Archive for: ‘July 2016’

Government Program Set to Forgive up to $131,000 in Student Loan Debt for Thousands of Doctors

July 22, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A program called Public Service Loan Forgiveness was initiated to help teachers, public defenders and other modestly paid public service workers alleviate their financial stresses by forgiving a large portion of their student loans. However, the Journal of General Internal Medicine released an article stating that physicians who work for non-profit hospitals or hospitals owned by the government have been enrolling in the program and meet the qualifications to have their loans forgiven. On average, medical school students accrue up to $162,000 in student loans, according to the New America Foundation.

Congress enacted the program in 2007 to boost the economy and to entice college graduates to accept low-paid government and non-profit jobs. The Loan Forgiveness program technically applies to anyone who works for a nonprofit organization, regardless of his or her income. The way it works is that college graduates must make 120 monthly payments toward their student loans and their payments are capped at 10% of the discretionary income of the borrower. Once the payments are made, the remaining student loan debt is forgiven.

Physicians typically earn between $50,000 and $60,000 in the first few years after school. Once they complete anywhere from three to eight years of training, or “residency,” their annual income skyrockets to an average of $180,000. The government and non-profit organizations own three quarters of the hospitals in America, which means the vast majority of the high paid physicians are eligible for student loan forgiveness. Research shows that on average, each physician who applies for forgiveness will be relieved of approximately $131,000 of student loan debt.

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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.

New Jersey Senator Introduces New Bill to Address Zombie Foreclosure “Crisis”

July 21, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, recently introduced a bill to the Senate that addresses the nationwide crisis – zombie foreclosures. The bill is called “Preventing Abandoned Foreclosures and Preserving Communities Act of 2016.” This crisis refers to homes that sit vacant, sometimes for years, while in “legal limbo” throughout the process of foreclosure. The zombie foreclosure crisis has negatively impacted economies across the country by lowering property values in neighborhoods. According to Menendez, the vacant homes “scare away new homebuyers and investors,” which eventually impacts surrounding neighborhoods, and so on.

While introducing the new bill, Sen. Menendez stated that New Jersey had the highest foreclosure rate in the country in 2015, with 35,000 foreclosure filings. He went on to say that it also has the highest rate of vacant “zombie foreclosures,” with 4,003, according to RealtyTrac. However, his new bill would address the zombie foreclosure crisis across the country.

According to Menendez, his new bill would:

  • Require mortgage servicers to tell borrowers at the beginning of the foreclosure process they can remain in the home until state law requires them to leave
  • Require the servicer to make clear to the borrower that he or she remains responsible for the payment of any taxes, assessments, and other fees during the foreclosure process
  • Require the mortgage servicer to make prompt notifications to both the borrower and the municipality where the property is located when it walks away from the foreclosure
  • Prohibit mortgage servicers on loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and insured by the Federal Housing Administration from walking away from an initiated foreclosure unless the servicer releases the lien on the property and provides proper notice to the borrower and municipality
  • Require the Government Accountability Office and the CFPB to study and report on the prevalence and impact of abandoned foreclosures

Click here to read more on the 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.

 

The Bankruptcy Means Test: What is it? Why is it Important?

July 20, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The bankruptcy means test determines whether or not you are eligible to file for debt forgiveness through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The test uses factors such as: income, expenses and family size to determine who can afford to repay their debts through reorganization and who cannot. Most who take the means test, pass it and are considered clear to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, those who are ineligible for Chapter 7 have the option to file Chapter 13, which will restructure and reorganize debts.

How the Test Works

There are two steps involved in determining whether or not you have enough disposable income to pay off your debts. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will assist you in filling out and filing your paperwork with the bankruptcy court. Most debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are struggling with consumer debt such as credit card or medical debt.

Step One

The first step in the bankruptcy means test will compare your household income with the average income in your state. In Florida, the median income for a household with one earner is $43,136. The median income for a household with two earners is $53,654. The means test is based on your financial situation over the past six months; therefore you will need to gather all of your documentation about your income during this time period. Keep in mind the court will consider any recent changes in your income such as: losing your job or starting a new job. If your median income over the past six months falls below your state’s average, you automatically qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Step Two

If you are not automatically qualified to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on your household income, you will need to move on to step two in the bankruptcy means test. As a part of this step, you must gather all of your documentation that lists your “allowable expenses” over the past six months. These expenses can include any of the following: rent, groceries, clothing and medical costs. What is left over is considered disposable income. In this portion of the means test, it is important to be thorough and not leave out any “allowable expenses.” It is also crucial to know your local “allowable expense” standards in addition to national standards. Make sure you consult with your attorney to fully understand what are considered allowable expenses in Florida.

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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for 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.

 

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Student Loan Debt Collector

July 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Balboa Student Loan Trust for harassing former Everest College students for repayment of their student loans. The harassment came as a shock to former students whose debt had been previously forgiven by the U.S. Department of Education after it was determined that the institution was misleading students. Balboa Student Loan Trust, the company that purchased a portion of Everest College debts, has ignored the findings and has reportedly called students up to five times per day to collect on the student loan debts.

Everest College is owned and operated by Corinthian Colleges. The U.S. Department of Education fined Corinthian Colleges $30 million in April of last year for misrepresenting their job replacement rates. Later that month, Corinthian Colleges filed for bankruptcy and has since lost its accreditation. The colleges were also offering loans through a student loan program called Genesis, which was later found to be a scam by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when nearly 60 percent of the students defaulted on their loans due to outrageous repayment rates. Balboa Student Loan Trust later purchased these loans and promised to forgive 40 percent of the debt and stop harassing students to repay their loans. However, the consumer class action suit claims the debt collector has violated the terms that were agreed upon with the federal government.

“These private lenders are victimizing these students a second time by continuing to try and collect on debt that was incurred through fraud and deceit,” Anne Richardson said. Richardson is an attorney with Public Counsel, one of the law firms that filed the class action suit.

Click here to read more on the 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.

FTC Shuts Down Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Relief Scam

July 18, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down multiple mortgage relief schemes conducted by a string of California-based law firms that ultimately scammed struggling homeowners out of millions of dollars. The law firms were charging homeowners thousands of dollars and falsely promising that their services would allow them to stay in their homes.

Homeowners were told they could join a “mass joinder” lawsuit against their mortgage lenders, claiming mortgage fraud and void consumer’s mortgage notes. The attorneys, operating as Brookstone Law Group, Brookstone Law, Advantis Law and Advantis Law Group, promised homeowners they would discharge their mortgage entirely, provide monetary relief or both. However, the firms never followed through on their promises.

According to the FTC, the promise of a “mass joinder” lawsuit is a common mortgage relief scam. Mass joinder lawsuits are different from class action lawsuits because each individual defendant is required to prove his or her case in court. The FTC stated that although the attorneys did file lawsuits in this case, most were never pursued and ultimately dismissed.

The FTC’s report stated the attorneys mailed out materials including the homeowner’s name, loan amount and property identification number with statements such as, “Your home will be sold at Auction unless you take immediate action.”

Homeowners who proceeded with the case were initially charged $895 to join the lawsuit and receive a “legal analysis.” Those whose legal analysis showed they had a good case were told they were “likely or certain” to win a lawsuit against their mortgage lenders and would recover at least $75,000. The firms would then charge homeowners thousands of dollars and monthly fees and failed to deposit the fees in client trust funds as required by law.

Most of the homeowners were never added as plaintiffs in a case and some were added months later. Their questions went unanswered and their requests for refunds were allegedly refused. According to the FTC’s report, the mortgage relief scheme netted at least $15 million.

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.