Archive for: ‘March 2017’

9 Common Tax Errors People Make

March 24, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Small errors on your tax return can cost you big time. If you want to get your tax refund as quickly as possible and avoid fines, don’t make these nine common errors.

  1. Wrong or Missing Social Security Numbers. All of the tax information that gets reported to the IRS is tied to your Social Security number. As a result, if you provide the wrong number, the IRS will not be able to match up your return with the information that your employer and financial institutions have provided.
  2. Wrong Names. The IRS receives many returns on which people’s names are incorrect. Double check your Social Security card to ensure you are providing your legal name.
  3. Filing Status Errors. Some filing statuses can give additional tax breaks, but it is critical to choose the right one for your particular situation. Often, taxpayers make mistakes in choosing a filing status for which they don’t qualify, such as, head of household for unmarried individuals.
  4. Math Errors. Tax software typically catches math errors; however, if you make a simple data-entry mistake, your numbers will still be off. Double check everything with a calculator to avoid this problem.
  5. Errors in Figuring Credits or Deductions. Some tax breaks are complicated and the IRS says that errors in figuring the earned income tax credit, child and dependent care credit and the standard deduction are particularly common. The best way to avoid these errors is to follow instructions carefully in calculating these credits and deductions.
  6. Incorrect Bank Account Numbers. If you use direct deposit to get your refund, make sure you have provided the correct routing number and account number. If you don’t, your refund won’t get processed correctly.
  7. Not signing or dating your tax forms. It is easy to forget one of these key final steps after spending hours or days preparing your return. However, an unsigned tax return is not valid. Also, if you are filing a joint return, both spouses have to sign.
  8. Errors with validating an electronically filed tax return. If you file electronically, you have to select a personal identification number to use to validate your return. Often, taxpayers do not understand the procedure or fail to provide the correct number.
  9. Not Correcting Erroneous Tax Information Forms. If there are errors on your W-2 form from your employer or on your 1099 forms from financial institutions, you should not ignore them. Rather, talk to the reporting party and ask them to correct the error. Otherwise, the IRS will flag a mismatch between what you filed and what the other party filed and it will be up to you to prove you are right.

 

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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 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

What the Fed Rate Hike Means for Homebuyers

March 23, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Last week the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point. This marked the second increase in three months and the third increase since 2015. As a result, mortgage rates have already increased. The average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage jumped to a 2017 high of 4.21 percent, up from 3.68 percent last year.

What this means for house hunters is that buying a home is going to be more expensive. “That is going to create a bit of sticker shock for some buyers looking to buy this spring,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Fortunately, the changes in the Federal Reserve benchmark interest rate are somewhat predictable. The market expects two more Fed rate hikes before the end of the year. However, another increase is not likely in the next few weeks.

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:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/15/pf/fed-rate-hike-mortgage-rates/index.html?iid=SF_LN

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/15/fed-raises-rates-at-march-meeting.html

More than 1.1 Million Borrowers Defaulted on Their Federal Student Loans Last Year

March 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

An average of 3,000 borrowers default on their federal student loans every day. The number increased 17 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a consumer Federation of America analysis of U.S. Department of Education data.

Despite a growing economy, 42.4 million Americans owed $1.3 trillion in federal student loans last year. By the end of the year more than 4.2 million borrowers were in default. This is up from 3.6 million the previous year, meaning that 1.1 million borrowers went into or re-entered default last year.

How to Avoid Defaulting on Student Loans 

If your debt is unmanageable, you have options:

  • If you have federal student loans, you can qualify for income-based repayment plans. The percentage of federal student loan borrowers enrolled in repayment plans has quadrupled over the past four years. Keep in mind you must re-apply every year for income-based repayment.
  • If you have private loans you have limited options. Some lenders offer forbearance if borrowers can’t make their payments. The benefits are not as vigorous as they are with federal loans and typically last no more than 12 months.

 

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

Trump Administration Erases Restriction on Big Student Loan Fees

March 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The Trump administration recently repealed the Obama guidelines and instructed guarantee agencies to once again go after defaulters with big fees. Agencies had previously been charging fees of up to 18.5 percent when people defaulted on their student loans. However, in July 2015 the Obama administration issued a memo forbidding such practices as long as the borrower entered into the government’s loan rehabilitation program within 60 days of defaulting and started paying again.

The announcement came after a report was released that found a double-digit increase in defaults. It also came after Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to keep the guidelines in place.

The loans that are affected by the changes are loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) that were taken out before 2010. There are approximately seven million borrowers with $162 billion of outstanding debt in the FFEL program.

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://consumerist.com/2017/03/17/trump-administration-eases-restriction-on-student-loan-debt-collectors/

http://www.newser.com/story/239949/trump-change-means-student-loan-defaulters-face-big-fees.html

 

Foreclosure Activity Hits 11-Year Low

March 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

During the month of February, foreclosure activity dropped to an 11-year low, according to new data from ATTOM Data Solutions. This was the lowest point since November 2005 and the 17th consecutive month of annual decreases.

Although the nationwide average significantly dropped, there were 10 states that experienced an increase in foreclosure activity in February. States that saw the largest increase include: New Jersey with an increase of 16 percent, Delaware with 14 percent, Louisiana with 12 percent, Alabama with 10 percent and Hawaii with eight percent.

Foreclosure starts were also down 13 percent from February of last year, however some states experienced an annual increase including: Alabama with an increase of 40 percent in foreclosure starts, Texas with an increase of 26 percent, New Jersey with an increase of 24 percent, Florida with an increase of 12 percent, Illinois with an increase of 11 percent and Arizona with an increase of nine percent.

ATTOM Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist said there are two major reasons why some states are still seeing an increase in foreclosure starts. The first reason is due to the backlog stemming from the housing crisis. States such as Florida and New Jersey are still experiencing distress from the bubble-era. The second reason is due to the newly relaxed lending standards in some areas.

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.