Posts Tagged: ‘creditor harassment’

When Filing for Bankruptcy- Timing Matters

July 7, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Timing the filing of your bankruptcy is important to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  For example, waiting to file after creditors have already taken action against you can result in unnecessary legal costs and potential loss of property.  Filing shortly after transferring money or property to someone else, can run you the risk of being accused of bankruptcy fraud.

Here are a few points to remember when timing the filing of your bankruptcy:

Filing for bankruptcy will stop litigation.  It is best to file before a creditor receives a judgment against you.  This will save you the cost of legal fees and giving the creditor more rights to your property.

Prevents wage garnishment.  A creditor who has obtained a judgment against you can force your employer to deduct money from your check, even require your bank to withdraw the funds directly from your account.  You can save this money by discharging the debt before such actions can be taken.

Puts an end to creditor harassment & collection calls. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, creditors must stop contacting you and deal only with your attorney.  Creditors who continue to contact you are in violation of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code’s Automatic Stay and face sanctions by the Court.

Allows you to stay in your home. Filing for bankruptcy will stop the foreclosure process and allow you additional time to stay in your home.

Divorce & Bankruptcy: If you are in the middle of a divorce, it is best to file a joint bankruptcy with your spouse to discharge all debt before the marriage ends.  However, if your income is too high to qualify as a married couple you will need to decide whether the best option is to file individually while you are still married or wait until after the divorce.  When it comes to timing your bankruptcy filing while going through a divorce, you cannot go wrong setting up an appointment with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss the best path for your financial future.  Many offer free consultations and Saturday appointments.

If you 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://bankruptcy.lawyers.com/bankruptcy-basics/time-matters-when-filing-chapter-7-bankruptcy.html

Medical Debt Collection Firms Ordered to Pay $577K for Threatening Consumers

January 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Two medical debt collection firms must refund hundreds of thousands of dollars after they were caught falsely claiming there were attorneys involved in the collection actions. Two Oklahoma-based law firms, both named Works and Lentz, misled consumers by exaggerating the extent to which actual “lawyers” were involved in the collection attempts.

The companies involved in the case attempt to make collections on 700,000 accounts annually, collecting medical debt on behalf of hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers.  From January 2012 to August 2016, every letter sent to the alleged debtors was printed on the firm’s letterhead, giving the impression that a legal action was pending.

Approximately one month after the letter was sent out; Works and Lentz assigned the account to a manager who contacted the debtor, representing themselves as a law firm.

In addition, when consumers called the firm back, they were greeted with a message stating, “You have reached Works & Lentz, Attorneys at Law.”  The letters sent out to consumers ended with a computerized signature of an individual attorney with the title, “Attorney at Law.”   The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges that in most cases there was never an attorney who reviewed the collection accounts.

As specified in The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it is illegal for firms to use false, deceptive or misleading representations or means to collect a debt, including using false implication that any individual is an attorney or that communications are from an attorney when they are not. This law was designed to protect consumers and help prevent creditor abuse and harassment.

In addition to misrepresenting that they are attorneys, the CFPB alleges that employees of Works and Lentz provided information to credit reporting agencies related to consumers’ debts without verifying the information was correct.

Click here to read more on this story.

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.

Wells Fargo, Ocwen and other Creditors Sued for Violating Chapter 7 Discharge

December 12, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Secured creditors Wells Fargo, Ocwen, RAS Boriskin and Duane Morris must pay a debtor who filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy $7,000 in emotional distress damages and $39,142 in punitive damages for willfully violating the discharge order.

Judge Cecelia G. Morris of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York concluded that the creditors harassed the debtors for years by filing an illegal foreclosure action against the debtors’ property and sending numerous collection letters after their debt had been discharged in bankruptcy.

The debtors received more than 100 calls and notices for collection of the discharged debt in the past five years. This case is particularly noteworthy for the large amount of punitive damages and the emotional distress damages the debtors received, who represented themselves pro se.

The debtors in the case filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and their nonexempt assets were liquidated by a trustee and the proceeds were distributed to their creditors. They received a discharge of all of their debts in 2009.

The debtors alerted the secured creditors to their violations by contacting them after the discharge, but the creditors insisted they were doing nothing wrong. Instead of taking steps to correct the problems, the creditors and their attorneys wrote threatening letters to the debtors. The court found evidence that the creditors and their attorneys received notice of the debtors’ bankruptcy and discharge on at least 15 different occasions, but failed to stop contacting them.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you 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.

 

Military members have twice the amount of debt collector complaints

April 7, 2016 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), members of the military submit debt collector complaints at twice the rate of civilians.  Debt collection, mortgages and credit reporting were the subject of most of the complaints, according to the CFPB’s report.

While the higher rate of complaints could be due to a variety of factors, including time away for deployments and frequent moves from base to base, it is concerning because unpaid debts can threaten a military career.

The complaints concern disputes over money owed, debt collector calls to commanding officers and threats against security clearances held by service members. Veterans also complained of bill collectors trying to collect on medical bills that should have been paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It is unfortunate that the brave men and women who serve our country are being targeting by these unfair, deceptive and abusive debt collection practices.  But it also comes as a warning to members of the military to diligently check their credit reports and proactively protect their credit files while away from home.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.insidearm.com/daily/debt-collection-news/cfpb-report-highlights-high-rate-of-collection-complaints-from-servicemembers/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/03/23/military-members-have-twice-the-bill-collector-complaints/

A WIN for Consumers! FTC Announces Major Enforcement Action against Debt Collectors

November 5, 2015 Posted by kingcade

The Federal Trade Commission and other law enforcement authorities around the country have announced the first coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting deceptive and abusive debt collection practices.  This nationwide crackdown encompasses 30 new law enforcement actions by federal, state and local law enforcement authorities against debt collectors who use illegal tactics.  These tactics include, but are not limited to: harassing phone calls, phony impersonations, false threats of litigation, wage garnishment – even arrest.

It has been documented that collectors even tried to collect on so-called phantom debts – phony debts that consumers do not actually owe. The illegal practices also included the failure to give consumers legally required disclosures and notices, or to follow state and local licensing requirements.

“Being in debt is stressful enough for many Americans without also being subjected to intimidation and false threats,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. “Debtors have certain rights and rogue collectors that step outside the law will face the consequences of illegal behavior.”

According to the complaint, the defendants also failed to identify themselves to consumers as debt collectors, falsely portrayed themselves as process servers or attorneys, and falsely threatened arrest or litigation. The defendants unlawfully disclosed consumers’ debts to third parties in an attempt to embarrass the consumers into paying them.  All of these are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which was designed to help prevent creditor abuse and harassment.

Click here to read more on this story.

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.