Category: ‘Credit’

Top Debt Mistakes to Avoid

August 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

From credit cards to car loans, there are many ways to get in over your head with debt.  Here are some common debt mistakes to avoid.

  1. Credit card debt. Avoid this at all costs- if you can.  Most of these cards come with high interest rates, so any remaining debt at the end of the month increases daily.  Make sure you are only using credit cards on items you can (and will) pay off each month.
  2. Amassing bad debt. Borrowing money should be something you do as an investment in your future.  Student loan debt and a mortgage loan are examples.  In contrast, “bad debt” is money you borrow for purchases that decrease in value.
  3. Paying late. Constant late payments or missing payments can cost you penalties and lower your credit score. If you struggle to remember your payments, take advantage of automatic payments.
  4. Paying only the minimum. Making minimum payments on your credit card is tempting, but it will ultimately cost you more money due to the loan debt interest rate.
  5. Not budgeting. The only way to get out of debt is to stop living beyond your means, and the only way to stop living beyond your means is to stick to a strict budget.
  6. Ignoring your lender.  Lenders want their money, and they want you to be able to pay it- even if that means settling for less. Do not ignore their calls.  If you cannot afford to pay, tell them.  Never promise to pay or give your bank account information if you cannot afford to pay.  Chances are, a simple conversation will lead to a solution, whether that is a lower interest rate or a simple payment plan.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic 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.

 

Record High Credit Card Debt Exceeds Previous Numbers Set Prior to the 2008 Recession

August 16, 2017 Posted by kingcade

U.S. credit card debt is just over $1 trillion, exceeding the previous high set in April 2008 right before the Great Recession. The average amount of credit card debt per household is $9,600. That equals about 17% of the average U.S. household income. Since the average interest rate on a credit card is 16%, and about 24% for those with “less than perfect” credit, that debt grows between $1,600 and $2,300 each year.

A recent survey found millennials’ knowledge on credit card use troubling. A few millennials (6%) actually believe that missing a credit card payment would “improve” their credit rating. 17% said missing a card payment would have no effect on their score. Some 36% have maxed out credit cards and 48% carry card balances over to the next month, paying high interest rates and other monthly fees.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic 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.

Wells Fargo Latest Lawsuit Involves Customer Car Loans

August 14, 2017 Posted by kingcade

After settling one class action lawsuit involving the exploitation of customers by opening bogus credit card and savings accounts to meet sales goals, Wells Fargo faces another lawsuit involving its auto lending business and unnecessary auto insurance policies.

A borrower who financed an automobile in February 2016 through Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Sunday, July 30, claiming he was charged for insurance he did not need and is seeking class-action status to represent all U.S. borrowers in the same situation.

After more customer complaints, an internal investigation revealed that some 490,000 customers were charged for auto insurance they did not need and an additional 60,000 customers in states with specific disclosure requirements may not have been told about the insurance by the third-party vendor that issued it.

The loan contracts required customers to maintain auto insurance and allowed Wells Fargo to purchase it for them if the customer did not have insurance with another company.  Some 20,000 customers may have defaulted on loans and had their cars repossessed because of the additional charges, the bank said.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic 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.

 

 

How do you know if it’s the IRS Contacting You?

August 11, 2017 Posted by kingcade

When the IRS contacts you, their first form of communication is through the U.S. Postal Service.  The IRS will NEVER initiate contact though email, social media or text messages.

Here are some additional ways the IRS will contact tax payers. It is important to be aware of these so you do not fall victim to an IRS-related scam.

  • An IRS agent or tax compliance officer may call you after mailing a notice to confirm an appointment or discuss an item for a scheduled audit;
  • Private debt collectors can call taxpayers for the collection of certain outstanding inactive tax liabilities- but only after the taxpayer and their representative has received written notice;
  • Private debt collectors for the IRS must respect taxpayers’ rights and abide by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

All payments should be made to the U.S. Treasury.  Taxpayers should never use a prepaid debit card or wire transfer to make a payment.  Specific guidelines to make tax payments can be found at irs.gov/payments.

IRS employees will NEVER:

  • Be hostile or insulting;
  • Demand payment without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount;
  • Require a specific payment method (i.e. – a prepaid debit card);
  • Threaten lawsuits, arrest or deportation for not paying;
  • Request credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

A special page on IRS.gov, “How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door,” helps taxpayers determine if a person claiming to be from the IRS is legitimate or a scammer.

If you have any questions on this topic 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.

Related Resources:

http://www.examiner-enterprise.com/business/20170806/how-do-you-know-when-irs-is-contacting-you

 

New Underwriting Rules Make it Easier to Obtain a Mortgage with Student Loan Debt

August 9, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you are struggling with student loan debt the prospect of ever qualifying for a mortgage may seem out of reach.  However, last week changes made to underwriting rules by Fannie Mae could make easier for borrowers with student loan debt to obtain a mortgage.

The new rule impacts borrowers with federal student loan debt who are currently enrolled in income-driven repayment plans.  An income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is affordable based on your income and family size. Your monthly payments could be capped at 10% of your income.  If your discretionary income is low enough, your monthly payment could be as low as $0.

In order to qualify for the mortgage, a borrower must meet certain debt-to-income (DTI) requirements.

A statement from Fannie Mae says that reduced payment can be used, even when the payment is $0. According to Fannie Mae, “if the lender obtains documentation to evidence the actual monthly payment is $0, the lender may qualify the borrower with the $0 payment as long as the $0 payment is associated with an income-driven repayment plan.”

These new changes will allow more borrowers to qualify for a home, but there are exceptions.  These rules do not apply to all mortgages, and are specific to “agency-backed” mortgages that represent more than half of the mortgage market.  The changes do not apply to borrowers with private student loans.  As a general rule, student loan borrowers should max out federal loans before considering private loans.

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.