Archive for: ‘June 2014’

Debt Collectors Paying the Price for Every Time They Call

June 30, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Thanks to a new ruling, consumers who have requested debt collectors not call their cell phones are entitled to collect damages of up to $1,500 per call. In the recent 11th Circuit case, Osorio v. State Farm Bank, the court reinforced restrictions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that prohibits debt collectors from using automated dialing systems (i.e. – “robocalls”) to contact consumers on their cell phones without their permission.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act has been federal law since 1991. However, this ruling is significant because in the past, courts have been divided as to whether consumers who have given their cell phone number to a creditor or collector can revoke that privilege, and if so, whether they can do so verbally. In this case, the court ruled in favor of consumers, giving them permission to revoke their consent verbally.

For consumers who are receiving calls for the wrong person, for debts they believe are not owed or for debts that are too old, this ruling proves extremely helpful. However, it important to remember that ignoring collection calls is not a good strategy. Keep accurate records of the collection calls and consider speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can guide you in the right direction and determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy protection.

If you are in a financial crisis and considering filing for 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://blog.credit.com/2014/06/judge-debt-collectors-could-be-fined-1500-every-time-they-call-85374/

Personal Bankruptcy Filings Down

June 25, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Bankruptcy filings are down 11 percent compared to the 12-month period ending March 31, 2014, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. March 2013 bankruptcy filings totaled 1,170,324 compared to 1,038,280 bankruptcy filings in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2014.

However, filings in April and May of this year have been most similar to the number of filings in April and May of 2013. The May 2014 daily bankruptcy filing rate was 4,079, which was a 7.0% decline on a year-over-year basis. There have been just over 405,500 bankruptcy filings in the first five months of 2014. With these latest numbers, the year-over-year bankruptcy filing rate has declined for forty-three straight months.

Some financial experts attribute the decline in consumer filings to “a low-interest rate environment” and consumers utilizing more government assistance programs, such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which has helped many underwater homeowners.

If you are in a financial crisis and considering filing for 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://news.uscourts.gov/bankruptcy-filings-down-11-percent-march-2014

http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2014/06/900000-bankruptcy-filings-this-year-maybe.html

New Foreclosure Cases Rapidly Decline in South Florida

June 24, 2014 Posted by kingcade

New foreclosure filings fell a whopping 75 percent across Broward County last month, another indication that the housing market crisis is a thing of the past.  Broward had 275 new cases filed last month, compared with 1,087 in May 2013, according to RealtyTrac, Inc. It was the 10th month in a row that foreclosure filings have dropped. New cases also declined 75 percent last month in Palm Beach County.

Real estate experts attribute this drastic decline to the new state law that took effect last year, which resulted in lenders delaying foreclosure filings until they have all of their paperwork in order.

Florida had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the eight month in row, an indicator of just how hard the state was hit as a result of the housing market crisis.

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.

Florida Borrowers entitled to $40 Million from SunTrust Mortgage Abuse Settlement

June 19, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi joined 48 other state attorneys general, the District of Columbia and other federal agencies in reaching a $550 million nationwide settlement with SunTrust over mortgage and foreclosure abuses.

The civil charges accuse SunTrust of improper documentation of loans, lost paperwork and robo-signing. Approximately 8,421 Florida borrowers who had SunTrust loans or lost their homes from 2008-2013 to foreclosure, can apply for a portion of the $40 million designated to the state. This money could take the form of a cash payout, principal reductions or refinancing of underwater mortgages.

SunTrust has the responsibility to contact borrowers and has agreed to the following terms:

• Making foreclosure a last resort and evaluating homeowners for other loss mitigation options, first.
• Restricting foreclosure while the homeowner is being considered for a loan modification.
• New procedures and timelines for reviewing loan modification applications.
• Providing homeowners with the right to appeal denials.
• Requiring a single point of contact for borrowers seeking information about their loans.
• Maintaining adequate staff to handle calls.

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.

Related Resources:
http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/morning-edition/2014/06/florida-borrowers-to-collect-40-from-suntrust.html?ana=e_sflo_rdup&s=newsletter&ed=2014-06-18&u=um2Eyo72dYSImvglWn/0xO6wsIE&t=1403093430

Are Inherited IRA’s protected in Bankruptcy?

June 16, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Supreme Court recently answered this question. In an opinion written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor the Court found that Heidi Heffron-Clark, who inherited an IRA from her mother in 2001 and filed for bankruptcy nine years later, could not protect the account from her creditors.

The court’s analysis in Clark v. Rameker ruled that there were key legal distinctions between inherited IRAs and those you set up for yourself through annual contributions or company plans. The fact that inheritors cannot put additional funds into the inherited IRA account and the beneficiary can withdrawal money at any time without incurring a penalty make these inherited IRA accounts unique and “suggest that they are not retirement assets,” the court notes.

Another key distinction: Non-spousal IRA heirs must either withdraw the entire account balance within five years of the original owner’s death, or take out a minimum amount each year, starting December 31st the year after the IRA owner died.

The Supreme Court’s decision does not affect bankruptcy protection for retirement accounts of your own, which were expanded by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.

The decision does have important ramifications for spouses. A spouse who inherits their husband or wife’s IRA has an option not available to other inheritors. The surviving spouse can roll the assets into his or her own IRA and postpone distributions from a traditional IRA until they turn 70½. However, there is a catch to this. Just like other IRA owners they may have to pay a 10% early-withdrawal penalty if the money is taken out before age 59½ from the surviving spouse’s own IRA.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a financial crisis and considering filing for 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.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2014/06/12/supreme-court-finds-inherited-iras-not-protected-in-bankruptcy/