Archive for: ‘June 2013’

Last Minute College Savings Tips for Parents

June 28, 2013 Posted by kingcade

For parents with kids heading off to college in the next few years, it’s not too late to implement these last minute savings tips.

1.) Compromise on School. Parents and children should have open and honest conversations and make their school choice based on learning needs and career ambitions, not name recognition.

2.) Take Advantage of Government Loans. Every family should take advantage of government education loans. According to Bill Harris, founder of online wealth management company Personal Capital, there is no “means testing” with the Stafford Loan, which means a family making $200,000 and one making $40,000 are both eligible.

3.) Invest in a 529-College Savings Plan. The earlier parents start funding a 529-college savings plan, which is a tax advantaged way to save for the college, the better, but it’s never too late to start. Many states give tax deductions for contributing to a 529-plan.

4.) Take advantage of American Opportunity Tax Credit. Families with an overall income under $160,000 per year, or $80,000 for single filers, can qualify for a tax credit of up to $2,500 during the first four years of a child’s college education. This tax credit includes expenses for things like books, supplies and equipment that aren’t necessarily paid to the college or university.

5.) Move Assets out of a Child’s Name. Many parents open savings accounts in their children’s name, which is a great way to build a nest egg, but it can have a negative impact when it comes to paying for college. When determining eligibility for federal financial aid, 20% of any assets under the child’s name will count against him or her in the amount of aid offered.

6.) Explore Alternative Loan Types. Most private loans from a bank of credit union have higher costs and higher rates of interest. Instead, consider peer-to-peer lenders to see if they offer a lower fixed rate and always check with the financial aid department at your college to see what kind of tuition assistance is offered.

Click here to read more on last minute college savings tips for parents.

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.

Financial Problems Ahead: 5 Warning Signs that will not Show up on your Credit Report

June 27, 2013 Posted by kingcade

It is important to keep your credit score high. A good credit score can earn you low mortgage and refinancing rates, more negotiating power and increased credit limits. But even financial behaviors that do not directly affect your credit score can be a red flag that you are headed towards serious financial problems.

Here are five red flags that will not show up on your credit report:

1.)Taking out payday loans. Resist the urge to take out a payday loan. This can be toxic to your finances and a red flag that you are off track financially. You should resist the temptation no matter how tough your situation seems because the high interest rates and payment terms typically put people even further in debt.

2.) Fighting with your spouse about money. People often ignore this sign because they think it is a sign of marital issues, not financial issues. But arguing about money typically means that you are not on the same page with your spouse on financial issues. The deeper you get into financial trouble, the more people find themselves fighting with their spouse about how to spend money and how to get out of debt.

3.) Paying household bills with your home equity loan or line of credit. While paying your household bills with home equity money will not show up on your credit report, it is typically a sign that you are running out of options to pay your bills. ‘Revolving debt is unsecured, so it is very risky to borrow against a secured loan, such as your mortgage.’

4.) Bouncing Checks. If you are routinely overdrawing your bank account or bouncing checks, then you are most likely either not able to manage your finances or are in serious debt. While bouncing checks does not directly show up on your credit report, overdrawn accounts can result in a negative check writing history report.

5.) Tapping into your retirement fund. In addition to the early withdrawal penalties, you are costing yourself the compound interest you would have earned by leaving the money in the account.

Click here to read more on the 5 warning signs that you could be headed toward financial hardship.

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.

Financial Steps to Take before Walking down the Aisle

June 26, 2013 Posted by kingcade

The month of June continues to be regarded as the most popular month for tying the knot. With that being said, there are important steps you need to take before walking down the aisle in order to avoid fighting over finances. Couples need to first understand each other’s attitudes and concerns about money and then concentrate on the strategies and tools they will use to organize their financial affairs.

1.) Have a pre-wedding financial discussion: Share past money management experiences, and be honest. Discuss where you want to be financially in five, 10, and 20 years and express any fears you might have associated with money and brainstorm ways those fears could be alleviated.
2.) List your financial goals: this is a way to find out what is important to each of you. Rank the items on the list according to importance so that when the lists are compared and consolidated it will be easier to concentrate on the most important issues.
3.) Make a monthly budget: Many people cringe when they hear the word budget, but keep in mind you do not have to deny yourselves the things you love, just work them into the budget.

Money problems are one of the most significant factors that can lead to divorce.

Click here to read more on the financial steps you need to take before walking down the aisle.

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.

South Florida Ranks No. 2 among Abandoned Foreclosures

June 25, 2013 Posted by kingcade

According to RealtyTrac, South Florida comes in at No. 2 in metropolitan areas, with more than 13,000 abandoned and foreclosed properties. The State of Florida ranks No. 1 in the number of foreclosed properties abandoned by homeowners. One of the reasons for this is that banks are reluctant to maintain the property until they finally take possession, which can take years. The amount of abandoned and foreclosed properties can have a devastating effect on property values and entire cities. Lake Worth Commissioner, Scott Maxwell, is looking for a permanent solution to the problem, beginning by examining the city’s code enforcement.

Click here to read more on the devastating effects the high number of abandoned and foreclosed properties can have on South Florida and some of the solutions being proposed.

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

How a Foreclosed Home can turn into a Zombie Home

June 24, 2013 Posted by kingcade

The term, ‘zombie home’ refers to a house where the owner has moved out and the lender has never finished the foreclosure paperwork, leaving the absent homeowner legally liable for the foreclosed property along with the property taxes, homeowner association fees, fines for building code violations, etc.

Public records are clear that the homeowner still owns the property, but in many cases since the owner has already moved out he or she is unaware of this. Lenders typically are not required to notify the homeowner when a foreclosure is not complete. So following your move out, you should research public records to monitor the home’s ownership status.

According to RealtyTrac, as many as 300,000 zombie houses exist in the United States, and every state likely has at least a few of them. Florida is “Zombie Central,” with potentially 90,556 zombie houses, about 30 percent of the U.S. total. So why are there so many zombie homes? One reason is metropolitan areas tend to have distressed properties in such poor condition that neither the homeowner nor the bank wants to own them.

States such as Nevada, Oregon and Washington have new laws that punish banks for improper foreclosures, causing delays in the process. Some cities have set up registries of foreclosed or abandoned properties or enacted local laws that require lenders to perform basic maintenance, but enforcement may be minimal or ineffective.

Click here to read more about zombie homes and their effect on the housing market.

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