Archive for: ‘July 2014’

When should you consider bankruptcy?

July 29, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Many consumers struggling to pay off credit card debt or medical bills wonder when the right time is to file for bankruptcy- or if bankruptcy is even the best option for them. It makes little sense to continue struggling against a mound of debt you are not even making a dent in with monthly payments– or maybe you are no longer able to afford those payments. A good rule thumb is, if it would take you five years or more to repay what you owe, you should consider filing for bankruptcy. Why five years? Because that is how long you would be required to make payments under a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

However, most consumers qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is typically faster (takes approximately three to four months, as opposed to five years) and erases all of your credit card debt and medical bills. If lower interest rates would help you pay off the debt within five years,  consider scheduling an appointment with a credit counselor associated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (www.nfcc.org). These nonprofits can set you up with debt management plans that may offer you lower rates on your credit card debt.

Many people feel an obligation to pay what they owe, even if in reality they will never be able to pay off the debt. Bankruptcy laws allow individuals to gain a fresh start, so they can take care of themselves and their families. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can allow you to stay in your home and catch up on your payments or negotiate with your lender. This is all thanks to the automatic stay which immediately goes into effect and prohibits your mortgage lender from foreclosing on your home.

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://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-montalk-20140706-column.html

Former Bank of America Mortgage Employee Facing Prison Time for Taking Bribes

July 24, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A former Bank of America mortgage employee has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for pocketing $1.2 million in payoffs to approve the sale of distressed properties for far less than their actual value.

Kevin Lauricella, 29, who has been cooperating with investigators, pled guilty to accepting bribes and falsifying bank records. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II in Los Angeles this week and was ordered to repay Bank of America $5.7 million in losses and to forfeit a Thousand Oaks home acquired through payouts from the criminal scheme.

Lauricella worked for a Bank of America division that handled delinquent home loans in 2010 and early 2011. During this time, lenders were overwhelmed by defaults on underwater mortgages, creating opportunities for insiders to exploit flaws in bank systems.

The crimes involved short sales. Lauricella collected bribes from so-called “flippers” who bought homes with the intent of quickly reselling them, Katzenstein admitted. He then issued approvals for short sales that were beyond his authority to approve, with sales prices far below the fair market value.

Lauricella made false entries in Bank of America’s computer system to make it appear that higher-ups had approved the short sales, Katzenstein said. When he pleaded guilty, Lauricella admitted approving fraudulent short sales for at least nine properties.

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.latimes.com/la-fi-mortgage-bribe-sentencing-20140721-story.html

Florida Leads Nation in Foreclosures…Again

July 21, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A recent report released by RealtyTrac revealed Florida’s foreclosure rate was the nation’s highest for the first half of 2014. According to the report, 1 in 74 Florida homes had a foreclosure filing in the first six months of the year and more than 121,000 properties had a foreclosure filing- the most of any state. This number was down 22 percent from a year earlier.

Miami had the nation’s highest metro area foreclosure rate, with 1 in 61 homes in foreclosure for the first half of the year. Orlando, Port St. Lucie, the Space Coast and Tampa followed, having the top five foreclosure rates by metro areas.

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.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Florida-Leads-Nation-in-Foreclosures-So-Far-This-Year-267912031.html

Consumer Warning: Beware of Companies Offering Student Loan Debt Relief

July 15, 2014 Posted by kingcade

With student loan debt exceeding $1 trillion, a record number of graduates facing a tough job market are struggling to afford their monthly payments. For the debt settlement industry, these consumers are an irresistible target and represent of gold mine of potential new customers. Federal and state regulators have spotted new instances of abuse as these companies are shifting away from their traditional targets- credit cards and mortgage debt- and focusing in on student loans.

Illinois is expected to become the first state to bring legal action against debt settlement companies in connection with their student loan practices, contending in two separate lawsuits that Broadsword Student Advantage and First American Tax Defense tricked vulnerable borrowers into paying for help that never arrived.

In the lawsuit, the Illinois attorney general contends that these two companies lured unsuspecting borrowers into paying hundreds of dollars upfront, misled customers about those fees and in some instances pretended to be affiliated with federal relief programs. Even more egregious, the companies sometimes charged customers for debt relief assistance they could have received free from the Education Department.

The abundance of these student loan debt relief companies reflects a growing crisis- students taking on more debt than they can ever afford to repay. Of the $1.2 trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt in the United States, an estimated seven million Americans have already defaulted on a total of $100 billion, with tens of thousands more borrowers defaulting each month, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/companies-that-offer-help-with-student-loans-often-predatory-officials-say/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Beware of Filing Bankruptcy Pro Se

July 10, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The Internet has given average consumers the ability to Google everything from how to change a flat tire to how to replace a kitchen sink. However, there are certain tasks that should be left to the professionals. Filing for bankruptcy is one of them.

Bankruptcy laws significantly changed in 2005, making it more difficult to file. There are also crucial steps in the bankruptcy process, including appearing before a bankruptcy trustee and a meeting of creditors. These two steps can be intimidating for individuals not familiar with the process. Not to mention the complex legal forms involved with filing bankruptcy. A single mistake or oversight on one of these forms can cause you to lose your property and assets or your case to be dismissed.

Consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you fully understand your legal options and avoid these pitfalls. The court in the 1973 case of The Florida Bar v. American Legal & Business Forms, Inc. ruled that non-attorneys selling package forms or “kits” for performing legal services as the unauthorized practice of law if any instructions or advice on their preparation is included.

The recent case, In re Falck reveals how some predatory individuals have taken advantage of consumers who are struggling to manage their debt and stay in their homes. The defendants solicited debtors through the mail pitching their mortgage foreclosure defense scheme. They charged debtors monthly payments, along with illegal and excessive fees, and then later claimed the debtor never paid. These individuals were not licensed attorneys in Florida or in any other state and did not file the proper disclosures. The court noted there were hundreds of debtors victimized by this mortgage foreclosure protection scheme.

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://www.miamibankruptcy.com/Articles/Beware-do-it-yourself-bankruptcy-kits-in-Florida.shtml