Archive for: ‘August 2016’

FHA’s New Guidelines Help Struggling Homeowners Remain in their Homes

August 31, 2016 Posted by kingcade

New procedures put in place by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will help strengthen the process mortgage services currently use and help struggling families stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure.

The updated procedures will streamline the process servicers use to engage borrowers, specifically when evaluating them for the FHA-Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP) These changes will reduce the number of steps that a servicer and borrower must take to resolve a delinquency and enter into a loss mitigation home retention product.  In addition, FHA is removing certain obstacles that will allow servicers greater flexibility for evaluating an unemployed borrower for a special forbearance agreement.

Here is what homeowners need to know about the new provisions. Specifically, the FHA will:

  • Require servicers to convert successful 3-month trial modifications into permanent modifications within 60 days instead of the average four-to-six months;
  • Allow borrowers with three missed mortgage payments to qualify for a partial claim to bring their payments current versus the previous requirement for a minimum of four missed payments;
  • End the traditional stand-alone Loan Modification option so struggling borrowers can access the FHA-HAMP option, to receive payment relief quicker;
  • Eliminate the required 12-month term for FHA’s special forbearance option.  This will allow servicers to offer this option to more unemployed households.

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.

Related Resources:

www.fhfa.gov

https://rismedia.com/2016/08/28/fha-streamlines-process-to-help-delinquent-homeowners-stay-in-homes/

 

Credit Card Use Increasing Among Consumers with Low Credit Scores

August 30, 2016 Posted by kingcade

According to the latest quarterly report on household debt, credit cards are making a comeback in a big way.  In the second quarter, total household debt increased by $35 billion to $12.3 trillion. The two driving factors: auto loans and credit cards.

While auto loans have been on a steady incline for the past six years, rising credit-card balances are a new development. After the 2007 Great Recession, households cut back on credit-card use until 2014. This was also in part to financial institutions strengthening credit requirements for risky borrowers.

Since that time, card balances have risen by about $70 billion. From 2008 to 2013, total household debts dropped by more than $1.5 trillion. However, first student loan and auto loan balances began to rise, and then mortgages and finally credit cards.

The report reveals that credit cards are returning among individuals with low credit or subprime credit scores below 660. Among people with credit scores between 620 and 660, the share that had a credit card increased to 58.8% in 2015 from a low of 54.3% in 2013. Among those with scores below 620, the number of people with a credit card increased to 50% from a low of 45.6% two years ago. Both figures for 2015 are the highest since 2008.

These figures were generated from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel that analyzed millions of consumer credit reports from Equifax.

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 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.

5 Times you should Never Use a Credit Card

August 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Using a credit card responsibly is an excellent way to boost your credit score, build your credit history, track spending, even take advantage of cash-back and other reward programs.  However, if you are unable to pay your bill off every month the high interest rates will cost you.

Here are five times you may want to put the credit card away and opt for another method of payment:

Paying for a BIG expense– Moving to a new city, remodeling your home or going on a vacation are all purchases you will want to save up for ahead of time.  Using more than a third of your available credit on a card can have a negative effect on your credit score.

To consolidate credit card debt– If you are trying to consolidate all of your consumer debts into one payment, the best option depends on your credit score, how much debt you have and, most importantly, your ability to pay down the debt.  If you cannot reasonably pay off your consumer debt in five years, most experts advise debt reorganization or bankruptcy. If your credit score is average, you can tap into your home equity or take a loan against your retirement account or life insurance policy. However, the consequences of defaulting on these loans come with severe penalties.

To fund emergencies– In an emergency situation, a credit card should be your last resort. If you do not have an emergency fund, start one today.  Budget to have the money automatically transferred from your checking account into a savings account- even if it is only $50 a month. This can add up over a year.

To pay for your wedding– Do not start your married life in debt.  Taking out a  personal loan to help pay for a portion of the wedding expenses is a smarter option because these come with fixed interest rates, making it easier for the payments to be factored into your monthly budget.  Depending on your credit, these can come with lower interest rates and allow you to pay overtime.

To pay your taxes– Avoid using a credit card to pay your taxes.  It is better to take from savings or utilize the IRS installment plan option to avoid paying a fee on top of your tax bill. Vendors that the IRS authorizes to accept card payments charge a convenience fee of 1.87% to 2.25% of the amount you owe. E-filing software companies charge even higher rates for credit card payments.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/08/20/5-times-you-shouldnt-use-credit-card/88945872/

Business Owners Convicted of Bankruptcy Fraud

August 26, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Two Louisiana business owners were convicted by a federal jury of concealing assets during their bankruptcy and making false statements under penalty of perjury.  According to the testimony, Brian and Debra Spurin filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September 2005 and submitted various bankruptcy schedules and a statement of financial affairs, all signed as true and correct under penalty of perjury.

However, they failed to disclose real property as required, nor did they list all of the businesses they established and had an interest in, which included Golden Choice Financial, LLC; Golden Athletics Financial Services, LLC; J&S Management and Marketing, Inc.; and International Oil, Gas and Mineral Management, Inc.  The assets of these companies were never listed, including the home in which the couple lived in and the vehicles they used.

In total, the couple fraudulently concealed approximately $400,000 worth of assets from the bankruptcy proceeding.

The defendants each face a fine of $250,000, imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, for each count of concealment of bankruptcy estate assets and making a false statement under penalty of perjury.

Bankruptcy trustees are experts at finding undisclosed cash, property, vehicles, boats, jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. If you are caught trying to hide assets, the consequences are big. Your discharge will be denied, and you will be unable to discharge the debts you listed in a subsequent bankruptcy filing. In addition, you can face serious fines, even jail time.

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 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.

The South has the highest rates of personal bankruptcy filings in the country

August 25, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Personal bankruptcy filings fell to levels not seen since before the Great Recession of 2007, according the American Bankruptcy Institute.  However, this is not the case for some parts of the country.  Recent federal data from U.S. courts reveals the median bankruptcy rate among the 587 counties examined was 224 filings per 100,000 residents. Among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., the median bankruptcy rate was 226 filings per 100,000 residents.

Six of the 10 states and eight of the 10 counties with the highest personal bankruptcy filings were in the South. Many of the areas had lower to median annual incomes. Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of bankruptcy filings had annual household incomes lower than the 2014 U.S. median of $53,657.

Another downside, states with the highest bankruptcy rates offer the least amount of protections for consumers. For example, Alabama and Kentucky, allow debt collectors to seize nearly everything a debtor owns, according to the National Consumer Law Center.

These are the states with the highest rates of personal bankruptcy filings:

Tennessee, 553 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Alabama, 529 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Georgia, 483 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Illinois, 432 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Utah, 392 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Indiana, 387 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Mississippi, 361 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Kentucky, 345 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Arkansas, 344 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

Ohio, 322 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents

While seeking relief through bankruptcy may not have been your first choice, it may be your best financial strategy, when compared to the alternatives of wage garnishment, lawsuits and endless collection calls. In addition, depending on the type of bankruptcy filing, there is no more overwhelming debt. The majority of personal bankruptcy filings are for Chapter 7, which erases most unsecured debts, such as your credit card debt and medical bills.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0816/The-South-has-the-highest-bankruptcy-rates-in-the-country