Category: ‘Debt Relief’

Tips to Remember When Applying for a Balance Transfer Credit Card

June 19, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Some debt is unavoidable and not always a bad thing, like taking out a mortgage to purchase your new home.  But if you are carrying a lot of high interest credit card debt, you may have trouble reaching certain financial goals.  One of the most effective ways to pay off the credit card debt quickly is by transferring the balance over to an interest-free credit card.

Here are three helpful tips for using these cards.

  1. Read the fine print. Do this carefully and find out what your credit limit will be. You will not be able to transfer more than the limit and if you exceed that limit, you will likely face a fee.  Find out if there is a penalty, APR.  That is when the credit card company increases your interest rate to 25 – sometimes 30% if you pay a single bill late or commit another violation of the terms & conditions (usually listed in the fine print).
  2. Choose your card wisely. Balance transfer credit cards vary and typically offer initial interest rates at 0%, but beyond that there are some big differences.  Remember, the 0% interest rate will only last between six and 12 months, after that a more standard interest rate will apply- and typically not a good one.  In addition, a lot of balance-transfer cards will charge a balance transfer fee.  The fee will typically be between 3% and 5% of the sum of what you are transferring.  For example, if you are transferring $20,000 and paying a 4% balance transfer fee, it will cost you $800.
  3. Pay off your debt within the “promotional” period.  To make the most of your balance transfer, set a goal of paying off the debt before the 0% rate expires. This will require you curb your spending habits.  Canceling your cable package and instead streaming movies and TV shows can save you $1,500 or more a year.  Take your lunch to work three days a week, instead of eating out every day.  Making small changes like this to your daily routine can really add up.

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: http://host.madison.com/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/tips-to-know-before-applying-for-a-balance-transfer-credit/article_4e4cac08-515f-59a6-aaff-d3175e8af42a.html

 

Supreme Court will not Expand Debt Collection Abuse Law in Santander Case

June 16, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to expand a federal law protecting consumers against harassment and threats in debt collection attempts.  The court unanimously upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a proposed consumer class action lawsuit against the auto-lender Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. over allegations it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The case came down to the definition of “creditor” and “debt collector” and whether a company that buys debt should be treated as a creditor, not subject to the the collections law.  The law applies only to companies that collect debts on behalf of others and does not apply to businesses like Santander who purchases the distressed debt from other companies after it defaults, the Supreme Court ruled.

The ruling was the first written by the court’s newest justice, Donald Trump-appointee Neil Gorsuch, who wrote that any changes to the law should come from the U.S. Congress, not the court.  The four Maryland residents who had defaulted on their car loans filed the proposed class action lawsuit in 2012 in federal court, accusing Santander of violations of the debt collection law including misrepresenting debt loads and bypassing the debtors’ lawyers.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/supreme-court-wont-widen-debt-collection-abuse-law-in-santander-case-2017-06-12

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-debt-idUSKBN1931NA

 

The Surprising Debts Holding Many Americans Back

June 15, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent survey, student loans and credit card bills are not the only debt holding many Americans back.  Credit Sesame, a site consumers can use to check their credit score, analyzed more than 5,000 user accounts and found they had significant amounts of debt from medical expenses, utility bills and cell phone charges.

Consumers whose medical debt had gone into collections had an average of three accounts, with a combined total of $3,670 in collections.  The average balance for customers who had cell phone bills in collections totaled $887 per account.  Customers whose utility bills were in collections owe $368 on average per account, the study concluded.

Not surprisingly, having those bills in collections hurt consumers’ credit scores.  The average credit score for someone whose medical debt is in collections is 552.  Those who have delinquent cell phone accounts have average scores of 550.  And those who have outstanding utility bills have a score of 542.

Lenders see applicants with lower credit scores as riskier than applicants with higher credit scores.  They oftentimes make you pay for this risk by charging a higher interest rate.  A poor credit score can affect your ability to rent an apartment, as landlords often check an applicant’s credit score before allowing you to sign a lease.

Utility companies may require you pay a deposit before setting up your service.  Even certain jobs and employers can discriminate against applicants who have a less than perfect credit report. Certain jobs, particularly those in upper management or the finance industry, require a good credit history.  Note: employers check your credit report and not your credit score.  They are not necessarily checking for bad credit, but for items that could affect your job performance.

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.

Related Resources:
https://www.thebalance.com/side-effects-of-bad-credit-960383

U.S. Credit Card Debt Expected to Surpass $1 Trillion this Year

June 13, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent report from the Federal Reserve, credit card debt in the United States is $8,038 per household. That is $940.2 billion total- up from $885.4 billion at the same time last year.

This comes after a first-quarter debt reduction when people oftentimes use their end of year bonus to pay down credit card debt in the New Year. While this year’s Q1 payment was 14% higher than the previous year, it is still almost 9% behind the effort in 2015.

WalletHub is predicting an additional $60 billion in new credit card debt in 2017, which would easily push the United States over the $1 trillion mark.

Here are some tips to quickly pay off credit card debt.

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:
http://www.wkbw.com/news/national/credit-card-debt-to-surpass-1-trillion-in-2017

2017 Credit Card Debt Study: Trends & Insights

Former ITT Tech Students Promised Help, then Silence

June 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

It’s been nearly five months since former ITT Technical Institute students received a glimmer of hope that their student loan debt would be forgiven.  Today they are still waiting.

The U.S. Department of Education announced on Jan. 13 that former ITT students — people who graduated or dropped out of the for-profit now defunct college chain long before the Obama administration forced it into bankruptcy — had a chance to get their federal student loans forgiven through a process called borrower defense to repayment.

In a statement, the Education Department said “approvals are beginning” for those students who claimed ITT defrauded them.

That work appears to have stopped altogether. Although the government issued letters to some students promising loan forgiveness within the 120 days, there is no evidence that the Education Department has forgiven loans for any former ITT students since President Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

This is just the latest setback for former ITT Tech students who say they were lured in with false promises and left with a mountain of debt (five- and six-figure student loan debt), few marketable skills and limited job prospects.

Several Democratic senators are seeking answers. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chuck Schumer of New York, Patty Murray of Washington, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts last week sent a letter to DeVos requesting information on borrower defense claims.

The senators are asking the Dept. of Education to provide detailed information regarding loan forgiveness applications and approvals for past students of ITT, along with two other failed for-profit college chains: Corinthian Colleges and American Career Institute.

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, 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.