An Inside Look at 83 Million Eviction Records, and what Housing has come to in America

April 11, 2018 Posted by kingcade

A recent article in the New York Times provided an in depth look at the eviction crisis occurring in America. Nearly one million American households received eviction judgments in 2016 in new data spanning dozens of states. Two years prior, sociologist Matthew Desmond turned the topic of eviction into a national one with his book, ‘Evicted,’ which chronicled how poor families who lost their homes in Milwaukee sank even further into poverty. This problem is not just in Milwaukee, eviction judgment rates for renting households is widespread.

Desmond’s team found records for nearly 900,000 eviction judgments in 2016. Landlords were given the legal right to remove at least one in 50 renter households in the communities covered by this data. And one in five renter households in Richmond, Va., which has one of the highest eviction rates, were threatened with eviction in 2016. Their landlords began legal proceedings, even if those cases did not end with a lasting mark on a tenant’s record.

Most of those evicted never made it to the courtroom.  Some did not appear because their problem seemed hopeless; others did not show because they had no legal representation.  The median amount owed was $686. These cases, sometimes brought in bulk by property managers are settled in minutes when defendants are not present.

Eviction is not just one problem; it often spirals into a number of problems.  Medicaid benefits and food stamps are forfeited by families who often need them the most after losing the permanent addresses where the renewal notices are sent.

To make matters worse, states like Virginia, that have some of the highest rates of eviction lack certain tenant rights available in other states.  In areas like Richmond, Va., many poor African-Americans live in low quality housing projects with no means of escaping it. Many times these individuals are just a car repair or hospital visit away from missing a rent payment.

The process of what happens after the eviction is not any better.  The current court process functions as an arduous rent-collection system, one that attaches attorney fees and court costs to rent checks, and one that saddles even tenants who do not lose their homes with lasting eviction marks on their credit reports.  It oftentimes takes years for families to stabilize after this.

Another downside, the underprivileged tenants are not ensured access to legal aid or protected from steep rent increases, as in some cities and they have no rights to deduct their own repair costs from the rent.  The median amount owed on a public housing eviction was $328, according to Desmond’s data.  The public housing authority, spends on average 50 days turning over the apartments, costing the agency more in lost rent than the unpaid rent cases are often worth.

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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.

New Poll Reveals the Majority of Millennials are in debt, Postponing Major Life Events

April 10, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Nearly three out of four millennials in the U.S. are in debt and according to a new poll credit card debt is the most prevalent type of debt among the group- not student loan debt.

A quarter of millennials — those 18 to 34 years old — are more than $30,000 in debt, including 11 percent who are over $100,000 in debt.

Debt has resulted in savings taking a backseat for many millennials and has caused a third, or 34 percent, to hold off on buying a home.  Debt has also affected the millennial generation family structure.  Fourteen percent of millenials have delayed marriage due to their debt and 16 percent have postponed having children.

Here are some additional findings from the NBC News/GenForward survey:

  • Sixty-two percent of millennials owe more in debt, than they have in a personal savings account
  • Three in 10 millennials have less than $1,000 in their personal savings, and only 1 percent have over $100,000 saved.
  • A quarter, 24 percent of millennials, have no personal savings.
  • Two-thirds of millennials, or 67 percent, said they would have difficulty paying an unexpected bill of $1,000 right away.
  • Credit card debt is the most prevalent type of debt among the group, while just two in 10 millennials say they have a mortgage or home loan.
  • Only 22 percent of millennials are debt free.
  • Fourteen percent of millennials have delayed getting married due to debt, and 16 percent have delayed having children.
  • Debt has caused a third of all millennials, or 34 percent, to hold off on buying a home and 31 percent to delay saving for retirement.

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 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.

Clarifying Contested Foreclosures After Bankruptcy – Florida Governor Rick Scott Signs off on New Law

April 9, 2018 Posted by kingcade

When going through the bankruptcy process, filers must declare their intentions toward any property securing their debt, which can include their home. This can involve surrendering the property to the lender or retaining it and making payments to reduce the debt.  If you agree to surrender the property in order to clear the mortgage debt, can you contest the foreclosure to try and delay the process while remaining in the home?

Senate Bill 220, a new law addressing the property rights of defendants pertaining to bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings, recently signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott says no. The bill is consistent with the ruling in the Florida Middle District Case In re Metzler, a 2015 case that ruled debtors cannot raise defenses once a subject property has been surrendered in bankruptcy. However, the law does allow defenses to be made based on the conduct of the lender after surrendering the property.

Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country. To use Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions, you must have resided in Florida for at least 730 days before filing your bankruptcy petition. To claim the full value of the homestead exemption in Florida, you must have owned the property for at least 1,215 days before the bankruptcy filing.

Click here to read more on this story.

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.

Divorce & Bankruptcy – How They Are Connected

April 5, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Medical bills, job loss and divorce are some of the main reasons people file for bankruptcy today.  Financial problems can sometimes lead to divorce and as a result it is not uncommon for couples to decide to file bankruptcy right after they get divorced.  Here are some things to consider.

Whether or not you decide to file for bankruptcy before or after your divorce depends on the following:

  • Which type of bankruptcy you file– If you file together, both of your incomes are used to qualify you for a Chapter 7, which may make you ineligible for this type of bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you determine which type of bankruptcy to file, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  • State exemption laws– All property you own is declared either exempt or non-exempt during a bankruptcy.  Exempt property may be kept after the bankruptcy case has concluded. Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country.  Here are some of the most common bankruptcy exemptions in Florida.
  • State laws concerning division of property during a divorce could be at odds with what property is exempt in a bankruptcy.  The items you fought to keep after your marriage comes to an end could be in jeopardy, again in subsequent bankruptcy proceedings.
  • The cost for filing a joint bankruptcy is the same as filing an individual one.  This means you can save hundreds of dollars by filing together.
  • Work together if possible. Filing bankruptcy jointly implies that you can work together, something that may be difficult to do, but worth it in the end.

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.

 

Dept. of Education’s Announcement Gives Hope to those struggling with Student Loan Debt

April 4, 2018 Posted by kingcade

With student loan debt at nearly $1.5 trillion, 40 percent of borrowers will default on their student loans by 2023, according to a recent study by Brookings Institute.  The staggering numbers have caused the Department of Education to take action and announce that it will review and potentially alter policies that make it exceedingly difficult for student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy.

The problem is that ‘undue hardship’ was never defined and the case law has never led to a standardized definition. Courts often use the “Brunner Test,” which requires you must show that you cannot maintain a basic standard of living while paying the student loans and that this difficulty would last throughout the majority of the repayment period.  You also must prove that you made a good showing of trying to repay your student loan debt.

The Department of Education’s latest actions indicate that they will broaden the “undue hardship” current definition – which is good news for student loan borrowers.   This change could also help streamline the bankruptcy process and help borrowers struggling with massive student loan debt rebuild their lives.

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.