Archive for: ‘April 2014’

Student loans come with Unexpected Hardship for some Borrowers

April 29, 2014 Posted by kingcade

For borrowers who take out private student loans, the death of a parent can come with an unexpected hardship. Even borrowers who have a perfect payment history can face sudden demand for payment in full or be forced into default if the co-signer of their student loan passes away. Many students who take out loans for college have minimal income or have yet to build up enough credit, so borrowing from banks and other private lenders often require a co-signer, usually a parent or other relative.

The problem arises from a little known provision in private loan contracts, which states: “If the co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy, the loan holder can demand complete repayment, even if the borrower’s payment record is spotless.” If the loan is not repaid, it is declared to be in default and can do damage to a borrower’s credit record that can take years to repair.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that after a co-signers death or bankruptcy, some borrowers are placed in default without ever receiving a demand of repayment. An increase in consumer complaints indicate this is becoming a common practice among certain banks and private lenders; some are even doing this automatically- combining public records of deaths and bankruptcies, comparing them to loan records and generating repayment demands and default notices.

A little known fact: Borrowers can have their loans released from the co-signer requirement if they have a few years of earnings and credit history, or have the loans transferred to a new co-signer. However, many borrowers are unaware of this because the loan companies make it difficult to exercise these options.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you 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.

Foreclosure Rate on the Decline in U.S., Florida

April 24, 2014 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent report by Black Knight Financial Services, the share of loans in foreclosure is down nearly 37 percent year-over-year, dropping to rates not seen since 2008. In Florida, 12 percent of homeowners with mortgages are not current with their payments, the third largest percentage in the nation of those behind on mortgage payments.

Less than 4 million people are not current on their mortgage payments- the lowest amount since November 2007. The report said Florida has had the second biggest improvement in the past six months, with a 20 percent reduction in delinquency. These levels have not been seen since October 2007, with foreclosures at a 7.5 year low. In addition, pre-payment rates have increased from last month to eight-tenth of a percentage point- not seen since 2008.

Click here to read more on this story.
http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2014/04/23/black-knight-report-foreclosure-rate-sinking-in-u.html

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.

An Increasing Number of Borrowers Seek Student Loan Debt Forgiveness

April 23, 2014 Posted by kingcade

As education costs continue to increase, so do the number of borrowers enrolling in federal student loan debt forgiveness programs. The U.S. Education Department reports a 40% increase in the just the last six months. The cost of education has increased in recent years- up 6% in 2014 alone. The Obama administration recently proposed capping debt forgiveness at $57,500 per student.

The programs—especially the one revamped by President Barack Obama in 2011, Pay As You Go—forgives federal student loans after borrowers have paid a certain percentage of their income for a certain number of years. These programs aim to make sure borrowers are not prohibited from working in public sector jobs as a result of having to make astronomical student loan debt payments or pay their loans into retirement. These programs could reportedly cost the federal government as much as $14 billion a year.

Students have argued that these programs are necessary- particularly for those who want to take lower-paying jobs in the public sector. These programs are notably one of very few ways to get out of student loan debt. Unlike consumer debt, not even declaring bankruptcy or death can remove these debts. Private student debt is even harder to eliminate; A New York Times report on Tuesday found that when a cosigner dies, many private student lenders are now demanding early repayment for their student loans.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you 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.

Homeowners may be unaware their homes are no longer in Foreclosure

April 21, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A recent report from RealtyTrac confirms that an increasingly larger number of homes in the foreclosure process actually have positive equity. According to the report, the share of foreclosures with positive equity in the first quarter reached 35 percent, up from 31 percent in the previous quarter and 24 percent in the third quarter of 2013. This percentage includes borrowers who have defaulted on their loans or are in some other stage of the foreclosure process but their homes have not been taken over by the banks, yet.

The reason behind this can be attributed to timing. Once a foreclosure is initiated, it can sometimes take years to complete the process. As we have seen, a lot can happen to housing prices in a couple of years. Home prices have risen dramatically in the past couple of years; some that are still stuck in the foreclosure process have regained their equity.

Homeowners may be unaware of this, either because they have moved or have stopped keeping tabs on their home’s property value. A high-percentage of all homes in the foreclosure process are vacant. RealtyTrac has not cross-referenced to see how many of the vacant ones have positive equity.

Real estate experts agree that paying attention to home values can make all the difference. In certain cases, struggling borrowers may be able to hang onto their homes by refinancing. The latest numbers reveal 9.3 million homes, representing 19 percent of all properties with a mortgage, were seriously underwater in the fourth quarter. Florida has the second highest percentage of seriously underwater properties at 31%. Nevada has the highest share of underwater properties at 34%.

Click here to read more on this story.

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.

Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors

April 17, 2014 Posted by kingcade

It’s one of the things consumers dread the most- a debt collector calling to collect a payment on an unpaid credit card, medical bill or past due student loan. Experts agree that ignoring debt collectors’ letters and phone calls is a bad idea. It can only make matters worse. The best advice is to avoid debt collectors altogether and attempt to negotiate a payment plan with the original creditor before it is sold to a third-party debt collector.

The following tips will help you deal with debt collectors:

1.) Educate yourself. Become familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA protects consumers from harassing phone calls, threats and abusive language debt collectors often use to obtain payment. These tactics are illegal and should be reported to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). To learn more about the FDCPA and the protections it offers, watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o-ci9nVEgA.

2.) Do not ignore. The law allows consumers to send written requests for verification of the debt within 30 days of being contacted by a debt collector. Do not ignore letters, phone calls or court notices about debt lawsuits.

3.) Keep copies and records. Experts say keep these as long as you keep your tax documents. Others believe these should be kept for as long as the statute of limitations. Documents detailing proof of settlement or resolution of debts should be kept forever.

4.) Safeguard your bank account. Debt collectors can file a lawsuit against consumers for nonpayment of debts. Freezing savings or checking accounts is one of the court-ordered options for collecting debts. Do not make payments using your bank account and routing numbers. Make payments with money orders or a third party payment service so you have proof of payment but avoid paying with a personal check. Let collectors know if your bank account contains only exempt funds. You should also tell them if you have filed for bankruptcy. This will cease all collection attempts.

5.) Record conversations. If a debt collector uses abusive language or threatens you, record the conversation. Using these type tactics to collect on a debt is illegal. Another option is to tell the debt collector the conversation is being recorded, as many collectors will be less likely to overstep their bounds if they know they are being recorded.

6.) Get it in writing. Any agreements for making debt collection payments should be confirmed in writing and signed by a debt collector before you make your first payment. This can avoid any misunderstandings about the amount to be paid and time period to pay off the debt.

If you have any questions on this topic or 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.

Related Resources:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/04/02/10-tips-for-dealing-with-debt-collectors-collection/