Archive for: ‘March 2014’

JP Morgan Chase faces Class Action Lawsuit

March 19, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The trend in robosigning has spread from mortgage to credit card debt in a recent lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase Bank. The bank has been accused of filing thousands of false affidavits in court. Miami resident Ruth E. Moya filed the class action lawsuit on March 11 in the Southern District of Florida against the NY-based bank and its credit card division. She is hoping to form a class with other customers who were hit with default judgments after the bank submitted a robosigned affidavit in support of the motion for default.

The lawsuit states that Chase relied upon and/or submitted improper, incorrect and fraudulent affidavits attesting to the alleged cardholders’ debts. These affidavits were executed by Chase employees, often thousands at a time, without the employee reviewing or verifying the information attested to in the affidavits. The lawsuit also claims the affidavits were notarized en masse by notaries who did not witness the party’s signature. It is alleged that this was done by Chase to obtain rapid default judgments without ensuring the accuracy of the cardholders’ debt. In Roth’s case, the lawsuit alleges that the amount of the default judgment Chase obtained against her was greater than the past due amount listed on her balance statement.

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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.

Avoid Getting Audited this Year: 10 Tax Audit Red Flags

March 18, 2014 Posted by kingcade

1.) You’re “very” charitable. Be careful not to exaggerate your good deeds. The IRS has pre-calculated a donation level for each income range, so anything that exceeds those amounts could cause the IRS to take a second look at your return. Keep in mind- you are required to keep receipts for any donations exceeding $250 and to fill out form 8283 for any non-cash donations exceeding $500. Non-cash donations are where a lot of people end up exaggerating and get into trouble. So remember, items that you are giving to Goodwill should be valued at the price someone would actually pay for them today- not the amount you purchased them for 10 years ago.

2.) You deduct your home office. The home office deduction is one of the most complicated and abused deductions in the tax code. Starting this year, you can claim $5 per square foot of workspace, up to 300 square feet. The deduction will be capped at $1,500 per year. The IRS’s definition of a home office remains the same. Your home office must be your primary place of business and used exclusively for work. So if you check your emails from the kitchen or work from home a couple times a week, this does not constitute a home office.

3.) You claim bizarre deductions. These can spark suspicion with the IRS. When in doubt, ask a tax professional before claiming these deductions.

4.) You’re a millionaire. Being rich has its benefits, but not during tax time. The more income you report, the higher the likelihood you will get audited. Be sure and keep up-to-date records of all income, donations and other transactions. The better documentation you have and the more organized you are, the less headaches you will have down the road.

5.) You claim the same child someone else does. If your ex files taxes before you do and claims your child as a dependent, the IRS is going to be very suspicious if you claim the same child as a dependent. This often happens when a couple gets divorced and one parent has primary custody, but the other still tries to claim the child as their dependent. Even if you are in the right, the IRS may force you to provide extensive documentation proving this.

6.) You have money abroad. The IRS has made it a mission to retrieve money that is illegally being stashed in overseas accounts. So even if you have money in a perfectly legal account abroad, you better report it. Failing to disclose this can result in penalties, including a fine of up to $100,000 or 50% of the account balance- whichever is greater.

7.) You claim the earned income tax credit. This refundable credit can be as much as $6,000 depending on your income and how many children you have. That’s why the IRS tries to make sure that this credit is only given to those who truly deserve it. If you claim this credit, make sure and have documentation including the Social Security numbers of all of your children and proof that they live with you (i.e. – letters from their schools or doctors that were sent to your address).

8.) You deduct gas costs. Most employers reimburse you for driving-related costs like gas and mileage. So if you are deducting hundreds or thousands of dollars of automobile costs as a business expense that is going to raise suspicion from the IRS. If you own a business, you can only deduct business-related costs. The gas you purchase for personal trips cannot be combined with that.

9.) Your “business” is really just a hobby. The general rule of thumb is that if the venture has not earned a profit in three out of the last five years, it’s usually not a legitimate business.

10.) You fail to report income. For those who earn money from a variety of different sources, it can be easy to forget an account. Some clients forget about small brokerage accounts they have and since the IRS receives information from brokerage firms directly as well, there is a good chance you will be contacted if your records do not match up with what the IRS receives. If you worked side jobs and earned more than $600 at any one of them in a year, those employers should send you a Form 1099 so you can report that income on your taxes as well.

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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.

Quiznos Files for Bankruptcy

March 17, 2014 Posted by kingcade

First Sbarro now Quiznos- it’s been a tough week for fast food chains. Executives at the chain restaurant, known for its toasted sandwiches, agreed to a restructuring plan that will reduce its debt by more than $400 million.

The company has lined up $15 million from investors to help keep the business running during the bankruptcy. All but seven of Quizno’s 2,100 restaurants in the U.S. and 30 other countries are independently owned by franchises, will remain open and operating as usual.

Quiznos once had more than 5,000 stores and was a competitive player in the sub market. But now, Subway has nearly 20 times the number of stores. Quizno’s CEO, Stuart Mathis has devised a plan of action that will help increase sales for its franchise owners moving forward. This strategy will look to reduce food costs, invest in local advertising, and in some circumstances, make loans available for restaurant improvements.

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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.

Florida still No. 1 in Foreclosure Activity

March 14, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The most recent data from RealtyTrac reveals that Florida remains the No. 1 state in the nation in foreclosure activity for the month of February. This activity includes initial filings, auction notices and lender repossessions. The number has dropped 24 percent from a year earlier.

One in every 372 residences in Florida received some sort of filing during the month of February; a rate more than three times the national average. In Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, foreclosure activity fell 33 percent in February compared with a year earlier and was down 27 percent from the previous month.

Nine of the 10 major U.S. metro cities with the highest rate of foreclosure were in Florida. At the top of the list was Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville. Tampa ranked No. 2; Jacksonville, No. 3, and Miami, No. 4-with one in every 328 residences seeing some type of foreclosure activity during the month. Port St. Lucie was No. 5.

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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 Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Sbarro Seeks Bankruptcy Protection, Again.

March 13, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The pizza restaurant chain Sbarro has filed for bankruptcy protection a second time after struggling with way too much debt and fewer customers in malls, where many of its restaurants are located. Sbarro plans on filing a Chapter 11 reorganization, which will allow it to cut its debt load by more than 80 percent. Lenders have supported the restructuring, which will require court approval.

Founded in 1956 by Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro, a married couple who immigrated from Naples, Italy, Sbarro quickly expanded in the New York City area. The original restaurant format featured an open kitchen which allowed customers to serve themselves.

The restaurant attributes its financial problems to an “unprecedented decline in mall traffic,” an “unsustainable” balance sheet and the closure of hundreds of its restaurants. However, experts in the restaurant industry attribute Sbarro’s loss in earnings to its outdated business model. The restaurant is trying to sell food that has been sitting out for a while. Today, more people want food that is made to order.

The company said it recently closed more than 180 money-losing restaurants and expected to close about 50 more. It now has 799 restaurants in more than 40 countries, employing about 2,700 people. Sbarro said the bankruptcy did not affect the 582 restaurants owned by franchisees.

Sbarro and 33 affiliates filed for protection from creditors with the federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan. The company reported assets of $175.4 million and liabilities of $165.2 million. It plans to shed $140 million of secured debt in the reorganization. Sbarro previously filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2011, and emerged from Chapter 11 the following November.

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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.