Archive for: ‘January 2018’

Tax Filing Tips to Speed up the Refund Process and Prevent Theft

January 23, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Income tax refund fraud has been a problem in recent years, and much of this fraud occurs when it comes to filing your taxes and waiting for the refund to be processed. The Better Business Bureau (BBB), along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), recommends certain tips to help taxpayers prepare and submit their paperwork quickly to ensure their tax return is protected.

Identity theft has become an issue over recent years through data breaches of many trusted tax sites. The IRS recommends tax preparers be cautious when it comes to sending information for taxes. Fake clients have been known to ask for help with tax returns by sending tax preparers infected email attachments. Once these attachments are opened, the virus has already made its way into the computer system, hacking into important client information.

Information can be protected through filing returns via a computerized e-filing system. The preparer can also have the refunds deposited directly into a bank account through a secured system to protect the refund. Not only do these systems get the job done in a more efficient manner, but they also protect the confidential information involved in the tax submission and refund.

The following tips are helpful when it comes to speeding up the refund process and preventing fraud or theft:

  • Check the credentials of the tax preparer, ensuring that the preparer is a certified public account, tax attorney or enrolled agent.
  • Get referrals for tax preparers from friends, family, the local Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau.
  • Avoid using tax preparers who promise they can produce larger refunds than their competitors.
  • Do not sign a blank tax return, even if the tax preparer states that this is solely for “convenience” purposes.
  • Carefully review the contract entered into with the tax preparer.
  • Ensure that submission of tax documents is done via a secured Internet connection and not through a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Shred copies of tax returns, drafts or calculation sheets that are no longer needed.
  • If the preparer does not wish to file electronically, mail the tax return in a USPS mailbox or directly at the post office.
  • Ignore unsolicited telephone calls or emails that state they are from the IRS but do not appear to be official.
  • Respond to any communication that is official as soon as possible, or at least send the communication to your accountant or tax preparer.

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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.

Foreclosure Filings Drop Sharply in South Florida

January 22, 2018 Posted by kingcade

During the 2007-2009 recession, South Florida was at the top of the list for most foreclosures.  However, in 2017 South Florida ranked No. 21 for the highest foreclosure rate among the nation’s metro areas.  Foreclosure filings dropped 37.9 percent in South Florida during 2017, according to Attom Data Solutions.

There were 20,019 properties with foreclosure filings in South Florida during 2017, or one in every 124 houses. The rate was higher in Miami-Dade County at one in 110 houses, followed by Broward County at one in 127 houses, and Palm Beach County at one in 149 houses.

Nationally, foreclosures were down 27 percent in 2017 and were at the lowest level since 2005, according to Attom. The metro regions with the highest foreclosure rates in 2017 were Atlantic City, New Jersey; Trenton, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Rockford, Illinois.

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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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Medical Credit Cards Leaving Patients with Aches and Pains

January 18, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Long after the procedure is over, patients are still suffering with pain.  Not from the operation, but from the card they used to pay for the operation.  Medical credit cards are offered at the doctor’s office to pay for procedures, patients otherwise cannot afford at the time.  This type of credit seems like a quick fix for pricey procedures not covered by insurance.

However, according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly a third of Americans report trouble paying their medical bills and many have taken on credit card debt to pay the expenses.  Medical debt is the No. 1 reason Americans file for bankruptcy.

One of the biggest dangers of medical credit cards are the misconceptions associated with them.  A number of patients think they are setting up an installment plan with the doctor’s office.  Many do not understand they have opened up a new line of credit with sky-high interest rates and strict penalties for even a single missed payment.

Most of these cards feature a “zero interest” promotional period for up to 18 months. But then the interest rate can jump to 25 percent or higher.  Some consumers never received a copy of the credit card terms and had to rely on explanations from medical staffers who had little training on the card details, in cases cited by U.S. authorities.

Another potential drawback is something called deferred interest. That means if a patient does not pay off the entire balance during the “interest-free” period, they can be retroactively charged for interest dating back to when they first signed up.

Before you sign up for a medical credit card, we advise that you research other options, first.  Medically necessary procedures may be available at a discounted rate or even for free at certain hospitals that provide some level of charitable care.  If it is not medically necessary, consider waiting until you can afford the procedure.   If you must use a credit card to pay for a procedure, use one that has terms and conditions you understand.

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Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney 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.

More Seniors Struggling with Student Loan Debt

January 17, 2018 Posted by kingcade

More than 5 million people began paying off federal student loan debt between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  And not all of them were young people.

The number of borrowers over the age of 60 with student loan debt has quadrupled over the past decade in the United States.  Of the more than 5 million people, 580,671 of them — or 11.5 percent — defaulted on their loans. This is a slight increase from the previous year’s 11.3 percent and the first time the percentage has increased in the last five years.

Many have accumulated the debt helping their children or grandchildren, either by borrowing directly or co-signing on student loans.  As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford the monthly payments while also paying for necessary food, housing, prescriptions, and medical expenses.

Seniors living month-to-month on fixed incomes are most likely to default.  When this happens to borrowers 65 and older, a portion of their social security benefits can be seized by the government.  Many seniors who are carrying federal student loan debt are eligible for income-based repayment plans, but student loan servicing companies have not made it easy for borrowers to enroll in these programs or even let them know it is an option.

For Florida seniors 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.

Related Resources:

https://www.dcourier.com/news/2018/jan/12/more-seniors-citizens-have-student-loan-debt/