Archive for: ‘June 2013’

Will my 401(K) be Safe if I file for Bankruptcy?

June 20, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Yes, your 401(K) is safe from bankruptcy. But it is only protected as long as it remains in your 401(K) account. Taking money out of your 401(k) or any retirement account prior to filing bankruptcy converts the funds from a protected to an unprotected asset, taking them from a retirement nest egg to money being used for daily expenses. Funds in checking accounts, savings accounts and other nonretirement investment accounts do not receive the same protections as retirement funds.

Click here to read more on whether your 401(K) and other retirement assets will be safe after filing for bankruptcy.

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.

Six Ways to Protect your Credit after a Natural Disaster

June 20, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Following a natural disaster, such as the recent Oklahoma tornados and California wildfires- not to forget Florida’s hurricane season, the last thing you want to think about is whether you have paid your Visa bill.

Putting such tasks on the back burner while you are focusing on more important issues such as temporary housing along with food and water can be devastating to your credit score. Just a few delinquent payments can ruin your credit score when you need access to credit the most.

Here are six ways to ensure that your old debts do not jeopardize your financial future:

1.) Get a copy of your credit report. By having a copy of your credit report before it reflects any financial impact resulting from the disaster, you can later make the case to a lender or someone else checking your credit that the disaster, not financial mismanagement, caused your low credit score. You can get a free credit report each year from each of the three big credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) from AnnualCreditReport.com
2.) Create a post-disaster budget. While you’re waiting for a check from your insurance company, take a realistic look at your savings and any income that’s coming in. Once you have your post-disaster budget, you will know how much you have left to pay on your credit cards and other debts.
3.) Initiate contact with creditors. Once you know how much money you are working with, it’s time to reach out to your creditors. Sometimes when disasters occur, credit card companies will email their customers to let them know they are aware of the disaster and will waive late fees that month for those who have been affected.
4.) Document all conversations. When contacting your creditors, be prepared to tell them how the disaster affected you, how long you think your ability to pay will be impacted and how much you can afford to put toward your bill. Keep a detailed record of the conversation, knowing who you talked to, what they promised and when the phone call took place.
5.) Explain the disaster’s effects on your credit reports. As you are recovering financially from a disaster, you can add a 100 word statement to your credit report explaining that you experienced a natural disaster and it caused your credit to suffer.
6.) Look for long-term recovery funding. Your insurance policies and government assistance may help you rebuild your home or possibly replace your car, but you may have to seek additional resources to help you pay for other debt obligations, particularly if you lost your job following the natural disaster.

Click here to read more about the six ways you can protect your credit following a natural disaster.

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.

Credit Card Act of 2009- Changes Proposed to Protect Consumers

June 19, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Thanks to the Credit Card Act of 2009, cardholders are getting hit with fewer penalty fees and surprise interest rate hikes. However, according to a recent news story, a sequel to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 could be in the works as regulators sort through a fresh batch of complaints. Regulators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau collected the comments earlier this year about the post-CARD Act environment. The CFPB plans to issue a study in coming months that will look at the law’s impact on the availability of credit, and at how card issuers’ practices are affecting consumers.

Several groups pointed at deferred interest cards as the most dangerous trap lying in wait for unwary borrowers. Deferred interest cards allow people to purchase appliances, furniture and other expenditures they cannot pay for upfront without accruing the added interest. The delayed interest deals are also becoming popular with some doctors and dentists as a way for their patients to finance expensive medical procedures. These type cards are often the most dangerous traps for unwary borrowers, because these cards come with very complicated contracts. One unwary Denver resident told Consumers Union that she and her spouse wound up paying more than $1,000 in surprise interest on a deferred deal. Having made their first payment in October, the couple figured that the final payment on the one-year deferral would be due the following October — but that was a month late. As a result, they were charged the full year of accrued interest, which took a few more months of payments to erase.

Click here to read more on the new protections being proposed by regulators and consumer advocates when it comes to the Credit Card Act of 2009.

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 Foreclosure Update: Recent report shows negative Equity and Foreclosures still High

June 18, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Although South Florida has recently shown impressive gains in home prices and sales volume, it still has a long way to go. Corelogic reported that 40.7 percent of the mortgaged homes in the greater Miami area and 39.3 percent of those in the greater Fort Lauderdale area remained underwater in the first quarter. According to the real estate data firm, that is roughly double the national average of 19.8 percent of all mortgaged homes. In Broward County, foreclosure activity spiked 112.8 percent in May from a year earlier. One of every 317 residences in Broward received some sort of foreclosure filing during May, RealtyTrac said.

Much of the foreclosure activity reflects lenders moving forward with cases that were long delayed while regulatory concerns about robo-signing and similar mishandling of delinquent loans were settled. This recent data helps to explain the lack of inventory available in South Florida at present time. Most homeowners are less likely to put their home on the market if that means having to pay out cash at the closing table.

Click here to read more on the latest foreclosure data compiled by Corelogic for South Florida.

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.

TREND ALERT: Lenders seek Court Actions against Homeowners Years after Foreclosure- Find out who they’re targeting…

June 17, 2013 Posted by kingcade

In an increasing foreclosure trend, a number of homeowners are being taken to court by their lenders years after their houses were lost to foreclosure. Lenders are filing motions in old foreclosure lawsuits and hiring debt collectors to pursue leftover debt, plus court fees, attorneys’ fees and tens of thousands in interest that had been accruing for years. It’s all part of a legal process known as a “deficiency judgment,” which is allowed in 40 of 50 states- including Florida.

It works like this: A property with a $500,000 mortgage might be worth only $300,000 following the housing crisis. The $200,000 difference, or what’s commonly referred to as the “underwater amount,” is known to lenders as a deficiency balance. Among the lenders pursuing the judgments are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Officials at those agencies said the judgments are necessary to recoup money lost in the housing market crisis.

Deficiency judgments are financially devastating to the foreclosed home buyer and also come with income tax consequences. Freddie Mac seems to be targeting “strategic defaulters,” which the agency defines as “someone who had the means but chose to go into default, that there were no extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to pay. If you’re choosing not to pay off your mortgage, but you’re paying other bills, this would be considered strategic default.”

Click here to read more on lenders seeking court actions against homeowners years after foreclosure with deficiency judgments.

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.