Archive for: ‘November 2017’

How to Shop Smart on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

November 23, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Whether you plan to shop online or hit the best black Friday deals, here are a few tips on how to shop smart this holiday season!

Do your homework now. It may seem like everyone has something on sale. However, research is key in finding the best deals. The first thing you need to do is make a list of the items you are hoping to purchase. Some retailers offer deep discounts on limited quantities or specific product models in order to lure in buyers. If you make a list, it may save you from buying something you don’t want, just because it is on sale. If you are looking for a specific item, check the price at multiple stores. Some retailers may be offering the same items for different sale prices.

Be tech savvy and take your time. Use the tools available on your smartphone, tablet or computer to track prices and make sure you are actually getting a bargain. Here are a few of the best apps and websites to help you save money on Black Friday.

  • CamelCamelCamel is available for Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox web browsers. It tracks prices as they fluctuate on Amazon to make sure you are not leaping at a discount that is actually a small margin off a previously marked up price.
  • Invisible Hand is available for Chrome, Firefox and Apple’s Safari web browsers. It shows a discreet notification while you shop online that will alert you to a lower price at another retailer. It also has an iPhone app that you can use on the go.
  • Honey is another browser extension that automatically searches the web for coupon codes applicable to your purchases at online retailers before you check out. If it finds one, it will apply it to your cart to save you money.

Another option for online shoppers is to fill a cart, abandon it and then sometimes retailers will email you a coupon code or offer you free shipping on your order.

Don’t bother lining up. Unless you have a specific product in mind that has limited quantities, lining up all night is probably not worth it. Research suggests that almost any deal that you line up for on Black Friday will eventually be available online.

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.

7 ways to rebuild credit after filing for bankruptcy

November 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Nearly 800,000 people filed for bankruptcy in the United States last year.  Several counties in Florida made the top 100 areas for the highest incidence of bankruptcy, including Miami-Dade County, which saw more than 400 personal filings per 100,000 people from April 2015 to March 2016.

Chapter 7 is often the most preferred method of filing because it involves no repayment of debt and in states like Florida, exemption laws can be used to benefit and retain property throughout the filing process.  In fact, Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country.  You can exempt an unlimited amount of value in your home or other property covered by the homestead exemption.

It is important consumers know that immediately after filing for bankruptcy they can begin improving their credit score.  Here are seven steps you can take to begin rebuilding your credit after filing for bankruptcy.

  • Know your credit score. Go to annualcreditreport.com and pull your three credit reports (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Make sure all of the debts affected by the bankruptcy are listed.  Also confirm all information is accurate on each of the reports.
  • Pay bills on time and in full. Raising your credit score after bankruptcy is all about getting back to basics. Set calendar reminders or set bills on auto-pay so you are not late on a payment.  Do not spend more than you can afford each month and pay your cards off in full so you do not incur any interest charges.
  • Open a new bank account. When you open a new checking or savings account you are demonstrating financial stability. This can also provide you with a clean slate to practice good financial habits.
  • Apply for a secured credit card. These cards are one of the easiest ways to build credit and improve your credit score. Secured credit cards borrow money against a deposit the consumer has already made. Compare interest rates and select a card with the best rate and low annual fee.
  • Create and stick to a budget. This should be based on your income minus expenses for rent, utilities, groceries and other expenses. Creating a budget will help you stay on track when it comes to your finances.
  • Start a savings account. Having an emergency savings means you will be less likely to have to access credit when an unexpected expense occurs. Research shows that having as little as $250 saved up for an unexpected expense can protect you from having to resort to pay day loans and credit cards.
  • Be patient with yourself. If you made mistakes, learn from them. You should not feel ashamed after filing for bankruptcy.  The more active of a role you take in rebuilding your credit, the sooner you can bounce back after bankruptcy.

If you are in a financial crisis and are 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.

Richard Cordray Resigning As CFPB Director by December

November 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Richard Cordray, recently announced in an email to his employees that he is resigning by the end of November. Cordray was nominated in 2012 by President Obama and was confirmed as the first official head of the CFPB the next year.

Under Cordray’s leadership, the CFPB supervised and enforced $11.8 billion in financial relief to consumers, including monetary compensation, principle reductions and canceled debt. The CFPB also spearheaded the lawsuit against Wells Fargo last year. The bank was ultimately forced to pay $185 million in fines after secretly opening phony accounts that were not approved by current customers.

Since President Trump has taken office, the CFPB has come under fire with some Republicans in Congress who believe the agency has too much power and no oversight. However, many in the democratic party such as Elizabeth Warren see Cordray as a tireless public servant. Warren said in a statement, “he held big banks accountable,” and “he will be missed.”

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 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://lendedu.com/news/richard-cordray-resigning-as-cfpb-director-by-december/

https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2017/11/15/heres-what-elizabeth-warren-said-about-the-expected-resignation-of-cfpb-director-richard-cordray

 

When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work

November 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many former students across the country have realized that the loans they took out to pay for their education are now derailing their careers. In 20 different states, government agencies can and have been seizing state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on student loans.

As debt levels rise, creditors are taking increasingly tough actions to pursue people who fall behind on student loans. Across the nation, firefighters, nurses, teachers, attorneys, massage therapists, barbers, psychologists and real estate brokers have all had their licenses suspended or revoked.

In the past, lenders have pursued delinquent borrowers by filing lawsuits, garnishing their wages, putting liens on their property and seizing tax refunds. However, lenders believe if borrowers are faced with losing their licenses, they will find the money. On the other hand, critics of the laws say that enforcing these terms will shove some borrowers off a financial cliff.

Florida is among the 20 states that can seize state-issued licenses if a borrower defaults on student loans. The other 19 states include: Washington, California, Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and Massachusetts.

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 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.

 

Debt Consolidation: What will it do to my credit score?

November 17, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Accumulating debt each month can be stressful and overwhelming.  As you research options to lower or eliminate your debt, consolidating credit cards or loans may seem like a good option.  But many wonder what effect this will have on their credit score.  It all depends on how you consolidate and what you do with your debt moving forward.

  • Debt Consolidation Loans. This is one of the most popular forms of consolidation. But finding a loan that has decent terms, when you have less than perfect credit can be challenging.  Double-check certifications to make sure that you are working with a legitimate consolidation company.  Scams are prevalent in the loan consolidation business.  Effect on Your Credit: Consolidating credit cards with high balances using an installment loan with fixed monthly payments may improve your credit rating for a period of time. But at the same time, any new loan can cause a short-term dip in your credit score.
  • Debt Management Plans (DMPs). These type plans are oftentimes confused with debt consolidation. DMPs are offered through credit counseling agencies.  You make a “consolidated” payment to the counseling agency, which then pays your creditors- usually at a reduced interest rate.  This option requires you to close or suspend your credit card accounts. Effect on Your Credit: If you have a good credit score and adhered to a creditor’s repayment terms in the past, a DMP could have a negative impact on your credit as it indicates that you are experiencing or have experienced difficulty with payments.
  • Credit Card Debt Transfer. Transferring high interest credit card debt to a card with a lower rate or 0% interest rate card is another way to consolidate.  However, it is important to always read the fine print.  Effect on Your Credit: It depends on how you use the transfer. You will often see a temporary dip in your credit score when opening a new card.  You may also lose points if you open a new card and use a majority of the credit line to consolidate.

Paying down debt can have a tremendous impact on your credit scores. The biggest risk, though, is that it is easy to run up new balances on the cards you paid off in the consolidation.  When paying down debt, periodically check your free credit report to see where you stand.

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:

http://blog.credit.com/2017/11/will-debt-consolidation-help-or-hurt-your-credit-64133/