Category: ‘Credit’

5 Ways to Erase Your Credit Card Debt

May 9, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Credit card debt can be frustrating to no end and is easily one of the most common debts individuals who later file for bankruptcy find themselves battling. Every situation is different, and while there is not a single solution for getting out of credit card debt, certain tips and tricks can help individuals who find themselves drowning in this type of debt.

  1. Use All Resources to Pay the Debt

The most common method used in the past was to take all resources available to pay off the debt. While it is an effective method, it is one that requires a lot of dedication, as well as a lot of time. It starts with the individual cutting up their credit cards and using cash only to pay for essential living expenses. It is recommended that the person first sit down to make a list of all cards he or she has, writing down the interest rate for each card, as well as the minimum payment on each.

Utilizing what is known as the “debt avalanche” method, the person targets one credit card balance at a time. This means that the person pays the minimum payments on all other cards with the exception of the first card with the highest interest rate. To come up with the amount the borrower can afford to pay towards this car, he or she will need to create or revise a budget, eliminating all unnecessary expenses, and see what amount is left after all living expenses are covered. The person will throw all of the money towards the first debt, and as soon as that debt is paid, the card with the next highest interest rate is handled and so on until all debts are paid.

However, when the card’s interest rate is too high, the individual has too many debts to handle or he or she has no extra money to contribute to paying the cards off, other options may need to be used.

  1. Balance-Transferring Card

If the individual still has a good credit score, it is possible he or she could transfer the balance from one or more of these cards to a newer one with a lower interest rate. Many cards offer a limited-time 0 percent annual percentage rate for a certain period of time and waive a balance transfer fee during this period. This time period can allow the payer a chance to catch up without the debilitating interest rates preventing any progress. However, the key is the person needs a good credit score, as well as savings or funds available to pay off the balance during this period of time with 0 percent APR.

  1. Credit Card Consolidation Loan

Sometimes paying off the credit card debt can be too much to pay without help. In these situations, credit card consolidation loans are a possibility. According to Bankrate, the average rate for these loans is 16.84 percent for credit cards these debtors are facing, which can be near impossible to conquer. A credit card consolidation loan allows the person to pay off the credit card balance with a loan for the same amount but a lower rate. The rates for these loans start around 10.00 percent with lower fees than the credit cards. These personal loans are available for borrowers with less than perfect credit, but the borrowers will need someone to cosign the loan or at least put up collateral to cover the loan.

  1. Debt Management

Another option is for the borrower to enroll in a debt management program or plan (DMP) and receive assistance from a credit counseling service. A qualified credit counselor will work with the individual to put together a budget, create a plan to pay off the debt and to work with the creditors to negotiate the debt. Also, under a DMP, the person will consolidate the debt into one monthly payment with a small monthly fee that is capped by the state. This option is available for individuals with poor credit, and the process can take approximately four to five years.

It is important that the person find a company who is qualified, such as the Financial Counseling Association of America. If a company promises the debtor that it will be able to completely get rid of the debt, it is likely a scam. Do the homework before choosing a company.

  1. File Bankruptcy

Sometimes, the individual has no choice but to file for bankruptcy if the amount of debt is too much to handle. It is at this point that a bankruptcy attorney needs to be consulted. An attorney can help the person determine whether other options exist, and if no other option does exist, the attorney can advise the individual on what type of bankruptcy is best for his or her situation, whether that be Chapter 7, 11 or 13 bankruptcy.

If you have 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 McMaken 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

Related Resources: http://blog.credit.com/2018/05/5-ways-you-can-erase-your-credit-card-debt-183081/

 

How to Recover After Bankruptcy

April 20, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Even the most financially responsible people can fall on hard sometimes, whether it be a sudden illness, job loss or divorce.  As many as 78 percent of full-time workers said they live paycheck-to-paycheck and 71 percent are already in debt, according to a recent study by CareerBuilder.  With statistics like this it is not surprising how quickly finances can spiral out of control.

Having to file for bankruptcy can take an emotional and financial toll, but sometimes it is the only option. In 2017 alone, there were 765,863 non-business bankruptcy filings, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

While you cannot offset the impact of bankruptcy to your credit, there are things you can do to improve it over time.

While each case is different, bankruptcy can completely wipe out credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, past-due utility bills and even rent.  Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy can start by sticking to a budget and paying all of your bills on time.

A powerful tool to help improve your credit score is a secured credit card. These cards require a deposit, which can be equal to your spending limit. Applying for new credit too soon or having multiple denials can hurt your credit even more.

One of the biggest myths about filing for bankruptcy is that it will ruin your credit score and your financial future forever.  To the contrary, after filing for bankruptcy you can begin restoring your credit immediately.

Still not convinced?  A testimonial from one of our clients in regards to their credit score after filing for bankruptcy.

My credit score said on all three reports 775, I couldn’t believe that I had such a great score before 10 years. Tim for me was the best move I have made for my situation. I have no regrets, I am glad the past is the past. – Bill T.

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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 McMaken 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.

Household Debt Continues to Climb- Here’s the Categories that have seen the Biggest Jump

April 18, 2018 Posted by kingcade

As a nation, household debt is continuing to increase.  Debt is increasing in all major categories, except for auto loans during the last quarter of 2017.  The two categories with the most significant growth were mortgage debt, which increased by more than $3,000 per household and credit card debt that went up by $250 per household.

The growth in credit card debt can be partially attributed to holiday spending. The last quarter of 2017 credit card debt per household stood at $15,983.  Mortgage debt totaled $178,037 per household.

Credit card debt often comes with high interest rates, which means carrying debt month to month can create significant financial stress.  Carrying this debt for many years can cause thousands of dollars in interest to accrue.  Some quick tips to pay off credit card debt include: Finding out your total balance, doing a balance transfer to stop the accruing interest and powering through the balance (i.e. – take advantage of the interest-free period of your new card).

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If you are struggling with insurmountable credit card debt 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 McMaken 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.

5 Alternatives to Charging Your Medical Bills

April 13, 2018 Posted by kingcade

If you are like many individuals today facing serious medical bills, it is important to know that you have options.  The rising cost of healthcare, combined with the growing number of Americans without adequate health insurance has led many people to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In fact, medical debt is the No. 1 reason people file for bankruptcy in the U.S.  In 2014 alone, an estimated 40% of Americans accumulated medical debt resulting from a health issue.  Instead of putting medical expenses on your credit cards or worse signing up for a medical credit card, here are some alternatives that can help you stay out of medical debt.

  • Enroll in a payment plan. Certain hospitals and doctor’s offices offer payment plans for low-income patients. This will allow you to work out a payment plan directly with the healthcare provider, pay your bill overtime and avoid interest charges.
  • Ask about charitable funds. If your household income is low enough, you may qualify to have your medical bill completely dismissed.  Some hospitals have money set aside to pay for treatment of patients who cannot afford to pay their bill.  This is especially common in emergency health situations.  However, be warned the paperwork and forms involved is extensive but is worth it in the end.
  • Negotiate a lower amount. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to negotiate a lower bill.  It never hurts to ask.  In some cases, hospitals may agree to settle the debt for less than you owe.
  • Consider taking out a personal loan. If you have exhausted your other options and still need help paying your bill, consider taking out a personal loan rather than using credit cards. If you have good credit and a stable income, you could qualify for a loan with an interest rate as low as 5 percent.

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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 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.

 

An Inside Look at 83 Million Eviction Records, and what Housing has come to in America

April 11, 2018 Posted by kingcade

A recent article in the New York Times provided an in depth look at the eviction crisis occurring in America. Nearly one million American households received eviction judgments in 2016 in new data spanning dozens of states. Two years prior, sociologist Matthew Desmond turned the topic of eviction into a national one with his book, ‘Evicted,’ which chronicled how poor families who lost their homes in Milwaukee sank even further into poverty. This problem is not just in Milwaukee, eviction judgment rates for renting households is widespread.

Desmond’s team found records for nearly 900,000 eviction judgments in 2016. Landlords were given the legal right to remove at least one in 50 renter households in the communities covered by this data. And one in five renter households in Richmond, Va., which has one of the highest eviction rates, were threatened with eviction in 2016. Their landlords began legal proceedings, even if those cases did not end with a lasting mark on a tenant’s record.

Most of those evicted never made it to the courtroom.  Some did not appear because their problem seemed hopeless; others did not show because they had no legal representation.  The median amount owed was $686. These cases, sometimes brought in bulk by property managers are settled in minutes when defendants are not present.

Eviction is not just one problem; it often spirals into a number of problems.  Medicaid benefits and food stamps are forfeited by families who often need them the most after losing the permanent addresses where the renewal notices are sent.

To make matters worse, states like Virginia, that have some of the highest rates of eviction lack certain tenant rights available in other states.  In areas like Richmond, Va., many poor African-Americans live in low quality housing projects with no means of escaping it. Many times these individuals are just a car repair or hospital visit away from missing a rent payment.

The process of what happens after the eviction is not any better.  The current court process functions as an arduous rent-collection system, one that attaches attorney fees and court costs to rent checks, and one that saddles even tenants who do not lose their homes with lasting eviction marks on their credit reports.  It oftentimes takes years for families to stabilize after this.

Another downside, the underprivileged tenants are not ensured access to legal aid or protected from steep rent increases, as in some cities and they have no rights to deduct their own repair costs from the rent.  The median amount owed on a public housing eviction was $328, according to Desmond’s data.  The public housing authority, spends on average 50 days turning over the apartments, costing the agency more in lost rent than the unpaid rent cases are often worth.

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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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.