Archive for: ‘December 2009’

A Bankruptcy Fresh Start Post Holidays: How holiday spending can impact your filing

December 30, 2009 Posted by kingcade

A Bankruptcy Fresh Start Post Holidays: How holiday spending can impact your filing

It’s important to remember this holiday season, that spending behavior can affect your ability to discharge certain bankruptcy debts- particularly when purchases are put on credit cards.  Credit card issuers who believe that some part of the debt owed to them was incurred by the purchaser without the intent to repay can come back and sue the debtor in their bankruptcy proceeding.  Under Bankruptcy Code Section 523 the creditor can argue the debt was incurred by fraud and should survive the bankruptcy case.

As part of a New Year’s resolution, start by putting your credit cards away this holiday season and move to a “cash only” system.  Get a fresh bankruptcy start by filing this New Year.    We will stop creditor harassment and help you get back on your feet.

If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. Web site at www.miamibankruptcy.info/.

– Timothy Kingcade

New Survey Reveals Economic Factors Behind Bankruptcy

December 30, 2009 Posted by kingcade

CHICAGO, IL, (AttorneyNewsWire.com) — December 24, 2009 — As America closes out 2009 with roughly 1.45 million bankruptcy filings, a new survey reveals the possible economic factors behind the surge.

The statistics are based on a December 2009 survey of 1,000 people contacting Total Attorneys to connect with a bankruptcy lawyer.

The Economic Factors Survey
When asked which economic factor (job loss/wage reduction, the credit crunch, increased mortgage payments, gas prices or food prices) forced them to consider bankruptcy, 57% of respondents cited job loss/wage reduction.

“Widespread, long-term job loss means many people don’t have the income to cover basic living costs,” says Kevin Chern, bankruptcy attorney and president of Total Attorneys. “Bankruptcy may be a way for people to protect their homes and regain control over their finances.”

The Bankruptcy Relation Survey
In an indication of how much the bankruptcy idea has spread, 10% of people polled said they know three or more people who recently considered bankruptcy.

“Bankruptcy isn’t something that happens to someone else,” says Chern. “It’s not a sign of failure or irresponsibility. For many people it’s a way to protect their family.”

Posted by timothy kingcade

Five Post-Bankruptcy Myths

December 25, 2009 Posted by kingcade

The decision to file for bankruptcy is typically a last resort for consumers who find themselves plagued with debt. While bankruptcy may offer a fresh start and relief from bills incurred from divorce, unemployment and uninsured medical costs, many consumers worry about how the decision will ultimately impact their financial future.

“Most people who contemplate bankruptcy fear they will never again own a credit card or be able to buy a home or get a new car or even take a vacation,” says Paula Langguth Ryan, author of “Bouncing Back from Bankruptcy.” “There are a lot of misconceptions about obtaining credit after bankruptcy.”

If you have filed for bankruptcy and are wondering whether you should apply for credit, and how to go about rebuilding your credit score, you aren’t alone. A report from the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records released in June found that consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings are on pace to reach 1.5 million in 2009.

Ryan, who once filed for bankruptcy, now counsels others on how to achieve financial freedom and avoid feeling overextended. She says some of the most common misconceptions about obtaining credit after bankruptcy include:

1. Filing for bankruptcy will permanently ruin my credit.
Many people actually obtain a higher credit score in the years following a bankruptcy if they successfully change their spending habits.

As you work to re-establish yourself as a good credit risk, Ryan recommends making sure your credit reports are accurate. To get a free copy of your credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com. The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

“Under a new federal law, consumers are entitled to receive free copies of their credit reports from all credit bureaus every 12 months,” Ryan says. “All three reports can be ordered via telephone by calling (877) 322-8228. You also don’t need to order all three reports at once, by staggering your requests, you can order one from each credit reporting agency every four months.”

– Posted By Timothy Kingcade

Recent Florida Bar Advertising Rules: How it affects Consumers and the Practice of Law – by Timothy Kingcade

December 18, 2009 Posted by kingcade

The Florida Supreme Court recently enforced some strict advertising rules when it comes to attorneys promoting themselves via Web sites, legal profiles, blogs, social media tools, billboards, ads, etc.  The most recent ruling on November 19th states that lawyer Web sites may not:

• Make statements that characterize the quality of legal services being offered;

• Provide information regarding past results;

• Include testimonials.

 

The Florida Supreme Court says the purpose of these new rules is to protect consumers from misleading information, provide them with accurate and helpful information in the selection of a lawyer, and respect lawyers’ abilities to provide information about themselves to the public.   They contend that these new rules benefit the consumer and protect the practice of law. 

However, many attorneys are arguing that it’s their first amendment right to engage in truthful advertising on the Internet.  For example, publishing their successful verdicts/settlements and positive client reviews on their firm’s Web site.   

One of the negative implications for consumers is that it levels the playing field of all Florida law firms, no longer allowing the “best firms” to showcase impressive verdicts and settlements received on behalf of their clients. This in turn will make it more difficult for consumers to make informed decisions on legal representation. 

Also, these new laws have the potential of putting Florida law firms at a competitive disadvantage with other law firms nationwide.  Attorneys practicing in other states are not as restricted with the content placed on their Web sites, blogs and social media tools.  These rules are scheduled to take effect January 1st, 2010.

To keep up to date on the latest attorney advertising rules in the State of Florida visit the Florida Bar at www.floridabar.org. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. Web site at www.miamibankruptcy.info/.  If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100.

-Timothy Kingcade

Timothy Kingade on Trends in Bankruptcy Law

December 15, 2009 Posted by kingcade

Recently, it has come to my attention the increase in my clients’ emotional exhaustion over losing their homes due to foreclosure.  Unfortunately, for those facing foreclosure here in South Florida, President Obama’s “Mortgage Rescue” plan has not yet materialized.  I have been able to help those facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives.  I also help those with the removal of mortgages in Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

Other bankruptcy trends I have noticed in my practice include an increase in the amount of senior citizens filing as a result of having to put their monthly prescriptions on credit cards.  Many of these individuals are already on fixed financial budgets and Medicare/Medicaid coverage applies only after a certain amount is covered by the consumer.  There has also been an increase in bankruptcy filings among college/graduate school educated individuals as a result of the 2005 law no longer discharging private student loans.

If you need relief from creditors calling and are considering bankruptcy as an option contact our experienced and compassionate attorneys today for a free consultation.  At Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. our attorneys have many years of legal experience and handle over a thousand bankruptcy filings each year.  We are sensitive to your financial issues and offer reasonable fees and payment plan options to clients in bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases.

– Timothy Kingcade