Archive for: ‘January 2018’

Determining Dependents in Bankruptcy

January 31, 2018 Posted by kingcade

When you file for bankruptcy, whether it is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you will be required to complete a set of schedules that lists information about your debts, expenses, income, assets and transactions.  Schedule J: Your Expenses requires you to provide details about your current household budget.  The court uses this to determine several things, including: whether you have too much income to qualify for a Chapter 7, and if you can afford to make your proposed payments in a Chapter 13 repayment plan bankruptcy.  You also must provide information about your dependents.  We have explained below how to determine whether someone counts as a dependent and should be listed on this form.

Minor Dependents

Any child under the age of 18 for whom you pay at least 50% of the bills should be listed on the form. This includes your own children who live with you, your spouse’s children who live with you, and children who might not live with you all the time but for whom you pay at least half of their support.  This can also include children you have agreed to care for (i.e. – a foster child or another family member’s child for an extended period of time.)

Adult Dependents

Dependents can also be adults. For example, if you provide at least 50% of the support for a parent or grandparent, or an adult relative (such as a child or sibling), that person should be listed as a dependent.

Adults Who Are Not Dependents

There may be adults who live with you but are not your dependents. For example, if your parents allowed you to move back into their house while you get back on your feet financially, they are not your dependents. Similarly, if you have allowed an adult child to move back in with you, but your child pays his or her own way, that child is not a dependent. Roommates who pay their fair share of the bills are not to be listed as dependents. Your spouse does not count as a dependent, regardless of your financial relationship.

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://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/bankruptcy/schedule-j-expenses.html

https://www.thebankruptcysite.org/resources/bankruptcy/filing-bankruptcy/determining-dependents-for-bankruptcy-schedule-i

 

What happens to my 401(k) if I file for bankruptcy?

January 30, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Some people think that filing for bankruptcy means they will lose everything.  That is one of the biggest bankruptcy myths out there.  To the contrary, you will likely get to keep a lot of your possessions including homes, cars and other assets.  A vast majority of Chapter 7 cases are “no-asset” cases, which means the debtor is not required to give up any of their possessions.

Another asset protected in bankruptcy is individual retirement accounts.  In fact, social security, 401(k)’s and pensions  worth up to $1.245 million are all exempt from creditors during bankruptcy. This means that retirement income and savings are out of reach and protected under federal law.

We have filed bankruptcy petitions for clients with more in their retirement accounts than on their credit card statement. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to hold onto all of your retirement savings and keep every penny of your 401(k).

However, this is only the case if the money remains in your 401(k) retirement account.  Removing funds from the 401(k) or any retirement account before filing for bankruptcy turns the funds from a protected asset to an unprotected asset.  It is important to speak with an attorney, especially if you have recently lost your job and have considered pulling from your retirement savings to help pay for day-to-day living expenses.

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://time.com/money/4367416/bankruptcy-myths/

5 Steps for Buying a Home after Bankruptcy

January 29, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Purchasing a home after bankruptcy may seem out of reach. However, all hope is not lost. If you recently filed for bankruptcy and wish to purchase a home in the future, there are certain steps you can take to speed up the process.

Step One: Keep an Eye on your Finances

If someone has just completed bankruptcy, he or she is going to soon discover that the free credit report is a lifesaver. It is an easy way to keep a close eye on your finances, ensuring that all debts have been discharged and that no additional liabilities are out there. After all, no one wants to be surprised at the last minute, especially right before trying to purchase a home. Make it a regular practice to get a credit report reviewed annually to ensure that progress is being made and that your credit score is going up rather than down. In addition, prepare a budget and keep to that limit to ensure that all monthly expenses are paid in a timely manner.

Step Two: Grow a Savings Account

One recommendation financial advisors almost always make is to pay yourself first, meaning that when you create a budget, enough money is taken out of every paycheck and put into savings in the event it is needed for an emergency at a later date or for larger purchases down the road. This can be done through an automatic savings account method meaning money immediately is transferred from one account to another automatically before you have a chance to access it.

Step Three: Develop a Plan 

Come into the situation with a plan in mind. Survey what the home prices are for the area in which you wish to buy. See what home values are and what these will be for monthly payments. Calculate what you can afford, based on your budget.  Schedule an inspection to ensure that you are not purchasing a home that is going to be a money pit requiring multiple renovations at a later date.

Step Four: Organize the Documents Needed

Odds are if the person wanting to purchase the home has recently filed for bankruptcy, he or she knows what it takes to get all of the required financial documents put together. It can take a lot of time, so why not begin the process now if you anticipate purchasing a home soon? Organize all financial records, including pay information, paystubs or taxes. Make sure that tax records are easily accessible, as well as bank, credit card or loan statements, legal documents, such as the bankruptcy documents, and insurance documents.

Step Five: Shop Around

It is important that you research all of the options out there and shop around for the best one available. The first way to go about this is to figure out what type of loan is needed, whether it be an Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan or one offered through a private bank.  You will need to discuss these options with the lender and find the option that fits best, and it may not always be the easiest or first option. It does help to go into the meeting prepared, knowing what types of loans are out there before making any decisions.

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.

 

Coordinating the Timing of Your Bankruptcy and Tax Refund

January 25, 2018 Posted by kingcade

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, timing can be everything. The last thing you want to do is file for bankruptcy, receive a large tax refund and have to hand it over to the bankruptcy trustee.  If you are anticipating a refund, it is important to time your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing just right.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all assets are considered to be part of the bankruptcy estate which is controlled by the bankruptcy trustee. If the asset is tied to what is known as an exemption, the asset can be protected. Otherwise, the asset can be liquidated and used to pay off the qualifying creditors. A tax refund is one of those assets that is not tied to a bankruptcy exemption, which means that this sum of money can be used by the trustee to pay back creditors before the remaining debt is liquidated.

Any unspent tax refund the year before bankruptcy will go to the bankruptcy estate because this money is considered to be unnecessarily paid to the IRS, just like cash in a bank account. If the refund is received during the year of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the amount of tax refund that is based on the income earned before filing for bankruptcy will go to the bankruptcy estate. If the refund is based on income earned after the date of filing, the debtor can keep this money. Any refund received for income earned the year after bankruptcy is safe.

What this means is the timing of when you file bankruptcy is key. A bankruptcy attorney can discuss these options with you. If someone is anticipating filing, that person can adjust his or her withholding on paychecks to the minimal amount so that the debtor pays only the tax that is owed. He or she can also spend the refund on what are considered to be necessary expenses. These expenses can include mortgage payments, food, utilities, medical care, education or car payments. Necessary expenses do not include purchases for luxury items, repayment of a credit card or paying back a friend or family member.

It is possible to keep your tax refund as part of an exemption. In every bankruptcy case, each debtor is allowed to exempt a certain amount of property, depending on the state. It is possible that a tax refund can be included in this exemption. A bankruptcy attorney can discuss this possibility with you, addressing the pros and cons of utilizing this option.

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.

 

Creditor Held in Contempt of Court for Violating Automatic Stay in Miami Bankruptcy Case

January 24, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Kingcade & Garcia’s Motion Granted, Creditor Required to Cease and Desist all Eviction Proceedings Until Further Order of Court 

MIAMI – (January 24, 2018) A Florida judge signed an order today holding creditor, IH5 Property Florida LP with GP IH5 Borrower GP LLC, more commonly known as Invitation Homes (www.invitationhomes.com) in contempt of court for intentional violation of the automatic stay. Miami bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade’s client filed a Chapter 7 petition on November 30, 2017. Despite having notice of the bankruptcy filing, on December 5, 2017, the creditor, Invitation Homes, proceeded to file an eviction action against the client. Attorney Kingcade filed a motion to hold the landlord in contempt of court for violating the automatic stay. The motion adequately showed that Isamar Alers of Invitation Homes had actual knowledge of the bankruptcy on November 30.

“The landlord in this case disregarded the automatic stay put in place that protects bankruptcy clients from harassing debt collector calls, wage garnishment and repossession of property.  We are extremely pleased with this victory for our client today.  This landlord was wrong and thought the laws of bankruptcy code did not apply to him,” Managing Partner, Timothy S. Kingcade said.

The Order directs creditor, Invitation Homes to immediately cease and desist all eviction proceedings until further order of court.  The creditor is also required to pay attorney’s fees (on or before February 12, 2018) in the amount of $1,200 for Kingcade and Garcia having to bring forth the motion to enforce the automatic stay and protect the client.

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Miami-based Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. was established by managing partner and bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client, clearly explaining the options according to the unique circumstances of his or her life. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care for the financially disenfranchised. All partners and associates at Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. specialize in consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure and have dedicated their practices to this area of the law. Additionally, all attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish. For more information visit, https://www.miamibankruptcy.com/.