Archive for: ‘January 2015’

Foreclosures decreased in Broward, Palm Beach Counties last year

January 30, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Foreclosure cases dropped sharply in South Florida last year, another sign the housing market is recovering. Broward County had 6,287 filings in 2014, a 42% decline from 2013 and Palm Beach County had 3,920 filings, down 55 percent from the previous year, according to RealtyTrac.

Some real estate experts predict a new wave of cases this year, but it will not be enough to derail the housing market recovery- and it may even be a good thing because it will put more homes on the market for avid buyers. Others argue that these foreclosed homes typically are not in good condition because of poor maintenance, and a fewer number of foreclosures and a steady increase in property values will reduce the number of “desperate sellers.” A decline in these desperate sellers could mean we see better quality homes hitting the market.

Although total filings fell 24 percent in Florida last year, the state still ranked No. 1 in foreclosures nationwide, with 2.3 percent of all Florida housing units receiving a notice in 2014.

Click here to read more on this story.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/realestate/fl-realtytrac-foreclosures-20150115-story.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.

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes are Seizing Control over Patients

January 29, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Lillian Palermo did her best to prepare for end of life care. She arranged for her power of attorney and health care proxy to be her husband, if she ever became incapacitated. Now in her 80’s, her husband Dino, eight years her junior, feeds her home-cooked Italian meals, sings her favorite songs and pays a private aide to be there when he cannot at the Catholic nursing home in Manhattan.

Last summer, after he disputed nursing home bills that had suddenly doubled his wife’s co-pays, and complained about the inexperienced employees who dropped his wife on the floor, Mr. Palmero was shocked to find a six-page legal document lying on her bed. It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Many people are unaware that a nursing home can take such a step. However, interviews with system veterans and a review of the guardianship court data show this practice has become routine, shedding light on the growing power nursing homes have over residents and family members amid changes in the financing of long-term care. At least one judge has ruled this tactic by nursing homes is an abuse of the law, but the petitions, even if they are ultimately unsuccessful, force families into costly legal battles.

Mr. Palermo, 82, was devastated by the petition. A court evaluator eventually reported that Mr. Palermo was the appropriate guardian, but not before his legal expenses reached $10,000. In the end, Medicaid’s recalculation put his wife’s monthly co-pay at $4,558.54, almost $600 less than the nursing home had claimed, but far more than the $2,642 Mr. Palermo had been paying under an earlier Medicaid calculation. As soon as the nursing home cashed his check for the outstanding balance, it withdrew the guardianship petition.

Click here to read more on this story.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/26/nyregion/to-collect-debts-nursing-home-seizing-control-over-patients.html

If you 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.

New Rules Limit Hospitals’ Collection Fee Tactics

January 28, 2015 Posted by kingcade

The Obama administration has adopted a new set of rules to discourage nonprofit hospitals from using aggressive tactics to collect payment from low-income patients. These new rules require nonprofit hospitals to offer discounts, free care or other financial assistance to low-income patients. In addition, hospitals are required to try and determine whether a patient is eligible for assistance before the case is referred to a debt collector, negative information is sent to a credit agency, a lien is placed on the patient’s home, filing a lawsuit or seeking a court order to garnish a patient’s wages.

The rules apply to nonprofit hospitals that are seeking or have tax-exempt status, about 60 percent of hospitals nationwide. Because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has endorsed these new rules, health care lawyers believe this could set an industry standard, influencing the practices of for-profit hospitals.

These new rules should make it easier for low- and moderate-income patients to get valuable medical care without having to worry about a large hospital bill or collection agency harassing them for money they do not have. The rules do not prevent a hospital from engaging in lawful debt collection; however, it does require hospitals to first evaluate a patient’s need for financial assistance. In addition, each nonprofit hospital must establish and publicize in a written policy stating who is eligible for financial assistance and how patients can apply.

Many people are just one medical emergency or illness away from a financial crisis. In fact, medical bills are the number one reason people file bankruptcy. For those struggling with the financial weight of a health crisis, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a way for you to eliminate all of your medical bills in only a couple of months, and start fresh!

Click here to read more on this story.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/12/us/politics/new-rules-to-limit-tactics-on-hospitals-fee-collections.html?_r=1

If you are burdened with medical debt and wondering how Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help, 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.

How to Bounce Back after Foreclosure

January 27, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Going through a foreclosure can be a traumatic experience, but it doesn’t mean you can never own a home again. If you have recently been through a foreclosure, here are some ways you can bounce back and put yourself back on the path to homeownership.

• Clean up your credit. The first step on the road to recovery is rebuilding your credit score. According to a recent study by FICO, the higher your credit score before the foreclosure, the longer it takes to fully recover. For example, a homeowner with a credit score of 680 would take around three years to get back to their pre-foreclosure credit score. But a homeowner who started out with a score of 780 would require seven years after a foreclosure to return to their pre-foreclosure credit score. The best way to repair your credit is to keep using credit- RESPONSIBLY. To avoid missing a payment, set up automated payments. The biggest mistake people make is cutting up their credit cards or closing out lines of credit. This leaves you with a large gap in your credit history. Lenders want to see that you are using credit regularly in a responsible way.

• Putting in the time. You will need to find a lender willing to offer you a mortgage. Some government backed loans can help speed up the process. For many people, an FHA loan will be the quickest path back to homeownership. After a foreclosure, the government requires a three-year waiting period before you can qualify for another FHA-backed loan. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans have an even longer wait time. Those lenders both require a seven year period before you will be considered for a new loan. There are exceptions. For example, if you can prove that the foreclosure was the result of an unexpected job loss or a death in the family.

• Tax Obligation. It comes as a shock to many that the federal government considers a forgiven debt as a form of income, which means you may have to pay income tax on a foreclosure. Congress passed a law in 2007 that exempted up to $2 million in forgiven debt in most cases of foreclosures. The law expired at the end of last year, but if your foreclosure was finalized before then, you will likely be in the clear. Even if you do not qualify under this act, there are other exceptions. For instance, in cases of bankruptcy the government will not pursue you.

Click here to read more on this story: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/01/23/how-to-bounce-back-after-foreclosure/

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.

Former NFL Player Receives Prison Sentence for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

January 26, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor, was sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a $7 million loan modification scheme that affected thousands of homeowners. In addition to his prison term, Taylor was ordered to pay more than $350,000 in restitution to the victims of the fraud.

Taylor, who also played football for the University of Miami and lives in Fort Lauderdale, pled guilty to the charges in late 2014. The scheme was reportedly organized by the operator of FHA All Day.com, Jason Vitulano, Housing Assistance Law Center and Safety Financial Corp. The defendants allegedly defrauded more than 2,000 struggling homeowners out of millions of dollars through fraudulent loan modifications in 2008 and 2009.

Taylor reportedly acted as the team manager of four telemarketers who made thousands of phone calls to homeowners offering to reduce their mortgage payments or stop the foreclosure process for a fee paid to FHA All Day.com.

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.