Posts Tagged: ‘Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney’

Debt Settlement vs. Filing for Bankruptcy: The Pros and Cons

October 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you are having trouble affording your monthly expenses and are in over your head in debt, you may consider reaching out to a debt settlement company to alleviate some of the burden.  The commercials are appealing enough, touting promises of getting your debt negotiated with the lender for a fraction of what you owe.

Here’s how a debt settlement works and some of the risks involved:

The process starts by explaining your financial situation to the debt settlement company. You provide the names of the creditors and the amount you owe. The debt settlement company then gives you an estimate for reducing your debt along with a new lower monthly payment. As advised by the settlement company, you stop paying your creditors and instead send payments directly to the company.

The debt settlement company puts your monthly payments into a savings account. Once the account has grown to a certain amount, the debt settlement company calls your creditors and begins negotiating a settlement.  If the creditor agrees to a settlement amount, the settlement company pays the creditor and assesses a fee for the settlement.

Creditors typically do not settle debts until they are a few months past due, which means if you have not already done so you must stop paying on your accounts and allow them to become past due.  During this time, late payments will be reported to credit bureaus, your credit score will drop and you will begin receiving collection calls.  Late payments will remain on your credit reports for up to seven years and during this time you will have difficulty qualifying for new credit.

Debt settlement companies typically tackle the smallest debts, first which means your larger debts will continue to accumulate interest and additional fees. Add all that interest you are accumulating to the fees and you do not really end up saving much.  If you are unable to meet the terms of the debt settlement, ignore the debt or try and repay the debt and ultimately fail you run the risk of being sued.

Many consumers who have researched debt settlement options should also consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which erases credit card balances, medical bills, personal loans and other unsecured debts in three to four months.  Filing for bankruptcy will impact your credit score more than a debt settlement, but it legally erases the debts and prevents creditors from filing a lawsuit against you.

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, 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.thebalance.com/the-dangers-of-debt-settlement-960622

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-montalk-20171001-story.html

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.

Higher Vehicle Costs Driving a Rise in Auto Loan Delinquencies

July 13, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The price tags on vehicles continues to the increase, which means consumers are borrowing more money to make their purchases.  This in turn is having an effect on household budgets, pushing some families to the max.  New cars now cost an average $35,000, compared to an average $31,000 in 2013, according to Edmunds.com.

The monthly payment on a new vehicle with a $31,000 outstanding loan is about $516 a month, before insurance, gas and maintenance costs are factored in.

Used vehicles have also become more expensive.  The average loan on a used car bought at a dealership costs about $21,000 and carries an average $380-a-month payment.

Credit requirements have been less strict in recent years, as banks and other lending institutions began pushing auto loans, even sub-prime loans to meet the car-buying demand.

Delinquencies in indirect auto loans- those arranged through a third party, such as an auto dealer- increased to 1.83 percent.  Delinquencies in direct auto loans- those arranged directly through a bank- increased to 1.03 percent.

Consumers have over-extended themselves in other areas as well, according to the American Bankers Association.  Delinquencies in bank credit cards rose to 2.74 percent.  Home equity lines of credit delinquencies rose to 1.11 percent.

There certainly seems to be a correlation.  Consumers with credit card debt often struggle with auto loans and mortgage loans, too.

Just like with homes, consumers can end up with upside-down car loans, where the value of the car is worth less than what they owe. This is oftentimes due to higher interest and the terms and conditions of the loan itself.  Many consumers who end up trapped in these type loans are considered to be a higher credit risk.  They oftentimes end up being sold a lower-quality car at a higher cost.

When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consumers have some leverage because the lender knows that bankruptcy gives them the option of surrendering the vehicle and canceling all liability. Banks lose a lot of money on repossessions, so they have an incentive to offer a better deal, such as reducing the principal of the loan to the vehicle’s current value.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/money/2017/07/10/Car-loans-delinquencies/stories/201707090086

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/car-chapter-7-bankruptcy-29608.html

Single Mom Is Able to Discharge her Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy

June 1, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Eighth Circuit (Fern v. FedLoan Servicing (In re Fern) held that a single mom of three can discharge her student loan debt in bankruptcy because it would impose an undue hardship on her family.

Typically, student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy unless the debtor can prove “undue hardship,” which is not defined in the Bankruptcy Code.

A majority of circuits follow the test adopted by the Second Circuit in Brunner v. New York State Higher Education Servs. Corp, 831 F.2d 395 (2d Cir. 1987), where the debtor must establish:

(1) That he or she cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a “minimal standard of living for herself and her dependents if forced to repay the loans;

(2) that additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and

(3) that the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans.”

However, the Eighth Circuit follows a more “flexible approach” under a “totality of the circumstances test,” Judge Anita Louise Shodeen wrote.

The court looked at past, present, and reasonably reliable future financial resources, a calculation of reasonable living expenses, and other “relevant facts and circumstances.”

The single mom in this case had $27,000 in student loan debt and had never made a payment. She initially took classes to become an accounting clerk, but did not finish the program and switched careers, training to be an esthetician.

She received minimal or no child support from the fathers of her three children. Her monthly take-home pay from her current job was $1,506, and she received food stamps and rental assistance. Her income had been consistent and was unlikely to improve in the future, the court said.

Her monthly living expenses are reasonable, necessary and modest, the court said. Her family monthly expenses are $2,475, and her monthly income from all sources is $2,413, resulting in a $62 per month deficit.

The Department of Education argued that she qualified for a repayment program where her payment would be nothing, which would not affect her current standard of living, but the court rejected it.

A zero monthly payment obligation does not automatically mean there is an ability to pay, the court said.

Judge Robert J. Kressel and Chief Judge Arthur B. Federman joined the opinion.

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.