11 Steps to Take When Bankruptcy is Your Best Option

September 23, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Many Americans have had difficulties keeping up with their debts and credit obligations since the Recession. If you have similar difficulties, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option.

Here are 11 steps you should take if you are filing for bankruptcy.

  1. Explore your options. Before filing for bankruptcy, it is best to educate yourself on what filing for bankruptcy means. For example, you need to determine if you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Most individuals file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means that you, as the debtor are relieved from some or all of your financial obligations.
  2. Complete the means test. This is a standard test that will compare your income to your debts to determine if you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  3. Hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney is invaluable to you during the bankruptcy process. Your attorney will explain your options, answer your questions, make informed recommendations and even fill out the forms for you and make sure they are filed correctly and on time.
  4. Pay the fees. When filing for bankruptcy, you will be responsible for legal fees and application fees. The application fees alone can cost between $300-$500 and once you include your attorney fees, you may spend around $2,000 total.
  5. Assemble your information. Gather and organize all of your financial information. This includes: your income, expenses, assets, debts and property exemptions. You need to have all of your financial information ranging over the past six months for the bankruptcy procedure. You have to list this information in order to have your debts discharged.
  6. Determine which debts are excusable. Although bankruptcy is considered a clean slate, there are debts you will still be responsible for after your bankruptcy proceedings. For example, you will most likely still be responsible for: student loans, child support and tax debts.
  7. Attend a credit-counseling program. Within six months before filing your petition, you will need to attend a credit-counseling program at a court-approved agency. The counseling can usually be completed online or over the phone.
  8. File the forms. One reason it is important to hire a bankruptcy attorney is so that they can help you fill out the necessary forms and can remind you of the deadline.
  9. Automatic Stay. Once you complete all of the paperwork and file it, you will be granted an automatic stay that prohibits almost all creditors from continuing collection actions against you.
  10. Attend the meeting. Oftentimes, Chapter 7 bankruptcies do not end up in court. However, you will need to attend a mandatory meeting known as a 341 meeting with the creditors and a court-appointed trustee. The trustee will ask questions pertaining to your finances and your petition.
  11. Post-Bankruptcy Obligations. Once you have successfully filed for bankruptcy, you will need to attend a post-bankruptcy credit counseling. This will help you successfully manage your finances and proceed forward so that you do not end up in a financial crisis again.

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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 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.

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren Calls for Tough New Laws for Wall Street Executives

September 22, 2016 Posted by kingcade

During a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee for Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, Sen. Elizabeth Warren grilled Wells Fargo CEO, John Stumpf, over alleged fraud during his leadership of the company.

Wells Fargo recently agreed to pay $185 million as a part of a civil settlement after it was revealed that employees were using customer information to open fake accounts. The bank has since fired 5,300 employees over the fake accounts that resulted in $2.6 million in fees that affected customers. The fees have since been refunded, however, Sen. Warren stressed to the Senate Banking Committee that further measures need to be taken to hold executives of the bank personally accountable.

“You should resign. You should give back the money you took while the scam was going on,” Sen. Warren told Stumpf who reportedly earned $19.3 million last year.

Sen. Warren went on to tell the committee that laws should be put in place to hold corporate executives personally and criminally responsible for fraud.

She ended her interrogation by adding, “We need tough prosecutors who have the courage to go after people at the top. Until then, it will be business as usual and at giant banks like Wells Fargo, that seems to mean cheating as many customers, investors and employees as they possibly can.”

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.

How to deal with ‘old’ debt

September 21, 2016 Posted by kingcade

When a debt exceeds the statute of limitations, it is referred to as “time-barred debt.” That means creditors cannot legally sue you.  But they may still try.  They may continue contacting you. It is important you proceed with caution, because the practice of debt collection has many pitfalls.

Perhaps you never took out the debt, that the collector has the wrong amount or that you already paid and the collection attempt is a mistake.

A debt collector should send you a validation notice within five days of first contacting you. This notice should include the debt owed, the amount, date of last payment, who the collector is and how to request information on the original creditor. If you do not receive this notice within 10 days after the debt collector first contacts you, ask for it.

Challenge it!

If you are being asked to pay a time-barred debt that is not yours, that was already paid off or invalid, you can write the creditor to dispute the debt.

You have 30 days from first contact to challenge the debt before it is deemed accepted by default. If you dispute the debt within this window, debt collection efforts must stop until the issue is resolved.

Be as specific as possible in your letter. Say why the debt collection attempt is invalid, including information about payment history or why the debt may not be yours and any other relevant information. Send the letter by certified mail so you get confirmation of receipt.

If for any reason you feel the debt collector has violated your consumer rights, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) originally enacted in 1978 requires that debt collectors provide consumers with certain basic information such as the amount of debt owed and the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed. A lesser-known requirement of the FDCPA says debt collectors must give consumers a 30-day notice to dispute the debt before it is assumed as valid.

Pay it off- but proceed with caution.

Although you may think paying a little bit of the debt owed will get the creditor off your back, it can make things much worse. Making even a single payment on time-barred debt can bring it back from the dead and reset the statute of limitations.  In some states, even if you pay as little as a $1, you will reactivate the entire debt and you can be sued for the original debt plus fees.

If you want to pay off the debt, you have several options:

  • Pay in full with a lump sum;
  • Work with the creditor to set up a payment plan;
  • Make an agreement to settle the debt by paying a portion.

If you pay the debt in full, make sure the collector sends you a confirmation in writing.  Hold onto this in case the payment is not properly recorded or the debt gets sold, again.

Discharge the debt through bankruptcy.

If you feel the debt is just too much to pay off or you want to rid yourself of the debt for good, you could file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  After filing, you are likely to see your credit scores improve.

Steps to take if you are sued.

Creditors may sue you even though a debt is past its statute of limitations.

The most important thing: DO NOT ignore the lawsuit. Ignoring it will likely lead to an automatic judgment against you and result in wage garnishment. Consider talking with an attorney about how to proceed, and gather all documents you have proving that the debt is time-barred.

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.latimes.com/business/la-fi-expired-debt-20160917-snap-story.html

With Foreclosures on the Decline, Loan Modifications Increase

September 20, 2016 Posted by kingcade

HOPE NOW, a private alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and non-profit counselors, has released its July 2016 loan modification data. It stated for the month of July that total non-foreclosure solutions (i.e. – the combination of total loan modifications, short sales, deeds in lieu and workout plans) were approximately 112,000. This compares to approximately 25,000 completed foreclosure sales for the month- a ratio of more than four mortgage solutions for every foreclosure sale.

The report states that approximately 5,700 short sales were completed in July 2016 compared to 6,300 in the month prior. This represents a decrease of approximately 10 percent. Short sales were reported to have approximately 5,700 completed in July 2016 in contrast to 7,700 in July 2015, a decrease of 26 percent.

The report also included an estimated 35,000 permanent loan modifications completed in July 2016, compared to 34,000 in July 2015. This was a reported increase of approximately 3 percent. This total includes modifications completed under both proprietary programs and the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

Of the permanent loan modifications completed in the month of July, the report shows that an estimated 23,000 were through proprietary programs and 12,081 were completed through HAMP. In addition, of the 23,000 proprietary modifications completed in July, 46 percent (or 10,437), reduced the monthly principal and interest payment by 10 percent or more.

Foreclosure starts reduced 5 percent month over month to approximately 51,000 in July from 54,000 in June. Additionally, foreclosure sales were reportedly about 25,000 in July from 29,000 in June. This was a decrease of 12 percent month over month. Likewise, foreclosure sales were approximately 25,000 in July 2016. This is compared to 28,000 in July 2015 which was a decrease of 9 percent.

While delinquencies continue to decline to “pre-crisis” levels and the data trends certainly suggest the market is recovering, there remains a portion of the population who still need assistance. These regions include: Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and California.

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.

Former NBA player Darius Miles Files for Bankruptcy

September 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

NBA players can earn salaries to last a lifetime.  But that is not the case for former NBA player, Darius Miles who entered the NBA in 2000 with a $2.8 million starting salary. This was followed by a cover appearance on Sports Illustrated and a lucrative endorsement contract with a major shoe company. The former Clipper, Cavalier, Trail Blazer and Grizzly also appeared as an actor in two movies, alongside Scarlett Johansson in “The Perfect Score” and Ryan Reynolds in “Van Wilder.”

But this kind of story is not uncommon.  In fact, National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA) Vice President Adonal Foyle pointed out that 60 percent of ex-NBA players file for bankruptcy within five years of their retirement.

Some 16 years later, and nearly eight years after playing his final NBA game, Miles is filing for bankruptcy. The 34-year-old made nearly $62 million during his NBA career.

In a filing statement, Miles listed $460,385 in assets and $1.57 million in liabilities. He claims that a number of poor investments led to his financial demise.

Debts listed in his bankruptcy filing include a: $20,000 child-support debt and a poor $100,000 investment in a California real estate deal in 2008. He also highlighted a separate real estate deal with fellow investors, former NFL Rams player Marshall Faulk and rapper Nelly.

Discovered when he was only in high school, Miles showed enough potential to be selected No. 3 overall in 2000.

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://sports.inquirer.net/222970/former-nba-player-darius-miles-declares-for-bankruptcy

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/former-preps-to-pros-nbaer-darius-miles-files-for-bankruptcy-211023845.html