Archive for: ‘March 2012’

Stockton, CA. could become the Nation’s Largest City to File Bankruptcy

March 27, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Within the next three months, Stockton could become the nation’s largest city to file for protection from creditors under U.S. bankruptcy code. Using a new California law, the City Council is attempting to stall the process by entering mediation with creditors, including public employee unions. The Central Valley port city of 300,000 has suspended several bond payments and will not cash out vacation or sick time for employees who leave.

Before the recession, the city’s officials were spending large amounts of money on a new sports arena, a theatre complex, a marina and much more with the intention of creating a more cultured city. There is speculation that this could be one of the many reasons the city has been hit so hard by the recession. Residents believe the problem is the inflated salaries of city officials and their generous retirement packages. Others speculate that it is a result of the city’s dedication to employee unions. No matter the reason, Stockton’s economy has taken a severe hit. Crime has also increased in the area due to lack of funds for public employees such as police and firefighters.

To read more on this story visit: http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/03/14/stockton-calif-could-become-largest-city-file-bankruptcy

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

TaxMasters Inc. is the Latest Tax Representation Firm to File for Bankruptcy

March 22, 2012 Posted by kingcade

It was announced recently that another tax representation firm, Houston-based TaxMasters Inc., will file for bankruptcy. The company spent millions of dollars in TV advertising promising taxpayers’ resolution from their IRS debt, but was rarely able to deliver on its promise. Texas and Minnesota have both accused TaxMasters Inc. of “deceptive tax practices.”

TaxMasters Inc. is just the latest tax representation firm to file for bankruptcy. Months earlier, J.K. Harris filed for bankruptcy after a number of lawsuits were filed against it by multiple states’ attorneys general and taxpayers. Like TaxMasters, J.K. Harris also advertised the ability to relieve consumers of their tax debts to the IRS.

Another similar case was the one involving Roni Deutch, also known as the “Tax Lady,” based out of California. After a California attorney general filed a lawsuit against Deutch in 2010 citing similar allegations, Deutch eventually surrendered her license to practice law and filed for bankruptcy.

Americans struggling with debt owed to the IRS are not encouraged to utilize tax representation firms due to their history of charging outrageous fees and their lack of success. Instead, consumers and businesses with outstanding tax debt are encouraged to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service sector of the IRS, or a certified lawyer or CPA. There are affordable payment plans available to those who owe $50,000 or more to the IRS and in some extreme cases; it is possible to receive an “offer in compromise,” due to extenuating circumstances.

To read more on this story visit: http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2012/03/18/owe-the-irs-taxmasters-bankruptcy-shows-why-not-to-get-help-from-tv-pitchmen/.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Reports Show an Increase in Credit Card Debt for Americans in the Month of February

March 22, 2012 Posted by kingcade

CreditKarma.com released data from the consumer credit climate report compiled of more than 442,102 consumers in February 2012. The results showed a slight increase in consumer credit spending since January 2012. CreditKarma.com reported that the average American consumer held more than $170,000 in debt, which was attributed to home mortgages and more than $46,000 in home equity loan debt. Another debt that Americans are struggling to reduce is their student loan debt, which averages around $28,000 per person.

Not only has credit card debt increased, consumer credit scores have decreased two points since January 2012. The average American consumer credit score is 659. Credit score averages tend to be higher in states like New Jersey and Massachusetts. Credit scores in states like Mississippi and Louisiana tend to be lower, and are attributed to the lower cost of living.

To read more on this story visit: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/credit-card-debt-remains-stable-according-to-creditkarmacom-2012-03-14.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Huge WIN for Victims of the Housing Market Crash and Foreclosures

March 16, 2012 Posted by kingcade

On March 9th 2012, the Florida State Legislative came to the decision to not pass the foreclosure bills that would ultimately speed up the foreclosure process. The Florida attorneys fighting for the cause worked along side consumer groups and activists for the third year in a row to ensure the Senate did not pass the bills. A few of the groups that worked relentlessly for this cause was PICO Florida, FOCUS, The Florida Consumer Action Network, Sarasota’s Mortgage Justice Group, and some members from Florida’s Tea Party.

To read more on this story visit: http://mattweidnerlaw.com/blog/2012/03/we-fought-the-law-and-we-won-foreclosure-bills-dead-for-now/

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well qualified attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

8 Ways to tell if a Debt Collector is a Scammer

March 16, 2012 Posted by kingcade

If someone calls to collect payment on a debt you were unaware of, it’s important to ask the following questions to ensure you are not getting scammed.
1.) Basic Information: Whether the collection caller is attempting to collect on a real debt or if it’s a scam, the caller is going to ask you questions. Make sure and ask some of your own. A real collector is going to provide you with the company name, address and phone number. Scammers will likely refuse to give you this information.

2.) Get Confirmation: A genuine debt collector has five days from the first phone call to send you written confirmation of the debt. That confirmation letter should be more than a demand to pay. It should also spell out some of your rights and include information on the collection agency, such as the company name, mailing address and phone number.
3.) Verify that the agency exists: Input the company name and/or phone number into an Internet search engine. Have there been any complaints against them? Confirm that the company is licensed or allowed to work in your state. Some scammers will claim to be from genuine collection firms or attorney’s offices. Contact your state attorney general’s office or department of consumer affairs and verify this- and most importantly, do NOT disclose any personal information to them.

4.) Pull your credit report: Credit reports provide a quick snapshot of your current debts. If someone calls and says you owe money and it is not listed on your credit report, it’s like to be a scam. Consumers should be checking their credit reports at least one a year. You can get each of your three reports free every year at AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.

5.) Check your state’s statute of limitations: If the statute of limitations has expired, the collector cannot make you pay. In addition, seven years after you went into default, the debt has to come off your credit report — even if it’s sold to collectors. No matter who owns it or when they bought it, it cannot be listed on your history or used to compute your credit score.

6.) Send for verification of the debt: After you’ve been contacted by a debt collector, you have 30 days to demand proof that it’s a real debt and that it belongs to you. If the debt isn’t an outright con, you want verification. As a return address, consider using a post office box or office address instead of your home address to protect your home address.

7.) Make sure you get real proof: The verification you receive could take many forms. It could be a copy of your contract with the original creditor, a copy of the charge-off statement or an invoice from the original creditor. Or it could simply be information about the debt, such as the original creditor’s name, the account number, charge-off amount and current balance. The collector should also be able to furnish at least the last four digits of your Social Security number.

8.) Determine if it’s yours—and theirs: When you receive the verification information, read it carefully. Check the billing address, the styling of your name, the middle name or initial listed and even designations like “Jr.” or “Sr.” If anything is off, it could be a case of mistaken identity or a scam. You also want to make sure the debt is being handled by the agency that contacted you.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/debt-management/is-that-debt-collector-a-scammer-bankrate.aspx.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.