Archive for: ‘July 2017’

Former “Dance Moms” Star Abby Lee Miller Begins Prison Sentence for Bankruptcy Fraud

July 24, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Abby Lee Miller, star of the hit reality TV show “Dance Moms,” began her sentence in federal prison this month, more than a year after pleading guilty to fraud in a Pittsburg federal court.  Her sentence is 366 days in prison after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and bringing in more than $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the United States, unreported.

Federal prosecutors charged that Miller was in the middle of Chapter 11 bankruptcy when she attempted to hide $775,000 in income from her Lifetime network reality show and its spinoffs.

The investigation was prompted after the bankruptcy judge in Miller’s case was channel-surfing one night and saw the reality star on TV in December 2012 and figured she had to be making more than the $8,899 in the monthly income she was claiming.

On a lighter note, Miller’s prison diet will be fruit, hot grits, whole wheat bread with jelly, and skim milk for breakfast; burgers with a choice of fries or a baked potato and fruit for lunch; and a deli sandwich or hummus wrap for dinner during her first week in prison, according to TMZ Live.

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, the potential penalty for bankruptcy crimes includes fines and imprisonment of up to five years.

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 New Age in Digital Debt Collection

July 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Experian announced a self-service platform named eResolve, which it says will let consumers negotiate and resolve past-due debts without ever speaking to a debt collector.  The latest technology in “digital” debt collection is allowing consumers to interact on their terms at any time of the day, using a digital channel that is more preferred over the traditional phone calls during dinnertime and having to deal with aggressive debt collectors.

TrueAccord, another digital debt collection technology says they have had “hundreds of thousands” in successful resolutions where consumers can easily click and tell them they have been victims of identity theft or had recently filed for bankruptcy so collection attempts can stop.

Negotiating debt through digital platforms seems to be more straightforward as well. For example, with TrueAccord a similar digital-type platform:  Debtors get an email with an offer such as making three payments with 0% interest, or 90 cents on the dollar if paid in full. Depending on what lenders say they will accept, a consumer who turns down that offer might get a subsequent pitch for an 80-cents-on-the-dollar settlement.  According to certain experts, this digital-based debt collection solves two problems. Chief among them: Regulatory issues. Computers do not call or text at the wrong times. They do not use profanity or threaten arrest to get you to pay, which are all in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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.

5 Mistakes keeping you in Credit Card Debt

July 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Approximately 122 million Americans carry credit card debt.  In fact, the average debt per household is $8,448.  With interest rates averaging 14%, that means Americans are paying more than $1,000 in interest alone each year.  Many consumers remain trapped in this cycle.  Here’s why:

  1. Failure to create a realistic budget. When establishing a budget for yourself, it is easy to look forward and see how much you will spend. However, the most effective budgets are created by looking backwards, and understanding where your money (every last penny) went.
  2. Not making the tough decisions. Oftentimes, the right decisions are easy to calculate but hard to execute. For example, knowing your car payment is too high but not taking the steps to trade it in and purchase a less costly, slightly older model.
  3. Taking advantage of automation. It’s easy to automate your student loan and retirement payments, but what about your credit card payments? If you plan to become debt-free you can make sure the only money remaining in your checking account at the end of each month is your budgeted spending money.  Data has shown that automation is the best way to achieve your financial goals.
  4. Convincing yourself the reward points, miles, cash back, etc. are worth it. Earning cash back and “free” flyer miles are a great way to put some extra money in your pocket.  But if you are deep in credit card debt, those flights and reward points are costing you more than the perks.
  5. Trying to borrow your way out of debt. Debt consolidation and balance transfers can help reduce the cost of your debt, but if you have not dealt with your spending problems these tools can be dangerous.

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.

Related Resources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickclements/2017/07/12/5-mistakes-keeping-you-in-credit-card-debt/#7aa149cf2545

What You Should Know before Closing out A Credit Card

July 19, 2017 Posted by kingcade

When closing out a credit card, the effects it can have on your credit score lie in the details.  Here are some important facts you need to know before closing out your card.

  1. Age Matters. The age of your credit card that is. The average age of your open accounts makes up 15 percent of your overall credit score. So if the card you are closing out has been open for a long time, it really is better to keep it open and pay it in full, otherwise your score will be negatively effected.
  2. Available Credit. Your credit utilization ratio is important. A low credit utilization ratio would be if you have $300 or less on a credit card that allows you to spend $1,000.  A high credit utilization ratio is if you have $993 in charges on a card that gives you a credit limit of $1,000.  Lenders do not like you to do this and your score will be penalized as a result.
  3. Automatic payments. If you have been using your credit card to make payments on your car insurance or electric bill each month automatically, make sure and update this information timely before closing out the card.  This way you can avoid getting hit with late fees and other penalties.
  4. Rewards. If you have accumulated reward points on your credit card, redeem them first before closing out the card.  Otherwise you will likely lose them.
  5. Verify. It can take up to a month or two before the account is closed, so keep that in mind. Mistakes on credit reports are also fairly common. In fact, a recent study revealed that one in five consumers have at least one error on their credit report. It is always a good idea to double-check your account has been completely closed out.

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.

Related Resources: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/12/10-things-to-know-before-closing-a-credit-card.html

FTC Shuts Down Debt Collector for Allegedly Threatening Lawsuits, Arrests against Consumers Who Don’t Owe Anything

July 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on “Phantom” debt collection schemes that go after individuals for money they do not actually owe.  The FTC shut down an operation that collected more than $690,000 in fake debts by threatening consumers with lawsuits and arrests, a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

A court order has stopped the business operations of Hardco Holding Group and S&H Financial Group.  The debt collection operation is accused of using deceptive and abusive practices to collect fake debts.  Since June 2015, the companies and their operators Daryl M. Hall and Dequan M. Sicard illegally collected supposed payday loan and other debts from consumers using the threat of legal action and arrest.

Often, doing business as Alliance Law Group, the companies employed a two-step collection process. The complaint alleges the first step involved calling victims claiming that a lawsuit had been or would soon be filed against them due to an outstanding debt they owe.  The victim of the scam would then be provided with a phony case number for reference.

The FTC claims that during most of these calls, the operators of the scheme did not identify themselves as debt collectors. To make the collections seem legitimate, the FTC notes that the collectors would often possess or claim to possess individuals’ personal information, or claim to be from an unrelated, legitimate small business.

The reps advised callers that they could settle the action by making a payment over the telephone using a credit or debit card.  If the victim refused to pay immediately, collectors would threaten legal action and arrest.  The FTC charged Hardco and S&H Financial with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and seeks to refund individuals affected by the fake debt collection scheme.

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.