Archive for: ‘November 2016’

Xerox Ordered to Pay $2.4 Million to Settle Illegal Debt Collection Charges

November 30, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Many of us know Xerox as the company that handles office supplies, printers and similar products.  However, back in 2009 the company acquired ACS and has been operating as a lender of student loans through Xerox Education Services (XES).

The division has come under much scrutiny in the past year for allegedly violating debt collection laws and overcharging borrowers.  Now the company has decided to settle the charges by paying a $2.4 million settlement.

The initial investigation began in December of 2015. After analyzing the company’s loan servicing practices, officials found that XES had failed to properly process applications for federal loan relief associated with the Income-Based Repayment Plan under the Higher Education Act.  This forced student loan borrowers to pay more than they needed on their debt.  They were also hit with more late fees when they could not afford to make their payments.

The company was charged with violating debt collection regulations by making frequent and repeated phone calls to borrowers and not investigating credit reporting disputes. This led to false information being reported to credit agencies.

Under the settlement, XES will pay $2.4 million, which will be be used as restitution for borrowers who tried to apply for relief but were not able to enroll. The company has also agreed to credit late fee overcharges, reform service members’ accounts, stop its illegal debt collection practices, and establish a “Borrower Advocacy Group” that will help loan recipients apply for income-based repayment plans.

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.

Number of Closed Foreclosures in Florida Rank Highest in the Nation

November 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Florida lenders are completing almost double the amount of foreclosures than any other state.  Florida recorded 53,084 closed foreclosures during the 12-month period ended in September, according to a report from the real estate data provider, CoreLogic.

That accounted for 13 percent of all the completed foreclosures nationwide and was almost double the 27,182 reported in the No. 2 state, Texas.

Florida, one of the states hardest hit by the real estate market crash, posted the sixth-highest inventory of homes in foreclosure in the U.S., with 1.6 percent of homes in some stage of distress.

While there are fewer new foreclosures being filed, Florida still has a sizable backlog of cases in the court system. The sunshine state has the fourth-longest average timeline, at 1,038 days, from to start to finish of a foreclosure.

In Florida, 3.8 percent of all home mortgages are considered seriously delinquent — at least 90 days past due — which tied for the fourth-highest rate in the nation. This number was down by more than one-third over the year.

CoreLogic’s CEO anticipates that heading into 2017, we will see that prices, performance and production — the three most important drivers of the real estate market — will all improve.

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.

 

Florida Debt Counselor Filing Bankruptcy, Owes More Than $100 Million

November 28, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A Florida businessman who made his fortune as a debt counselor during the Great Recession has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.   Timothy McCallan, of Melbourne, is listing more than $100 million in liabilities.  He was hit with a judgment for $107 million in an Alabama bankruptcy for Allegra Law, a large debt settlement law firm that was shut down for massive fraud.

Court investigators in the Allegro case have been pursuing McCallan, because his companies, Americorp and Seton Inc., provided record-keeping and data services to Allegro.

Now the businessman is telling a Florida court he needs protection from that claim among others in his bankruptcy filing.  An Alabama bankruptcy judge had McCallan arrested and jailed for a time, and declared that McCallan had committed a fraud on the court.

“Thousands of customers signed up for debt settlement services offered by McCallan and paid him more than $100,000,000. Almost none of the money was paid to creditors of the customers as promised by McCallan,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William R. Sawyer wrote in an opinion entered in February.

McCallan, who owns a $1.5 million home on the Florida coast, has been ordered to turn over records related to the Allegro Firm. Most recently, McCallan told the court he had been delayed because of damage to his home during Hurricane Matthew, which side-swiped the Florida coastline in early October. But investigators in the Allegro case  later learned McCallan’s home suffered no damage.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/brinkmann-on-business/os-timothy-mccallan-bankruptcy-20161121-story.html

Mortgage Rates Surge after Donald Trump’s Election Win

November 25, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said that the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan rose to 4.03 percent, which is the highest rate since July 2015. It is up from 3.94 percent the previous week. Rates on 15-year home loans also rose to 3.25 percent, up from 3.14 percent last week, which is the highest rate since January.

Long-term mortgage rates have been increasing each week since Donald Trump was elected as President on November 8th. Experts believe that investors are fearful of the president-elect’s plan to cut taxes and spend massively on roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure could provoke inflation. As a result, investors demand higher long-term rates and pay lower prices for bonds.

The anticipation of economic stimulus has also caused a surge in stock prices. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 19,000 for the first time.

However, rising mortgage rates pose a threat to the housing market and the economy. In the past, lower mortgage rates have fueled the real estate market by causing an increase in home sales. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales rose two percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.6 million, which was the highest rate since February 2007.

Real estate experts believe that mortgage rates will continue to rise until there is more understanding of where the economy and housing policies are headed during Trump’s presidency.

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.

8 Mistakes to Avoid on Black Friday

November 23, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Millions of Americans wait all year for Black Friday to come around. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, seven out of ten people stock up on holiday gifts during Thanksgiving weekend. With the right planning and research, you can save a ton of money this holiday season.

Here are some mistakes to avoid during the busiest shopping day of the year.

  1. Failing to make a list. Start by making a list of the items you wish to buy. Then research the places with the best prices for these items. If you are unsure of the items you need, determine who you are shopping for and then do some research online.
  2. Paying full price for add-ons. One of the most common mistakes Black Friday shoppers make is paying full price for add-ons when shopping for electronics. These include batteries, cables and chargers. It is important to keep in mind that you do not need to get add-ons the same day or at the same place. Strategize where you can buy each commodity for electronics at the best price. Saving these items for Cyber Monday is a good choice!
  3. Buying toys. The sales on toys typically extend into the first two weeks of December. According to DealNews.com toys are generally cheaper in the first two weeks of December.
  4. Choosing the wrong time to go. Many of the stores who participate in Black Friday deals have started their sales on Thanksgiving in recent years. According to retale.com, 54 percent of shoppers said they would prefer to stay home on Thanksgiving. This gives shoppers a chance to beat the Black Friday crowds.
  5. Opening store credit cards. It is tempting to open a store credit card to save an additional 10 to 15 percent off your purchase. However, going into debt over the holidays is not worth the savings.
  6. Not using a price-comparison app. If you are planning on shopping on Black Friday, using apps like RedLaser, ShopSavvy and BuyVia will help you find the best prices.
  7. Falling for “fear of missing out.” Oftentimes shoppers fall for the belief that sales are short-lived or that items are in limited supply. This is not necessarily true. Retailers have been preparing for this day weeks in advance and have ample supplies of what they expect to be top sellers. Keep in mind that many of the door-buster deals that are in limited supply are cheap quality, as well as cheaply priced.
  8. Forgetting about Cyber Monday. If you do not find what you need on Black Friday, don’t forget about the Cyber Monday deals. Shopping online makes it easier to compare prices and stock up your cart with items you might not have been able to find in stores.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or 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.