Archive for: ‘February 2017’

Three Simple Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

February 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many consumers know the problem with using credit cards is that oftentimes you end up paying for purchases after you buy.  The average interest rate on a credit card is 13.51%- if you carry over a balance.  As of September 2016, cardholders carried on average a balance of $7,527.  When you pay off your credit cards in full or have your debt discharged in bankruptcy, you have more disposable income for your financial goals and can better plan for your future.  But how do you get there?

Here are three simple steps to eliminating your credit card debt.

Step one: The obvious- Stop using your credit cards.  Pay in cash for all of your purchases.  For online purchases use PayPal or your debit card.  Using a “cash only” system allows you to spend what you have.

Step two: Make extra payments toward the principal. Lenders are required to show you how long it would take to pay off your credit card if you only made the minimum payments.  Request your statements be mailed to you, online you may not be able to see this number.  It will certainly give you a wake-up call.  For example, the average American with $7,527 in debt, would spend 11 years paying the card off if they only paid the minimum balance.  The interest would cost you $2,869!

Step three: Set financial goals and SAVE for them.  Set up savings accounts for your big purchases. For example, if you are going to need a new car in the next 6 months or are planning a family vacation this summer.

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.

Wells Fargo Fires 4 Senior Employees for Their Involvement in Fake Account Scandal

February 27, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Four senior employees of Wells Fargo have been fired amid an ongoing investigation into the bank’s illegal sales practices.  Wells Fargo admitted last year that it created as many as 2 million fake accounts between 2011 and 2015.  Shortly after, reports surfaced of the toxic sales environment and employee mistreatment at the bank. Some former employees even said they were subject to retaliation after they tried to stop the sales tactics, according to CNN Money.

Since the scandal broke, Wells Fargo has been under investigation by the Department of Justice, Congressional committees, state attorneys general and prosecutors’ offices. Class action lawsuits have been filed by customers, employees and shareholders against Wells Fargo.  Wells Fargo fired 5,300 workers for creating millions of fake accounts.

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.

 

The Effects Debt Has On Your Emotions

February 24, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The average U.S. household carries debt- more than $132,000 in fact, including mortgages.  Approximately 40 percent of households have credit card debt.  The interest on credit cards alone is costing as much as $1,300 per household per year.

If you are struggling with debt, understanding the common emotions and actions surrounding debt can help you take positive steps moving forward to help improve your financial and mental health.

Powerlessness. If you have a large amount of debt, it can make you feel powerless.  The best way to fight back is to take control.  Get on a budget and stick to it.  Knowing that you are taking control and have a plan in place will help you regain a sense of power.

PTSD-like symptoms. A recent survey found that one in four people who are in debt have symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. That number is even higher for millennials. Among people age 18-34 who are in debt, 36 percent suffer. Symptoms can include denial, avoidance (such as not paying bills), and not being able to sleep.

Fear & Anxiety.  Debt can make us anxious.  Be proactive and set up auto-pays on recurring bills you have.  It will give you one less thing to think about.  Put credit cards away (only temporarily, remember not to close out the accounts).

Retail Cravings. Nearly two-thirds of women and 40 percent of men have spent money to improve their mood, according to research. If you overspend, any euphoria you experience will surely diminish once the bills arrive in the mail.  When you feel yourself wanting to spend, ask yourself what’s really going on. Think of the HALT acronym: Are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired?   Address these feelings head-on without the use of a credit card.

Lowered defenses.  Lowered defenses might be caused by anything from having a couple of glasses of wine to a break-up, to battling a cold. Be smart about your spending.  To resist online impulse buys, delete credit card information stored on your computer and mobile devices.

Celebration. Did you recently receive a bonus or land a big account?  When it comes to the risk of debt, feeling overly happy can be just as dangerous as feeling overly sad, which can oftentimes cause a financial splurge. Put any financial gain toward your debt or into savings.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.wbrc.com/story/34555906/6-ways-debt-can-wreak-havoc-with-your-emotions

5 Ways Millennials can Master the Get-out-of Debt Struggle

February 23, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The millennial generation encompasses those in their final years of college and those who are in their 30’s, possibly in the midst of purchasing their first home, perhaps starting a family.  If you are a millennial that falls along this spectrum, odds are you may be paying off some debt.  Two-thirds of millennials have at least one source of long-term debt; oftentimes student loan debt, which now averages $40,000.

Paying down debt and understanding your finances can help build a financially successful future for you and your family.  If you are struggling with debt, here are some ways to gain control and work towards financial relief.

  1. Acknowledge your debt. The first step to getting out of debt is to take an honest look at what you owe and where your money is going each month. List all of your debts, including student loans, car loans, credit cards, personal loans, medical bills and mortgage loans. Are you able to make all of your payments on time every month?
  2. Understand how much you can afford to pay on your debt each month. Create a budget. Calculate how much you earn and how much you spend per month.
  3. Get organized. Set aside a rainy afternoon to sit down and organize your bills. If it helps, have the recurring ones set up on auto-pay.  This will help you avoid paying late, which can lower your credit score. Make sure all of your bills reach the same email address, not an old student email or a former work address.
  4. Save, save, save. Even if you are paying down debt, do not forget to save for retirement.  Remember, retirement savings are protected if down the road you find yourself having to file for bankruptcy. In addition, saving six to nine months’ worth of living expenses can prevent you from going into debt in the future, should you have a sudden medical emergency, car repair or find yourself out of work for a time.
  5. Do not hesitate to ask for help. If you have debt that you cannot afford to repay, consider getting help from an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Many offer free consultations and can help you determine the right path for you and your family’s financial future.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.wbrc.com/story/34364281/7-ways-millennials-can-master-the-get-out-of-debt-struggle

Struggling with Student Loan Debt after 50? You’re not alone

February 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Student loan debt is no longer limited to the young.  In fact, Americans age 60 and older are the fastest-growing population of student loan debtors.  Those seniors who are living month-to-month on fixed incomes are the most likely to default.  When this happens to borrowers 65 and older, the government can seize a portion of their social security benefits, even if this pushes them into poverty.

Approximately 20,000 Americans 50 years of age and older had their Social Security checks cut below the poverty line in 2015 because of student loan debt.

Many have accumulated the debt helping their children or grandchildren, either by borrowing directly or co-signing on loans.  As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford their loan payments while also paying for food, housing, prescriptions, and dental and medical expenses.

Many seniors who are carrying federal student loan debt are eligible for income-based repayment plans, where borrowers can pay as little as zero dollars per month or may even qualify to have their loans forgiven after a specified period of time.

But loan servicing companies have not made it easy for borrowers to enroll in the programs or even let them know it was an option.  This deprives seniors of information about payment plans that would allow them to meet their loan obligations without having to skimp on food or necessary medical care.

The federal government needs to make this group a priority, which means ending the practice of garnishing the Social Security benefits of poor or disabled student loan debtors.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/opinion/haunted-by-student-debt-past-age-50.html?_r=0