Archive for: ‘June 2015’

The OCC Limits Banks Regarding Foreclosures

June 23, 2015 Posted by kingcade

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently enforced restrictions on the mortgage-servicing operations of six banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. The Office claimed that these banks were not properly complying with enforcement orders, regarding past home foreclosure abuses. According to the OCC, these banks failed to meet all the requirements of consent orders, which had been issued in 2011. These orders were focused on foreclosure-processing mistakes. The 2011 orders sparked controversy regarding America’s major banks’ foreclosure files, to determine how many borrowers should be compensated. In 2013, the OCC and the Federal Reserve stopped this review before it was completed and regulators settled with 15 banks related to foreclosure problems.

Other banks have also been slapped with penalties and fines for failing to complete required corrective actions. These banks included EverBank Financial Corp., HSBC Holdings PLC, Santander Holdings USA Inc. and U.S. Bancorp. While the issues found by the OCC varied by each bank, each instance included unresolved problems with the information systems that the banks used to track foreclosure and loan modification activities, and the quality of communication with borrowers. There was also a lack of adequate follow up regarding the loan modification and foreclosure process, and servicing duties handled by third-party contractors.

The six banks in question now have restrictions placed on their mortgage servicing operations, as well as limitations on the banks’ ability to acquire residential mortgage servicing rights or outsource their existing mortgage servicing rights. In recent years, a great number of banks have backed out from the mortgage-servicing industry. However, according to the OCC officials, mortgage servicing remains a “significant activity” for each of the six banks. It also continues to remain a major part of the business strategy for many institutions.

J.P. Morgan claims to have made significant progress, with plans to complete their remaining items by summer’s end. As for HSBC and Wells Fargo, they will receive the harshest restrictions. OCC officials call this a reflection of both the number and severity of the outstanding problems with these two banks. Wells Fargo president Mike Heid, claims, “We will continue to work with the OCC to address the remaining items, and we have in place an action plan to complete that work in the coming months.”

The National bank units of Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and PNC Financial Services Corp. have had their consent order lifted by the OCC. To date, the OCC program has distributed more than $2.7 billion to more than 3.2 million borrowers from banks overseen by the regulator, representing more than 90% of the total funds available.

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/u-s-restricts-six-banks-over-mortgage-problems-1434553589

Timothy S. Kingcade Featured in Attorney at Law Magazine!

June 22, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Miami bankruptcy attorney Timothy S. Kingcade is featured on the homepage of Attorney at Law Magazine (Miami edition) this week for being recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer 2015 in the area of consumer bankruptcy law. Super Lawyers represents the top 5% of Florida lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Read all about it at http://www.attorneyatlawmagazine.com/miami/miami-bankruptcy-attorney-timothy-s-kingcade-named-2015-florida-super-lawyers-list/!

Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys, representing the top five percent of attorneys in each state.

Timothy S. Kingcade founded the law firm of Kingcade & Garcia, P.A., in 1996. Today, he and his firm handle more than one thousand bankruptcy filings each year. As Managing Shareholder of Kingcade & Garcia, P.A., Timothy and his firm represent clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, foreclosure defense and personal injury claims. To compliment Attorney Kingcade’s extensive legal experience, he is also a certified public accountant (CPA), which provides him with a unique understanding of how to handle tax-motivated bankruptcy cases against the IRS.

For more information, visit http://www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Before and after Bankruptcy, Creditors Must be Watched

June 18, 2015 Posted by kingcade

For borrowers who are struggling to keep up with their debts or who have fallen behind, bankruptcy provides some much needed protection from creditor harassment. If a creditor continues collection actions against you, even after you have filed for bankruptcy, the creditor may be violating your rights and the protection you are granted when you file for bankruptcy.

Creditors, such as credit card companies, banks, and other financial institutions can pursue you to collect a debt up until you file for bankruptcy. After that, they should no longer be able to reach out to you in an attempt to collect a debt. Even if the financial institution charged off your debt and sold it to a debt buyer, all communication should cease.  This guard is known as an automatic stay, which is a court ordered protection designed to prohibit creditors from contacting you during your bankruptcy petition.

Unfortunately, some creditors violate this protection and still pursue debtors even after they have filed for bankruptcy. Below are some options available to you:

• Advise the creditor of your bankruptcy. By directly informing the creditor that you have obtained bankruptcy protection, this may cause them to stop future violations. There is the possibility that the collector was unaware of your case (either through negligence or error).

• Notify the bankruptcy court. If the creditor fails to stop contacting you and continues to make violations, you should notify the bankruptcy court. At this point, the court can sanction the collector for violating its automatic stay order if the collection action is “willful.” This is done under the court’s power of contempt, which means that the creditor has violated the court’s order. After that, the creditor can face fines, including attorney’s fees, and damages.

• File a lawsuit. If the violations continue, the creditor may be guilty of violating additional state and federal laws. These include the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In the state of Florida, it may also violate the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, or FCCPA.

Once your bankruptcy is complete and your debts have been discharged, you also have protection from creditors trying to collect on that debt. When a debt is discharged, it means you no longer need to pay that debt collector; therefore the creditor should not be contacting you to collect. Like the automatic stay, creditors who violate this may be required to pay you for the violation, including additional legal costs.

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.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/creditor-trying-collect-debt-during-bankruptcy.html
http://bankruptcy.lawyers.com/consumer-bankruptcy/automatic-stay-violations-and-creditor-consequences.html

Debt Buyers Relentlessly Pursue Debtors, Hoping to Collect

June 18, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Many debt collectors are known to employ pushy methods and persistent measures to collect money from debtors. The issue is rising to new heights as debt buyers pursue consumers, without any regard for the terms of the debt or even the identity of the debtor.  One of the country’s largest debt collection agencies, Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (PRA LLC) pursued a Kansas City woman, over a mistaken $1,000 credit card bill. The trial jury ruled against the company for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because of their malicious pursuit of the woman. The result was an enormous award of $82,990,000 in punitive damages.

While the result of this case was not typical, the act of debt buyers relentlessly pursuing debtors is quite common. If you have outstanding debt, debt buyers like PRA LLC will make it their business to buy your unpaid debts. They normally purchase these debts for pennies on the dollar, from financial institutions that have already charged them off. These debt collectors will then use aggressive tactics to get payments from you. They often act quickly, threatening action against you unless you agree to a settlement or payment plan. Many times, debt collectors will even overlook expiration dates and even go after the wrong individual, as seen in the Kansas City case.

When faced with persistent debt collectors, it is easy to want to evade them or ignore the attempts, but this is exactly what they want you to do. After an adequate number of attempts, the debt collector can serve you a summons. Simply ignoring this will not stop the suit from proceeding and eventually a judge can declare a default judgment against you.

If a debt collector contacts you, the following tips will help you throughout the process.

• Take Action from Initial Contact. If you are contacted by a debt collector, make sure you respond within the proper time frame. The response time limit is generally 20-30 calendar days, but it may vary by state. You may need to seek trusted legal representation.

• Demand Written Notice. The FDCPA requires debt collectors to provide you with written notice about the debt. It should include the name of the creditor and the amount of the debt owed. Do not engage them any further without this notice.

• Verify the Debt. Is the debt really yours? Has it been forgiven or discharged? If it is not yours, the burden is on the debt collector as to whether they want to sue you.

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.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2015/06/12/woman-wins-83-million-from-debt-collector/

Don’t Let Student Loan Debt Affect Your Retirement Plans

June 17, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Most Americans today are not saving enough for retirement and many are bringing burdensome student loan debt with them into their golden years. Your retirement should be a time of relaxation and time well-spent with your grandchildren.  Understanding the risks associated with bringing student loan debt into retirement can help you avoid making the common mistakes many retirees have already made.

In a recent study by LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, retirees are incurring unprecedented levels of student loan debt. The research revealed that 26 years ago, student loan debt among retirees was less than 1%. As of 2013, the figure has risen to a total of 15% and the average amount is more than $2,300. This new data suggests that parents and grandparents are taking out loans and co-signing for their children and grandchildren’s college and graduate school education.

Retirees with very high levels of student loan debt are at risk of having their Social Security payments garnished, if they default on federal student loans.  The best defense against student loans is to refrain from taking out more than needed.  Research all of your options, such as federal aid, scholarships, grants and work-study income before taking out a loan for your child or grandchild. Do not be tempted to pay off student loans with saved money from your 401(k) or IRA. These important funds are for when you retire and you will be penalized for taking money out early.

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.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/retirement-plans-increasingly-hampered-by-student-loan-debt/