Category: ‘Credit’

Hurricane Irma Aid Includes Everything from Foreclosure Delays to Waived Credit Card Fees

September 23, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Victims of Hurricane Irma are eligible for a range of public and private aid programs.  This includes everything from delayed foreclosures, tax extensions, waived credit card fees and any data overages incurred on cell phones.

FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance is available to eligible survivors in Florida who are unable to return to their primary residence due to their home being uninhabitable or inaccessible. If you are eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance, FEMA will pay for the cost to stay in certain hotels or motels for a limited period of time.

Here are some additional assistance programs you may qualify for:

  • FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program offers financial help with medical, dental, child care, funeral, personal property and transportation expenses. This program also provides funds for temporary housing, repairs and construction.  For more details call: 800-621-3362.
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to people who lost their jobs because of the hurricane, but who are not eligible for state unemployment benefits. For more details call: 800-621-3362.
  • In partnership with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, FEMA provides free legal help to low-income disaster survivors who need assistance filing their storm-related complaints. For more details call: 800-621-3362.
  • JPMorgan Chase will waive or refund late fees on mortgages, credit cards and auto loans through September 24. It will also waive overdraft and service fees.  For more details call: 1-888-346-0023.
  • HUD recently granted a 90-day suspension on foreclosures for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration. There are more than 280,000 FHA-insured Florida homeowners living in these impacted counties. For more details call: 1-800-569-4287.
  • For homeowners or renters who have lost their homes, HUD’s Section 203(h) program gives FHA insurance to disaster victims who have to rebuild or purchase another house. The loans come with no down payment and greater forgiveness of low credit scores. For more details call: 1-800-569-4287.
  • The IRS has extended a deadline for certain individual and business filings until Jan. 31, 2018.  This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that expire October 16.  So taxpayers in the region have until Jan. 31 to file returns and pay any taxes that had been due as of September 4.  This includes deadlines for quarterly payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that got an extension until October 16.

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We hope and pray you and your family made it through the storm safely and our community is quickly restored. During this time of recovery, our office is open and we are here if you need us. If you have any questions on this topic or 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.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our NEW website and new firm name, Kingcade Garcia McMaken!

September 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The new site URL is https://www.miamibankruptcy.com/ and features valuable consumer information and extensive resources in our main area of practice: Bankruptcy law. The updated site is interactive and mobile-friendly.  We have improved the configuration of our content, making it easier to navigate.

Special features of the new site include an updated News & Resources section with informative videos and media coverage, a special section devoted to Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors, hundreds of new Client Testimonials and the Miami Bankruptcy Law Blog, your go-to resource for all things bankruptcy!

Have a bankruptcy question?  Visit our Miami Bankruptcy Q & A section.

The new site is customized for our Spanish speaking clients as well. Readers can find biographical information about the attorneys and staff, along with notable case results and significant verdicts the firm has obtained for its clients.

We offer a wide array of information to potential clients seeking bankruptcy information. Among other topics, we invite you to learn about:

We have included numerous calls-to-action throughout the new site and an opt-in form to sign up for our firm’s monthly e-newsletter.  We will be updating the new site continuously with informative articles, blogs and firm announcements – so please come back and visit, soon!

Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken, 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.

U.S. Cracks Down on Collection of Private Student Loan Debt

September 19, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. consumer financial watchdog has ordered National College Student Loan Trusts and its debt collector, Transworld Systems Inc., to pay at least $21.6 million for attempting to collect on out-of-date loans and possible non-existent loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) alleges that the companies sued borrowers without being able to prove the debt was even owed or pursued collections where the debt was too old, relying on false and misleading legal documents.  There were at least 486 lawsuits filed where the statute of limitations had expired on the debt.

As a result, consumers made payments of at least $3.5 million on debt they did not owe, according to the CFPB. Transworld agreed to settle by paying a $2.5 million, which is part of the total of amount of at least $21.6 million.

Offered by banks and other companies, private student loans do not provide the same borrower protections and repayment options as federal student 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 McMaken, 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Step-by-Step Guide to Surviving the Equifax Data Breach

September 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

One of the largest data breaches in history has compromised the personal data of 143 million people. Equifax, a major credit bureau, lost control of customer data that included social security numbers, home addresses, credit card numbers, drivers’ license numbers and date of births.  The company estimates roughly half of the U.S. population has been affected by the breach, and this sensitive data could have been exposed to hackers.

Equifax will not specifically tell you if you are a victim, but we have a guide for you and a quick recap of what you may have missed post Hurricane Irma.

The data breach could have started as early as May 2017, which means the data could have been exposed for more than three months.  It is unclear what the hackers may have done with the data during those months.

Here is what you can do to protect yourself:

Check your credit reports. When looking through your reports, keep an eye out for any new accounts you did not open, late payments on debts you do not recognize and any other suspicious activity.  You are guaranteed a free annual credit report from the three major bureaus.  Click HERE to download your free credit report.  You will not be held responsible for charges made on a fraudulent credit card.  However, this must be reported in a timely manner.

Freeze your credit. Even if your credit comes back clean it is still early and one of the most reliable ways to prevent someone from opening up credit cards in your name is to place what is called a “credit freeze.”   You can contact each of the three credit bureaus by calling:

Set up a fraud alert.  When you set up a fraud alert, credit card companies will be required to verify your identity before opening an account. To activate a fraud alert, contact just one of the credit card bureaus and ask for an initial fraud alert. When the alert is set, it will be in effect for 90 days.

Be mindful of tax season.  Identity thieves can use stolen social security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns and receive refunds.  Many victims find out they are a victim of tax fraud after the IRS tells them their taxes have already been filed.  One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to file early.

If you have any questions on this topic or 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: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/your-guide-to-surviving-equifax-data-breach/

How Can I Verify Whether or Not a Debt Collector is Legitimate?

September 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Debt collection scams are becoming more difficult for Americans to detect. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers consumers a few ways to recognize a real debt collector from a scammer.

According to the CFPB, the first thing you should ask the caller is for their name, company name, street address, telephone number and professional licensing number. The next thing you should do is tell the caller is that you refuse to discuss any debt until you receive a “validation notice” in writing, which debt collectors are required to provide. An important thing to keep in mind is do not give out any personal or financial information to the caller until you have confirmed it is a legitimate debt collector.

Below are a few warning signs that could indicate a debt collection scam:

  • The caller threatens you with criminal charges. If the caller is a legitimate debt collector, they should not claim they will have you arrested.
  • The caller refuses to give you information about your debt. You have the right to ask a debt collector about the debt.
  • The caller is trying to collect a debt that you do not recognize. If you do not recognize the debt, this is a red flag, the caller might be involved in a scam.
  • The caller refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number for the company.
  • The caller asks you for sensitive personal financial information. Do not provide your financial or personal information unless you are certain the caller is legitimate.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or 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.