Archive for: ‘July 2015’

I Never Received a Bill. Can a Debt Collector Still Pursue Me?

July 24, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Receiving a sudden call from a debt collector or discovering new collection activity on your credit report for an unfamiliar bill, can leave you with an uneasy feeling. You may be concerned as to why you had not been previously notified of the debt or if you owe the debt at all.

The truth is that some creditors are not required by law to send you a statement prior to sending you to collections, especially among medical bill collectors. The term for this is called “parking” the debt. According to the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), a debt collector may add medical debt information to your credit report without ever contacting you to collect the debt. In fact, the collector may actually wait for the debt to resurface on its own, such as when you attempt to obtain a mortgage or other line of credit. The debt simply remains in place and the creditor benefits by saving time and resources otherwise used to pursue you.

Even if you pay the debt off upon discovering it, the debt may have already affected your credit score. Also, paying these reported collections do not necessarily result in their removal from your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires certain lenders to notify consumers before reporting a debt to the credit reporting agencies, but not all of them.

The FCRA states that any financial institution that offers credit and regularly reports business to credit reporting agencies must provide a notice to the consumer before reporting negative information to the credit reporting agencies. However, the FCRA further notes that this notice “may be included on or with any notice of default, any billing statement, or any other materials provided to the customer,” though it “must be clear and conspicuous.” This means you may be advised of an outstanding debt at the same time it is being applied to your credit report.

The requirement only applies to financial institutions that regularly extend credit, therefore a delinquent cell phone or hospital bill may go into collection without prior notification. If a creditor is required to notify you, they must do so no later than 30 days after a debt was incurred. In most cases, if a creditor delays sending you a bill and upon receipt, you pay it immediately; you should not see negative activity on your credit report.

It is recommended that you regularly review your credit reports. If you see activity that you do not recognize, you may dispute it with the credit bureau(s). It is best to do this in writing. In most cases, if the credit reporting agency is unable to confirm a source within 30 days, it must be removed. By reaching out to the credit bureau directly, your consumer rights are protected under the FCRA.

If the activity is not removed, you may dispute it directly with the collection agency. They also have 30 days to respond back to you. You may also request verification of the debt, to determine its validity.

If you have any questions on this topic or 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/2015/06/23/can-debt-collector-come-after-me-if-never-got-bill/

For-Profit Colleges Encourage Large Student Loan Debt

July 23, 2015 Posted by kingcade

A recent study conducted by the Center for American Progress has revealed some shocking statistics regarding the largest graduate school beneficiaries within federal loan programs. It turns out many are not prestigious, accredited schools, but rather lower quality, for-profit universities. This is a cause of great concern for students who believe these lesser valued schools are accepting government funding, only to increase their own profits.

Of all the graduate student debt in our nation—totaling $6.6 billion, 20 universities account for almost one fifth of the debt. Furthermore, 10 of the 20 institutions are for-profit schools. Charging expensive tuitions while providing a poorly valued education, does not seem to stop these schools from offering loans to prospective students. The schools also exhibit very low standards for admission.  The only requirement seems to be money, which the universities are more than happy to provide (often through loans from the federal government).  As a result, the degrees student’s graduate with are barely worth the paper they are printed on.

The study shows that the largest borrower on the list is Walden University, with $756 million of borrowed funds disbursed to students last year. Owned by the for-profit education company Laureate Education, Walden University hardly has an academic reputation. Many of the schools are able to obtain such a large amount of funding by taking advantage of the law that governs student loans. The Higher Education Act allows graduate students to borrow far more than undergraduates, upwards of $50,000 per year. For-profit universities that mainly operate online, often encourage students to borrow larger amounts for graduate degrees instead of bachelor’s degrees.

The for-profit universities argue that they are offering education to those who are not served by mainstream universities. Still, many believe these schools provide “less than worthy” degrees to students, leaving them with enormous amounts of debt and little chance for employment in a competitive job market. The schools continue to draw students in with promises of a better future, when in reality, the government is offering subsidized loans for a mediocre education.

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.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2015/07/12/for-profit-colleges-encourage-huge-student-debt/

Protect Yourself: Top Unlawful Tactics Debt Collectors May Try Use Against You

July 22, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Dealing with debt is difficult enough without having to be harassed by insistent debt collectors. Unfortunately, many of the strategies used by collection agencies are illegal. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an estimated 30 million Americans have accounts in collection. Consumers should be aware of the scheming tactics collection agencies may use because your rights are being violated.

In recent years, the FTC has targeted collection agencies that practice unlawful strategies in order to collect debt. Several lawsuits have been filed against the companies for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This federal law was created to protect your rights, by preventing third-party debt collection agencies from harassment, threats, unwanted contact and disclosure of your personal information to others.

The following is a list of the most common unlawful tactics used by debt collectors:

• Dishonesty. Collection agencies are not allowed to tell a consumer that they will be arrested or face other false consequences, if they do not pay immediately.

• False Representation. It is illegal for debtors to pose as a government agent or law enforcement official, in order to collect a payment.

• Threats. Collection agencies cannot threaten violence against you. They also cannot threaten a lawsuit if they are not truly filing one.

• Illicit Disclosure. It is prohibited for debtors to share or divulge any of your personal information about your debts to friends, family, co-workers or otherwise.

• Inopportune Contact. Collection agencies may only contact you between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., local time. Contact outside of this time frame is harassment.

• Indecency. By law, debtors must treat you with respect and professionalism. Use of profanity and obscenities is strictly prohibited.

• False Documentation. Collection agencies may not forward any kind of documentation resembling an official government notification to you. Pretending to work with a government agency is illegal.

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.cbsnews.com/news/7-things-debt-collectors-arent-allowed-to-do/

Fraudulent Debt Collectors Targeting Spanish-Speaking Consumers Banned by FTC

July 21, 2015 Posted by kingcade

A recent announcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reveals that the operators of a fraudulent debt collection scheme have agreed to be banned from the debt collection and telemarketing business. The agreement was met to settle FTC charges of false demands for fake debts, targeting Spanish-speaking consumers. Defendants Centro Natural Corp., Sumore LLC, Jessica Anzola, Damian Biondi, Carolina Orellana, Javier Sumbre, and Susana Sumbre, were smacked with a hefty fine of almost $7 million for the scam.

The FTC’s vote to initiate a permanent injunction against the defendants was unanimous, and the decision was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The FTC first filed the complaint last year, alleging that the defendants threatened consumers with arrest, immigration status investigations and even lawsuits, if they did not pay the phony debts.

The settlement order’s ruling to ban all defendants from telemarketing and debt collection activities means that they are permanently prohibited from making further misrepresentations about any product or service, as alleged in the complaint. Bionore Inc., Jager International Inc., Allianza Inmobiliaria Corp. and Jorge Sumbre were also named as defendants who stood to gain from the con.  The defendants are also forbidden from selling or benefitting from customers’ personal information.

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.insidearm.com/daily/debt-collection-news/debt-collection/ftc-bans-fraudulent-debt-collectors-who-targeted-spanish-speaking-consumers/

Rapper 50 Cent Files for Bankruptcy

July 20, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Last week, Curtis Jackson, better known as rapper 50 Cent, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, only days after a messy lawsuit forced him to pay out $5 million to his rival Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend. Both fans of the rapper and the media were surprised to learn of the filing, especially since Jackson was regarded as a man of “exceptional business instincts,” by The New York Times. He was also ranked No. 4 on Forbes’ May list of the wealthiest hip-hop artists, for his net worth of $155 million.

Jackson’s attorneys stated that the filing will allow the rapper to reorganize his financial affairs. However, others believe he is filing for bankruptcy as a way to protect himself following his lawsuit. In a recent late night appearance on TBS’ The Conan O’brien Show, Jackson addressed his decision to file for bankruptcy. “I need protection,” Jackson claimed. He also stated that success often makes people a target for lawsuits.

Prior to his filing for bankruptcy, Jackson did little to hide the extravagant lifestyle he was leading. He was often seen seated in the front row at fashion shows, catching frequent private flights, flashing expensive jewelry and clothing, and driving luxurious cars. The rapper’s Instagram is full of images supporting this, as he constantly posted updates for his 5.4 million followers. Despite this, Jackson said in his interview with Conan, “Times are hard out here, for real.”

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.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/50-cent-bankruptcy-to-conan-i-needed-protection-2015-7
http://www.businessinsider.com/50-cent-biography-pictures-of-luxury-2015-7