Category: ‘Bankruptcy Law’

Debt Settlement vs. Filing for Bankruptcy: The Pros and Cons

October 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you are having trouble affording your monthly expenses and are in over your head in debt, you may consider reaching out to a debt settlement company to alleviate some of the burden.  The commercials are appealing enough, touting promises of getting your debt negotiated with the lender for a fraction of what you owe.

Here’s how a debt settlement works and some of the risks involved:

The process starts by explaining your financial situation to the debt settlement company. You provide the names of the creditors and the amount you owe. The debt settlement company then gives you an estimate for reducing your debt along with a new lower monthly payment. As advised by the settlement company, you stop paying your creditors and instead send payments directly to the company.

The debt settlement company puts your monthly payments into a savings account. Once the account has grown to a certain amount, the debt settlement company calls your creditors and begins negotiating a settlement.  If the creditor agrees to a settlement amount, the settlement company pays the creditor and assesses a fee for the settlement.

Creditors typically do not settle debts until they are a few months past due, which means if you have not already done so you must stop paying on your accounts and allow them to become past due.  During this time, late payments will be reported to credit bureaus, your credit score will drop and you will begin receiving collection calls.  Late payments will remain on your credit reports for up to seven years and during this time you will have difficulty qualifying for new credit.

Debt settlement companies typically tackle the smallest debts, first which means your larger debts will continue to accumulate interest and additional fees. Add all that interest you are accumulating to the fees and you do not really end up saving much.  If you are unable to meet the terms of the debt settlement, ignore the debt or try and repay the debt and ultimately fail you run the risk of being sued.

Many consumers who have researched debt settlement options should also consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which erases credit card balances, medical bills, personal loans and other unsecured debts in three to four months.  Filing for bankruptcy will impact your credit score more than a debt settlement, but it legally erases the debts and prevents creditors from filing a lawsuit against you.

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 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.

Related Resources:

https://www.thebalance.com/the-dangers-of-debt-settlement-960622

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-montalk-20171001-story.html

Motion Denied After Creditor Attempts to Reopen Miami Bankruptcy Case and Seize Home

September 26, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade and associate Kristina Gonzalez of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. achieved a recent victory for their clients after a creditor, Bank of New York Mellon (“BONY”), attempted to re-open their 2009 bankruptcy case and compel the surrender of their Miami home.

“With this ruling, I am pleased to announce that my clients will be able to keep their home.  BONY made the decision to abandon its foreclosure efforts and enter into modification negotiations with my clients. It was seven years after my clients received their bankruptcy discharge, five years after the initial foreclosure was dismissed and only after those modification efforts proved unsuccessful that they filed the second foreclosure, based on new post-bankruptcy discharge defaults,” Timothy S. Kingcade said.

BONY waited more than a year after the second foreclosure was filed to seek to reopen the bankruptcy case, and only filed the motion when the bankruptcy debtor filed an action in District Court against the creditor’s loan servicer, Specialized Loan Servicing, for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In a consumer win for bankruptcy clients, the Honorable Laurel M. Isicoff ruled that there was “no purpose” in re-opening the bankruptcy case because the debtors’ decision to surrender the property was not binding in the subsequent foreclosure action.

Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade practices exclusively in the field of bankruptcy law, handling Chapter 7 and 13 filings and foreclosure defense cases for the Southern District of Florida.  As an experienced CPA and proven bankruptcy attorney, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of their rights under the bankruptcy laws to restart, rebuild and recover.

Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. was established by managing partner and bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client, clearly explaining the options according to the unique circumstances of his or her life. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care for the financially disenfranchised. All partners and associates at Kingcade Garcia McMaken P.A. specialize in consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure and have dedicated their practices to this area of the law. Additionally, all attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish.

Related Resources:

http://www.flsb.uscourts.gov/Opinions/LMI/09-30656Kurzban.pdf

Boost Your Credit Score in 30 Days by Doing This

September 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Rebuilding your credit score can take time and there are not many shortcuts, but paying your credit card bill early can give you an added boost in just 30 days. Some consumers saw their credit score increase as much as 100 points.  Here is how it works:

Timing is everything. There are two factors that have the biggest impact on your credit score: One is paying bills on time versus paying late.  Making early payments can help with the second factor: credit utilization (i.e. – how high your balance is compared to your credit limit).

It is recommended that you keep a balance below 30% of your credit card limit and the lower the better.  Consumers with the highest credit scores typically use less than 10% of their available credit.  Here are some tips to reducing your credit utilization.

  • Set up alerts to let you know when you have reached a certain percentage of your available credit. When you get an alert, go online to make a payment.
  • Setting up charge alerts or checking your account regularly so you can pay off purchases as soon as they post.
  • Making scheduled “micropayments” every week or two to keep balances low.
  • Be cautious with retail credit cards that typically offer lower credit limits. If you have just $250 in purchases on the card and the credit limit is $500.  You have already used 50% of your credit utilization.

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 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.

Related Resources:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/09/11/credit-move-can-bump-up-your-score-30-days/629455001/

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.

Click here to read more on this story.

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.

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Receives Prestigious Client Champion Platinum Award 2017 from Martindale-Hubbell

September 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. was awarded the 2017 Client Champion Platinum Award from Martindale-Hubbell on September 19, 2017, joining the top 1% of attorneys nationwide.

“We are proud to recognize these attorneys who epitomize the best in client service,” said Diana Schulz, President of the Martindale division. “This award showcases those attorneys who have demonstrated a commitment to client service as confirmed by their clients and makes it easier for buyers of legal services to select the right lawyer.”

The 2017 Client Champion Platinum Award appears on Timothy S. Kingcade’s Lawyers.com and Martindale.com profile pages.

Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade is also AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which designates the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards an attorney can receive. This rating indicates that an attorney’s colleagues and judiciary perceive him to be at the pinnacle of professional success. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s ethical standards and professional ability, derived from evaluations of lawyers by members of the bar and the United States judiciary.  The Legal Ability ratings are based on performance in five key areas, which include: Legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience.

Attorney Kingcade practices exclusively in the field of bankruptcy law, handling Chapter 7 and 13 filings and foreclosure defense cases for the Southern District of Florida.  As an experienced CPA and proven bankruptcy attorney, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of their rights under the bankruptcy laws to restart, rebuild and recover.

Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. was established by managing partner and bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client, clearly explaining the options according to the unique circumstances of his or her life. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care for the financially disenfranchised. All partners and associates at Kingcade Garcia McMaken P.A. specialize in consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure and have dedicated their practices to this area of the law. Additionally, all attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish.