Posts Tagged: ‘Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’

What you Need To Know Before Cosigning a Loan

October 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Co-signing a loan puts more than your name on the line.  It is an all too common practice that gives you the opportunity to help another person, usually a loved one.  But it is important to remember that when you co-sign a loan, you essentially agree to repay the loan yourself. For example, you might co-sign for a car you never drive, a house you never live in or even a student loan for someone else’s college education.  Nearly 40 percent of cosigners found themselves paying some or all of a loan when the primary borrower they co-signed for was unable to make the payments, according to a survey conducted by creditcards.com.

Here are some important facts you should know before you co-sign a loan:

  • The effect it will have on your credit report. Once you cosign a loan, the debt appears on both of your credit reports.  This means, the loan can help both the primary borrower and the co-signer build a positive credit history if payments are made on time.  It can have the opposite effect if the primary borrower begins to miss payments.  These late or missing payments will land on your credit report and remain there for several years.  You can even end up paying late fees and have your wages garnished as a co-signer.  This may also limit your ability to borrow in the future.
  • You will be treated the same as the primary borrower. As a cosigner, the lender will expect you to pay the loan just as the primary borrower agreed to and will come after you for the payments.  Typically, lenders will target the person with the better potential to pay.
  • A warning about private student loans. These type loans are particularly difficult for the co-signer to escape.  Unlike federal student loans, private student lenders frequently require a cosigner since student borrowers are often young and without credit history or income.  Approximately 90% of borrowers who request cosigner release are rejected, according to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Here are some tips for managing your risk as a co-signer:

  • Know the borrower. And know them well.  Know their credit history and ability to repay the loan.
  • Review your budget carefully. If the primary borrower defaults on the loan, can your budget handle the added strain of another monthly payment?
  • Get copies of everything. In addition to the loan signing documents, request to have duplicate statements sent to you as well so you can keep track of the loan and confirm the primary borrower is not falling behind on any payments.
  • Get out as fast as you can. Have the primary borrower agree to refinance the loan under his or her name at some point in the future, as soon as their credit history and finances are better established.

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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

New Rule makes it Harder for Medical Debt to Impact your Credit Score

October 5, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Consumers are getting some good news when it comes to their credit scores.  A new set of rules have taken effect this week that will make it more difficult for medical debt to damage your credit score, it will also not hurt your chances of qualifying for new credit.

The three credit reporting agencies now have to wait 180 days before putting an unpaid medical bill onto your credit report.  Going back and forth with your insurance company over an outstanding medical bill?  Unpaid medical bills that later get paid by your insurance must be removed from your credit report as well.

This new rule builds additional time between patients and insurance companies to resolve such matters.  Up until this point, there was no grace period and medical debt could appear on your credit report as soon as it was reported as an unpaid debt.  Medical offices tend to do this on their own schedule, sometimes as early as 30 days, while insurers may take longer to fully process claims.

The new waiting period carves out time for patients, their doctors, and insurers to work through legitimate grievances, and makes it harder for unpaid bills to hurt your credit score.  It also allows much-needed time for those suffering from illness and injury to sort out who owes what.

Credit bureaus have taken steps to remove medical bill collections that are less than 180 days old.  One out of five credit reports contain overdue medical debt, according to a 2014 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That means 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt negatively affecting their credit.

If you are on a fixed income or struggling financially, letting the medical provider know you are not able to pay will give them a reason to offer you a discount or be placed on a reasonable payment plan.  If you cannot pay, tell them why you cannot pay.  Some states require hospitals provide free or reduced care to consumers within certain income limits.  Florida is one of these states.

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Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

How Can I Verify Whether or Not a Debt Collector is Legitimate?

September 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Debt collection scams are becoming more difficult for Americans to detect. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers consumers a few ways to recognize a real debt collector from a scammer.

According to the CFPB, the first thing you should ask the caller is for their name, company name, street address, telephone number and professional licensing number. The next thing you should do is tell the caller is that you refuse to discuss any debt until you receive a “validation notice” in writing, which debt collectors are required to provide. An important thing to keep in mind is do not give out any personal or financial information to the caller until you have confirmed it is a legitimate debt collector.

Below are a few warning signs that could indicate a debt collection scam:

  • The caller threatens you with criminal charges. If the caller is a legitimate debt collector, they should not claim they will have you arrested.
  • The caller refuses to give you information about your debt. You have the right to ask a debt collector about the debt.
  • The caller is trying to collect a debt that you do not recognize. If you do not recognize the debt, this is a red flag, the caller might be involved in a scam.
  • The caller refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number for the company.
  • The caller asks you for sensitive personal financial information. Do not provide your financial or personal information unless you are certain the caller is legitimate.

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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.

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.

Regulators able to get $192 million in Student Loan Debt Settlement from Aequitas

September 5, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Aequitas Capital executives believed they had purchased a gold mine when they began buying student loans from Corinthian Colleges- instead, the debt proved to be the company’s downfall.  Following the for-profit college’s decent into bankruptcy and liquidation; Aequitas also collapsed amid accusations the company’s top execs were running a Ponzi scheme.

However, Aequitas continued to collect payments on the debt- until now. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and several state attorneys general and the Aequitas receiver reached a deal in which about 41,000 former Corinthian students whose debt is held by Aequitas could get more than half- possibly all, of their debt eliminated.

In July 2015, Aequitas became a key ally and vital source of liquidity for Corinthian by buying massive amounts of student debt. By helping finance Corinthian’s in-house private loans, Aequitas enabled Corinthian to access billions in student loan money from the U.S. government.

The bureau recently filed a lawsuit against Aequitas as part of the settlement. It claims Aequitas employees privately expressed anxiety about the huge percentage of Corinthian students who were failing to make their loan payments. “With defaults this high, how can we defend our practices,” the unidentified employee wrote in a 2011 note.

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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.