Archive for: ‘August 2015’

Filing for Personal Bankruptcy can Help “Reset” Your Finances

August 31, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Many consumers who have lost their homes to foreclosure are still plagued with debt.  Most hope to one day pay off their debt but still struggle to make ends meet. Trying to get back on your feet financially can be overwhelming but bankruptcy can help.

One couple decided to help their son out by purchasing a second condo for him. As condo owners themselves, they believed that they could afford the second property because of their good credit. However, it soon became difficult to keep up with the additional mortgage payments. Both husband and wife took on second jobs to cover the costs and even forfeited their real estate investments.

The financial burden became so overwhelming that it began to take a toll on their relationship and even their health. Finally, the couple declared personal bankruptcy. Many consumers in similar situations wonder if they should declare personal bankruptcy and whether or not it is the right decision for them.

There are two main types of personal bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is the most common type of individual bankruptcy. With this type of bankruptcy, your debts can be fully discharged within 4-6 months. To qualify for Chapter 7, you must pass a “means test,” which is a qualification calculation designed to determine whether or not you have the “means” to repay your creditors. A trustee is then appointed to oversee the process and make sure the proper assets are liquidated in order to repay your debts.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If your income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option. This type of bankruptcy will create a debt repayment plan for all, or a portion of your debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcies typically take 3 to 5 years.  If your financial circumstances change during the term of the repayment plan, the bankruptcy can be dismissed or converted into a Chapter 7.

In the past, personal bankruptcy was viewed by many as a shameful last resort. However, in today’s economy personal bankruptcy filings are no longer seen as causing permanent damage to your credit. Now that consumers better understand the real benefits of filing for bankruptcy, more people have conquered their debt while getting the chance to start over.

If you qualify, filing for personal bankruptcy is an effective way to rebuild and restore hope for your financial future. The couple who filed for personal bankruptcy has since settled into a new home. For them, filing for bankruptcy helped them realize there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

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.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/08/27/using-personal-bankruptcy-to-hit-reset-button-on-distressed-properties/

How to Tell the Difference between a Debt Collector and a Debt Scammer

August 27, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Debt collection calls can be unpleasant enough, but now consumers have to worry about whether or not they are being scammed by a so-called debt collector. Unfortunately, more con artists across the nation are contacting consumers, using personal information to trick them into paying debts they do not owe. Most recently, a company going by the name of ACS Incorporation Collection has been using false emails and names to try and trick people into paying debts. According to the BBB, the company currently has more than 1,200 complaints against it with the BBB of West Florida. For many, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a legitimate collection agency and a scammer.

Fortunately, there are some “red flags” that separate the phony debt collectors from the real ones.

Violent and Abusive Tactics

Debt scammers tend to use abusive tactics and extreme methods of harassment to scare consumers into providing personal information or making an immediate payment. Scammers often use blatant threats such as a lawsuit or arrest.

Lack of Credentials

Scammers will be quick to take your information, but reluctant to give you theirs. If the caller refuses to give you a physical address, mailing address or the full name of their company, beware. Legitimate collection agencies will readily provide this information up front.

Extreme Sense of Urgency

Another tell-tale sign that you are speaking to a scammer is if they demand payment “today” without exception.  While most debt collectors would rather you pay as soon as possible, scammers tend to insist that same day payment is absolutely necessary.

Limited Payment Options

If the supposed “debt collector” does not accept multiple forms of payment, you should be concerned. Legitimate collection agencies typically accept a variety of payments including over the phone, online, with a debit card or through the mail. Scammers tend to insist on one form of payment, which is often with a credit card right then and there.

Volunteering Information

A con-artist may already have your personal information via identity theft or your credit report. This will make them appear believable when they cite debts you may actually owe. Be especially cautious of a caller who hastily volunteers all of your information to you in an effort to gain trust.

Lack of Debt Verification

A real debt collector should be able to verify basic information about your debt, including the date of default, amount of principle vs. interest, account name and account number. If the caller cannot verify this and refers you to your original creditor for further information, beware. Real collection agencies would never refer you back to your original creditor.

Amateur Phone System

If you were to call the number back and an individual answered the phone immediately, this is an indicator that it may be a scammer. Legitimate collection agencies often have a complex phone system or a receptionist to route your call appropriately.

Single Point of Contact

If you speak with the same person repeatedly, there is a good chance they are working for themselves as a scammer. Legitimate debt collection agencies tend to employ many collection agents and any one of them should be able to handle your file accordingly.

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/debt-collector-scammer-how-tell-the-difference.html

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/2015/06/24/beware-of-phony-debt-collectors/29203225/

How Student Loans Impact your Credit Score

August 27, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Certain factors on a consumer’s credit report are used to calculate their credit score.  These factors include payment history, debt levels, age of credit and debt diversity. If student loans are properly maintained, they can actually have a positive impact on your credit score. For those who have yet to establish a credit history or build revolving credit, managing your student loan debt properly can assist with this.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, requires young consumers to prove their financial ability to repay debts, in order to obtain a credit card. Timely payments made on your student loans can also improve the diversity of your credit profile.

As with many other forms of credit, applying for private and certain federal student loans will result in a “hard inquiry” on your credit report. A hard inquiry and a new account may cause your credit score to drop by a few points, but only for a short amount of time.  Fortunately, student loan inquiries will be “de-duplicated” on credit reports, allowing multiple inquiries within a small period of time.

Student loans can be an excellent opportunity to strengthen payment history. Making on-time monthly payments during the student loan repayment process can vastly improve your credit score. Alternately, making any late payments or defaulting on the loan will hurt your credit score.

The principle amount owed on student loans has little impact on your credit score. The payment history is where the greatest impact is made. Make sure to take on a manageable debt load and also utilize loan repayment assistance when available. You can also keep track of how your student loans impact your credit by monitoring your credit report. Each year, you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus.

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.credit.com/credit-scores/how-student-loans-can-impact-your-credit-score/

 

Homeowner Supported by Judge in Home Surrender

August 26, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Miami U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Jay Cristol decided against two precedent-setting rulings, finding it unconstitutional to force homeowners to give up on their foreclosure cases after surrendering property in bankruptcy court. The ruling contradicted those made by Chief Judge Paul Hyman Jr. in the Southern District of Florida and Judge Michael Williamson in the Middle District.

In his August 12 ruling, Cristol sided with a Cutler Bay homeowner in a case against Bank of America. His decision served to complicate the already controversial “surrender” issue linking bankruptcy and foreclosure cases. In 2012, the Cutler Bay homeowner had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and received a discharge four months later. Then, the bank reopened the bankruptcy case to force the homeowner to surrender her property and give up on the foreclosure fight.

Cristol believed it to be inequitable to stop homeowners from fighting against a foreclosure on their home after surrendering the property in bankruptcy court.  Other judges like Hyman and Williamson, have been far less understanding. Many have threatened homeowners with sanctions and penalties if they continue fighting their foreclosure after surrendering their home for bankruptcy protection.

These rulings created legal precedents that have divided bankruptcy judges by finding that “surrender” means relinquishing property to “make it available to the secured creditor by refraining from taking any overt act that impedes” foreclosure. Federal bankruptcy law indicates that debtors seeking personal bankruptcy protection must submit a statement of intention within 30 days of filing bankruptcy petitions or before the first meeting of creditors.

In the Cutler Bay case, Bank of America failed to prove that the homeowner had agreed to “surrender” her home in bankruptcy; therefore, the bank’s suit in state court to foreclose on the four-bedroom home could not be supported. According to Cristol, even if a debtor had indicated the intent to surrender their property and then fails to do so, disallowing them to fight a foreclosure action would simply be unjust.

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.dailybusinessreview.com/home/id=1202735530891?

Ways to Make Your FREE Bankruptcy Consultation Count

August 25, 2015 Posted by kingcade

For those considering bankruptcy, it is normal to have questions and concerns. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free initial consultations, giving you the opportunity to discuss your options in greater detail.  Being fully prepared beforehand is the best way to make the most of your free bankruptcy consultation.

Below are some important tips on how to make the most of your free initial consultation with your bankruptcy attorney.

Have the proper documentation.  It is important to come to your initial consultation with the necessary documentation. For a bankruptcy consultation, you should bring the following:

  • Recent financial records (bank statements, bills, etc.)
  • Deeds for property and vehicles (lease or purchase)
  • Student loan documentation, if applicable
  • Receipts
  • Legal records

Ask questions.  Ask your bankruptcy attorney to explain the bankruptcy process to you including the costs, fees, financial solutions and timelines. It is also important to learn more about your bankruptcy attorney and how they can best help you. Ask your attorney questions pertaining to their experience in the area of bankruptcy law and their firm’s case handling procedures.  Many attorneys offer bankruptcy services as only a portion of their practice.  Find an attorney who has dedicated their legal career to this area of law.

Stay Involved. In addition to asking questions, take notes. Make sure you fully understand your options and take this opportunity to discuss these with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. Remember that your consultation is confidential, so be completely forthcoming and candid with your attorney. If you are provided with documentation, take the initiative to make sure these forms are filled out as soon as possible.

For more information on how to best prepare for your initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney, please visit: http://timothykingcade.com/?p=4234.

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/questions-ask-when-choosing-bankruptcy-attorney.html

http://bankruptcy.findlaw.com/legal-help-and-resources/checklist-documents-to-show-to-your-bankruptcy-attorney.html