Foreclosures decreased in Broward, Palm Beach Counties last year

January 30, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Foreclosure cases dropped sharply in South Florida last year, another sign the housing market is recovering. Broward County had 6,287 filings in 2014, a 42% decline from 2013 and Palm Beach County had 3,920 filings, down 55 percent from the previous year, according to RealtyTrac.

Some real estate experts predict a new wave of cases this year, but it will not be enough to derail the housing market recovery- and it may even be a good thing because it will put more homes on the market for avid buyers. Others argue that these foreclosed homes typically are not in good condition because of poor maintenance, and a fewer number of foreclosures and a steady increase in property values will reduce the number of “desperate sellers.” A decline in these desperate sellers could mean we see better quality homes hitting the market.

Although total filings fell 24 percent in Florida last year, the state still ranked No. 1 in foreclosures nationwide, with 2.3 percent of all Florida housing units receiving a notice in 2014.

Click here to read more on this story.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/realestate/fl-realtytrac-foreclosures-20150115-story.html

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.

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes are Seizing Control over Patients

January 29, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Lillian Palermo did her best to prepare for end of life care. She arranged for her power of attorney and health care proxy to be her husband, if she ever became incapacitated. Now in her 80’s, her husband Dino, eight years her junior, feeds her home-cooked Italian meals, sings her favorite songs and pays a private aide to be there when he cannot at the Catholic nursing home in Manhattan.

Last summer, after he disputed nursing home bills that had suddenly doubled his wife’s co-pays, and complained about the inexperienced employees who dropped his wife on the floor, Mr. Palmero was shocked to find a six-page legal document lying on her bed. It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Many people are unaware that a nursing home can take such a step. However, interviews with system veterans and a review of the guardianship court data show this practice has become routine, shedding light on the growing power nursing homes have over residents and family members amid changes in the financing of long-term care. At least one judge has ruled this tactic by nursing homes is an abuse of the law, but the petitions, even if they are ultimately unsuccessful, force families into costly legal battles.

Mr. Palermo, 82, was devastated by the petition. A court evaluator eventually reported that Mr. Palermo was the appropriate guardian, but not before his legal expenses reached $10,000. In the end, Medicaid’s recalculation put his wife’s monthly co-pay at $4,558.54, almost $600 less than the nursing home had claimed, but far more than the $2,642 Mr. Palermo had been paying under an earlier Medicaid calculation. As soon as the nursing home cashed his check for the outstanding balance, it withdrew the guardianship petition.

Click here to read more on this story.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/26/nyregion/to-collect-debts-nursing-home-seizing-control-over-patients.html

If you 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.

New Rules Limit Hospitals’ Collection Fee Tactics

January 28, 2015 Posted by kingcade

The Obama administration has adopted a new set of rules to discourage nonprofit hospitals from using aggressive tactics to collect payment from low-income patients. These new rules require nonprofit hospitals to offer discounts, free care or other financial assistance to low-income patients. In addition, hospitals are required to try and determine whether a patient is eligible for assistance before the case is referred to a debt collector, negative information is sent to a credit agency, a lien is placed on the patient’s home, filing a lawsuit or seeking a court order to garnish a patient’s wages.

The rules apply to nonprofit hospitals that are seeking or have tax-exempt status, about 60 percent of hospitals nationwide. Because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has endorsed these new rules, health care lawyers believe this could set an industry standard, influencing the practices of for-profit hospitals.

These new rules should make it easier for low- and moderate-income patients to get valuable medical care without having to worry about a large hospital bill or collection agency harassing them for money they do not have. The rules do not prevent a hospital from engaging in lawful debt collection; however, it does require hospitals to first evaluate a patient’s need for financial assistance. In addition, each nonprofit hospital must establish and publicize in a written policy stating who is eligible for financial assistance and how patients can apply.

Many people are just one medical emergency or illness away from a financial crisis. In fact, medical bills are the number one reason people file bankruptcy. For those struggling with the financial weight of a health crisis, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a way for you to eliminate all of your medical bills in only a couple of months, and start fresh!

Click here to read more on this story.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/12/us/politics/new-rules-to-limit-tactics-on-hospitals-fee-collections.html?_r=1

If you are burdened with medical debt and wondering how Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help, 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.

How to Bounce Back after Foreclosure

January 27, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Going through a foreclosure can be a traumatic experience, but it doesn’t mean you can never own a home again. If you have recently been through a foreclosure, here are some ways you can bounce back and put yourself back on the path to homeownership.

• Clean up your credit. The first step on the road to recovery is rebuilding your credit score. According to a recent study by FICO, the higher your credit score before the foreclosure, the longer it takes to fully recover. For example, a homeowner with a credit score of 680 would take around three years to get back to their pre-foreclosure credit score. But a homeowner who started out with a score of 780 would require seven years after a foreclosure to return to their pre-foreclosure credit score. The best way to repair your credit is to keep using credit- RESPONSIBLY. To avoid missing a payment, set up automated payments. The biggest mistake people make is cutting up their credit cards or closing out lines of credit. This leaves you with a large gap in your credit history. Lenders want to see that you are using credit regularly in a responsible way.

• Putting in the time. You will need to find a lender willing to offer you a mortgage. Some government backed loans can help speed up the process. For many people, an FHA loan will be the quickest path back to homeownership. After a foreclosure, the government requires a three-year waiting period before you can qualify for another FHA-backed loan. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans have an even longer wait time. Those lenders both require a seven year period before you will be considered for a new loan. There are exceptions. For example, if you can prove that the foreclosure was the result of an unexpected job loss or a death in the family.

• Tax Obligation. It comes as a shock to many that the federal government considers a forgiven debt as a form of income, which means you may have to pay income tax on a foreclosure. Congress passed a law in 2007 that exempted up to $2 million in forgiven debt in most cases of foreclosures. The law expired at the end of last year, but if your foreclosure was finalized before then, you will likely be in the clear. Even if you do not qualify under this act, there are other exceptions. For instance, in cases of bankruptcy the government will not pursue you.

Click here to read more on this story: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/01/23/how-to-bounce-back-after-foreclosure/

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.

Former NFL Player Receives Prison Sentence for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

January 26, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor, was sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a $7 million loan modification scheme that affected thousands of homeowners. In addition to his prison term, Taylor was ordered to pay more than $350,000 in restitution to the victims of the fraud.

Taylor, who also played football for the University of Miami and lives in Fort Lauderdale, pled guilty to the charges in late 2014. The scheme was reportedly organized by the operator of FHA All Day.com, Jason Vitulano, Housing Assistance Law Center and Safety Financial Corp. The defendants allegedly defrauded more than 2,000 struggling homeowners out of millions of dollars through fraudulent loan modifications in 2008 and 2009.

Taylor reportedly acted as the team manager of four telemarketers who made thousands of phone calls to homeowners offering to reduce their mortgage payments or stop the foreclosure process for a fee paid to FHA All Day.com.

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.

Get your tax refund EARLY! E-filing for Taxes begins TODAY

January 20, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Looking to receive the fastest tax refund possible? You can prepare and e-file your 2014 tax return on efile.com. This will ensure you receive the fastest tax refund the IRS allows; you can even have the funds directly deposited into your bank account. Electronic filing is the safest way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get your refund. Seventy-two hours after your tax return is accepted by the IRS, you can track your tax refund.

As many Americans use their refunds to purchase expensive electronics or long-awaited vacations, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that more than 200,000 households use their tax refunds to file bankruptcy. This spike in bankruptcy filings towards the first part of the year has been attributed to the increased cost of filing, after U.S. bankruptcy laws changed in 2005. Families have been forced to delay filing until they can afford to pay the fees, according to the NBER.

Since changes to the law in 2005, the average cost of legal and administrative fees jumped from $921 in 2005 to $1,477 just two years later, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The law was changed to prevent bankruptcy abuse. It was thought that too many people who could afford to pay their debts were taking advantage of the system. Since then, fewer people have filed for bankruptcy, but that does not mean these changes have reduced abuse of the system. The people who really need bankruptcy are the ones who are unable to afford the filing fees.

Last year the average tax refund was $3,096, enough for many distressed Americans to file for bankruptcy and get the necessary help they need.

If you 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.efile.com/tax-day-deadlines/
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/story/2012-04-12/tax-refund-filing-for-bankruptcy/54227664/1

Stricter Penalties for Federal Employees who do not pay their taxes

January 19, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Just in time for tax season- the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has said that Federal employees who refuse to pay their federal taxes should face stricter penalties for their actions. According to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, 100,000 federal employees do not pay their federal taxes every year, and one of his priorities as a newly elected government official is to strengthen the penalties they will face.

So how big is the problem? According to Chaffetz, this loss accounts for roughly $1 billion a year that is not collected from federal employees because they choose not to pay their federal taxes.

For the last several years Chaffetz has pushed legislation that would allow agencies to fire or prohibit them from hiring people who owe federal taxes. Chaffetz said while the IRS has the ability to fire employees who owe federal taxes other agencies do not. He wants to expand that power to all agencies.

Click here to read more on this story.
http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/management/oversight/2015/01/09/chaffetz-chair-tax-delinquent-feds/21494577/

If you 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.

Debt Collection Agency held accountable for improper collection practices in NY

January 16, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Encore Capital Group Inc., a buyer of consumer debt, recently agreed to settle claims that it used improper collection methods in New York. According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the company obtained judgments against New York consumers for debts that were too old to collect.

Under the settlement, Encore will have to throw out more than 4,500 improperly obtained judgments totaling almost $18 million. In addition, the company will be required to reform its practices and pay civil penalties of $675,000.

Encore is a debt buyer that purchases unpaid consumer debts, such as credit card debts from the original creditor or from other debt buyers at deeply discounted prices.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you 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.

Credit Karma expands credit-reporting access

January 14, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Credit Karma has announced that it has increased users’ free access to their credit reports. The company will now offer two of the nation’s three largest credit-reporting agencies and updating them on a weekly basis. This move comes just in time for those making New Year’s resolutions to improve their personal finances this year. The new service will also be helpful for those who plan to take out a mortgage in 2015, by allowing them to closely monitor changes to their credit information.

Credit Karma has added credit reports from Equifax in addition to reports from their longstanding relationship with TransUnion. Credit Karma offers members access to the following credit information: credit card utilization, payment history, derogatory remarks, age of credit history, total accounts and credit inquiries. Access to this information is empowering for consumers, not only for financial education but offering them transparency with their credit reports and scores.

Click here to read more on this story.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/12/credit-karma-report-score-equifax-efx-mortgage.html

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.

Texas Borrowers Jailed for failing to pay back Predatory Loans

January 13, 2015 Posted by kingcade

At least six people have been jailed in Texas for defaulting on their payday loans, according to public court records. Texas Appleseed, an economic advocacy group, found that more than 1,500 debtors face criminal charges in the state- even though Texas enacted a law in 2012 prohibiting lenders from using criminal charges to collect debts.

According to documents, 1,576 criminal complaints were issued against debtors in eight Texas counties between 2012 and 2014. These complaints were often filed by courts with minimal review and based solely on the payday lender’s word and inconclusive evidence. As a result, borrowers have been forced to repay at least $166,000, to the group found.

In 2012 the Texas legislature passed a law explicitly describing the circumstances under which lenders are prohibited from pursuing criminal charges against borrowers. In Texas, failure to repay a loan is a civil, not a criminal, matter. Payday lenders cannot pursue criminal charges against borrowers unless fraud or another crime is clearly established.

However, according to Texas Appleseed’s new analysis, payday lenders continue to routinely press questionable criminal charges against borrowers. In response to these findings, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau spokesman Sam Gilford said, “Consumers should not be subjected to illegal threats when they are struggling to pay their bills, and lenders should not expect to break the law without consequences.”

Despite being against state law, the data show that criminal complaints are an effective way for payday lenders to get borrowers to pay. Of the 1,576 criminal complaints Appleseed analyzed, 385 resulted in the borrower making a repayment on their loan. This deceitful strategy in using criminal charges to coerce money from borrowers means that payday lenders have a financial incentive to file criminal charges against debtors with alarming regularity — even if those charges are eventually and rightfully dismissed.

Texas is not alone in taking this approach. In 2011, The Wall Street Journal discovered that more than a third of states allow borrowers to be jailed, even though federal law mandates that loan repayment be treated as a civil issue rather than a criminal one.

If you 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.creditandcollectionnews.com/viewer.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2014%2F12%2F29%2Ftexas-payday-lending_n_6355602.html