Posts Tagged: ‘bankruptcy trends’

Top 10 Misconceptions About Bankruptcy

April 22, 2013 Posted by kingcade

There are many laws within the Bankruptcy Code that are often misunderstood. Below are the top ten misconceptions about bankruptcy.

1. You must be completely broke to file for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy protection does not necessarily mean that you are broke; it can mean that you cannot pay your bills as they come due. However, many debtors wait until they are flat broke to file for bankruptcy protection. This delay limits your options of reorganizing your finances and being able to keep part or all of your property. It is better to file before you are “flat broke.”
2. If you file for bankruptcy protection, you will not qualify for credit in the future. Your bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for up to 10 years. Chances are, if you have filed for bankruptcy, your credit score has already suffered. Therefore, filing for bankruptcy may be the best way to raise your credit score, again. Once you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will receive a discharge on most debts. Once your debts are discharged, you can start working to raise your credit score, again.
3. If you file for bankruptcy, you cannot buy a house. Mortgage lenders may be hesitant to loan you money to buy a house within the first couple of years after filing. However, if you work to raise your credit score and practice good bill paying habits, you are likely to be approved. Your lender may charge you higher interest rates and require personal guarantees. If you can fund a sufficient down payment, you are likely to be approved for a mortgage loan.
4. If you file for bankruptcy, you will lose your house. Whether or not you are able to keep your home will be determined by the amount of equity you have in your home. When you file for bankruptcy, you are allowed to keep some property, called exempt property. Your home will be exempt from liquidation if it does not have any non-exempt equity.
5. Taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Some taxes are dischargeable in bankruptcy, such as personal income taxes that are more than three years old.
6. Student loans are nondischargeable. In most bankruptcy cases, student loans cannot be discharged. However, if the debtor can prove certain hardship, student loans can be discharged.
7. If you file for bankruptcy, you can leave out certain creditors. The Bankruptcy Code serves the purpose to treat similarly situated creditors equally. If you do not list a creditor in bankruptcy and decide to pay the creditor, you are technically prejudicing the other creditors. The court considers this fraud and you are at risk of losing the discharge and possibly facing jail time and fines.
8. Family members who loaned the debtor money will lose out. You must list all creditors in the bankruptcy; however, you can repay certain creditors after bankruptcy is filed. This practice is referred to as a reaffirmation agreement. All reaffirmations are subject to court approval. In most cases, debtors agree to pay back a debt they have no legal obligation to pay in order to maintain an existing relationship.
9. Signing an agreement stating that a debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy makes the debt nondischargeable. These bankruptcy clauses are unenforceable and are used as a scare tactic.
10. You may lose your job if you file for bankruptcy. If an employee can prove they were fired solely because he or she filed for bankruptcy, the employee can sue the employer.

Click here to read more about the top ten misconceptions about bankruptcy.
http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/505/perspectives/p18.htm

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

5 Steps to Rebuilding your Life after Bankruptcy

March 29, 2013 Posted by kingcade

It can be overwhelming trying to re-build your credit score, finances and emotional well being after filing for bankruptcy. However, it is important to realize that there is life after bankruptcy. In fact, if you strategize and take the necessary steps, bankruptcy protection can be extremely rewarding. Your life after bankruptcy depends on your recovery process. See below the five steps you can take to recover quickly from bankruptcy.

1. Let go of the guilt and shame. In 2010, there were 1.53 million personal bankruptcy filings; therefore, you must realize that you are not alone. Millions of Americans are battling the after effects of the Great Recession, just as you are. Rather than beating yourself up with shame and guilt, make peace with yourself, knowing that you made the best decision for your family and your finances.

2. Reflect and Regroup. One of the best things you can do to recover from bankruptcy is to reflect on where your financial situation went wrong. Whether it was something you did or something beyond your control, such as losing your job, finding the cause of your bankruptcy can help you move forward and prevent financial problems in the future.

3. Create a Budget and Pay Your Existing Bills on Time. After you have filed for bankruptcy protection, you must create and stick to a budget. Your budget will help you manage your money and help you avoid racking up more debt. Within your budget, you should create an emergency fund. This fund will help you if something comes up in the future. You should also set up automatic payment for your current bills, so that you can build your credit score and avoid delinquent bills.

4. Pick a Credit Card that will help you Rebuild your Credit Score. You may be wary of any kind of debt such as credit card debt; however, applying for a credit card can be the key strategy to rebuilding your credit score after bankruptcy. The best cards for bankruptcy filers to apply for are secured credit cards. These credit cards allow you to deposit money into a bank account, which becomes the amount you can spend on your credit card.
5. Educate Yourself on Bankruptcy. There are many myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy. For example, it is widely believed that bankruptcy will keep you from getting a mortgage for ten years. In reality, many bankruptcy filers are able to get a mortgage just two years after filing for bankruptcy. Myths such as these can deter those who really need it from filing for bankruptcy.

Click here to read more about the steps you can take to rebuild your life after bankruptcy.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

Bankruptcy Dispute Results in $6 Million Settlement for Florida Businessman

March 28, 2013 Posted by kingcade

A jury in the U.S. District Court in Miami recently awarded a Miami businessman $6 million after finding that U.S. Bank acted in bad faith when they forced Maury Rosenberg into involuntary bankruptcy. The settlement included $5 million in punitive damages, which is the largest amount awarded in history for such a case. Rosenberg claimed that U.S. Bank, the no. 5 bank in the country, was using involuntary bankruptcy as a collection tool. Federal law prohibits banks from such actions. U.S. Bank has refused to back down, after losing two appeals and bankruptcy petitions were tossed out. Rosenberg said the process has since ruined his life.

U.S. Bank claims that it has done nothing wrong and that all of its actions were legal while pursuing Rosenberg for his debts. The bank disagrees with the verdict and plans to file post-trial motions and possibly an appeal. The bank is also pursuing Rosenberg for breach of contract in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania for $4.9 million on a personal guaranty. Rosenberg claimed he approached the bank in 2008 to restructure his debts but was unable to get the bank to talk to him. He said he stopped making payments in order to get the bank to respond. After being forced into bankruptcy, Rosenberg lost everything, including his son’s $50 million trust fund.

Click here to read more about Rosenburg’s $6 million settlement following a bankruptcy dispute.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

Top 10 Leading Causes of Bankruptcy

March 21, 2013 Posted by kingcade

In the southern district of Florida, 31,989 people filed for personal bankruptcy in 2012 and 36,847 in 2011. However, the factors that cause people to file for bankruptcy can be very different. See below for the top ten leading causes of filing for personal bankruptcy.

1. Medical Bills: Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Studies show that 42% of all personal bankruptcies are the result of medical bills.

2. Job Loss: Approximately 22% of those who file for personal bankruptcy attribute their financial troubles to their unemployment.

3. Uncontrolled Spending: Credit card bills, mortgages and car payments contribute to approximately 15% of bankruptcies in the United States. Many Americans are forced to file for bankruptcy protection every year due to uncontrolled spending habits.

4. Divorce: Divorce can be very expensive when there are legal fees, child support payments, alimony payments and the burden of providing for a household on only one income. Divorce attributes to 8% of bankruptcy filings in the United States.

5. Unexpected Disasters: Around 7% of personal bankruptcies are the result of an unexpected disaster such as an earthquake, flood or hurricane. Many Americans cannot recover from debt surrounding a natural disaster due to a lack of homeowners or renters insurance.

6. Avoiding Foreclosure: Many people have filed for bankruptcy protection in order to avoid their home from being foreclosed on. Approximately 1.5% of Americans reportedly file for bankruptcy to stay in their homes.

7. Poor Financial Planning: Nearly 1.5% of Americans who file for bankruptcy protection are forced to do so because of poor financial planning.

8. Preventing Loss of Utilities: One percent of families file for bankruptcy protection in order to keep their utilities on, such as electricity.

9. Student Loans: Student loans are not typically dischargeable debt when filing for bankruptcy; however, the minimum payments can be so high that the individual is forced to file for bankruptcy to eliminate other debt. One percent of Americans attribute their bankruptcy to student loans.

10. Preventing Repossession: One percent of Americans file for bankruptcy in order to have repossessed items returned to them or to avoid repossession altogether.

Click here to read more about the 10 leading causes of personal bankruptcy.

Click here to find bankruptcy statistics in the United States from 2011 and 2012.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

Best Credit Cards to use after Bankruptcy

March 15, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Believe it or not, getting a new credit card after filing for bankruptcy is one of the best ways to begin rebuilding your credit score. But how do you know which one is right for you? A secured credit card is a great way to start over. These are one of the few types of credit cards that tend to be easy to get if you’ve been through bankruptcy or other credit problems. In most cases, they are available as soon as your bankruptcy is discharged. You’ll place a security deposit with the issuer and get a major credit card you will use just like any other credit card.

To ensure you get the maximum benefit from your secured card, it is important you do three important things:

1.) Choose a card that reports your payment history each month to all three credit-reporting agencies.

2.) Make your payments on time, all of the time, NO EXCEPTIONS. A single late payment can cause your credit score to drop significantly.

3.) Keep your balance low. Only use 10%-15% of your available credit line.

If you are trying to rebuild credit after bankruptcy, you need to review your credit reports and scores frequently. Get your credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com about three months after your case is discharged. Dispute any mistakes you find. Then use Credit.com’s Free Credit Report Card to check your credit score each month. If you have positive credit references reporting to the credit bureaus, you should see steady progress over time. One more tip, do not apply for additional credit until your bankruptcy is discharged. Taking on additional credit while you are still completing a bankruptcy can jeopardize your case.

To read more on this story, visit: http://money.msn.com/saving-money-tips/post.aspx?post=967a4dd7-f42b-4855-9d25-9126b2e51899

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.