Category: ‘Timothy Kingcade Posts’

When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work

November 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many former students across the country have realized that the loans they took out to pay for their education are now derailing their careers. In 20 different states, government agencies can and have been seizing state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on student loans.

As debt levels rise, creditors are taking increasingly tough actions to pursue people who fall behind on student loans. Across the nation, firefighters, nurses, teachers, attorneys, massage therapists, barbers, psychologists and real estate brokers have all had their licenses suspended or revoked.

In the past, lenders have pursued delinquent borrowers by filing lawsuits, garnishing their wages, putting liens on their property and seizing tax refunds. However, lenders believe if borrowers are faced with losing their licenses, they will find the money. On the other hand, critics of the laws say that enforcing these terms will shove some borrowers off a financial cliff.

Florida is among the 20 states that can seize state-issued licenses if a borrower defaults on student loans. The other 19 states include: Washington, California, Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and Massachusetts.

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 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.

 

Debt Consolidation: What will it do to my credit score?

November 17, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Accumulating debt each month can be stressful and overwhelming.  As you research options to lower or eliminate your debt, consolidating credit cards or loans may seem like a good option.  But many wonder what effect this will have on their credit score.  It all depends on how you consolidate and what you do with your debt moving forward.

  • Debt Consolidation Loans. This is one of the most popular forms of consolidation. But finding a loan that has decent terms, when you have less than perfect credit can be challenging.  Double-check certifications to make sure that you are working with a legitimate consolidation company.  Scams are prevalent in the loan consolidation business.  Effect on Your Credit: Consolidating credit cards with high balances using an installment loan with fixed monthly payments may improve your credit rating for a period of time. But at the same time, any new loan can cause a short-term dip in your credit score.
  • Debt Management Plans (DMPs). These type plans are oftentimes confused with debt consolidation. DMPs are offered through credit counseling agencies.  You make a “consolidated” payment to the counseling agency, which then pays your creditors- usually at a reduced interest rate.  This option requires you to close or suspend your credit card accounts. Effect on Your Credit: If you have a good credit score and adhered to a creditor’s repayment terms in the past, a DMP could have a negative impact on your credit as it indicates that you are experiencing or have experienced difficulty with payments.
  • Credit Card Debt Transfer. Transferring high interest credit card debt to a card with a lower rate or 0% interest rate card is another way to consolidate.  However, it is important to always read the fine print.  Effect on Your Credit: It depends on how you use the transfer. You will often see a temporary dip in your credit score when opening a new card.  You may also lose points if you open a new card and use a majority of the credit line to consolidate.

Paying down debt can have a tremendous impact on your credit scores. The biggest risk, though, is that it is easy to run up new balances on the cards you paid off in the consolidation.  When paying down debt, periodically check your free credit report to see where you stand.

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 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/2017/11/will-debt-consolidation-help-or-hurt-your-credit-64133/

Federal Judge Sides with Debtor Finds Law Firm’s Debt Collection Notice “Misleading”

November 16, 2017 Posted by kingcade

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Savage of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied the Law Offices of Frederic I. Weinberg & Associates’ motion for summary judgment and granted plaintiff Ronn Homer’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the law firm in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in its validation notices.

“We conclude that the validation notice in this case violates the FDCPA because it misleads and deceives the debtor about how and when to dispute the debt,” Savage wrote in his opinion on November 9, 2017. “The notice leads the debtor to believe that he may dispute the debt orally when only a written notice of dispute is effective. It also requires the debtor to act to dispute the debt in less time than the FDCPA provides.”

The crux of the case was in the meaning of a sentence in the debt collection notice: “Unless we hear from you within 30 days after receipt of this letter that you dispute the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, this office will assume the debt is valid,” said Savage.

The plaintiff alleged that the notice creates confusion about how to dispute the debt and the timeframe in which to do so. He argued that the letter misleads the debtor into believing that the law firm must receive the notice of dispute within 30 days rather than that the debtor must send the notice within that timeframe.

In the end, the debtor prevailed and the judge concluded, “The letter here is misleading.  It creates the impression that the debtor can dispute the debt by calling the debt collector. The phrase ‘[u]nless we hear from you’ imparts the understanding that the debtor can dispute the validity of the debt orally. Contrary to Weinberg’s characterization, ‘hears from you’ is not a colloquial phrase that a reasonable debtor, let alone a least sophisticated debtor, would construe to mean that a dispute must be in writing,” Savage said.

Click here 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 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.

Most Student Loan Fraud Claims Involve For-Profits, according to recent study

November 15, 2017 Posted by kingcade

An analysis of Education Department data reveals that students who attended for-profit colleges filed more than 98 percent of the requests for student loan forgiveness alleging fraud by their schools.  Century Foundation found nearly 100,000 loan forgiveness claims (known as borrower defense to repayment) have been received over the past two decades, which paints a troubling picture of the state of for-profit higher education in the United States.

The study found “a disproportionate concentration of predatory behavior among for-profit colleges” that raises “serious concerns about the federal government’s current approach to providing relief to students who have been defrauded and misled.”

For-profit colleges expanded rapidly over the past two decades, with enrollment rising from around 230,000 in the early 1990s to a record 2 million in 2010. These for-profit schools recruited aggressively, targeting more “non-traditional” students, usually older people who had jobs and could only study part time.

They also heavily targeted women, people of color and veterans. But after graduating, many students struggled to find jobs they were promised or had difficulty transferring credits to other schools.  This lead to a massive increase in student loan defaults.  A 2010 government study found that all of the 15 for-profit colleges evaluated by undercover agents made deceptive statements to prospective students and four of them encouraged fraudulent practices.

The report comes as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faces criticism for not moving forward with two Obama-era regulations that would have added protections for student borrowers.  The rules, known as borrower defense to repayment, were developed after a series of high-profile collapses of for-profit chains such as Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute left thousands of students with worthless degrees and mountains of student loan debt.  The regulations were scheduled to take effect on June 30.

However, the review of tens of thousands of claims has stalled and the AP reported last month that the department is considering abandoning the practice of full loan cancellation in favor of partial forgiveness.  Student advocates are pointing to the Trump administration’s ties to the for-profit industry and accuse DeVos of putting industry over students.

Click here 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 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.

What you need to Know about Student Loan Interest

November 14, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Most college students are unaware how loan interest or capitalization works, according to a recent study.  Opting to delay payments after college or graduate school can determine how much you pay over the lifetime of your student loans.

When the interest on a student loan capitalizes, the accrued interest is added to the principal balance, which is the original amount borrowed.  For that reason, the interest charges increase because it is now based on the new higher principal.

Here are 5 examples of when capitalization occurs with federal student loans:

  1. Not making interest payments during school and during the grace period. For undergraduate and graduate unsubsidized Stafford loans, interest begins to accrue immediately after the loan is dispersed.  Subsidized loans are the best option for students, where the federal government pays the interest while the borrower is in school.
  2. Switching from an income-driven repayment plan. It is important borrowers know that just because they are enrolled in an income-driven repayment, Income-Based Repayment Plan or Pay As You Earn (PAYE), this may not be covering all of the interest accruing on the loan. While some income-driven plans stop capitalizing interest after 10 percent of the original loan balance has been paid, there are consequences from switching out of these plans. For example, unpaid accrued interest will capitalize when a borrower no longer qualifies for a financial hardship, fails to provide proper documentation for the plan’s annual enrollment or exits the plan.
  3. Forbearance or deferment. A borrower needs to be careful when selecting these options and know the consequences. Interest is still accumulating on student loans even though the loans are in forbearance or deferment.  This loan interest can accumulate quickly.
  4. Consolidation of federal loans. Consolidating multiple loans into one direct loan, means you are creating an entirely new loan.  It is important to consolidate right after graduating as a measure to reduce the capitalization interest that comes with federal loan consolidation.  Waiting longer to do so typically increases the principal balance.
  5. Defaulting on a student loan. Interest that was outstanding at the time of default will be capitalized.  The principal amount will not only become larger, but the entire balance will be due and payable immediately.

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 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.