Archive for: ‘March 2013’

As the Economy Improves, Many South Floridians are Repairing their Credit Scores

March 22, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Florida was one of the hardest hit states when the housing market crashed in 2008. As a result, many residents lost their jobs, lost their homes and were forced to file for bankruptcy protection. However, many South Floridians have made progress in repairing their credit scores since the recession. Approximately 40,000 people in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties raised their credit scores to 620 or above in just one year. A credit score above 620 removes the individual from the Subprime or Risky category, meaning that they are more likely to be approved for credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, etc. Not only is it easier to be approved for a loan once you are out of the Subprime category, but it also enables you to get lower interest rates.

According to Equifax, South Florida is second only to the Los Angeles metro area in the number of people who have improved their once sub-prime credit scores in the year that ended September 30, 2012. In January, the average credit score for the three counties was 645, which is only three points below the national average. Much of South Florida’s successful recovery can be attributed to the large number of mortgage lenders that are trying to help out the community. Companies such as The Mortgage Firm, provide free counseling to help people improve their credit scores. As a result, many South Floridians have been approved for mortgage loans in as little as two years after filing for bankruptcy and as little as three years after a foreclosure.

Click here to read more about how South Floridians have successfully repaired their credit scores after the recession.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

Top 10 Leading Causes of Bankruptcy

March 21, 2013 Posted by kingcade

In the southern district of Florida, 31,989 people filed for personal bankruptcy in 2012 and 36,847 in 2011. However, the factors that cause people to file for bankruptcy can be very different. See below for the top ten leading causes of filing for personal bankruptcy.

1. Medical Bills: Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Studies show that 42% of all personal bankruptcies are the result of medical bills.

2. Job Loss: Approximately 22% of those who file for personal bankruptcy attribute their financial troubles to their unemployment.

3. Uncontrolled Spending: Credit card bills, mortgages and car payments contribute to approximately 15% of bankruptcies in the United States. Many Americans are forced to file for bankruptcy protection every year due to uncontrolled spending habits.

4. Divorce: Divorce can be very expensive when there are legal fees, child support payments, alimony payments and the burden of providing for a household on only one income. Divorce attributes to 8% of bankruptcy filings in the United States.

5. Unexpected Disasters: Around 7% of personal bankruptcies are the result of an unexpected disaster such as an earthquake, flood or hurricane. Many Americans cannot recover from debt surrounding a natural disaster due to a lack of homeowners or renters insurance.

6. Avoiding Foreclosure: Many people have filed for bankruptcy protection in order to avoid their home from being foreclosed on. Approximately 1.5% of Americans reportedly file for bankruptcy to stay in their homes.

7. Poor Financial Planning: Nearly 1.5% of Americans who file for bankruptcy protection are forced to do so because of poor financial planning.

8. Preventing Loss of Utilities: One percent of families file for bankruptcy protection in order to keep their utilities on, such as electricity.

9. Student Loans: Student loans are not typically dischargeable debt when filing for bankruptcy; however, the minimum payments can be so high that the individual is forced to file for bankruptcy to eliminate other debt. One percent of Americans attribute their bankruptcy to student loans.

10. Preventing Repossession: One percent of Americans file for bankruptcy in order to have repossessed items returned to them or to avoid repossession altogether.

Click here to read more about the 10 leading causes of personal bankruptcy.

Click here to find bankruptcy statistics in the United States from 2011 and 2012.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

‘Shadow Inventory’ May Ease Shortage of Homes for Sale in Florida

March 20, 2013 Posted by kingcade

According to RealtyTrac, there are more than 56,000 homes currently in the process of foreclosure in Palm Beach and Broward counties. That is a 55 percent increase from this time last year. As a result, there has been a shortage of homes for sale, which has been frustrating for prospective buyers. Homes that are lingering in the foreclosure process are also known as ‘shadow inventory.’ There is currently such a great amount of shadow inventory that it suggests that buyers will eventually have a greater supply once the courts begin streamlining the foreclosure process. Another reason there has been a shortage of homes is because lenders have been holding back inventory that is available to sell in order to encourage a recovery and avoid a loss on the property.

Many individual buyers are being outmuscled by large investment firms in South Florida that are buying up millions of dollars of distressed real estate. In many cases, these large firms are buying up properties before they make it to multiple listing services, leaving individual buyers little chance at all. Investment firms bought more than 5,200 properties during 2012 and are reportedly still on the market for good deals. Therefore, when the ‘shadow inventory’ homes do make it to the market, it is not likely they will hurt home prices because there are so many individual buyers and investment firms that are looking to buy right now.

Click here to read more about shadow inventory and how it may ease the shortage of homes for sale in Florida.

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 website, Kingcade & Garcia, P.A.

The Devastating Effect Medical Bills can have on your Credit Score And what you can do about it

March 19, 2013 Posted by kingcade

One thing that can be the most devastating to your credit score is an unpaid medical bill. Many Americans find themselves with a low credit score due to unpaid medical debt. Commonwealth fund estimated that nearly 30 million Americans were contacted by collection agencies for unpaid medical bills during 2010. In many cases, they did not know about the debt until it already damaged their credit score. A combination of sky-high bills, insurance processing delays and billing mistakes are often to blame for credit-harming medical bills. Unfortunately, many patients believe that medical bills cannot harm their credit score, when in reality even unpaid $15 co-pays can cause your credit score to plummet.

See below four medical bill myths that can wind up hurting your finances and your credit score:

1. As long as I am making payments on a medical bill, it cannot be sent to collections.

2. I have to be notified before a medical bill is turned over to a collection agency.

3. Medical collection accounts are treated differently than other types of collection accounts when credit scores are calculated.

Another unfortunate fact about medical debt is that most of those who are contacted by collection agencies do not fully understand their rights regarding the debt. If you are contacted by a collection agency you have (1) the right to receive written confirmation of the debt and (2) the right to dispute the debt. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you also have the right to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report. Congress is currently considering the Medical Debt Responsibility Act, which will help out those who are struggling with medical debt. The proposed legislation would require medical bills to be removed from credit reports 45 days after they are paid as long as the original amount does not exceed $2,500.

Click here to read more on the negative effects medical bills can have on your credit score.

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.

Floridians Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates This Year

March 18, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Florida has experienced a mortgage boom this year, due to eager home buyers taking advantage of lower interest rates. According to statistics released by JPMorgan Chase last Friday, Floridians have been getting new mortgages nearly double the national average. A Chase spokeswoman said that the mortgage giant has helped more than 56,000 Florida residents get new mortgages in the last year. The numbers of Floridians getting mortgages are up 52 percent this year, compared to last year. This is a 21 percent hike compared to the national average, meaning Florida doubled the national trend in originations. Many Floridians are rushing to apply for a mortgage so they do not miss the record low interest rates. Interest rates on a 30-year home recently jumped to 3.63 due to the strengthening economy. The 30-year fixed interest rate reached an all-time low in November 2012 of 3.31 percent.

Much of the dramatic increase in residents applying for mortgages is coming from South Florida. Analysts believe the hike can be attributed to many who lost their homes to foreclosures during the recession a few years ago. They are getting back on their feet and able to qualify for new mortgages after spending a few years restoring their credit scores. These buyers are known as “boomerang buyers.” In some cases, they may have lost their jobs but now have new ones and are able to buy again. Analysts also believe some of those helping the state’s mortgage market are snowbirds looking to move to South Florida now that the economy is improving.

Click here to read more about Florida’s mortgage boom.

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 website, Kingcade & Garcia, P.A.