Category: ‘Uncategorized’

The Medical Debt Crisis: Americans still struggling to pay off Massive Healthcare bills

August 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Recent data shows that Americans are forgoing medical care and using extreme measures in an effort to pay off their medical debt. Although, the Affordable Care Act is helping reduce the burden of medical debt for some American consumers- for states that have not expanded Medicaid, millions of Americans still lack insurance and many of the affordable plans offer minimal coverage. The result is that in 2014, 64 million people were struggling with medical debt, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

Two surveys (in 2008 and 2012) explored the finances of lower to middle-income households carrying credit card debt. It was found that households carrying medical debt on their credit cards were more likely to take extreme measures to pay off their debts and forgo necessary medical treatment. Even for the insured, medical debt can negatively impact household finances.

In the 2008 and 2012 surveys, the average total credit card debt fell from $11,019 in 2008 to $8,762 in 2012, a 20 percent decline. Medical debt alone fell from $2,055 in 2008 to $1,679 in 2012, an 18 percent decline. A possible reason for the decline could be the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act). Studies show that the CARD Act dramatically reduced fees for credit card users. Research by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests the CARD act reduced hidden fees, saving consumers billions of dollars. It is also possible the Affordable Care Act played a role along with the improving economy.

Costly medical procedures can quickly lead to a household’s debt spiraling out of control. A key contributor is the out-of-pocket costs, not covered by insurance. The survey revealed dental expenses were the most frequently cited as a contributor to credit card debt; of those respondents who report they experienced a dental expense, a large share said that the expense contributed to their credit card debt. Many basic insurance plans do not include dental.  Emergency room visits and purchasing prescription medication contributed to nearly half of the reported credit card debt.

There are some legislative options in the works. The Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act, proposed by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), would help families dealing with medical debt keep their homes by providing them with bankruptcy protection, and would forgive student debt. It also waives the requirement that individuals who file for debt relief receive credit counseling, if the debt is medical-related. The Medical Debt Responsibility Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), would require that fully paid medical debt be removed from credit reports within 45 days.

Click here to read more on this story.

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.

Student Loan Default in the U.S. and Steps the Govt. is taking to address the Problem

October 31, 2013 Posted by kingcade

With student loan debt approaching $1.2 trillion it has become a threat to our children’s futures. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a leading consumer activist and advocate for student loan reform in Congress recently co-sponsored a bill, “Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013.” The new bill would have rolled back interest rates and frozen them for a year at 3.4 percent. During that year, Warren and her colleagues planned to reform the student loan system to eliminate profits, provide better consumer protection and address “the college affordability problem,” which, she says, forces families into debt in the first place.

The bill unfortunately failed, but Warren is continuing to press for the following changes:

– Eliminating government profits from the student loan program.

– Reducing the burden of student debt on existing borrowers by letting them refinance their loans during this period of historically low interest rates.

– Restoring basic consumer protections, such as bankruptcy relief. Under current law, student loans cannot be dismissed when someone files for bankruptcy protection.

President Obama gave his support to Warren’s key issue saying that, “government shouldn’t see student loans as a way to make money; it should be a way to help students.” The urgency from Warren and other advocates is that students and their parents are increasingly turning to loans to pay for higher education, as college costs have become out of reach for most families.

Nationally, about 11 million students take out college loans each year. One reason loan numbers are spiking is that college costs have soared since 1982-83, by 257 percent at four-year state colleges and universities and by 166 percent at four-year private colleges and universities, according to the College Board. At the same time, state support of public colleges and universities has slipped. State funding for public universities dropped by 23 percent between 2007 and 2012, Warren said.

Defaulting on student loans can have a lasting impact on your financial future. The Federal Student Aid website lists the following consequences of defaulting on your student loans: The outstanding amount of the loan-both principal and interest- becomes due immediately; the borrower loses eligibility for any additional student aid or forgiveness program; you are reported to credit bureaus; the overall debt will increase as interest keeps building, which can include late fees, collection fees and court fees. The following consequences can also result: Wages may be garnished; tax refunds may be withheld; pay can be withheld and the lender may even file a lawsuit against you.

The debt that students are taking out to finance their lives and futures is crushing! Student loans are the toughest because they start so early, when students are trying to launch their careers and gain their financial footing. This is also the time young people are the most vulnerable and have the fewest resources available to them.

If you are having trouble making your student loan payments or you have recently defaulted on your federal or private student loans, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. Although student loans are often not dischargeable in bankruptcy court, an attorney can help you eliminate other debts and obligations so you can take control of your finances and better handle your student loan debt.

Related Resources:
http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/make-student-loans-less-interest-ing-says-sen-elizabeth-warren/40151#.UnKvl_go5jo

Gold Medalist Ryan Lochte’s Parents Face Foreclosure

August 16, 2012 Posted by kingcade

U.S. Olympic swimmer and two-time gold medalist Ryan Lochte’s parents are facing foreclosure. The Lochte’s are being sued by their mortgage lender, CitiMortgage, for foreclosure on their Port Orange, Florida home. The foreclosure suit was filed in May 2012 on a 2007 mortgage. The bank is hoping to recover $250,000 from Steven and Ileana Lochte.

Lochte’s parents divorced last year after 36 years of marriage and have recently been in London watching their son compete. Lochte has won a total of five medals for the U.S. Ileana hired an attorney and in July she filed a motion to dismiss the foreclosure proceedings. She reported to ABC News that none of her children knew about the foreclosure suit.

To read more on this story visit:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/05/ryan-lochtes-parents-face_n_1743686.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/ryan-lochtes-parents-face-foreclosure-port-orange-fla/story?id=16930499#.UCE-xWjl3zI

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com
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Lenders Are Now Opting for Short Sales

April 26, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Short selling has become a popular trend in Florida, allowing lenders to sell properties for less than the remaining mortgage balance. In January 2012, short sales averaged 23.9 percent, a larger percentage than foreclosure sales nationwide, which averaged about 19.7 percent. In 2010, President Obama backed short sales by offering incentives to banks. The program offered banks a credit of $1,000 to proceed with a short sale. The program also offered another $1,000 credit to cut deals with financially troubled homeowners. In addition, $1,500 was offered to defaulted homeowners as a “relocation credit” if they agreed to a short sale.

A rise in mortgage defaults is causing more lenders in South Florida to choose short sales. The benefits for the lender include limiting legal fees and the carrying costs of owning the home. However, there is a downside; Lenders must absorb the cost of the shortfall. They can also be deterred by the significant amount of documentation required and the related processing costs. In a short sale, lenders lose an average of about 19 percent of the loan amount, compared with an average of 40 percent through a foreclosure, and a lender’s cost to own a foreclosed house often is about 1 percent of the property value, excluding depreciation.

To read more on this topic visit:

http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2012/04/17/for-first-time-short-sales-are-more-popular-than-foreclosure-sales-in-the-u-s/

http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2008/05/07/short-sales-one-but-not-always-best-answer/

http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2010/03/08/president-obama-turns-attention-to-short-sales-in-effort-to-prevent-foreclosures/

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Protests Spread Nationwide in Response to Corporate Greed and Poor Government Spending

October 6, 2011 Posted by kingcade

Many Americans are fed up with the way our country is allocating its money in the midst of today’s economic crisis. In response, middle class, hard working individuals are taking their frustrations to the streets, holding rallies protesting corporate greed and social inequality. Demonstrators include unions, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and the underemployed. What’s known as the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has grown to more than 1,500 people in its second week in New York and is rapidly spreading across the country, with events popping up in Boston, Chicago and dozens of other cities nationwide.
The “99 percent,” as individuals involved in the movement refer to themselves as, are protesting against people who make $40,000 to $50,000 a year, who are struggling to make ends meet. The movement targets Wall Street- in particular big banks and corporations. One of the protestors explains their goal is to create national awareness of how state revenues are being funneled to big banks and corporations, instead of having these billions of dollars put toward job creation and creating solutions to the housing crisis.
To read more on the story visit:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-protests-spread-across-the-country-bloomberg-calls-them-misguided/
If you have any questions on this topic or are in need of a financial fresh start, please contact our experienced team of bankruptcy attorneys at (305) 285-9100. 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.