Archive for: ‘July 2013’

Major Consumer Win against Equifax over Credit Report Errors

July 31, 2013 Posted by kingcade

An Oregon woman was recently awarded $18.6 million in what people are referring to as a “major consumer victory” against credit reporting giant, Equifax. She contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 to get errors removed from her credit report. The incorrect information included a false name and social security number and debts that did not belong to her. She learned about the errors in 2009 when she was turned down for a bank loan she was attempting to get to help her disabled brother.

Her attorney argued these mistakes have cost his client “her reputation, was a breach of privacy and lost her opportunity to seek credit.” In many cases, credit report errors can even cost people employment opportunities.

While consumers are entitled to one free credit report from the Big Three (i.e. – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) every year, these three are also required to provide copies to consumers after they are denied credit. Equifax failed to do so in this case.

The jury awarded her $18.4 million in punitive damages and $180,000 in compensatory damages. Studies indicate that up to 21% of all credit reports contain some errors.

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.

Major Jump in Student Loan Borrowers Seeking Debt Relief

July 30, 2013 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent study published by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), four out of five U.S. bankruptcy attorneys reported a major jump in student loan borrowers seeking debt relief. The same experts that were among the first to warn of the mortgage crisis are now warning of a ‘student loan debt bomb.’ Student loan debt is now topping U.S. credit card debt with few options available for distressed borrowers. Even parents who co-signed loans for their children are not exempt from this trend. They are facing the loss of nest eggs, retirement homes and other assets as a result of insurmountable student loan debt.

Below are the findings from the NACBA nationwide survey of 860 bankruptcy attorneys:

• More than four out of five bankruptcy attorneys (81 percent) say that potential clients with student loan debt have increased “significantly” or “somewhat” in the last three-four years.

• 39 percent of bankruptcy attorneys have seen potential student loan client cases increase from 25 to 50 percent in the last three-four years. 23 percent of bankruptcy attorneys have seen such cases jump by 50 percent to more than 100 percent.

• 95 percent of bankruptcy attorneys report that few student loan debtors are seen as having any chance of obtaining a discharge as a result of undue hardship.

• College seniors who graduated with student loans in 2010 owed an average of $25,250, up five percent from the previous year.

• Borrowing has significantly increased for those in the 35-49 age group, with school debt increasing by 47 percent.

• Loans to parents for the college education of children have jumped 75 percent since the 2005-2006 academic years. Parents have an average of $34,000 in student loans and that figure rises to about $50,000 over a standard 10-year loan repayment period.

• An estimated 17 percent of parents whose children graduated in 2010 took out loans, up from 5.6 percent in 1992-1993.

• Of the Class of 2005 borrowers who began repayments the year they graduated, one analysis found 25 percent became delinquent at some point and 15 percent defaulted. The Chronicle of Education puts the default rate on government loans at 20 percent.

Click here to read more on the study reporting a major jump in student loan borrowers seeking debt relief.

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.

New Study Reveals Those Americans Most Likely to End up in Foreclosure

July 29, 2013 Posted by kingcade

A new study has found that Americans who have trouble dividing 300 by 2 are more likely to end up in foreclosure than those consumers with average math skills. According to the study’s authors, the research is among the first to directly link mortgage trouble to ‘financial literacy.’ The study also revealed that math skills were a better predictor of foreclosure than the type of mortgages available, which takes some of the blame away from so-called ‘risky’ mortgages.

The study examined actual mortgage payment streams obtained from the Federal Reserve, and then contacted mortgage holders to assess their math skills. Each was asked a series of five basic math questions; the answers were then assigned into four “buckets.” Four of those questions tested the ability to perform simple division or calculate percentages, like: “A shop is selling all items at half price. Before the sale, a sofa costs $300. How much will it cost in the sale?” Roughly 1 in 7 test-takers could not answer even two such questions correctly, and landed in the lowest bucket. That group was four times more likely to be in foreclosure than consumers who landed in the top bucket by answering all five questions correctly.

The researchers also went to great lengths to control outside factors, such as income, overall education level, IQ, and type of mortgage. Math skills had the most pronounced effect on likelihood that consumers would end up in foreclosure. For example, homeowners with no college degree but high math skills performed better than college graduates with poor math skills.

Click here to read more on this recent study linking the likelihood of foreclosure to individuals with poor math skills.

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 Bankruptcy Impacts Your Taxes

July 26, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Bankruptcy has been a part of our country’s history and constitution for years. Originally, bankruptcy was only available to businesses, credit was not readily available to the working class. By the end of World War II, the face of bankruptcy changed as credit became available to U.S. citizens. In 2005, the bankruptcy laws were tightened, but they can still provide relief for debt- including your tax debt.

Here are some simple rules to remember:

• If you are currently under audit, bankruptcy will not stop the audit. It will stop collection action while the bankruptcy is pending and if there is no Relief of Stay motion from the IRS.

• Not all tax debt can be discharged in bankruptcy. Items considered ‘priority debt’ cannot be discharged. This can include child support, student loans and drunk driving charges. These types of debt must be completely repaid in Chapter 13 reorganization.

For taxes to be dischargeable in bankruptcy, they must be personal income taxes which are at least three years old. Also, the tax must be assessed for at least 240 days. But if you have not filed your tax returns, it does not matter how old the liability is, those taxes will not be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Every situation is different, so it’s best to involve an attorney when dealing with tax debt and bankruptcy.

Click here to read more on how filing for bankruptcy can impact your tax debt.

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.

Casey Anthony’s Defamation Suits Likely to Survive Bankruptcy

July 25, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Roy Kronk and Zenaida Gonzalez filed complaints in federal court this week arguing their lawsuits should survive Anthony’s bankruptcy, because she was ‘willful and malicious’ in damaging their reputations. Texas EquuSearch, the search and recovery group that looked for her daughter Caylee in 2008 are also in objection to the discharge of her debts.

In her complaint filed Monday, Gonzalez’s attorneys write that Anthony “intended to subject [Gonzalez] to heightened police and media scrutiny in connection with Caylee’s disappearance to reduce the authorities’ suspicion that [Anthony] was involved in her daughter’s disappearance.”

Kronk, who alleges that Anthony’s criminal defense lawyers made statements implicating him in Caylee’s death, used similar language in his complaint. The complaints ask U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May to rule the Gonzalez and Kronk claims exempt from Anthony’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Casey currently has more than $790,000 in debt.

Click here to read more on Casey Anthony’s defamation lawsuits likely to survive 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.