Category: ‘Florida Bar’

Life After Bankruptcy

October 27, 2016 Posted by kingcade

You have filed for bankruptcy and are looking forward to a fresh start. However, your credit rating has taken a substantial hit. The bankruptcy is likely to stay on your credit report for ten years, therefore, for a period of time it may be difficult to get a loan or credit card. However, you can take these steps after your debts are discharged to take advantage of your fresh start.

Start an Emergency Fund

If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have likely had most of your debts discharged. This means that your salary is yours to spend and you will most likely be living on cash rather than credit. It is imperative that you build an emergency fund with your extra cash.

Rebuilding your Credit

In order to restore your financial life, you have to rebuild your credit. You can begin establishing good credit immediately after your debts have been discharged. However, it may take some time to build up your credit score. If you own your home, paying your mortgage on time is a good place to start. Mortgage lenders report to the credit bureaus.

Adopt a Positive Attitude

Experts agree that attitude and persistence make a huge difference in your life after bankruptcy. For example, if you start a savings account, carry no debts and have an emergency fund, you are telling yourself that you can take control of your finances.

First New Credit Card

Once you have established good spending and financial habits, you can apply for a secured card as soon as six months after your debts are discharged. Secured cards allow you to put money in an account and the credit card company will give you a credit limit of that same amount. You pay the bill as you normally would and then get the deposit back when you close the account or switch to an unsecured version.

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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, 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.

8 Things Debt Collectors Won’t Tell You

August 8, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Debt collectors often use extreme and dishonest measures to try to collect on debts. However, there are a number of things that they are not likely to tell you, and knowing these things can make all the difference in resolving your debts.

Below are eight things debt collectors are not telling you:

  1. Some of their threats carry no weight. Oftentimes, debt collectors use empty threats such as, “We are going to inform your creditor that you are refusing to pay this bill.” However, your creditor already knows you are not paying the bill, which is why the bill was sent to a collection agency.
  2. If you tell them not to call during work hours, they must comply. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors cannot continue to call you while you are at work, if you tell them not to. However, the 2011 Annual Report to Congress about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act complaints proved that 17,008 complaints were filed in 2010 related to debt collection calls to consumers at work. This number is up from 11,991 complaints the previous year.
  3. They cannot talk about your debts to others. Debt collectors are only allowed to discuss your debt with you, a co-signer, your spouse or your attorney. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors can only contact “third parties” to locate you.
  4. Your debt may be stale. Each state has its own statute of limitations that makes debt of certain ages not collectible. However, some debt collectors continue to target borrowers to collect on old debts.
  5. Debt collectors are under pressure to collect, just like you are to pay. Most collectors work on sliding scale commissions. This means that the quicker they collect money from debtors, the higher their commission.
  6. They cannot go after your possessions unless they sue you. Debt collectors must sue you before they can go after your property, including money in your bank account. Even threatening to sue you to collect a debt may be illegal if the collector has no intention of doing so.
  7. Paying off this debt will not boost your credit ratings. When a debt is sent to collections, it will remain on your credit report for seven and a half years from the date you fell behind with the original creditor. Collectors will often tell you they will “update your credit report to paid in full status.” However, the change will not likely affect your credit report.
  8. You probably do not have to pay your deceased relative’s debt. You are generally not responsible for the debts of relatives who have died unless you were a co-signer of the debt or the debt belonged to your spouse who died.

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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, 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.

5 New Rules Can Protect You From Extreme Debt Collection Practices

August 4, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken many steps to protect borrowers from illegal debt collection practices. However, debt collectors continue to use extreme measures to try to collect on debt. The Director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray said, “We continue to hear about serious problems with debt collection – debiting accounts without authorization, calling at all hours of the day or night, threats of arrest or criminal prosecution or threats of physical harm to consumers and even their pets.”

As a result, the CFPB has proposed a new set of rules that will further monitor debt collectors’ practices and prohibit them from harassing and tricking consumers. Below are five of the new rules that will protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices.

  1. According to the CFPB, approximately one-third of all consumers who are contacted by debt collectors said the attempt to collect was for the wrong amount. This occurs because debts are often sold to debt collectors with limited and inaccurate or incomplete information about the consumers and their debts. However, new proposed rules would force debt collectors to “scrub” their files and make sure they have the correct consumer and debt information before contacting the borrower.
  2. The CFPB’s new proposal would also prohibit debt collectors from contacting consumers more than six times per week. Some debt collectors contact consumers multiple times per day, causing a major disruption to their daily lives. The new limits would also give consumers the right to tell collectors not to call on a particular phone line or at a particular time of the day, such as during work hours.
  3. Another new rule would force debt collectors to disclose more information to consumers regarding their debt. This rule gives consumers the opportunity to defend themselves against illegal practices and enable them to spot a debt collection scam. The same rule would also force collectors to tell consumers if their debt is too old to initiate legal action.
  4. Debt collectors would also be forced to provide consumers with a debt report if they disputed a debt via written notice. Until the debt report is provided to the consumer the collectors would not be permitted to actively pursue debt collection.
  5. Finally, the new rules would also prevent debt collectors from transferring debt without responding to debt disputes. If the debt is transferred before the dispute, the next collector would not be able to pursue the debt until a response is submitted.

 

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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, 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.

The Bankruptcy Means Test: What is it? Why is it Important?

July 20, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The bankruptcy means test determines whether or not you are eligible to file for debt forgiveness through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The test uses factors such as: income, expenses and family size to determine who can afford to repay their debts through reorganization and who cannot. Most who take the means test, pass it and are considered clear to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, those who are ineligible for Chapter 7 have the option to file Chapter 13, which will restructure and reorganize debts.

How the Test Works

There are two steps involved in determining whether or not you have enough disposable income to pay off your debts. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will assist you in filling out and filing your paperwork with the bankruptcy court. Most debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are struggling with consumer debt such as credit card or medical debt.

Step One

The first step in the bankruptcy means test will compare your household income with the average income in your state. In Florida, the median income for a household with one earner is $43,136. The median income for a household with two earners is $53,654. The means test is based on your financial situation over the past six months; therefore you will need to gather all of your documentation about your income during this time period. Keep in mind the court will consider any recent changes in your income such as: losing your job or starting a new job. If your median income over the past six months falls below your state’s average, you automatically qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Step Two

If you are not automatically qualified to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on your household income, you will need to move on to step two in the bankruptcy means test. As a part of this step, you must gather all of your documentation that lists your “allowable expenses” over the past six months. These expenses can include any of the following: rent, groceries, clothing and medical costs. What is left over is considered disposable income. In this portion of the means test, it is important to be thorough and not leave out any “allowable expenses.” It is also crucial to know your local “allowable expense” standards in addition to national standards. Make sure you consult with your attorney to fully understand what are considered allowable expenses in Florida.

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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, 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.

 

Palm Beach Judge Withdraws Foreclosure “Speed Up” Rule

April 24, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Chief Palm Beach Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath withdrew his latest proposed rule aimed at speeding up foreclosure cases. This rule came after the Florida Supreme Court local rules advisory committee rejected the 2014 administrative order intended to sweep through the backlog of foreclosure cases. The rule is based on the idea that a docket of more than 20,000 foreclosure cases created a crisis and would deplete judicial resources.

If Judge Colbath’s rule had gone into effect, lenders and borrowers would have 60 days after motions are filed to respond. After that, judges would be allowed to make decisions based on the filings alone. Judges would have also had the discretion to waive the requirement where attorneys must make two phone calls to attempt to resolve issues. The proposed rule would require them to “make reasonable efforts to speak to one another.”

Judge Colbath’s withdrawal came just one day before Circuit Judge Richard Oftedal issued a standing order with the intent to accomplish the same thing.

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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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.