Archive for: ‘March 2015’

The Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights Explained

March 31, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Following President Obama’s introduction of the “Student Aid Bill of Rights” the Senate followed suit by reintroducing the Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights.  The bill was first introduced last year, but failed to move forward. The bill is an effort to ensure that the 40 million Americans with student loan debt are protected and understand their rights as consumers.

“The Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights” will ensure that all borrowers have basic rights and protections as they repay their student loans and offer more repayment options to them if they are unable to make their monthly payments in full,” according the Senator Dick Durbin. He was one of three senators to reintroduce the bill.

The legislation’s authors explained that the new bill would give six basic rights to both federal and private student loan borrowers:

1. The right to have options such as alternative payment plans to avoid default.
2. The right to be informed about terms and conditions of the loan and repayment options to ensure changing plans will not cost more.
3. The right to know your loan’s servicer and who to contact when there is a problem.
4. The rights to have consistent monthly payments. Lenders and servicers will also be required to honor promotions and promises that are advertised or offered to borrowers.
5. The right to fairness when it comes to issues such as grace periods, when loans are transferred, or debt cancellation when the borrower dies or becomes disabled.
6. The right to accountability including timely resolution of errors and certification of private loans.

The Bill of Rights will also ensure that service members and veteran borrowers will be provided with a liaison specifically trained in the benefits available to military borrowers.

Click here to learn more about the Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights.

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.

FTC Shuts Down Fraudulent Affiliate Company

March 30, 2015 Posted by kingcade

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently had a hand in shutting down a fraudulent company impersonating itself, called “FTC Credit Solutions.” The company was allegedly using false connections with the FTC to market credit repair services to Spanish-speaking consumers.

The company would contact consumers by phone or claim in advertisements on the radio or Internet that it was affiliated with or licensed by the FTC. The employees told consumers that they could remove negative information from their credit reports; guaranteeing customers their credit scores would be 700 or more within six months of service.

FTC investigators called the fraudulent company posing as consumers, and discovered employees were misrepresenting the company as “working with the Federal Trade Commission.” Employees also falsely promised they could “delete” or “get a pardon” for consumers’ debts.

In addition to making false statements about the affiliation with the FTC, the company allegedly charged consumers upfront fees for “credit repair services,” and sent false information to major credit bureaus. The company and its employees allegedly violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting their affiliation with the FTC. They also allegedly violated the Credit Repair Organizations Act by charging upfront fees for credit services.

Click here to read more on the FTC shutting down a fraudulent affiliate company.

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.

6 Steps to Defeat Student Loan Debt Collectors

March 27, 2015 Posted by kingcade

President Obama has promised to take action against abusive student loan debt collectors. Through his Student Aid Bill of Rights, his goal is to ensure consumer protections for student loan borrowers. More than 70 percent of college graduates have student loan debt, the second largest source of debt in America.

In the first quarter of 2015 more than twelve percent of student loan debts were in default, according to the National Student Loan Data System. Analysts predict the number of borrowers in default will continue to increase unless something is done.

Below are six steps you can take to help better manage your student loan debt:

1. Contact your lender. Lenders often sell loans, therefore several agencies may be involved in the collection of your  debt. The first thing you must do is contact your lender to make sure you have information on any and all balances you have outstanding. You will need to make a list of all of your debts along with the specific lenders and account numbers.
2. Check your credit report. Oftentimes, collection agencies will report student loans multiple times and will report a separate line per semester with different account numbers. Make sure there are no duplicate loans on your credit report.
3. Apply for the rehabilitation program. Contact the collection agency that now has your student loan and explain that you wish to apply for the loan rehabilitation program with more affordable payments. The benefits of rehabilitation include: bringing your loan out of default, repairing the damage on your credit report, and after five months in the program, you can stop any garnishments being taken out of your paycheck or tax refund.
4. Make your payments on time. If you successfully make nine payments on time, your loan will be taken out of collections. In addition, the default status will be removed.
5. Ask the collection agency for a letter to confirm that your loan has been removed from the default status. You will need to request letters from every collection agency that you have been paying.
6. Contact the three major credit bureaus. Once you receive the confirmation letters, contact all three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and forward a copy to each of them.

Click here to read more on the 6 steps to defeat student loan debt collectors.

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.

Student Loan Debt Delinquencies on the Rise

March 26, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Data collected by Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, showed that student loan debt delinquencies are continuing to increase while other forms of household debt are improving. The data from the fourth quarter of 2014 was collected from the New York Federal Reserve’s Consumer Credit Panel. Student loan debts that have been delinquent for more than 90 days have increased to 11.3%.

One of the reasons the Credit Panel cited was the rise in delinquent student loan debts is the fact that it is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the delinquencies are expected to continue increasing due to most borrowers forgetting that student loan debt is a secured debt. This means that student loans can be garnished from a borrower’s wages if they are not paid.

Student loan borrowers struggling with debt have options available to them and delinquency should be a last resort. Federal student loan borrowers offer several repayment options to best suit your needs. In addition, interest rates for private student loan borrowers are nearing all time lows. If borrowers have good credit scores, they may be able to refinance their loans.

Click here to read more on the increase in student loan debt delinquencies.

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.

Underwater Mortgages Decline in South Florida

March 25, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Recent data collected by Zillow.com shows that underwater mortgages, meaning homeowners who owe more than their home is worth, are declining in South Florida. Sixteen percent of homeowners in Palm Beach County are currently underwater on their mortgages. The previous year there were twenty four percent underwater. Nineteen percent of Broward County’s mortgages are underwater, down from twenty five percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Home values are on the rise in South Florida and as a result, negative equity is declining since its peak of forty percent in 2011. Negative equity occurs when the value of an asset, such as a home, falls below the value of the outstanding loan balance.

Another factor that real estate experts attribute to the decline in underwater mortgages is the decline in foreclosures in South Florida this year. According to analysts, South Florida is recovering better than most markets across the country since the housing bubble burst in 2008.

Click here to read more about the decline of underwater mortgages in South Florida.

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.