Archive for: ‘April 2016’

Bankruptcy attorney receives 34 months in prison for bankruptcy fraud

April 22, 2016 Posted by kingcade

It was announced this week that a bankruptcy attorney was sentenced to 34 months in prison for collecting filing fees from clients without informing the bankruptcy court.

Glay H. Collier II, 53, of Benton, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert G. James on one count of bankruptcy fraud. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $69,063.05 restitution. According to the evidence presented, Collier filed records into the bankruptcy court stating that he would accept “No Look” fees as payment for his services.

The “No Look” fee caps attorney’s fees in bankruptcy proceedings to $2,800. In excess of that limit, Collier charged up to $281 in filing fees to some clients, which he did not disclose to the court. Between March 2010 and November 2013, Collier filed 983 Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in Monroe, and during the same time period, he filed 2,160 Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in Shreveport. Collier fraudulently collected and attempted to collect filing fees in approximately 479 cases.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all 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.

State Passes on Hardest Hit Funds- Florida Homeowners out $250 Million

April 21, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Floridians fighting to save their homes from foreclosure are losing out on $250 million in mortgage assistance because state officials opted not to apply for additional money from the federal Hardest Hit Fund. The fund was created six years ago to help those states hardest hit by the housing market crash and foreclosure crisis. All of the board members who voted to turn down the assistance were appointed by Governor Rick Scott, a Republican who has opposed federal bailout programs and whose office once pressured the housing agency to limit the time homeowner’s could receive the Hardest Hit help.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson calls the decision “tragic” and has repeatedly blasted state officials for their slowness in spending the $1 billion that Florida originally received.  As of January 1, 2016, the state had spent less than two-thirds of that amount and helped only 25,000 homeowners while rejecting 120,000.

In addition, the federal official who oversees the Treasury’s management of the Hardest Hit Fund has criticized Florida, issuing a report that found the state had “consistently under-performed” other states in the use of the relief money.

Click here to read more on this story.

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

Colleges Return Tuition Money to Bankrupt Parents

April 20, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Colleges have returned more than $276,000 in tuition payments made for students whose parents later filed for bankruptcy.  Villanova University, Ithaca College and the New York Institute of Technology are just a few of the schools that have been sued by bankruptcy trustees, according to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis.

The trustees, who are in charge of recovering money for the debts of the bankrupt parents, argue that financially struggling parents should have paid their own bills instead of their child’s college tuition.  Most of the schools have opted to settle the cases and return the tuition money rather than go through an expensive court battle.  However, two schools are moving forward with the lawsuits that could lead judges to clarify whether these controversial lawsuits are fair.

Some of the latest settlements include:

Villanova University agreed to pay $10,000 to settle a lawsuit for $12,543 in tuition payments that covered the cost of education for the son of a Durham, Conn., resident who filed for bankruptcy in September.

The University of Maryland agreed to pay $9,999 to settle a tuition lawsuit that demanded $61,595.33 in tuition.

St. Vincent’s College agreed to pay $5,270 to settle a tuition battle over payments of $10,641.45.

The amount of tuition that colleges have promised to return is expected to grow in the coming weeks. U.S. bankruptcy law allows trustees to sue to recover money that a bankrupt person spent but did not get “reasonably equivalent value” in return. These “tuition-recovery lawsuits” are a new phenomenon.  Historically, tuition payments were so small that a court-appointed trustee would not waste time pursuing them. But as college costs rise and more parents are chipping in to help their kids, bankruptcy experts predict more of these lawsuits to come.

Click here to read more on this story.

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 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

Duxbury Father Wins Student Loan Debt Relief Settlement

April 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A federal appeals court this week has urged a bankruptcy judge to consider a settlement that would allow a Duxbury father to discharge more than $246,000 of student loan debt he borrowed to send his three children to college.

The case has generated national attention amid the growing concern about student loan debt and what it means for our nation’s economy. For the past four years, The Educational Credit Management Corp., a company hired by the US Department of Education, has vigorously fought the efforts to have the loans discharged in bankruptcy.

Four months after the US First Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case and urged the parties to try to settle, the company signed an agreement acknowledging that the debtor should be forgiven because he has proven that repaying the debt would pose an undue hardship. The following day, the appeals court sent the proposed settlement to the bankruptcy court.   The final decision lies in the hands of the bankruptcy judge.

Most courts rely on one of two tests when defining hardship.  These include: The Brunner test, which requires a borrower to show that he has made a good faith effort to repay the debt, cannot maintain a minimal standard of living for himself and his dependents if forced to repay the loan, and is facing additional circumstances that make it unlikely he will be able to pay in the future.

The second test, called the “totality of the circumstances” test, considers a debtor’s past, present, and future financial resources; living expenses; and any other facts and relevant circumstances surrounding each particular bankruptcy case. When assessing hardship, most courts require borrowers to show extraordinary circumstances, such as a serious illness, psychiatric problem, or permanent disability.

In this case, the debtor Robert Murphy lost his $165,000-a-year position as president of a Canton manufacturing company when it moved overseas in 2002, and had been unable to find another job. He depleted his retirement savings to pay bills, which included more than $61,000 that was applied to his student loan debt, which left him and his wife primarily dependent on her $13,200 teacher’s aide annual salary.

Murphy sought to discharge the $246,000 he still owed on a dozen Parent Plus loans he took out between 2001 and 2007 to send two of his children to Loyola University Maryland and a third to the University of Connecticut and Bridgewater State.

If he had it to do over again, Murphy says he would have never borrowed the money, even though he was unemployed when the government issued him the majority of the loans.  Like many in his situation, he believed he would be able to find another high-paying job and repay them.  He launched an exhaustive search and attributed his inability to find work to his age, a failing economy and the decrease in manufacturing jobs.

Murphy’s case was being watched by consumer advocates across the country, who hoped the appeals court would take a new look at what defines undue hardship. The settlement has the possibility to preempt a decision that could establish a precedent.

Click here to read more on this story.

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 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

 

Judge’s Ruling on Law School Grad’s Debt Could Trigger ‘Seismic’ Shift in Loan Practices

April 18, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A judge’s recent ruling to discharge a portion of a law school grad’s student loan debt could have major implications for those struggling with insurmountable student loan debt.  The law student applied for the loan while she was studying for the bar exam as a student at Pace University Law School in 2009. She received a “bar loan” of $15,000 from Citibank, according to the bankruptcy court documents, and she made payments on the loan until June 2012. But in November 2014, after having failed the bar exam, she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

She wanted the $15,000 loan to be discharged arguing that it was not an “educational benefit” under the U.S. bankruptcy code. Citibank disagreed, arguing that the loan was an “educational benefit” in the fact that the eligibility for the bar loan was dependent on her being a law student.

But Judge Carla Craig of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Brooklyn wrote in her decision, “However, this argument could be advanced by the myriad private lenders who provide funds to borrowers who are taking educational or training courses. The fact that [Citibank’s] underwriting standards required [Campbell] to be a law student does not turn an arm’s length consumer credit transaction into a ‘benefit’ within the meaning of [the bankruptcy code],” Craig wrote in her opinion.

Although there have been cases involving student loans where judges have ruled the opposite of Judge Craig, this recent decision may have an effect on future cases. This opinion is a confirmation that these loans should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Click here to read more on this story.

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 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