First Quarter Housing Market Trends

May 2, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The housing market has continued to make improvement in the first quarter of the year.  Home prices have increased, helping homeowners accumulate equity.  Based on the first quarter trends of 6% home price gain, another $1.3 trillion in housing equity could be added to homeowners’ wealth this year. It has been a positive quarter for the housing sector, particularly for homeowners.

The spending growth for home improvement, including new home construction, rising brokerage commission income, more use of moving trucks and lawn care, and even increased consumer spending for many things arising from homeowner housing wealth accumulation are helping keep the economy afloat.

Another good sign- mortgage default rates are on the decline. The number of people late on their mortgage payment by only a month was 2.35% in the latest quarter, the lowest in at least 40 years when this data was first collected.  In addition, the share of homes with new foreclosure proceedings fell to 0.36% of homes with mortgages – the lowest in over a decade.

The sense of stress is among renters.  Rents have been outpacing income growth for the past four years.  The strict credit requirements are holding many renters back from converting into homeowners. Another factor holding first-time home buyers back is student loan debt.  That is a big reason why the homeownership rate remains at a near 50-year low, at 63.6% in the first quarter.

Among those under the age of 35, the ownership rate fell even more and was 34.2% in the latest quarter. Renter households in the meantime have been increasing upwards by an additional 9 million in the past decade while homeowner households have been reduced by a million.

The trend of more renters and fewer homeowners is occurring at a time of rising home values and housing equity gains. Many interpret it as a loss of The American Dream and attribute it to the rising wealth inequality.

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.

 

 

Lawsuit Alleges Orlando law firm violated rules on bankruptcy fees

April 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The KEL law firm is facing a lawsuit alleging it routinely allowed clients to pay bankruptcy legal fees using credit cards, a violation of bankruptcy law.  Credit card purchases are considered new debts and new debts are prohibited in the days before filing for bankruptcy and during the bankruptcy process.  That is because bankruptcy courts often erase a filer’s credit card debt, which means the nation’s banking system would be on the hook for KEL’s legal fees.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, contends that KEL “uses standardized procedures when attempting to collect attorney’s fees by charging credit cards prior filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.” It seeks the return of all bankruptcy fees paid by credit card—the amount of which is cited at $1,700 in the suit—and $1 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit states an Orlando resident paid his bankruptcy fees to KEL using a Discover credit card and a BJ’s credit card.  During the course of the filing, the debtor decided to switch to a new law firm, which noticed the prior fee payment on the credit cards to KEL.  Jacksonville law firm Mickler & Mickler filed the proposed class action on behalf of the debtor.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all 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.abajournal.com/news/article/ex_client_sues_law_firm_says_it_allowed_bankruptcy_fees_to_be_paid_by_credi

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/brinkmann-on-business/os-kel-firm-bankruptcy-fees-lawsuit-alleges-20160420-story.html

How quickly can you refinance your Mortgage after Bankruptcy?

April 28, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The rules have changed over the years regarding how quickly you can refinance a mortgage after bankruptcy. If you are underwater on your mortgage, meaning your mortgage is more than the current value of your home, your only refinance option will be through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). The earliest you can take out a new mortgage guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac following a bankruptcy is two years.

Freddie Mac’s guidelines say, the “waiting period” for reestablishment of credit after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is 48 months from the dismissal date, but this period is only in effect if the bankruptcy was “caused by financial mismanagement.”

If the bankruptcy was due to illness, income loss, etc. and not due to overspending, the period will be 24 months from the discharge date. Fannie Mae has similar rules in effect of two years from the discharge date or four years from the dismissal date.

If you are unable to meet Fannie or Freddie’s guidelines, you may be eligible for an FHA-backed refinance. You will need to document “one year of the pay-out period under the bankruptcy has elapsed, that your payment performance has been satisfactory and all required payments have been made on time, and you have received written permission from the bankruptcy court to enter into the transaction.”

This one-year waiting period is thanks to the “Back to Work Program.” Here’s how you qualify:

  • You meet all the typical FHA loan requirements;
  • You can properly document the issues that led to your financial hardship;
  • In the last year you have re-established your credit;
  • You have completed HUD-approved housing counseling.

What about refinancing while you are still in bankruptcy? For starters, the bankruptcy court will need to grant you permission to take on new debt. To be able to proceed, you will need to file a motion with the court. Although described differently in each court district, you are essentially filing a “motion to incur debt” or “motion to refinance secured debt.”

Start by working with the attorney who handled your bankruptcy filing, they will be familiar with your case and know the motion paperwork needed in your district.

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 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.

Murphy Bill will Stop Garnishment of Social Security Benefits to Pay Student Loans

April 27, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A bill has been introduced by U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy that will prevent social security benefits from being garnished to repay student loan debt.  Murphy says it is a problem that needs to be addressed and believes expanding higher education opportunities and protecting Social Security benefits are key to bolstering the middle class.

In the fiscal year that ended in October, 860,000 individuals had their Social Security benefits reduced to pay for federal debts, with the federal government collecting $382 million, according to the Senate Finance Committee. This number included attempts to collect other debts besides student loans.

According to the General Accountability Office, the number of people whose Social Security benefits were reduced specifically to pay off student loan debt increased from 31,000 in 2002 to 155,000 in 2013. The numbers for those older than age 65 increased from 6,000 to 36,000 in the same period. Some of those were paying down debts incurred to educate their children through co-signing or Parent PLUS loans. In fact, people older than 65 owe $18.2 billion on student loans.

The Murphy Bill is a step in the right direction, but still falls short by failing to alleviate the debt for seniors.  Consumer advocates believe the real solution is a change in the law to permit unsustainable student loan debts to be discharged in bankruptcy.

Click here to read more on this story.

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 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.

Homeowners BEWARE: The Latest Foreclosure Rescue Scam- Securitization Audits

April 26, 2016 Posted by kingcade

There are many struggling homeowners on the brink of foreclosure, and scammers have been there to capitalize on it, offering “mortgage elimination” or other foreclosure tactics that in some cases are illegal.  One commonly advertised service is a Securitization Audit.

A number of companies have been pushing “forensic loan audits.” Since knowledgeable attorneys and homeowners recognize these “audits” are basically useless, scammers are now peddling, securitization audits. The supposed reason given for a ‘securitization audit’ is to determine the true owner of a promissory note. Allegedly, with this information, the homeowner can show a court that the party actually foreclosing on a mortgage is not the actual note owner.

These scammers are charging fees for information that is free to everyone.  There is absolutely no need to pay for a securitization audit, but the scammers are counting on the fact that the average homeowner does not know that.

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.