RealtyTrac Reports Foreclosure Activity “Flat” in May

June 24, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions were reported on 100,841 properties in May, a number virtually unchanged when compared to April and a decrease of 21% from a year ago.  RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report reveals May was the eighth consecutive month with a “year-over-year” decrease.

Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Nevada were the states with the highest number of foreclosure filings for the month.

A total of 42,279 properties started the foreclosure process in May, down 3% from the previous month and down 18% from the previous year, according to RealtyTrac’s report. It was the 11th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease.

A total of 34,014 bank repossessions were completed in May, up 1% from the previous month but still down 24% from a year ago. It was the third consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in bank repossessions.

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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.

Certain Private Student Loans Eligible for Discharge in Bankruptcy

June 23, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Just because your so-called private student loan uses the term, “student loan” it doesn’t necessarily mean it is one.  In fact, for purposes of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, a student loan must be from an “eligible educational institution” to be considered non-dischargeable. If it does not qualify, discharging the loan can be easier than you think.

A student loan must meet specific bankruptcy code requirements. U.S. Bankruptcy Code states a private student loan must be a “qualified education loan, as defined in section 221(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.”

The student loan must be from an “eligible educational institution.”  The Department of Education publishes a list every year of the qualifying schools. If an institution is not on the list, the loan is not considered a “student loan” under the Bankruptcy Code. Therefore, it can be automatically discharged in bankruptcy.

So how do you know whether your student loans are from a qualified educational institution?

  • Make sure you know what type of loan you have. This argument only works for private student loans. Just because your loan is with Sallie Mae or Navient does not signify whether it is a federal or private loan. Go to the National Student Loan Data System, and check if your loan is there.
  • If your loan is a private rather than a federal student loan, the next step is to see if the loan is from an “eligible educational institution.” The Department of Education publishes a list every year. You will need to locate the list for the year you received your student loans and see if your school is on there.
  • The law is not always “black and white” when it comes to discharging student loan debt. Oftentimes, it is left to the interpretation of judges on a case-by-case basis. Private student loan debt is the most problematic debt in America. Many courts are finding private student loans should also be considered as an “educational benefit” as that term is understood in the Bankruptcy Code.

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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.

Shady College Practices could Erase Student Loan Debt

June 22, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Proposed federal legislation will now make it easier for student borrowers, who have been cheated or misled by their college or university, to have their student loan debt forgiven.

The proposed rule changes announced last week by the U.S. Department of Education are part of an ongoing crackdown on the alleged abuses by for-profit colleges and universities.

Major provisions of the proposed debt-relief rule include:

  • An easier way to seek relief from federal student loans when a college has committed wrongdoing. The current “defense to repayment” process is complicated and subject to different rules depending on the state. It went largely unused until the collapse of Corinthian Colleges in 2015. As of today, more than 23,000 claims for student loan debt forgiveness have been filed, and the government has wiped out more than $42 million in debt for more than 2,000 borrowers so far.
  • Allowing group applications for debt relief in cases where there is school-wide wrongdoing. Currently, each student is required to file individually.
  • Requiring schools to warn current and prospective students if former students have poor loan repayment rates.
  • Doing more, sooner, to inform students whose schools have closed that they may qualify to have their loans forgiven.
  • Completely banning school agreements under which students sign away their right to sue schools and agree to participate in an arbitration process instead of notifying regulators about problems.
  • Requiring schools at financial risk to set aside funds, via irrevocable letters of credit, to cover the cost in case students eventually are due debt relief because the school fails to keep its promises to students. Conditions are set that would trigger the requirement (i.e. – a government entity filing a major suit against the school or the school relying too heavily on federal student loans.) Schools that activate these so called, “triggers” would be required to warn current and prospective students that they are at financial risk. Currently, when schools declare bankruptcy, taxpayers are responsible for the forgiven loans.

U.S. Education Secretary John King said, “These rules should make schools think twice,” about misleading students or engaging in risky enrollments.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, praised the proposed rule, which is subject to a 45-day comment period, as “a victory for students.” These protections will stop for-profit colleges from using fine print to deny students their right to a day in court.

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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.

Former CEO of Monarch Mortgage indicted on seven counts in federal court, including bankruptcy fraud

June 21, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Edward “Ted” Yoder, former CEO of Monarch Mortgage, faced a federal judge on seven charges, including bankruptcy fraud. The judge told the former bank head that he did not qualify for a court-appointed attorney, for which tax dollars would pay.  Yoder was picked up by ten FBI agents, wearing a shirt that read, “Some guys have all the luck.”

Many people in Hampton Roads trusted him with their money for their most prized possession- their home.  Now he is being accused of illegally handling funds. Court records accuse Yoder of hiding money, property and investments collectively valued at more than one million dollars from bankruptcy trustees.

Essentially, the case alleges when Yoder filed for bankruptcy, he concealed some of his assets by hiding them in another person’s account.

Yoder’s co-conspirator, Susan Spearman, a woman who has already pled guilty in federal court, must cooperate in any additional grand juries or trials. According to court records, Yoder owned shares of SIRIUS stock, valued at about $350,000. On October 5, 2012, Yoder had those shares sold and netted $339,660.19. Right after that, the U.S. attorney says Yoder transferred most of that money to the woman who aided him: Susan Spearman.

Two months later for the purpose of “concealing the scheme,” Yoder filed for bankruptcy. The court documents said he “never disclosed the sale of the stock or the transfer to Spearman in his bankruptcy case.”  In addition, during this time as alleged in the statement of facts, Yoder told Spearman to transfer the money back to him.

Yoder maintains his innocence and has been a fixture on the Hampton Roads financial circuit for decades.  Some wonder if this will result in implications for the financial industry.

Yoder is expected back in court for his arraignment on June 22, 2016.

This should come as a warning to anyone who plans to hide assets from the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy trustees are experts at finding undisclosed cash, 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 includes fines and imprisonment of up to five years.

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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.

More Attorneys Push for Bankruptcy to Cover Student Loan Debt

June 20, 2016 Posted by kingcade

St. Cloud lawyer, Wesley Scott is outraged about the mounting debts student loan borrowers are facing.  The bankruptcy attorney has written at least four times to U.S. senators from Minnesota about the issue.  Specifically, he wants Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to help change Chapter 13 bankruptcy rules to make student loan debt dischargeable, as with other debts in bankruptcy.

Graduates of four-year post secondary programs in Minnesota faced an average debt load of $32,000 in 2014. That number was $21,000 in 2005, according to The Institute for College Access & Success.

The bankruptcy code used to be more lenient, allowing people to discharge their student loan debt.  It still does, but the deck is stacked against borrowers and it’s something that rarely happens.  Debtors must show an undue hardship in court.

Bankruptcy lawyer Scott is proposing one other change to the law, an “at least” option, which would allow debtors going through Chapter 13 proceedings to make payments on their student loans designating them as a priority debt.

Under the current Chapter 13 provisions, people in bankruptcy need to first eliminate debts such as unpaid child support, taxes and mortgages.  Debts from student loans, medical bills and credit cards are paid at the end.

In an emailed statement, Franken said student loan debt should be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy, but, “it’s clear we need to address this problem on several fronts.” The senator said he has introduced a bill that would allow people to discharge private student loan debt, one to address tuition costs and another allowing students to refinance their debt.

Also in an emailed statement, Klobuchar said she is supporting a bill that would allow refinancing and one that would strengthen the federal Pell Grant program, which provides payments- not loans, to students.

The total value of outstanding federal student loans was about $1.2 trillion in the first quarter of 2016, up more than 130 percent from $516 billion in 2007.  From July 2006 to June 2015, interest rates for federal loans ranged from 3.4 to 8.5 percent. They now fall between 4.3 and 6.8 percent.

Those figures are affecting about 42 million Americans with federal loans, not including private student loans. With no relief in bankruptcy, some people are turning to other options.

A woman with approximately $70,000 in student loan debt went to visit a St. Cloud bankruptcy attorney with her husband.  But after leaving the attorney’s office, the couple went upstairs to a divorce lawyer.  It was not because they didn’t love each other anymore, the woman had to be single to qualify for an income-based repayment plan.  That’s the only way they could survive.

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.