Archive for: ‘February 2013’

10 Factors that Make You ‘Unmortgageable’

February 21, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Nearly one-fourth of those who apply for a home loan are denied, according to the Federal Reserve. As a result of the Housing Crisis, it has become extremely difficult for borrowers to obtain mortgages. Below are ten factors that can put your mortgage hunt in jeopardy:

1. You are self-employed. If you are self-employed, two major issues arise when you are trying to obtain a mortgage. The first is that the income you earn from your business can be very unsteady. These fluctuations make you appear to be a risk to lenders. The second issue is that documenting small business income is more difficult and most lenders require two years of proof of income to qualify for a mortgage.

2. You have a subpar credit score. The average U.S. credit score is now 750. This is up from the 720-average a few years ago. You can get a mortgage with a score under 620, however the rates and fees will be very high.

3. You do not have enough money for a down payment. Lenders are now requiring that borrowers put a substantial amount more down, than before the housing crisis. If you do not have enough to put down, you may look too risky to lenders. Some down payments are as high as 15% to 20%; however, if you qualify for an FHA loan you may only need to put between 3.5% and 5% down.

4. You are new to the housing market. Many lenders now require borrowers to have at least a two-year housing history. However, this can include verifiable rent payments. If you are a recent college graduate, a rental history may not be an issue to your lender.

5. You are a new employee. Many lenders require borrowers to provide a two-year employment history in the same field of work before they will issue a loan. This is the result of the high unemployment rates over the past few years.

6. Your annual income is too low. If your monthly debt payments make up 45% of your gross monthly income, most lenders will see you as a risk. Any extra debt will decrease the likelihood that you will qualify for a loan.

7. You have applied too often. Contacting too many lenders can dictate the outcome of your qualification for a mortgage loan. Numerous loan applications can pull down a credit score. However, if you have applied within a week or two of each other, these inquiries should not affect your score.

8. You have too much debt. Lenders add up all of your debt including: auto payments, credit cards, student loans, etc. If your debt is substantial, many lenders will deny your mortgage application. Even if your student loans are in deferment, those balances are not always removed from your debt-to-income ratio.

9. You just made another major purchase. Beware of large purchases if you are planning to purchase a home within the next few months. If you have recently purchased a car, this can impact the likelihood that you will be approved for the mortgage.

10. You picked the wrong bank. The bank you choose as your lender can affect whether or not you get the mortgage. Larger banks will likely scrutinize you more than smaller, local banks.

To read more on this story visit: http://realestate.msn.com/-what-makes-you-unmortgageable#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.

12 Tax Breaks You Have Never Heard Of

February 20, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Many Americans pay more in taxes than they are required, simply because they are unaware of the approximately 200 tax breaks in the system. The Government Accountability Office estimated that as many as two million taxpayers overpay by not itemizing their deductions. Many breaks target tiny constituencies and specific companies.

Here are 12 little known deductions and credits that you may not know about:

1. Charity Donations from your IRA: The early January fiscal cliff deal resuscitated an expired provision that allows people ages 70 ½ and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRA to a qualified charity without paying taxes on the transfer.

2. Your Child’s Tuition or Medical Care: Parents or grandparents can pass along up to $5.12 million to their children or grandchildren over the course of their lifetime, (or $14,000) per year without incurring an inheritance tax. If parents want to give even more than that, they can get around those limits by paying for their children’s education or medical expenses.

3. Fostering a Pet: Foster pet owners can deduct expenses such as food, litter, vet bills, paper towels, etc. while waiting for the foster pet to be placed in a permanent home. Foster pet owners can even deduct mileage to the vet, in some cases.

4. Alternative Medical Treatments: The IRS allows alternative medicine including acupuncture, vitamins, herbal supplements and Christian Science to be deducted as medical care. Deductions extend to alternative forms of treatment as long as a medical practitioner prescribes them.

5. Private Mortgage Insurance: Another provision revived by the Fiscal Cliff deal allows taxpayers to deduct their premiums for private mortgage insurance. Many homeowners are unaware of this deduction, which can run from $50 to $220 a month on a loan of $250,000.

6. Moving Away for your First Job: One deduction that helps recent graduates is the one that allows you to deduct moving costs for your first full-time job. If you move at least 50 miles away from your old home, with at least 39 weeks of full-time work during your first year at a new employer, you qualify for this deduction.

7. Driving for Charity: If you do any driving related to charity work, it is deductible at 14 cents per mile. This deduction includes parking costs, along with other out-of-pocket expenses you incur during charity work.

8. Retirement Investments: Taxpayers with limited incomes can get a deduction and a tax credit for putting away money in retirement plans. Most who invest in a plan such as an IRA receive a deduction, however approximately 57 million households also qualify for a Savers Credit.

9. Whale Hunting with Alaskan Natives: Boat captains involved in subsistence hunting of endangered bowhead whales in Alaska can deduct up to $10,000 of their expenses. In order to qualify for this deduction, you must be hunting to provide food or materials for your family.

10. Stock Donations to Charity: If you donate stock rather than cash, you can receive a larger deduction on your donation. If you donate stock that has appreciated in value, you can write off the fair-market value and avoid the capital-gains tax on the stock sale.

11. Work Overseas: If you have worked overseas, the first $95,100 of your income is excluded from U.S. taxes. This deduction recognizes no distinction between low-tax and high-tax countries.

12. Harvest Your Investment Losses: If you sell an investment at a loss, such as a mutual fund, you can use the loss to offset either capital gains on other investments or their regular taxable income. Losses that you do not use now can be carried forward to offset gains future tax years.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/taxes/12-tax-breaks-youve-never-heard-of

If you have any questions on this topic or 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.

Foreclosure Filings in January Fall to Lowest Level Since 2007

February 19, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Foreclosure filings in January 2013 fell to its lowest level since April of 2007. According to RealtyTrac, notices of default, scheduled auctions, bank repossessions and other filings fell to 150,864. Altogether, these account for a 7% decline from December 2012 and a 28% decline from January 2012. New foreclosure filings have fallen to the lowest level since June 2006. According to RealtyTrac spokesman, Daren Blomquist, the peak of the foreclosure crisis has passed. Blomquist said that improvements are likely to be made throughout the rest of the year and by this time next year he expects to see pre-crisis numbers.

A major contributor to the decline in foreclosures is the result of new state regulations that took effect in California on January 1st. California led the nation in foreclosures through most of the housing crisis. During January, Florida surpassed California as the state with the most foreclosures. The Homeowner Bill of Rights went into effect in California on January 1st that helped protect its borrowers from foreclosure. According to the Bill, mortgage servicers must freeze all foreclosure proceedings once a borrower applies for a mortgage modification. The Bill also includes a $7,500 fine for servicers if they record and file multiple unverified documents in foreclosure proceedings.

To read more on this story visit:
http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/14/real_estate/foreclosures/index.html?iid=SF_PF_River

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.

Coral Gables Apartment Board President Turns Building into a Prison

February 18, 2013 Posted by kingcade

According to residents, the beautiful Coral Gables Apartment building, Waters Edge, has turned into a prison since the new board president took over last year. Jim Lowe was elected in April of 2012. The residents say that he harasses everyone. Lowe reportedly snaps pictures of supposed offenses and charges residents with substantial fees. In some cases, Lowe files lawsuits over funds owed by residents. In one case, Lowe charged a single mother of two a $1,000 fee for leaving her metal screen door open. In another instance with the same mother of two, he snapped a picture of her in the lobby eating a salad. He then proceeded to send her a copy of the photo with a note that said, “Not Allowed.”

According to Lowe, he is simply enforcing the condo’s long-standing rules. He claims that had he not stepped in, the apartment building would be broke by August. Lowe said that since his election, Waters Edge is now ahead on their bills and has new elevators and security cameras. Lowe admits that his style is abrasive but that he is saving the building hundreds of thousands of dollars, as a result.

To read more on this story visit: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-02-14/news/waters-edge-condo-commando-turns-building-into-a-prison-residents-say/full/

If you have any questions on this topic or 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.

Debt Collection Horror Stories: Beware of Illegal Practices

February 15, 2013 Posted by kingcade

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are prohibited from threatening violence, using profanity, calling incessantly, inflating a debt or impersonating an attorney. However, the Act has not yet put a stop to illegal harassment. In fact, debt collection companies have used some outrageous practices to collect on debts.

Below are some of the latest outrageous allegations of abuse:

Threatening to take away children. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down a debt collector in Texas for using abusive scare tactics to force people to pay off their debts. Consumers reported the company threatening to take away their children, send them to jail or send the sheriff’s department to their job site.
Posing as an attorney. Some debt collectors have been allegedly calling debtors and posing as an attorney or a representative from a law firm in order to scare them into paying off their debts. In some cases, the attorney imposters have even charged unauthorized attorney’s fees known as “juice.”
Threatening to dig up dead bodies. According to the FTC, the debt collection agency, Rumson, Bolling & Associates was accused of threatening to dig up deceased children of other debtors and drop them at their doors if they did not pay funeral bills.
Threatening to hurt pets. Rumson, Bolling & Associates was also accused of threatening to kill a debtor’s dog in one report.
Collecting debt owed to other companies. The FTC has also reported a new scheme where scam artists are stealing customer information and trying to collect on debts owed to another company. In some cases, scammers are trying to collect on debt that has already been paid.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/06/pf/debt-collection/index.html

Consumers who have been victims of threatening debt collection practices may want to consider taking legal action. Even in cases where consumers owe money – there are certain actions debt collectors can and cannot take in contacting debtors, which are guided by state and federal law. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act restrict debt collectors on when and how they can contact debtors. For example, these regulations protect calls to telephones and cell phones, calling at certain times of day, repeated or threatening calls and calls to non-debtors (such as the debtor’s family or colleagues).

If you have any questions on this topic or 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.