando Bravo and Aleida Fontao.

The indictment states that the defendants secured fraudulent mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration from 2006 through 2008.   The loans included exaggerated income and financial statements.  Hernandez, the owner of the mortgage company allegedly used false documents such as phony earning statements to qualify borrowers, who otherwise would not have qualified.

Hernandez was also accused of giving borrowers kickbacks after closing on condominiums.  The majority of the Great County loans defaulted and went into foreclosure.  The scheme cost the FHA over $50 million, as these loans were guaranteed.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any
questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade &
Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/morning-edition/2014/08/mortgage-company-owner-real-estate-developers.html?ana=e_sflo_rdup&s=newsletter&ed=2014-08-29&u=um2Eyo72dYSImvglWn/0xO6wsIE&t=1409325203

 

Miami Heat Star Dwayne Wade’s Suburban Home Facing Foreclosure

August 26, 2014 Posted by kingcade

NBA star Dwayne Wade’s former suburban Chicago home is facing foreclosure. According to TMZ, the Miami Heat guard is worth approximately $100 million, and brings in roughly $30 million a year.   So you are probably wondering, why the foreclosure?  Wade lived in the 7,800 square foot home with his wife and children until 2007, when the couple divorced.  Just last year Wade settled with his ex-wife for $5 million and relinquished ownership of the home.

His wife receives $25,000 a month in spousal support. After being awarded the house last year, Wade’s ex-wife stopped making payments on the mortgage and this month the bank filed a foreclosure notice for the $225,000 balance. Since Wade’s signature was on the original mortgage papers, the bank is asking him to pay up, but the NBA star’s attorney has stated that his client has no further payment obligations on the home.

The six bedroom, seven bathroom home is currently listed at $1.2 million.  The South Holland home sits on a 3.2 acre lot, has a sports theater room, exercise room, a sauna, a pool and includes a two bedroom guest house. The listing also mentions that “some custom furniture may be for sale by the owner.”

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2014/08/21/buy-nba-star-dwyane-wades-foreclosed-home-for-12m.php