Archive for: ‘May 2015’

Credit Report Medical Debt: The Serious Consequences

May 29, 2015 Posted by kingcade

NY State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman’s urgings have caused the nation’s 3 major credit reporting agencies to announce changes in the ways that they score medical debt on credit reports. Equifax, Experian and Transunion have agreed to no longer treat medical debt as just another negative mark on people’s credit scores. They will also refrain from adding delinquent medical bills to the report until they have been outstanding beyond 180 days.

Last August, Fair Isaac, the company that generates the FICO score, announced the FICO® Score 9, which is a newer way to review consumer collection information. They described it as offering “sophisticated treatment of differentiating medical from non-medical collection agency accounts.” As result, medical collections will now have a lesser impact on the score, based on the credit risk. The company also said that for consumers with medical bills as their only negative mark, the median FICO score will go up 25 points. Since the FICO score is accessed by all three credit reporting agencies, this is a significant move up for consumers with medical collections.

However, there is some fine print associated with these hopeful changes. They aren’t expected to go into effect for months and once they do, the consumer’s score will only rise the 25 points if the only serious late payment is for medical debt. Additionally, consumer scores won’t be reduced by FICO for late bill payments, even if those bills have been paid off.

Another concern is that the changes will only address newly reported debt, not existing medical debt. Also, consumers using credit cards to pay off medical debt would lose the FICO protection if they were then unable to pay off the credit cards. Many wonder why the credit agencies don’t abolish the debt altogether.

According to a December report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), more than 43 million Americans have medical debt on their credit reports. Of these individuals, many will be forced to declare bankruptcy. According to data gathered from the U.S. Census and the Centers for Disease Control, 60% of all bankruptcies can be mainly attributed to medical debt. With these harrowing figures, consumers wait for positive news and more positive changes to finally take place.

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.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-ashton/the-deadly-aftershocks-of_b_7422362.html

Ways to Avoid Foreclosure Rescue Scams

May 28, 2015 Posted by kingcade

A growing problem today is foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams. These scams can cost you thousands of dollars and even the loss of your home. The scams often hook unsuspecting victims with false guarantees to lower mortgage rates or “save” their home, for a fee. They falsely claim to have direct contact with your mortgage servicers and promise to work on your behalf, when in reality they only intend to take your money and run.

The following tips will help you to be better informed regarding legitimate foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification options.

• The only ones with discretion to grant a loan modification is your mortgage servicer. A third party cannot guarantee or pre-approve your Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) mortgage modification application.

• In most cases, charging advance fees for a mortgage modification is illegal. If anyone is asking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services, beware.

• The likelihood that you will receive a mortgage modification is not improved or guaranteed because you have paid a third party to assist with your application.

• If a third party is boasting of continued success rates, offers money-back guarantees, or they claim to be experts in HAMP, this is a red flag.

• Check and confirm any affiliations or connections an individual or company may claim to have with HAMP or the U.S. government. Even if you see a seal or logo in their correspondence or online, check it out.

• Never sign over the deed for your property to any organization or individual unless you are dealing directly with your mortgage company in an effort to forgive your debt.

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.

Source: http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/learning-center/Pages/beware.aspx

Faster Foreclosures Sought by State Regulator

May 27, 2015 Posted by kingcade

“Faster Foreclosures,” also known as non-judicial foreclosures are causing serious issues for financially struggling homeowners.  Many lawmakers are arguing for faster foreclosures because the costs are cheaper and the cases are quickly pushed through the court system. Faster foreclosures are not only a negative thing for homeowners; they also take away the homeowner’s rights. While Florida currently requires foreclosures to go through the courts, officials are fighting to make faster foreclosures a mainstream option.

The superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, spoke about the issue during a Mortgage Bankers Association conference in New York City. Lawsky called for the state legislature to begin utilizing measures that would limit the timeline for foreclosure proceedings. Changes would include reorganizing foreclosures on vacant or abandoned homes as well as certain commercial properties. More than a dozen states in the nation process judicial foreclosures that go through the court system, including Florida.

In 2015’s first quarter, the national average of homes in any stage of foreclosure was 2.2%, according to a recent report by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Florida’s rate of 4.82% was the nation’s third-highest percentage of home loans in the foreclosure process. For homeowners who are behind on their payments, the judicial process is less pressing for them because the courts are involved every step of the way, which takes far more time.

Officials complain that judges’ schedules, hearings, required paperwork and backlogged courts make the process unnecessarily lengthy. The president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, David Stevens, who lobbies on behalf of lenders said, “Everybody is prepared to protect the consumer, but you don’t want to put unusual obstructions in place for homes that should be foreclosed upon.” Also, longer foreclosure processes can lead to more expenses for mortgage servicers, which could affect surrounding property values if the home is deserted and falls to poor condition.

In Florida, the process can take as long as three years. These longer timelines offer more options to homeowners. Those facing foreclosure will have far more time to try to refinance their mortgage, negotiate an alternative or even reside in the home without payments until the foreclosure is completed. Faster foreclosures take these options away and make the situation that much more difficult for the struggling homeowner.

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.

Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-regulator-seeks-faster-foreclosures-1432074791

Why Chapter 7 Should be Your First Option

May 26, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Dealing with debt is a difficult experience for many Americans who are trying to build a better financial future. With so many different types of debt out there, there are countless resources offering helpful tips, valuable advice and endless opinions on the matter. Sadly, not all of these actually offer real debt relief options for the struggling consumer. You may not realize is that these many forms of “debt assistance” could cost you more than you think.

Common solutions include suggestions like spending less, earning more, steadily paying down each credit card from the smallest balance to the highest balance and so forth. The approach is conventional and straightforward, using a simple combination of basic math and willpower. We are told that if we keep consistently working on our debt in these ways, it will soon become manageable. However, the truth is that most of these solutions fail to outline the fact that you can still fall victim to your debts, even if you have managed to successfully pay all of them off.

Earning more, spending less, and debt roll up tactics aside; there are many resources out there that show how additional debt relief options can help you out. One half of all debt assistance programs such as debt settlement programs, credit counseling and chapter 13 bankruptcies have failed to accomplish the advertised outcome of getting consumer debts paid down to a $0 balance. Debt is more than a minor financial setback; it is a major dilemma that can lead to other, even larger problems down the road.

Choosing to go the route of consolidating your credit card debts into one payment can have shocking repercussions for those who also want to save money for their future. For example, a 30 year old consumer owing $20,000 worth of debt may opt to consolidate their credit cards through a nonprofit counseling agency. Their monthly payment may be considerably lower—only a few hundred dollars a month, spanning over 5 years. To this consumer, their total repayment amount is only a few thousand dollars more than the total debt they owed. In actuality, if that same individual had put that monthly amount in a retirement fund, they could have expected over $30,000 saved and counting until retirement age.

The same can be said for those agreeing to take a debt settlement. By accepting to pay a lesser amount through settlement, you could be stopping yourself from allowing that money to grow in a retirement savings fund. Many times, consumers sacrifice their own future financial control by seeking debt assistance that will only hinder them in the long run.

Another option that has proven to help consumers truly free themselves from debt is the option of Chapter 7. The average cost of filing Chapter 7 is between $1,500.00 and $1,800.00 and it can take as little as 90 days. The long term results from a Chapter 7 can be a full discharge of your debts and a chance to start over with a clean slate.

Filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers the advantage of the chance to start over, compared to other forms of debt relief out there. Immediate debt relief solutions can greatly compromise future plans, where Chapter 7 can provide you with the much needed opportunity to wipe out all of your debts so you can build for the future. For some, avoiding bankruptcy may seem like a winning feat, but jeopardizing your future by not filing is a losing battle.

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.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-rhode/why-a-chapter-7-bankruptc_b_7232654.html

Foreclosures are Now Becoming Free Homes

May 22, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Local homeowners are finding themselves in a “free” home because of the statue of limitations law surrounding foreclosures more than five years old.

A Maitland man owns a pool home with a tennis court. He hasn’t paid on his mortgage in over seven years and does not intend to pay out any more ever again. Owing over $140,000 for his loan, he says his situation is only right. “It was justice quite frankly,” the homeowner said. His initial lender was Federal Home Loan Mortgage who filed foreclosure on the man in 2008. Thereafter, the loan transferred over to Nationstar Mortgage.

“They sold my loan so many times no one knew who had the paperwork,” the Maitland homeowner stated. Cases have been dismissed based on the belief that banks have five years to file a foreclosure after the homeowner defaults and the lender requires the full balance to be paid out. It has been argued in these cases that the lender can’t foreclose again once this five year mark has passed.

Large banks and lenders alike are arguing against this, saying that they have far more time and that the five year “timer” resets itself each time a mortgage payment is missed by the homeowner. The Florida Supreme Court has been presented with the issue and they are scheduled to review the law in October.

Since 2007, Florida has had more than 3 million foreclosures filed, according to RealtyTrac. Some find it unfair for homeowners to get out of meeting their mortgage obligations, and then be rewarded with a free home. Still, others hold little compassion for the banks.

“I think it is what you would call poetic justice,” the homeowner added.

Although he still pays taxes and insurance for his home, it is far cheaper than his prior mortgage payments of $1,400 per month. Also, until the home is sold, the bank can keep a lien on his property.

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.

Source: http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-people-turning-foreclosures-free-ho/nmDhN/