Archive for: ‘May 2014’

Prescription Costs Fuel Medical Debt and Rise in Bankruptcy Filings

May 30, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Last year, the federal government reported that Americans had $41 billion in out-of-pocket costs associated with prescription drugs. Experts agree that those prescription drug costs will continue to play a key role in medical related debt and bankruptcies despite the expansion of insurance for millions under the Affordable Care Act.

Even though more people will be getting their medications covered by insurance, there is a growing trend in both the individual insurance market and the employer-provided insurance market toward having insured people pay an increasing share of medical costs, including their prescriptions.

For many Americans, their individual monthly premiums can total a couple hundred dollars a month, combined with annual deductibles ranging in the thousands, out-of-pocket expenses can add up quickly. Yet many people, particularly those with low incomes are unfamiliar with the myriad of health insurance plans that can play a role in how much they pay for their prescriptions. Their lack of knowledge increases the likelihood they will fall into the medical debt trap.

A report from NerdWallet last year found that medical debt was the single leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. and that 56 million Americans had problems paying their medical bills. A new report last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 52 percent of accounts sent to collections and placed on people’s credit reports stemmed from medical 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.

Related Resources: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101686432

Hiring the Right Bankruptcy Attorney

May 27, 2014 Posted by kingcade

After struggling with unmanageable debt and harassing collection calls for too long, you have finally considered bankruptcy as an option. But what should you look for in a bankruptcy attorney? Do not simply choose your attorney from an advertisement. Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision and should not be entered into lightly.

Make sure your bankruptcy attorney possesses the following qualities:

1. Experience matters. Do your research. Visit your state bar’s website and see how many years the attorney has been practicing bankruptcy law, how much of their business is devoted to this practice area and whether or not the attorney has been peer reviewed by Martindale-Hubbell. These types of credentials provide you with assurance that the attorney has practical knowledge and experience in the area of bankruptcy law.
2. Passion and professionalism. Find out why your attorney chose to practice in this area of law. Many lawyers find this work especially rewarding and this should be apparent in your initial consultation with the attorney. If you feel like “just another number” at the firm, keep looking.
3. They listen to you. For most people, filing for bankruptcy is oftentimes an emotional and sometimes painful process. You will not only want your attorney to have the proper credentials, but also be empathetic to your situation and take the time to listen and address all of your concerns throughout the process.
4. Cheaper is not always better. Would you have a medical procedure done by the cheapest doctor? Probably not. You would likely want the most experienced doctor. Take this same approach when it comes to hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Avoid ultra-low-cost bankruptcy mills that advertise heavily. These type firms usually have a small number of attorneys and a large number of legal assistants. If unforeseen problems arise in your case, you could be in trouble. There can be serious consequences for hiring the wrong attorney and it can cost you far more than what you thought you could save in the first place.
5. Discuss alternatives. Bankruptcy is not for everyone. A complete cancellation of eligible debts may not be the best option. An ethical attorney will present you with all of your options and help you determine whether bankruptcy is the right option for you.

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.

Related Resources:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/05/17/how-to-pick-bankruptcy-attorney/

The WRONG ways to eliminate Student Loan Debt

May 22, 2014 Posted by kingcade

This month thousands of graduates will be tossing their caps in the air with the excitement and hope of a prosperous future. But upon entering the “real world,” many of these graduates will soon be faced with a monthly burden: student loan debt. For many graduates, the first dose of reality begins with the first job; a job they estimated would pay more when they were taking out their student loans.

Do not make these mistakes when it comes to paying off your student loan debt.

1. Not paying. Many borrowers have tried this tactic, which seems simple enough. The student loan lenders are hoping you will make this mistake. With penalties and interest accruing, this is simply making a bad situation worse. In addition, this approach will hurt you when you try to get a mortgage or even lease an apartment, as these student loan payments tend to be some of the first credit accounts new graduates have in their name.

2. Making payments with credit cards and then declaring bankruptcy. This approach will end up costing you big time. The rates on credit cards are much higher than those on student loans. Not to mention, the bankruptcy court will see right through this scheme and it is unlikely the debt will be discharged.

3. Using home equity to pay off student loans. For borrowers who have returned to school later in life and are homeowners, they may think that using the equity in their home will help them consolidate their student loans and lower their monthly payments. The drawback here is that most student loans have comparable interest rates to what banks are charging homeowners right now. You are not paying off debt, just trading it in for some new debt, which is tied to your home. You can also be putting your house on the line. Missing a student loan payment can result in a late fee, but missing several mortgage payments can put you at risk of foreclosure.

If you’re having trouble meeting your obligations on federal student loan debt there are options out there ranging from Income-Based Repayment and Pay as You Earn plans to Income-Contingent Repayment. There are ways to legitimately satisfy student loan debt.

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.

Related Resources: http://money.msn.com/debt-management/article.aspx?post=ed72d065-0644-4be3-9fc9-966ef0e9f4db

North Miami Mayor Charged with Mortgage Fraud

May 20, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Before being elected mayor of North Miami last year, Lucie Tondreau was the co-host of several radio programs that federal authorities say led to an $8 million mortgage fraud scheme. According to court documents, the future mayor co-hosted with Karl Oreste, a mortgage company owner, and used Creole-language to bring in “straw borrowers” who filed fake loan applications to purchase 20 homes across South Florida and then cut Tondreau in on the profits of the scam.

The mayor faces criminal charges and a potential suspension from office by Gov. Rick Scott. This is just the latest legal trouble for the mayor, as her campaign faced state scrutiny last year. Prosecutors linked online absentee-ballot requests made in bulk to her campaign office. Florida law prohibits ballot requests to come from anyone other than voters themselves or their family. Tondreau has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

News of the federal charges have spread quickly through the community as Tondreau- the city’s first Haitian-American female mayor- has been a trusted voice on Creole-language radio and has built a reputation in the 80’s and 90’s as a vocal Haitian rights activist in South Florida.

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.

U.S. sees Fewer Foreclosures as Banks Reclaim more Homes

May 16, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A report from RealtyTrac confirms foreclosure activity across the U.S. fell 1 percent last month, as banks scheduled fewer auctions and reclaimed more homes. The most recent drop, which includes foreclosure notices, scheduled auction and bank repossessions, is 20 percent below its year-ago level. It was also the 43rd consecutive month foreclosure activity was down on an annual basis.

Bank repossessions, still down 14 percent from a year ago, were up 4 percent in April, a likely result of the state and government interventions that slowed down the foreclosure process. In total, 30,056 homes were repossessed. According to real estate experts, the rise in bank repossessions is a sign that those markets are working through the final remnants of foreclosures left over from the housing market crash.

In Florida, one in every 400 homes is facing foreclosure and continues to have the highest rate in the nation, followed by Maryland, Delaware and Indiana. A total of 49,239 homes were scheduled for a foreclosure auction last month, down 3 percent from March and 21 percent from a year ago. It was the 41st straight month in which scheduled auctions were down on a year-on-year basis.

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.