Archive for: ‘April 2017’

Class Action Lawsuit May Offer Hope to Student Loan Borrowers in Bankruptcy

April 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Student loan servicer, Navient has agreed to stop collection attempts on certain borrowers who filed for bankruptcy, providing at least temporary relief for thousands of people and signaling there may be a chance of discharging student loan debt in bankruptcy.

As part of an ongoing class-action lawsuit, Navient has voluntarily agreed to stop collection activities on loans used by borrowers who filed for bankruptcy after October 2005 and used the loans to attend non-accredited schools.

Under the voluntary agreement filed with the court this month, Navient can still continue to send borrowers monthly statements, but the company will no longer aggressively call borrowers multiple times a day.

Plaintiffs in the case allege Navient attempted to collect on loans that were discharged in bankruptcy, including calling their relatives and employers multiple times a day.

The judge overseeing the class-action has not made a ruling yet, so it is unclear if he believes the debts should be discharged. But in a hearing to discuss whether Navient would stop collection on the loans at issue in the case, he pushed the company to do so, expressing sympathy for the borrowers.

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.

New Lawsuit Accuses Ocwen Financial Corp. of filing bad foreclosures… Again

April 27, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A lawsuit filed by the State of Florida alleges Ocwen Financial Corp.’s errors have resulted in “significant harm to borrowers, including but not limited to improper late fees, inaccurate negative credit reporting and borrower frustration.”

Twenty states have filed similar actions, along with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Florida lawsuit, filed by the state Attorney General and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, says the West Palm Beach-based company filed illegal foreclosures, mishandled loan modifications, misapplied mortgage payments, failed to pay insurance premiums from escrow and collected excessive fees.

“When Ocwen has sent escrow statements, in many instances the escrow statements have contained inaccurate information pertaining to the borrowers’ account histories, escrow balances, and escrow payments,” the lawsuit said.

The complaint filed in federal court in West Palm Beach alleges violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and Chapter 494, Florida Statutes.

This is not the first time Ocwen has been accused of foreclosure misconduct. In 2014, a court approved a $2.1 billion settlement between Ocwen and 49 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to address allegations of Ocwen’s mortgage servicing misconduct.

Click here 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.

 

Who Actually Files for Bankruptcy? The Answer May Surprise You

April 26, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many people feel guilty about filing for bankruptcy, but the reason they file is often beyond their control.  The majority of people who file for bankruptcy do so because they lost their jobs, became sick or had a medical emergency, or got a divorce.   Financial mismanagement is becoming a less common factor in bankruptcy filings, while job loss is one of the biggest factors.

Even if someone is able to get a new job after being laid off, oftentimes they are already too far behind on their mortgage, car and credit card payments, and their debt spirals.  Exorbitant medical bills are another factor that are out of a family’s control.  Even with health insurance, there are still out-of-pocket expenses and co-pays that can add up quickly.

Divorce causes two incomes to be taken down to one, with separate homes, additional bills and possible child support payments.  Predatory lending and the misuse of credit during these desperate times can play a role in consumer bankruptcy filings.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge your debt and get a fresh start.  Common categories of dischargeable debt include:

  • Credit card debt (including overdue and late fees)
  • Collection agency accounts
  • Medical bills
  • Personal loans from friends, family, and employers
  • Utility bills (past due amounts only)
  • Dishonored checks (unless based on fraud)
  • Student loans (only if undue hardship can be proven)
  • Repossession deficiency balances
  • Auto accident claims (except those involving drunk driving)
  • Business debts
  • Money owed under lease agreements (includes past due rent)
  • Civil court judgments (unless based on fraud)
  • Tax penalties and unpaid taxes past a certain number of years
  • Attorney fees (except child support and alimony awards)
  • Revolving charge accounts (except extended payment charges)
  • Social security over-payments, and
  • Veterans’ assistance loans and over-payments.

In most cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers automatically receive a discharge at the end of their case. A discharge releases you from personal liability for the debt and prevents the creditor from taking any collection actions against you. In other words, you are no longer legally required to pay any debts that are discharged. In Chapter 7, the court usually grants the discharge 60 days after the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. Typically, this means you will obtain a discharge about four months after filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

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.thenewsstar.com/story/money/2017/04/21/who-files-bankruptcy-answer-surprise-you/100565822/

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/debt-discharged-chapter-7-bankruptcy.html

What happens when credit card companies sell your debt?

April 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Barclaycard sold $1.6 billion of credit card balances in the first quarter of 2017 to the personal-loan company, Credit Shop Inc.  Oftentimes, the accounts that are sold are ones that the card issuer has determined to be too risky for its business or are already in delinquency.  In these type instances, a card issuer can sell the account balances for pennies on the dollars.

Here is what you need to know if your credit card company sells your debt.

The reasons card issuers buy and sell debt.  Some debts are more “reliable” than others.  For this reason, cardholders pay widely different interest rates, depending on how risky the lender judges them to be.  “Subprime” borrowers tend to pay substantially higher interest rates to make up for the possibility that they might not be able to pay back the debt.

How will you know if your debt has been sold?  In many you will only find out if your debt has been sold when you hear it from the new owner or a debt collector calls you and demands payment.

What if a debt collector calls? If you receive a call from a debt collector, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you from abuse and harassment.  A debt collector is not allowed to call you excessively or make any threats.  They are also prohibited from calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. and cannot misrepresent the amount you owe.  By law, you have the right to demand documented proof of the existence of the debt and the amount you reportedly owe. This request must be made in writing within 30 days of the first contact from a debt collector. During the time it takes to investigate and reply to your request, all calls from the debt collector must stop.

You also have the right to request that all future contact be made in writing. This can prevent disruptive and embarrassing calls at home or at work.  You have the right to sue if a debt collector violates any of these rules.

What responsibilities do credit card companies have? Under the federal CARD Act, which went into effect in 2010, credit card companies are required by law to give cardholders 21 days from the date the statement mails to make a payment.  Credit card companies are also required to provide a 45-day written notice before any rate increases. If you receive this notification, consider paying off the account if you are able to or transferring your balance to a low-interest credit card or zero-percent interest card, which overtime will be less costly to repay.

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 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.nasdaq.com/article/what-happens-when-credit-card-companies-sell-your-debt-cm776572

Florida Couple Triumphs in Foreclosure Appeal

April 24, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A Florida couple won an appeal in a foreclosure ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal of Florida.  The appeals court determined the couple had a valid case and overturned the trial court’s decision, favoring the borrowers and that the bank, “failed to establish standing.”

In 2008, the couple defaulted on a loan three years after they signed a mortgage with the original lender, Bankers Mortgage Trust Inc. The couple was accused of two counts: 1. mortgage foreclosure and 2. “reestablishing” a note that was allegedly lost. A piece of paper attached to the copy of the note approved the new owner of the loan from the original lender to GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Inc. The claim about the lost note was dismissed after the bank failed to prove that it was the “legal and/or equitable owner and holder of the Note and Mortgage and (had) the right to enforce the loan documents.”

It didn’t help the bank when their sole witness, Pamela Bingham, who worked as a home lending research officer, couldn’t determine when the approval for GreenPoint Mortgage to take over the loan was included in the note or whether it was on the back or on another piece of paper, according to court documents.

The couple filed an appeal alleging the bank never provided valid evidence that it received the note from the original lender, and therefore it could not win the case as a non-holder in position with the rights of the holder.

“There was nothing, however, connecting the bank the endorsee of the note, GreenPoint Mortgage, to EMC Mortgage or the Bank,” according to the court. “In other words, the Bank failed to prove the series of transactions through which it purportedly acquired the note from the endorsee.”

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.