Posts Tagged: ‘Bankruptcy Court’

Things Not To Do Before Filing Bankruptcy

December 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the list of actions to avoid is just as important as the list of things to do before filing. If you do not avoid these simple decisions, it may prevent you from getting debt relief.

  • Do not transfer assets out of your name. Doing so raises huge red flags in bankruptcy court, particularly if the transferal of assets occurs right before bankruptcy filing. In some cases, hasty asset transfers may be illegal.
  • Do not use a credit card for large cash advances. Many filers choose to max out their credit cards before filing for bankruptcy because they fear losing credit later or they assume the debt will be discharged. However, if someone has no intention of paying money back, it is considered fraud.
  • Do not pay off a preferred creditor. Oftentimes, bankruptcy filers try to pay off debts with friends and family members before filing. However, bankruptcy court may make them give the money back so other creditors can get their share.
  • Do not make large purchases. It may seem like a good time to make large, expensive purchases since your debts are about to be discharged, however; the bankruptcy court may consider these purchases fraudulent.

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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.

Dance Moms Reality Star Abby Lee Sentenced to One Year in Prison

May 10, 2017 Posted by kingcade

This week Abby Miller, former “Dance Moms” star was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. The reality TV star was charged with hiding $775,000 worth of income and bringing $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the U.S. without reporting it.

U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti also fined Miller $40,000 on top of the $120,000 in currency she is forfeiting as a part of the guilty pleas she entered last year. She was also ordered to spend two years on probation after her prison sentence.

In late 2010, Miller filed for bankruptcy after defaulting on a $245,000 Florida condominium mortgage and a $96,000 mortgage on her Abby Lee Dance Company studio in Penn Hills, outside of Pittsburgh.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Agresti nearly approved a plan to let her repay her creditors at lower interest rates and longer terms before he saw her on TV one night. Miller had declared in court that she was only making $8,899 per month.

It is a crime to deceive a bankruptcy judge regarding one’s income and assets because that information is used to determine how much and how soon creditors will receive in the court-ordered repayment plan.

She later paid out $288,000 in TV income she did not initially report in 2012, then the federal investigators found that she had hidden nearly $550,000 more from personal appearances, dance sessions and merchandise sales.

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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, 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, 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Fines Bank of America $45 Million

April 13, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Judge Christopher Klein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento issued a $45 million fine against Bank of America Corp., calling the treatment of a California couple who fought to save their home “brazen” and “heartless.” According to Judge Klein, the bank’s mortgage modification process and mistaken foreclosure on Erik and Renee Sundquist’s home left them in a “state of battle-fatigued demoralization.”

“It is apparent that the engine of Bank of America’s problem in this case is one of corporate culture… not rogue employees betraying an upstanding employer,” Judge Klein said. He added that he hopes the fine is large enough that it will not be “laughed off in the boardroom as petty cash or ‘chump change’.” Most of the money from the fine will go to law schools and consumer advocacy organizations.

The Sundquists’ financial troubles started in 2008 after their construction business closed down due to the economic downturn. The couple later bought a cheaper home outside of Sacramento and borrowed approximately $590,000 from a lender that was later taken over by Bank of America. After which, the bank promised them that they could request lower monthly payments. However, in 2009 when the couple stopped making payments, Bank of America officials said they would not consider a loan modification. Over the next few years, the couple requested loan modifications approximately 20 times. Each time their requests were “routinely either lost or declared insufficient, or incomplete or stale or in need of resubmission or denied without comprehensible explanation,” the ruling said.

In 2010 the couple filed for bankruptcy which halts foreclosure sales. However, the bank still improperly took over the home and gave them a three-day eviction notice. A few weeks after the couple moved out, Ms. Sundquist was hospitalized with stress-related heart attack symptoms.

Bank of America later reversed the sale but never formally notified the couple of the change. According to the ruling, they moved back in several months later.

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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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

11 Steps to Take When Bankruptcy is Your Best Option

September 23, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Many Americans have had difficulties keeping up with their debts and credit obligations since the Recession. If you have similar difficulties, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option.

Here are 11 steps you should take if you are filing for bankruptcy.

  1. Explore your options. Before filing for bankruptcy, it is best to educate yourself on what filing for bankruptcy means. For example, you need to determine if you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Most individuals file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means that you, as the debtor are relieved from some or all of your financial obligations.
  2. Complete the means test. This is a standard test that will compare your income to your debts to determine if you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  3. Hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney is invaluable to you during the bankruptcy process. Your attorney will explain your options, answer your questions, make informed recommendations and even fill out the forms for you and make sure they are filed correctly and on time.
  4. Pay the fees. When filing for bankruptcy, you will be responsible for legal fees and application fees. The application fees alone can cost between $300-$500 and once you include your attorney fees, you may spend around $2,000 total.
  5. Assemble your information. Gather and organize all of your financial information. This includes: your income, expenses, assets, debts and property exemptions. You need to have all of your financial information ranging over the past six months for the bankruptcy procedure. You have to list this information in order to have your debts discharged.
  6. Determine which debts are excusable. Although bankruptcy is considered a clean slate, there are debts you will still be responsible for after your bankruptcy proceedings. For example, you will most likely still be responsible for: student loans, child support and tax debts.
  7. Attend a credit-counseling program. Within six months before filing your petition, you will need to attend a credit-counseling program at a court-approved agency. The counseling can usually be completed online or over the phone.
  8. File the forms. One reason it is important to hire a bankruptcy attorney is so that they can help you fill out the necessary forms and can remind you of the deadline.
  9. Automatic Stay. Once you complete all of the paperwork and file it, you will be granted an automatic stay that prohibits almost all creditors from continuing collection actions against you.
  10. Attend the meeting. Oftentimes, Chapter 7 bankruptcies do not end up in court. However, you will need to attend a mandatory meeting known as a 341 meeting with the creditors and a court-appointed trustee. The trustee will ask questions pertaining to your finances and your petition.
  11. Post-Bankruptcy Obligations. Once you have successfully filed for bankruptcy, you will need to attend a post-bankruptcy credit counseling. This will help you successfully manage your finances and proceed forward so that you do not end up in a financial crisis again.

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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, 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

How quickly can you refinance your Mortgage after Bankruptcy?

April 28, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The rules have changed over the years regarding how quickly you can refinance a mortgage after bankruptcy. If you are underwater on your mortgage, meaning your mortgage is more than the current value of your home, your only refinance option will be through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). The earliest you can take out a new mortgage guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac following a bankruptcy is two years.

Freddie Mac’s guidelines say, the “waiting period” for reestablishment of credit after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is 48 months from the dismissal date, but this period is only in effect if the bankruptcy was “caused by financial mismanagement.”

If the bankruptcy was due to illness, income loss, etc. and not due to overspending, the period will be 24 months from the discharge date. Fannie Mae has similar rules in effect of two years from the discharge date or four years from the dismissal date.

If you are unable to meet Fannie or Freddie’s guidelines, you may be eligible for an FHA-backed refinance. You will need to document “one year of the pay-out period under the bankruptcy has elapsed, that your payment performance has been satisfactory and all required payments have been made on time, and you have received written permission from the bankruptcy court to enter into the transaction.”

This one-year waiting period is thanks to the “Back to Work Program.” Here’s how you qualify:

  • You meet all the typical FHA loan requirements;
  • You can properly document the issues that led to your financial hardship;
  • In the last year you have re-established your credit;
  • You have completed HUD-approved housing counseling.

What about refinancing while you are still in bankruptcy? For starters, the bankruptcy court will need to grant you permission to take on new debt. To be able to proceed, you will need to file a motion with the court. Although described differently in each court district, you are essentially filing a “motion to incur debt” or “motion to refinance secured debt.”

Start by working with the attorney who handled your bankruptcy filing, they will be familiar with your case and know the motion paperwork needed in your district.

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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, 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, 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.