Archive for: ‘October 2017’

Filing for Bankruptcy: Important Things You Need to Know

October 31, 2017 Posted by kingcade

For any individual or company contemplating filing for bankruptcy, the decision should not be taken lightly.  It is important to understand what to expect once you initiate the process.  Here are some important things you need to know before filing:

Types of bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two basic options individuals have when filing for bankruptcy. There are key differences between the two and choosing the right one is critical for the success of your bankruptcy case. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation form of bankruptcy that can discharge all or most of your debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a form of reorganization that involves creating a payment plan to pay back creditors over a period of time. This process can take between three and five years. Businesses can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but at the end of the process the business will cease to exist.  The most popular type of business bankruptcy is Chapter 11, which allows businesses to reorganize their debts and continue operating.

Bankruptcy is not free.  Some people are surprised to hear this.  As opposed to a straightforward Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the cost of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is typically more because it is stretched out over the course of several years.  You cannot go wrong scheduling an appointment with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss the best path for your financial future.  Many offer FREE consultations and Saturday appointments to best assess your financial situation and provide guidance moving forward.

Bankruptcy does not eliminate all of your debts.  Bankruptcy will discharge your unsecured debts, such as medical bills, payday loans, outstanding utility bills, and credit card debt, but it will not eliminate the following:

  • Student loans
  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Taxes
  • Real estate liens

You will also have to attend something called a meeting of creditors before completion of the bankruptcy process. Creditors have one final opportunity to dispute the discharge of any debts that you owe.

When in doubt, meet with a professional. How do you know if filing for bankruptcy is right for you?  It can be difficult to make this decision without consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, first.  Receiving this professional guidance can help ensure you will take the right financial steps, complete all of the proper forms and avoid doing anything that could disqualify you from getting your debts discharged.

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 McMaken 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2017/10/03/filing-for-bankruptcy-3-most-important-things-you-need-to-know/#81d8d257fe66

Student Loan Debt is Taking a Mental Toll on Young People

October 30, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Over the last decade, student loan debt has jumped to an all time high of $1.4 trillion.  The average outstanding balance for college students is $34,144.  According to a recent survey, 80 percent of working professionals with student loan debt said it is a source of “significant” or “very significant” stress.

Many millennials said student loans have impacted their ability to go on vacation, buy a car, pay rent or afford necessities like food and clothing.  Then there are the long term effects, such as buying a home, getting married or having children.  A number of young adults have to put these major milestones on hold.

For a graduate with a bachelor’s degree, the typical student loan payment is approximately $265 a month, but some students have $400, $800 or even $1,200 a month in student loan payments.

According to a separate report, more than 60 percent of those surveyed said they fear their student loan debt worries are spiraling out of control, even more reported suffering from headaches or lack of sleep from the stress.

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 McMaken, 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Credit Stress? Here are 5 Ways to Negotiate with Your Credit Card Company

October 27, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Opening up a credit card statement each month can be a daunting task. However, negotiating the terms of your debt with your credit card company is not as hard as you think. If you take the right steps, you will be surprised at how eager some banks and credit card issuers are to work with you.

Here are five things to keep in mind when negotiating with credit card companies.

  1. Go right to the top. When you call your credit card company to negotiate the terms, ask to speak to a manager right away. Be polite and assure the representative there is not a problem. If the representative asks you if there is a way for them to help you, explain what you are trying to accomplish.
  2. Request a due date change. An easy adjustment to make to your credit card terms is to simply change your payment due date. Most credit card companies are willing to move the date to help increase timely payments. If you consistently make late payments, it would be in your best interest to request a more suitable date.
  3. Bargain for a lower interest rate. Have you been getting some competitive offers from other credit card companies? If so, you may be able to use the offers as a bargaining tool. Before you go to your credit card company, make sure you jot down all the perks, interest rates and other benefits that you would be getting if you switched cards. Your credit card company most likely will not want to lose you as a customer and will be willing to work with you.
  4. Request a late payment fee waiver. If you have a responsible payment history with your company, they may be willing to waive late fees. If you consistently make late payments, they will likely suggest you sign up for automatic payments.
  5. Negotiate to get the annual fee removed. Some credit card companies charge as much as $95 per year in annual fees in exchange for a few perks. When you signed up for your card, the annual fees may have worked in your favor because of the benefits you received as a cardholder. However, it may be time to reevaluate whether or not the benefits, such as cash back rewards and travel points, are outweighing the annual fees.

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 McMaken 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Just How Often Do Debt Collectors Harass People? The Answer Might Surprise You

October 26, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), debt collectors are required to stop calling once an official request has been made to cease communication. However, approximately 75 percent of consumers who have asked for debt collection calls to stop say that the calls kept coming.

The CFPB released a report earlier this year that surveyed over 10,800 consumers in 2014 and 2015 about their recent experiences with debt collectors. They received approximately 2,000 responses that revealed that over one in four consumers have felt threatened by the debt collector that most recently contacted them. Although debt collection agencies are not allowed to abuse or harass consumers, many collectors do not play by the rules. Approximately 40 percent of consumers surveyed said they asked a creditor or debt collector to stop contacting them, however; only one out of four people reported the collector actually stopped.

Debt collection is a $13.7 billion industry in the U.S. and the most frequent topic of complaint fielded by the CFPB. Approximately 70 million people have been contacted by a creditor attempting to collect on a debt in the past year, according to the CFPB.

The CFPB recently issued proposed rules that would strengthen consumer protections by limiting how often debt collectors can contact consumers. The rules would also require these companies to get the details right and offer an easy dispute process.

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 McMaken 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Life After Bankruptcy: Getting a Credit Card Again

October 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you have recently filed for bankruptcy, you may be wondering about the possibility of getting a new credit card. Before you apply for a credit card, it is important to make sure you have a stable job and the ability to pay your other bills such as rent and utilities.

If bad financial decisions led to your bankruptcy, you may want to avoid getting a credit card for a while. However, if unexpected events such as a divorce or a job loss led to your money problems, you may be able to handle a credit card again.

Below are three important things to consider before filling out a credit card application:

  1. Timing is everything. Your bankruptcy must be discharged before you can get a credit card. Lenders will deny a line of credit during a bankruptcy proceeding because the account can be included in the bankruptcy. It takes approximately three months for debts to be discharged after the initial filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy entails a three to five-year partial repayment plan and therefore takes much longer to be fully discharged.
  2. Weigh your options, good and bad. A recent bankruptcy will drag down your credit score for some time. As a result, you will likely receive credit card offerings from subprime lenders. Keep in mind that these credit cards typically come with higher interest rates and low limits. In addition, they typically require frequent fees that are much higher than most. A better option after a bankruptcy discharge is a secured credit card. This type of card is designed for consumers with bad or no credit. They are backed by a security you are required to put down. Secured cards have low limits and high interest rates but do not typically charge annual fees.
  3. Monitor your credit score. If you do get a secured card, do not spend more than 30 percent of the credit limit and pay off the balance every month. If you follow these two rules, your credit score should improve in time.

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 McMaken 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.