A Win for Consumers! Elderly Couple Wins $1 Million in BOA Lawsuit over Harassing Debt Collection Calls

December 18, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Nelson and Joyce Coniglio were called repeatedly and endured years of harassment after they fell behind on their mortgage payments in 2009. According to court documents, for more than four years the couple received approximately 700 collection calls from Bank of America’s automated robo calling system.

The automated system also dialed each number that the couple had available- home phone and cell phones, leaving messages on each one. The collection calls would come at all times of the day and night, leaving the 69-year-old couple completely overwhelmed and feeling helpless.

When Bank of America was not bombarding the couple with relentless and harassing phone calls, they were mailing them letters threatening foreclosure. The Coniglios say they even sent letters to the bank asking them to cease all phone calls, but the calls continued.

Fed up, the couple decided to take action, using the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which outlines the manner in which these collection companies, agencies, and banks collect on money owed to them.

The judge awarded the elderly couple exactly $1,051,000 in monies due, including court costs and other attorney fees related to the suit.

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. 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://abcnews.go.com/US/couple-wins-1m-suit-major-bank-outrageous robocall/story?id=27542208

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Receives “Superb” 10.0 AVVO Rating

December 16, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based law firm of Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has received the “Superb” 10.0 AVVO rating in the area of bankruptcy law, the highest rating an attorney can receive.

The rating is calculated using a mathematical model, which takes into consideration the years an attorney has practiced law, their professional achievements, discipline history and industry recognitions. The rating is completely objective and unbiased. Attorneys cannot pay or petition the site to have their rating changed, which makes AVVO one of the most respected lawyer rating services in country and an invaluable legal resource for consumers.

In addition to earning the “Superb” 10.0 rating, Timothy was awarded the 2014 Clients’ Choice Award. To receive this honor, an attorney must have received five or more exceptional client reviews within the last year.

Attorney Kingcade practices in the field of bankruptcy law, handling Chapter 7 filings and foreclosure defense cases for the Southern District of Florida. As an experienced CPA and proven bankruptcy attorney, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover.

AVVO was founded to empower consumers to make smarter, more confident legal decisions. It is a free legal directory that gives consumers access to first-rate, personal legal advice from the best lawyers in the country.

###

Miami-based Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. (www.miamibankruptcy.com) was established by managing partner and attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, foreclosure defense and personal injury claims. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care. Additionally, all attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish.

Music Producer Jermaine Dupri Facing Foreclosure

December 12, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Jermaine Dupri who has produced hits for artists including Usher and Mariah Carey is reportedly losing his multimillion dollar Atlanta mansion. Foreclosure documents reveal the songwriter / rapper failed to make monthly payments on the 19-room, 9,441-square-foot home. He reportedly owes $2.5 million.

Public records show the property is valued at nearly $3.7 million. This is not the first time the music producer has faced financial troubles. His mansion was up for foreclosure and set to be auctioned in 2011 and 2012. Both of those sales were canceled. Dupri has lived in the home for 10 years.

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.

Foreclosure Evictions on Hold for the Holidays

December 10, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Homeowners in danger of losing their homes are getting an early Christmas present this year from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.   The two mortgage giants are putting a temporary hold on all foreclosure-related evictions between December 17 and January 2, 2015.

While evictions will come to halt during this period, all legal and administrative proceedings will continue, including filing notices of default and scheduling auction sales.  If a foreclosure sale is completed during this time, families will not be forced to leave their homes until after January 2, 2015.

JPMorgan Chase said it will also hold off on evictions until after the holidays.  In the past, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other big mortgage lenders have also followed suit.   These banks have yet to announce anything for this year.

Click here to read more on this story.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/09/real_estate/christmas-eviction-moratorium/

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.

5 Steps to Take after Bankruptcy

December 8, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Once your case is finalized and you receive your bankruptcy discharge, there are some important steps you should take to help ensure a secure financial future.

1.) Collect and preserve all paperwork from your case. You should have received a full copy of your petition from your attorney, approximately 40-50 pages of detailed financial information, including the facts about debts and assets involved in your case. You should have received a notice of bankruptcy filing directly from the court along with a copy of your discharge order entered by the bankruptcy judge. This is important to have because lenders typically like to see a copy of the bankruptcy papers when considering you for new credit- particularly mortgage lenders. It is also important to have in case anyone attempts to collect on an old debt in the future.

2.) Check / Monitor your credit report for errors. You can access your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies for free. Wait three to six months after you receive your bankruptcy discharge to do this. You want to make sure that all of your discharged debt is being reported to the credit bureaus, so you are not shown to have outstanding debt. This is especially important if you are applying for new credit.

3.) Start a budget. Create a basic budget to better understand your income and expenses. You may remember the Means Test from the bankruptcy paperwork that compared your income and expenses over a six-month period. The concept was to identify those who really had the means to pay their debts, but who were living an extravagant lifestyle financed on credit cards and other debt. Oftentimes, bankruptcy is caused by unexpected expenses, including medical bills caused by illness, loss of income from job loss and divorce. Once you have created a realistic budget, start planning out financial goals for the future.

4.) Start an emergency fund. Once you have established your budget, you should make sure and have a portion of your income set aside for savings.  As the fund grows, you can begin putting some of it aside for retirement or a college savings account.

5.) Consider new credit. When applying for credit, start with a small credit limit and monitor your charges carefully. Charge no more than you can pay in full each month. Unplanned debt is where people get into trouble.

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. 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://finance.yahoo.com/news/5-things-bankruptcy-110053558.html

NHL Blue Jackets Defenseman, Jack Johnson’s Shocking Bankruptcy

December 3, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Jack Johnson, defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.   In the bankruptcy filing, Johnson claims assets of ‘less than $50,000’ and debts of ‘more than $10 million,’ although sources say the debt could be closer to $15 million. According to reports, it has been nearly four years in the making, after a string of risky high-interest loans taken out by his parents.

In 2008, Johnson parted ways with his agent Pat Brisson. With no agent and little knowledge of financials, Johnson turned over control of his money to his parents.  According to reports, before Johnson signed his seven-year, $30.5 million deal in 2011, he granted power of attorney to his mother, Tina Johnson, and allowed her full control of his finances.

Johnson’s parents allegedly each bought a car, spent more than $800,000 on upgrades to a Manhattan Beach property and racked up traveling expenses attending his games.  Jack’s parents also purchased a home in Manhattan Beach, California, with his money but without his knowledge.  In addition, Johnson’s parents borrowed $15 million against their son’s future earnings.

Because Johnson’s name is on the loans, he has been sued at least three times for more than $6 million.  According to documents filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District Court of Ohio, 27-year-old Johnson has little left of the almost $18 million he has earned throughout his nine-year NHL career. Even $5 million of Johnson’s future earnings have been seized as a result of the tremendous amount of debt incurred.  Court documents show a list of creditors with unsecured claims totaling more than $1.68 million.

Whenever Jack would question his parents about documents he received in the mail or calls he would receive, they would simply tell him not to worry about it and focus on playing hockey.

Johnson’s story proves as a cautionary tale.  Professional athletes, dealing with extreme and sudden wealth at such a young age can be daunting.  Oftentimes, athletes with limited educations can end up spending beyond their means, getting caught up in the lifestyle or even making poor investments, which can ultimately drain their accounts.

Jack Johnson made none of these mistakes.  Instead, the two people he trusted most in the world betrayed him. This case is rare, as few athletes are victimized the same way Johnson was, by their own family.

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. 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.si.com/nhl/2014/11/20/jack-Johnson-bankruptcy-sad-but-common-story-for-athletes

 

Common Filing Concerns & Bankruptcy Exemptions

November 24, 2014 Posted by kingcade

One of the most common concerns people have when filing for bankruptcy is that they will lose everything. At Kingcade & Garcia, we understand these concerns and want to put your mind at ease. Since 1996, we have helped more than 15,000 Miami-Dade County clients handle their Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.

Bankruptcy laws were created to give hard-working people a fresh financial start. Whether you have fallen on hard times as a result of a sudden illness, divorce and / or unemployment, federal bankruptcy laws were created to help consumers and families get back on their feet and provide relief from burdensome debt.

A common question people have about bankruptcy is: What assets will I be able to keep? Many people are mislead to believe that bankruptcy can only make problems worse by causing them to lose their home, vehicles or their ability to ever qualify for credit, again. This could not be further from the truth.

In fact, those filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can keep almost everything.  Depending on your specific case, Florida bankruptcy laws allow you to keep the following:

• Homes
• Cars
• Retirement accounts
• Pensions
• Wages
• Personal property
• Savings
• Veterans or workers’ compensation benefits

If you have any questions on the topic of bankruptcy exemptions or 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.

Ocwen Financial Corp. Accused of Illegal Foreclosure Practices

November 19, 2014 Posted by kingcade

There were 700,000 foreclosures nationwide last year and some of those didn’t need to happen.  Even six years after the housing market crash, mortgage companies are still making mistakes and foreclosing on homes when they should not be.  Ocwen Financial Corp., one of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers, is under investigation in a new lawsuit over its treatment of homeowners facing foreclosure.  The class action lawsuit alleges Ocwen has been charging mark-ups, illegal fees and unfairly pushing homeowners into foreclosure.

This is ironic; because for years Ocwen has claimed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.  They even trademarked the slogan, “Helping homeowners is what we do!”

The case has been filed in a federal court in Florida and is seeking class-action status.   The lawsuit alleges that Ocwen is charging illegal fees.  Ocwen, oftentimes follows a pattern, usually beginning with a small problem, a mix-up with an escrow account or a homeowner simply misses a few payments.

Ocwen has charged plaintiffs late fees that it was not permitted to charge under the terms of the mortgage agreement.  The suit claims Ocwen also forced upon borrowers a second insurance policy through one of its own affiliates, and alleges that the company has been improperly steering profits to itself through this affiliate company.

One exhibit in the lawsuit is a plaintiff’s monthly statement asking for a payment of $73,000. Documents show that regulators are looking into thousands of loan-modification letters that likely caused homeowners “significant harm” because Ocwen back-dated them. Back-dating the letters made it look like the homeowners had missed their opportunity to avoid 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.

Related Resources:

http://www.npr.org/2014/11/18/364131391/firm-accused-of-illegal-practices-that-push-families-into-foreclosure

Consumer Protections: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act & Florida’s Wage Garnishment Exemptions

November 17, 2014 Posted by kingcade

When you are struggling to make ends meet financially, it can be frustrating to have debt collectors calling you or even worse, having your wages garnished. A strong federal law, called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, protects consumers against certain unfair collection practices, which include:

• Calling you repeatedly to annoy or harass you.
• Trying to collect more than you owe.
• Fail to send a written notice of the debt.
• Threatening violence.
• Threatening dire consequences (i.e. – lawsuits, criminal prosecution, wage garnishment, jail time, permanently ruining your credit).
• Using profanity and abusive language.
• Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
• Revealing debt to third parties (i.e. – family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc.).
• Contacting you at your work, after you have requested them to stop.
• Failing to verify disputed debts.
• Ignoring cease communication requests.

Following the 2008 recession, Florida legislatures have made changes in the laws to help individuals and families struggling to keep their homes and stay out of debt. Under Florida Statutes Section 222.11, there are specific exemptions laid out for those who are having their wages garnished by creditors, the IRS and hospitals.

Section 222.11 provides exemptions from wage garnishments if:

• You are the head of the household and earn more than $750 a week in disposable income (unless the person agrees to this in writing).
• If you are exempt from wage garnishments, your accumulated income deposited in a financial institution is also exempt for six months after the deposit.
• Any persons not considered “head of the household” are also exempt from having 75 percent of their earning garnished (over six-month period).
• If the head of the household does earn more than $750 a week in disposable income, creditors cannot garnish wages unless they receive written permission specified under the statute.

If you have any questions on the topic of wage garnishment 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://blog.credit.com/2011/04/eleven-ways-a-debt-collector-may-be-breaking-the-law-18624/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o-ci9nVEgA

Medical Debt Responsible for the Majority of Bankruptcy Claims in the U.S.

November 12, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Consumers may be surprised to find out that it is not credit card debt that is the leading cause of bankruptcy, but medical debt. According to a recent study, Americans pay three times more in third-party collections from medical debt each year than they pay for bank and credit card debt combined. This year alone, approximately 51 million Americans will be contacted by a debt collection agency about a medical bill- that’s roughly one in five! This means more than $1 out of every $3 paid to third-party collectors is for medical debt.

The study conducted by NerdWallet Health also indicated that many of the people who are facing medical debt are being mistakenly overcharged. In fact, the study found hospital billing errors with overages of up to 26%. These billing errors were even more prominent with Medicare patients.

The study highlighted that Medicare Compliance reviews conducted by the Office of the Inspector General found that none of the hospitals they audited fully complied with Medicare billing requirements, with nearly half (49%) of the Medicare claims containing billing errors.

Considering that American households have lost $2,300 in median income, while health care expenses have increased $1,814, it would be wise for American consumers to take more initiative in understanding their health insurance packages. Out-of-pocket spending on healthcare is expected to accelerate to a 5.5% annual growth rate by 2023. That is double the growth of GDP.

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a step in helping consumers avoid medical bankruptcies, by eliminating the underwriting process and subsidizing healthcare health care for those who would otherwise be uninsured- it can cause problems for individuals and families who choose the wrong plan.

According to health care experts, the average deductible for a silver plan can be upwards of $3,000 for an individual or $6,000 for a family — and that is just for in-network care. While 2015 out-of-pocket expenses are capped at $6,600 for an individual and $13,200 for a family, plans may impose separate out-of-pocket maxes — or have no max at all for out of network doctors and hospitals. Given the narrow network of approved providers within these plans, it becomes a likely scenario that an individual will at one point accidentally visit an out-of-network doctor or clinic and then be stuck with a large bill.

It is important consumers know that the ACA offers an external appeals process for health plan decisions, which provides recourse to individuals who face large medical bills after undergoing medical care that was not covered by their health insurance plan. A recent study in California even found that nearly half of such insurance denials were overturned in favor of the patient after review by an external board.

Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney 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.mainstreet.com/article/medical-debt-is-responsible-for-the-majority-of-bankruptcy-claims-in-the-us

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/bankruptcy/can-file-bankruptcy-eliminate-medical-bills.html