Posts Tagged: ‘Chapter 7 Bankruptcy’

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.

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.

3 Tips for Dealing with Credit Card Debt with Rising Rates

December 19, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The Federal Reserve announced earlier this year that it would begin withdrawing some of the trillions of dollars it has invested since the Recession began in 2008. Although the decision is a sign that the bank is confident in the continuation of economic growth, it also means that interest rates will continue to hike. At the recent policy meeting, central bank members decided to push the target range to 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent, raising the benchmark interest rate a quarter point. This means consumers’ credit card debt is becoming more and more expensive.

Below are three tips to help you reduce or eliminate your credit card interest before the Fed increases the rate again.

  1. Try a balance transfer from one credit card company to another. Typically, credit card companies will offer you competitive rates if you inquire about transferring a credit card balance. Companies often allow you to pay a low introductory rate for a specified number of months. Before completing a transfer, ask if there is a transfer fee, and make sure the transfer makes sense.
  2. Opt for a personal loan. In recent years, many consumers are taking out personal loans as an alternative to credit cards. Although the payments are typically higher, the loans have fixed terms of five years or less and force you to get out of debt much quicker. Another selling point of personal loans is that they have fixed interest rates, which means if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, personal loan rates will not be affected.
  3. If all else fails, another alternative is calling your credit card company and simply asking for a lower rate. Your credit card company may not reduce your rate a significant amount, but every little bit helps in the long run.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickclements/2017/12/04/3-strategies-to-deal-with-credit-card-debt-in-a-rising-rate-environment/2/#3e811eed1b19

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/13/fed-hikes-rates-by-a-quarter-point.html 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/business/economy/fed-bond-buying.html

Reasons to Delay Your Bankruptcy Filing

December 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Bankruptcy can be used as an effective tool to take back control of your financial future and get out from under insurmountable debt.  However, sometimes it is best to delay filing your bankruptcy case. Here are some reasons you should do so.

You recently took on additional debt.  If you took on additional debt right before filing, there is a chance that debt will not be discharged in your bankruptcy case.   If you took on the debt knowing you could not repay it or intended to file for bankruptcy, the debt could be considered fraudulent.  Certain debts can be exempt from a bankruptcy discharge.  These include:

  • Cash advances of at least $925 taken out within 70 days before filing bankruptcy;
  • Charges of $650 or more to any one creditor for luxury items made within 90 days before filing bankruptcy.

You recently sold, gave away or transferred property.  If you sold or gave away property two years before filing for bankruptcy, the trustee will scrutinize the transaction.  They do this to prevent the person who is filing for bankruptcy from putting the property in the hands of someone else.  These might be gifts or they may be transferred intentionally to get them out of the bankruptcy case (i.e. – fraudulent transfers).

You expect your income to decrease or your expenses to increase soon.  To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your financial circumstances are applied to the Means Test.  This test compares your income and expenses against national and local norms to determine if you have the means to pay at least a portion of the debt.  The higher your income the more likely you are to have difficulty qualifying for the Means Test.   Sometimes depending on your financial circumstances and the timing, it might make sense to wait until the figures used to calculate the Means Test are most favorable.  It is important to work with a professional who has the skill and experience to evaluate all aspects of your financial situation and to build a strategy for your bankruptcy case that meets your specific needs.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.thebalance.com/four-reasons-to-delay-filing-your-bankruptcy-case-316336

5 Signs it’s Time to File for Bankruptcy

December 6, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Filing for bankruptcy is a complicated process and a decision that should not be taken lightly.  But for some, it is the only solution that will get them out of debt and serious financial problems.  So how do you know if bankruptcy is right for you?  Here are five signs it’s time to consider filing for bankruptcy:

You are being sued by debt collectors.  When you fail to make payments on a debt, that debt gets turned over to a collection agency.  If the collection agency’s calls and letters go unanswered they may file a lawsuit against you.  Fighting these lawsuits can be difficult and if you lose, you will likely end up paying more in attorneys’ fees and court costs.  It is best to not let it get to this point.  Filing for bankruptcy provides you legal protection against creditors and debt collectors.  Once the automatic stay is issued, it bars any additional collection attempts, including lawsuits being filed against you.

Your credit cards are maxed out.  This not only is affecting your credit score negatively, but you are likely trapped in a cycle of making only the minimum payment on these cards while the interest accrues to amounts you will never be able to pay off.  Credit card debt is one of the easiest kinds of debt to discharge in bankruptcy.

Your wages are being garnished. If a creditor obtains a court order for a wage garnishment, your employer is required by law to abide by the order and withhold money from your check each pay period until the debt is paid off.   If your wages are being garnished you can still be protected by the automatic stay, which will halt further wage garnishment.

You cannot afford your bills.  If you were recently laid off from your job or had an unexpected medical expense, for many Americans it is just a matter of time before even a small amount of debt can spiral into something much greater.   Chapter 7 bankruptcy is specifically designed for individuals and families whose income level is not sufficient to pay their debts.

You are in danger of losing your home.  If your financial situation has reached the point where you are behind on mortgage payments and facing possible foreclosure, filing for bankruptcy can help you get caught up on those payments while staying in your home.

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.

Related Resources:

https://smartasset.com/credit-score/4-signs-its-time-to-file-bankruptcy

How the Tax Reform Could Affect those Paying off Student Loans

November 24, 2017 Posted by kingcade

As lawmakers consider two different bills that would overhaul the tax code, several changes on the table could affect Americans who are paying student loans. The House version of the bill would eliminate some tax benefits for those with college costs. However, the Senate version of the bill would leave most of them untouched. Both bills would eliminate many tax breaks, however; they would also roughly double the standard deduction.

If you are currently paying off your student loans, you can use the student loan interest deduction to lower your taxable income by as much as $2,500. It is an “above the line deduction,” meaning it can be claimed without itemizing. It is available to borrowers with modified adjusted gross incomes up to $65,000 or $130,000 of couples filing jointly. The current tax deduction saves people a maximum of $625 per year. The proposed House bill would repeal the deduction while the Senate bill would keep it in place.

If you are paying for your child’s tuition you can currently claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit for up to $2,500 per child enrolled in college each year. The full credit is available to couples earning up to $160,000 per year and an individual earning up to $80,000 per year. The proposed House bill would expand eligibility to a student’s fifth year at a reduced benefit and the Senate version would keep the credit as it is.

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.