Archive for: ‘September 2014’

Florida’s “New” Foreclosure Initiative Favors Banks not Homeowners

September 15, 2014 Posted by kingcade

In the past year, Florida judges have been working under explicit directions from the state Legislature and Supreme Court to get rid of old foreclosure cases and clear the court dockets- largely by awarding tens of thousands of homes to the banks.

The state’s so-called “foreclosure initiative” is set on clearing the court system of cases and cutting the time it takes banks to foreclose. This is a nightmare for many underwater homeowners struggling to hold onto their homes.

State legislative and judicial leaders have ignored the ramifications of foreclosing on thousands of families and turning these properties over to the banks. In an attempt to clear the backlog of foreclosures, the state has set up a parallel legal system in which judges hear only foreclosure cases — often more than 100 motions a day — in courtrooms set up solely for that purpose.  In another twist, the rules will differ from those that guide civil law in other types of cases in Florida and across the country.

Homeowners and foreclosure defense attorneys are outraged, saying “the state’s entire court system is being compromised” and they are not getting a fair hearing in a legal system that is favoring the banks from start to finish. In statements from the bench and other public forums, judges have made it clear that speed is their top priority. The rights of homeowners come, at best, second.

The state Supreme Court set a target of disposing of 256,000 foreclosure cases each year for three years. That works out to about 700 cases per day. The courts have gone as far as to hire retired judges solely to hear foreclosures and case managers. These clerks and judges schedule hearings and trials even if both parties do not consent.

According to data collected by the state, one judge in Broward County closed 786 cases in a single day! Overall, Florida judges disposed of 193,922 foreclosure cases in the first nine months.  Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of those judgments were against homeowners.

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.

Related Resources: http://www.newsweek.com/floridas-foreclosure-nightmare-269526

Senior Americans Burdened with Student Loan Debt

September 11, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The student loan crisis is not just affecting young college graduates, it is reported that a growing number of aging Americans are struggling to pay their student loans. Even a senior’s social security benefits become fair game for lenders when borrowers cannot keep up with their payments.

Among Americans ages 65 to 74, 4 percent in 2010 carried federal student loan debt, up from 1 percent six years earlier, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released. For all seniors, the collective amount of student loan debt grew from about $2.8 billion in 2005 to about $18.2 billion last year.

Student loan debt hits seniors especially hard because many of them are also struggling with other challenges such as health problems, divorce and job loss. Some went back to school in hopes of making a higher salary, or co-signed on loans to help fund their children’s education.

The GAO found that about 80 percent of the student loan debt by seniors was for their own education while the rest was taken out for their children or other dependents. Federal data revealed that seniors were more likely to default on loans for themselves compared with those they took out for their children.

The GAO found that about a quarter of loans held by seniors’ ages 65 to 74 were in default. In addition to docking Social Security benefits, the government can use a variety of collection methods to recoup student loans, such as docking wages or taking tax refund dollars.

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 http://www.miamibankruptcy.com

Related Resources:
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/older-americans-struggle-student-debt

FICO’s New Credit Score and What it Means for Home Buyers

September 10, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Following the 2008 housing crash, your credit score now plays a major role in the home buying process. Having a low credit score can result in borrowers having a higher mortgage interest rate and sometimes not qualifying for a loan at all.

FICO’s new credit score model is expected to change all that. The upgrade, called FICO 9 is likely to result in a seismic shift in credit reporting, helping those who have had less than perfect credit.

FICO 9 will be released this fall and will be less sensitive to medical collections information reported to credit bureaus. According to FICO, the median FICO score for consumers who only have medical collections on their credit report will increase by 25 points with the changes.

The new model also drops collection agency accounts that are paid off either in full or via a settlement. In addition, under FICO 9 people will be able to get a credit score even if they lack credit history.  Credit bureaus will instead be able to pull their phone bill or cable bill. This will tell lenders if the applicant is at risk of defaulting or if they have a good track record of paying their bills on time.

Mortgage experts do not anticipate FICO 9 having a dramatic increase in new home sales, but they do say, “It will help a set group of people secure a loan or get better terms.”

Under the current FICO score, a settled collection account can drop a score down low enough to not qualify for a mortgage. Under FICO 9, borrowers who could not pay their debt in the past but are now back on track, will not be penalized for past credit mistakes.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in 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.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/09/10/what-fico-new-credit-score-formula-means-for-home-buyers/

Is it better to file bankruptcy BEFORE or AFTER foreclosure?

September 9, 2014 Posted by kingcade

If you plan to file bankruptcy and are also facing foreclosure, the timing of your bankruptcy can make all the difference- depending on whether you want to keep your home. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect. This freezes all collection activities against you, including any collection attempts from your mortgage lender. Once the automatic stay goes into effect, creditors cannot take money from you or pursue any lawsuits against you. Even collection phone calls and letters violate the automatic stay.

If you file for bankruptcy before your home is sold at foreclosure, the automatic stay will prevent the foreclosure from moving forward. This will also allow you to stay in your home longer and add to the time it takes the lender to sell your home.

If you do not want to keep your home and your bankruptcy is complete before the foreclosure, this can give you peace of mind.  You will not need to worry about any lingering deficiency balance once the foreclosure goes through. Bankruptcy will eliminate this. Even if you try and negotiate a loan modification with the bank and do not succeed, you can still walk away without owing anything.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in 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.thebankruptcysite.org/resources/is-it-better-file-bankruptcy-before-or-after-my-home-fore

BOA’s $17 Billion Mortgage Settlement Explained

September 8, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Bank of America has agreed to a legal settlement with the Department of Justice to avoid prosecution for hundreds of billions of dollars in bad mortgage loans, making it the largest corporate legal settlement with the government in U.S. history. The total “on-paper” cost of the deal is reportedly as high as $17 billion. But many are calling the deal deceptive. In reality, the settlement is unlikely to cost BOA anywhere near that amount. Much of the deal will be tax deductible and half of its cost is made up of actions on behalf of homeowners that are in the bank’s best interest- not in the form of cash refunds that will cost the bank money.

So what does this settlement mean for struggling borrowers and underwater homeowners? While the details are still being worked out, the deal includes roughly $9 billion in cash payouts and $7 to $8 billion in “consumer relief” actions such as mortgage write-downs and refinancing for struggling borrowers. These consumer relief provisions do not require the bank to spend money they would not already spend in the normal course of business operations. For BOA, helping people stay in their homes and keep making payments is better for the bank’s revenue than foreclosing on struggling homeowners.

The settlement requires BOA to relax loan terms, reduce principal amounts and destroy abandoned properties that are hurting property values. Even at face value, the reported settlement is minuscule compared to the harm caused by Bank of America companies. The on-paper cost of the deal is less than 7 percent of the value of the mortgage deals Bank of America and its subsidiaries Countrywide and Merrill Lynch made before the housing crisis that have since gone bad.

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://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/08/07/3468558/bank-of-america-deal-shrinkage/