Archive for: ‘December 2012’

Four Common Credit Card Mistakes

December 31, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Credit cards are a great way to improve your credit score; however simple missteps in your credit card use can ruin your credit and leave you with unmanageable debt. Many people first encounter credit card trouble when they opt for short-term benefits and ignore the big picture. Cardholders are frequently enticed by flashy marketing campaigns and as a result, ignore the fine print terms of their cards.

Below are four common cardholder mistakes:

1. Credit card companies frequently offer signing bonus points to prospective cardholders. The majority of consumers do not read the fine print stating that a certain amount must be spent in a certain amount of time to receive these benefits. Consumers should be weary of increasing their spending to receive bonus points.
2. Credit card companies that use bonus points most likely have higher annual fees. A commonly used marketing tool is to waive this fee for the first year of card use. Consumers tend to disregard the fee since the first year is free and may not be able to afford it later.
3. If a cardholder is racking up interest on a card and having a hard time paying it off, it is not uncommon for them to transfer the balance to another card. Many consumers do so in order to receive a 0% introductory rate. In some cases, consumers skim the fine print and do not realize the interest on the card will be retroactive. Transferring balances from one card to another can also have a negative impact on consumers’ credit scores.
4. Department stores have been offering up discounts at the register in exchange for signing up for a store card for years. Oftentimes feeling rushed, it is common for consumers to overlook the fine print and sign off on inflated interest rates. Store card interest rates are rarely anything less than double digits; therefore consumers should forgo the discount!

To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/4-costly-credit-card-missteps?page=2

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. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Can Bankruptcy Eliminate Some of my Divorce Debt?

December 28, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Many people who have gone through a divorce find themselves left with unmanageable debt. Bills that you once easily paid can be impossible for you to afford with only one income. An added stress is that you may also be required to pay alimony or child support. ‘Support’ payments can take a large amount of your monthly income. Unfortunately, these debts are not typically eliminated through any type of bankruptcy. However, if you are struggling to keep up with your other bills, bankruptcy may be the best option to help you get a handle on your other finances.

According to Section 523(a) of the Bankruptcy Code the following debts are non-dischargeable through bankruptcy:

• Certain types of taxes and particularly taxes where the debtor filed a fraudulent return.
• Debts which the debtor did not list in his/her bankruptcy papers
• Debts for a domestic support obligation arising from a divorce or other family law situation
• Property settlements arising from a divorce or other family law situation
• Most fines and penalties payable to a government unit
• Student loan debt
• Personal injury claims arising from the use of drugs or alcohol
• Criminal restitution
• Condominium or homeowner association assessments due after the debtor files for bankruptcy

Oftentimes debt that is shared between spouses will still be shared debt after a divorce. As a result, if one spouse files for bankruptcy, the creditors will expect the other spouse to fulfill the debt that was once shared. This can send the other spouse into bankruptcy as well. For this reason, couples are urged to file for bankruptcy before filing for divorce, in order to divide assets properly.

To read more on this topic visit: http://www.alllaw.com/articles/family/divorce/article62.asp

Or visit: http://bankruptcy.lawyers.com/consumer-bankruptcy/Personal-Bankruptcy-and-Divorce.html

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. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Home Construction – Slow but Stable in November

December 27, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Home construction rates while still up from last year, slowed down in November. However, the three percent decline in new home construction is small enough that the housing market remains at a stable recovery rate. Economists believe a major contributor to the decline was Hurricane Sandy, the late October storm that devastated the Northeastern part of the U.S. The Northeast home construction rates dropped 5.2 percent from October to November after Sandy.

Builder confidence was also lower in the Northeast compared with other parts of the country, which is measured by the amount of applications for new building permits. In November, the rate of applications filed was down five percent compared with 2011 levels. The rest of the country saw major increases in applications. On average, applications for new permits increased 26.8 percent compared with November 2011 and 3.6 percent compared with the previous month.

In addition to home construction rates, the housing market has shown other signs of recovery, such as lower inventory, lower interest rates and lower foreclosure rates. An improving job market has also helped boost the economy.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/19/real_estate/home-building-permits/index.html

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.

Fiscal Cliff Controls the Fate of Four Key Tax Breaks for Parents

December 26, 2012 Posted by kingcade

President Obama and Congress have yet to reach an agreement regarding the Fiscal Cliff. Many areas of the economy will be affected if we go over the Fiscal Cliff, one of them being a loss or lessening in certain tax breaks. Four of the tax breaks that will negatively affect parents’ financial state are the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the American Opportunity Credit. Some families are at risk of losing money on more than one of the tax breaks, which will result in either the loss of thousands or owing thousands.

See below for the way each tax break will be affected if the country goes over the Fiscal Cliff:

1. The Child Tax Credit allows lower income families to claim up to $1,000 per every child under the age of 17. If the Bush and Obama tax cuts expire, the tax break will drop back to $500 and only extend to working families with three or more children. A family with only one or two children could end up paying $1,000.

2. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit allows working parents to claim up to $3,000 worth of expenses per child on up to two children. The parents could receive a maximum of 35 percent of this amount as a credit. If the Bush tax cuts expire, parents can claim up to $2,400 per child and receive a maximum of 30 percent as a credit.

3. The Bush and Obama administrations formulated the Earned Income Tax Credit, which allows married couples with a joint income below $50,270 and three or more children to receive up to $5,891. Obama also raised the maximum credit from 40 percent to 45 percent of earned income for families with three or more children. If the country goes over the Fiscal Cliff, the rate will fall back to 40 percent and the credit allotted by Bush’s Earned Income Tax Credit will drop approximately $5,000.

4. The American Opportunity Tax Credit was a part of Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan. The plan allows low-income families to claim up to $2,500 of credit for four years to help them pay for college fees. At the end of the year, Obama’s American Opportunity Tax Credit will expire and revert back to the Hope Credit, where the maximum credit will drop to $1,800 for only two years.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/18/pf/taxes/parents-tax-breaks/index.html

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. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

‘Mortgage to Lease’ Provides Alternative to Foreclosure for some Struggling Homeowners

December 25, 2012 Posted by kingcade

For homeowners who are struggling to afford their monthly mortgage payments, ‘mortgage to lease’ or ‘deed for lease’ is an option for a select few. Fannie Mae introduced a rent-back program in 2009, and this year, both Bank of America and CitiMortgage announced that they would try a similar approach in a handful of markets. The programs are basically an extension of what’s known as “deed in lieu of foreclosure.” In this process, the lender agrees not to foreclose if the homeowners simply hand over the deed to their property.

The new element is a rental option: after relinquishing the deed, homeowners who meet certain requirements may sign a lease to stay on as renters for one to three years (depending on the lender). This option is a good fit for families seeking to stay in their homes and keep their children in the same school district. Borrowers benefit because a deed-in-lieu looks better than a foreclosure on a credit report, and outstanding mortgage debt is forgiven.

To qualify, applicants must not be more than 11 payments past due on their mortgage, and must be able to pay fair-market rent without spending more than 31 percent of their gross income. Properties with second mortgages are ineligible, as are properties in areas where zoning or homeowners’ associations prohibit rentals. The condition of the property is also a factor.

To read more on this story visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/realestate/mortgages-the-rental-alternative-to-foreclosure.html?ref=foreclosures&utm_source=contactology&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=InChargeInsiderMarch&_r=1&

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.