Posts Tagged: ‘Chapter 7 Bankruptcy’

6 Things Debt Collectors May Not Want You To Know

August 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you have been contacted by a debt collector in the last year, you are not alone. Nearly a third of all U.S. consumers have reported being contacted by a creditor or debt collector about a debt. As a consumer, your rights are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Here are some key facts to know if a debt collector contacts you.

  1. You do not have to reveal personal information. Debt collectors might ask you for your Social Security number, date of birth or other information. However, you are not legally required to provide this information. Collectors should use the information they already have available to them.
  2. You have a right to ask for details – and you can ask a debt collector not to contact you. You should always ask that they verify the accuracy of the debt. This means the collector must provide details of the debt when they speak to you, or in writing, within five days of the call. This allows you to confirm that you actually owe the amount. If the information is inaccurate, you have 30 days to dispute the debt.
  3. You can ask to have a settled debt removed from your credit reports. If you pay off an account in collections in full, it will not erase it from your credit reports right away. In fact, it will remain on your reports for seven years. However, if you negotiate with the debt collector to settle the debt, you can ask to have that debt removed from your credit reports.
  4. Debts have a statute of limitations. State laws determine how long a creditor has to collect an amount owed to them. The time period ranges from two to six years. After this time, you still owe the debt, however; creditors can no longer come after you to collect it. This type of debt is sometimes called zombie debt or time-barred debt.
  5. You can file a complaint. If you believe a debt collector is acting unethically or has violated your rights as a consumer, contact authorities. Some states have debt collection laws that differ from the FDCPA.

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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.

Student Loan Debt Impact on Older Americans

August 24, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Student loan debt is not just a problem for younger Americans; a new study shows older Americans are shouldering an increasing share of the nation’s $1.34 trillion student loan debt.

A new report released by FICO showed the percentage of Americans ages 65 and older with student loan debt increased 300 percent from 2006 to 2016. This jump is three times higher than the increase in student loan debt seen in Americans ages 35-64. The trend is expected to continue increasing as the population ages and older employees turn to workforce retraining programs to learn new labor skills.

The report also showed that the age group with the highest amount of student loan delinquencies is Americans aged 25-34, with a default rate of 25.1 percent. However, older Americans are also having a more difficult time repaying their debts. Delinquencies for Americans ages 65 and older were 13.5 percent last year, which is an increase of 3.6 percent from the prior decade.

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, 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.

Settlement Wipes Away Student Loan Debt for 41,000 Borrowers

August 23, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Financial services firm, Aequitas Capital Management, Inc., will make refunds to the 41,000 students who borrowed money to attend Corinthian Colleges, per a settlement with federal and state agencies. The settlement is in the final stages and must win approval from the court in Oregon that is handling the Aequitas bankruptcy.

“Thousands of New Yorkers signed up at Corinthian College to build the skills they need to compete in today’s economy,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “But Aequitas Capital Management took advantage of their ambition and schemed with Corinthian to saddle these students with high-default loans at the now-bankruptcy college. This was nothing more than a sham that victimized unwitting students and deceived the government and taxpayers.”

According to the terms of the settlement, students who borrowed money from Aequitas Capital to attend a Corinthian school and were attending school when it closed in 2014, or students who defaulted on their loans, will receive a full discharge of their student loans, in addition to accrued interest.

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, 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.

Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy

August 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to get a fresh start financially and erase past debts, but a legitimate concern consumers have is the effects it will have on their credit score and their ability to take out credit again.

One of the biggest misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy is that it will ruin your credit score and your financial future.  To the contrary, after filing for bankruptcy you can begin restoring your credit right away.

Here are some steps you can take to begin rebuilding your credit after filing for bankruptcy:

Create a budget.  This will help you stay on top of your finances and is something you should have gone over in the “pre-discharge” credit counseling.

Build an emergency fund.  Research shows that having as little as $250 saved up for an unexpected expense can protect families from having to resort to pay day loans and credit cards.

Plan your post-bankruptcy credit strategy.  Assess your situation by first checking your credit score.  Dispute any inaccurate information on your credit report and have this corrected immediately.  Remember, a Chapter 7 filing will wipe out your debts, but it does not wipe your credit reports clean.  Make sure and double check all three reports.

Here are some ways to access to new credit while rebuilding your score.

Secured loans are typically offered by credit unions or community banks.  One type of secured loan involves borrowing against money you already have on deposit.   The other type can be made without upfront cash.  Instead, this money is loaned to you and is placed in a savings account and released to you only after you have made the necessary payments.  In return, the financial institution agrees to send a report to the credit bureaus.

A secured credit card is backed by the deposit you make and the credit limit is typically the amount you have on deposit.  This can help repair your credit while you wait to become eligible for an unsecured card.

A co-signed credit card can improve your score, but it is definitely a big ask. Essentially, this individual (the co-signer) is risking his or her own credit history for you and will be on the hook if the full amount is not paid on the card.

If asking to co-sign is too much, an authorized user status will work.  Basically, you are an authorized user on that person’s credit card.  Just make sure the credit card will report the payment activity by authorized users to the credit bureaus, otherwise it will have no effect on your score.

A lighter debt burden automatically makes you more desirable to lenders, so be vigilant about paying on time.  Keep your credit card balances relatively low compared to the card’s limit.  For example, less than 30% is typically advised while using just 10% of the available credit is even better.

Still not convinced?  A testimonial from one of our clients in regards to their credit score after filing for bankruptcy.

My credit score said on all three reports 775, I couldn’t believe that I had such a great score before 10 years. Tim for me was the best move I have made for my situation. I have no regrets, I am glad the past is the past. – Bill T.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/rebuild-credit-after-bankruptcy/

The Cost of Bankruptcy and How to Pay for It

August 2, 2017 Posted by kingcade

You are struggling financially and need to file for bankruptcy.  A common question is how I can afford the cost of hiring an attorney when I can’t even meet my bills?  Many people think they cannot afford to file for bankruptcy.  However, bankruptcy laws allow you to eliminate some debts and lower payments on others.   This now “freed-up” money, oftentimes hundreds of dollars a month, can be used to cover the cost of your bankruptcy attorney and filing fees.

The U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Laws were designed to give you a fresh start and a second chance when it comes to your finances.  

When it comes to the cost of bankruptcy, you will face two expenses: the court filing fees to handle your case and the attorney fees for your bankruptcy lawyer who files your case and represents you in court.

There are several types of bankruptcies to choose from, but the most common consumer bankruptcies are Chapter 7- where most of your debts are forgiven, and Chapter 13- where your debt is reorganized and restructured into a payment plan.

Filing fees remain the same nationwide, but your attorney fees can vary greatly, depending on location, the complexities of your case and your attorney.

  Chapter 7 Chapter 13
Filing fees $335 $310
Attorney fees* $500 – $3,500 $1,500 – $6,000
Total $835 – $3,835 $1,810 – $6,310

 

Here are some tips on how to pay for your bankruptcy:

  • Work out a payment plan with your attorney. Payment plans can vary.  Some lawyers allow you to spread the payments over six months, others over three months.  Most will want payment in full before filing your case.  The simple reason: Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most of your debts, so you would not be legally obligated to pay your attorney any outstanding fees after filing.
  • Raise the money. Try to earn some additional income.  Consider having a garage sale, selling items on consignment, on Ebay or Craigslist (i.e. – think old electronics, hand bags, etc.) or taking on a part-time job to earn some fast cash.

Consumers who owe debt know the fear associated with going to the mailbox, answering the phone when it is an unknown number.  This fear is eliminated once hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney.  Debt collectors must stop contacting you immediately and communicate only with your attorney- thanks to the protections in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/bankruptcy-costs-pay/