Posts Tagged: ‘Bankruptcy Lawyer’

Wells Fargo Review Finds 1.4 Million More Fraudulent Accounts

September 11, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Last September Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 million to settle three government lawsuits over the bank’s creation of fake accounts. Thousands of employees, trying to meet aggressive sales goals, created accounts in customers’ names without their knowledge. Workers who did not meet goals risked losing their jobs, while those who did meet their sales goals received bonuses.

At the time, Wells Fargo said that 2.1 million suspect accounts had been opened from 2011 to 2015, but it also acknowledged that the problems may have started earlier. The bank said it would expand the review to include accounts open from 2009 to 2011.

Last month the bank reported finding 1.4 million more accounts, bringing the number to approximately 3.5 million fraudulent accounts – nearly 70 percent more than the bank’s initial estimate. The bank has since released that 528,000 customers have been enrolled in the bank’s online bill payment service without authorization. The bank stated it will issue $910,000 to customers who incurred fees or charges, as a result.

“We are working hard to ensure this never happens again and to build a better bank for the future,” Timothy J. Sloan, Wells Fargo’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the review’s results.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, released a statement saying, “Unbelievable. Wells Fargo’s massive fraud is even worse than we thought.”

Click here to read more on the story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a 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.

Why Debt Settlement is Still a Bad Alternative to Bankruptcy

September 8, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Increased regulation and enforcement has forced debt settlement companies to do what they promise in recent years, rather than charge people hefty upfront fees and fail to deliver any relief. However, debt settlement is not as consumer-friendly as the industry presents it, and many of the people who praise the companies and the process do not fully understand their alternatives or the long-term consequences of settling debts. A few of the minor consequences you might experience if you opt for debt settlement include: tax bills on the forgiven debt, a dip in credit scores and increased interest on new purchases.

Here are some of the biggest problems with debt settlement:

  • The debt settlement process takes years. Customers are told to stop paying their credit card bills, loans and other debts and put money into a savings account, however; negotiations may take years. According to the Freedom Financial Network, the largest debt settlement company, half of all customers eventually settle at least 75 percent of their debt, but the process usually takes three to four years. In the meantime, customers risk being sued over their debts. On the other hand, Chapter 7 bankruptcy halts collections activity, including lawsuits.
  • The math doesn’t add up. Debts are typically settled for 45 to 50 percent of the current balance, which is often higher than the initial balance because of late fees and interest. The average debt settlement fee is 20 percent of the debt at the time of enrollment. The amount of forgiven debt is usually reported to the IRS and is taxable as income. If the borrower is in the 25 percent federal tax bracket, the total cost of the settlement can equal 90 percent or more of the original amount owed.
  • Debt settlement companies tend to demonize bankruptcy. For example, National Debt Relief, a large debt settlement company, claims on the website, “Declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy may mean saying goodbye to most of the assets you have accumulated over the course of your life.” However, few people who file for Chapter 7, which erases most debts in three to six months, lose any assets thanks to state laws that typically protect most if not all of what filers own.
  • Debt settlement companies also claim that bankruptcy is harder on credit scores. However, both processes often drop scores into the mid-500s. Credit scores can begin the recovery process immediately after either process is complete. The difference is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes only months to complete, while debt settlement typically takes years to complete.

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, 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.

Puerto Rico Files for Largest U.S. Municipal Bankruptcy

May 11, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Last week Puerto Rico filed for municipal bankruptcy with a total of $123 billion in debt and pension obligations. It is the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, far exceeding Detroit’s $18 billion bankruptcy filing in 2013.

Governor Ricardo Rossello said, “Given the deficit that we inherited, it is my responsibility to guarantee the best interests of the Puerto Rican people.”

The court proceedings could potentially make the island solvent again for the first time in decades. However, many of the prominent Wall Street firms who own Puerto Rico’s bonds are not too happy about the bankruptcy filing because they fear they won’t get paid back the money they are owed.

Puerto Rico has been in an economic recession for more than a decade and the unemployment rate is 11.5 percent.  The island’s financial crisis is so bad that Congress installed a Fiscal Oversight Board last year to call the financial shots. However, the board stopped negotiations with creditors last week and filed for bankruptcy.

While on the campaign trail, Donald Trump said he would not “bail out” Puerto Rico. He repeated that again in a recent tweet. His budget director also said that the White House pushed hard to ensure no federal dollars would go toward paying the island’s debts in the latest Congressional budget deal.

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.

Related Resources:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/03/news/economy/puerto-rico-wants-to-file-for-bankruptcy/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/business/dealbook/puerto-rico-debt.html?_r=1

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.

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 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.

400 Percent Increase in Scams this Tax Season

April 17, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to the IRS, there has been a 400 percent increase in tax scams during this year’s filing season, compared to last year. The IRS has issued warnings about the growing threat of scams as the end of tax season nears. Scammers use tax season to trick taxpayers into disclosing confidential information so they can access bank accounts, make fraudulent purchases, apply for loans and steal tax refunds.

The most common way scammers steal W-2s is through phishing emails. Hackers create a fake email address, posing as a CEO or CFO of a company and send a request to an employee in payroll asking for a PDF of all employees’ W-2s.

According to the Department of Justice, stolen identity tax refund fraud has affected hundreds of thousands of taxpayers and has cost the United States Treasury billions of dollars.

Other common scams claim there is an urgent situation requiring taxpayers’ immediate attention, such as an issue with processing refunds, additional forms or an audit warning.

The best way to protect yourself from tax scams is to know the signs:

  • Emails that appear to be from the IRS with suspicious links and attachments
  • Text messages that instruct you to call a toll-free number
  • Phone calls with pre-recorded messages that ask for confidential information

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 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.