Posts Tagged: ‘creditor harassment’

Rent-A-Center Accused of Kicking in Doors and Crushing Customers’ Credit

May 21, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Rent-A-Center has recently made headlines due to its unethical treatment of customers and harassing debt collection practices.  In fact, it has gotten so out of hand that the complaints and harassment lawsuits have grown in numbers.

Rent-A-Center customers throughout the U.S. are now complaining that Rent-A-Center has virtually destroyed their finances after they have leased electronics, appliances and furniture from the company.

Rent-A-Center is a Texas-based publicly-traded company. The company started in 1986, offering consumers a way to purchase electronics and other household items that they would not be able to afford otherwise. The customers rent these items, making payments on a monthly, semi-monthly or even weekly basis. At any time during the lease, the customer can terminate the lease and return the household goods, or they can keep making payments until they own the items in full. The company’s mission aims to help those in lower-income households by allowing them to purchase items they would not otherwise be able to afford.

Once a customer begins to fall behind on his or her payments, that is where issues arise. Just one missed payment, missed by something as small as a day, can trigger aggressive collection efforts.

One federal lawsuit, brought by a Florida resident, claimed that she was forced to hide in a closet with her two young sons while a Rent-A-Center employee pounded on her door to collect payment on her rented household items. Another lawsuit claims that a Rent-A-Center worker kicked in her front door after she fell behind on payments for her laptop computer.

Even debt collectors are complaining about the practices of Rent-A-Center. In 2014, the collection company, Acceptance Now, took on accounts from Rent-A-Center, but as soon as debt collectors began making efforts to collect on the accounts, customers continually informed the agents that their debts had already paid. The problem was Rent-A-Center’s records did not reflect these payments.

Many states allow rent-to-own companies, like Rent-A-Center to file criminal charges against customers who do not pay on their rental agreements and do not return items when asked to do so. The collectors are well aware of this information, and Rent-A-Center regularly uses these threats to scare customers into making payments. It can make customers feel trapped in a no-win situation, not only fearing for their safety against aggressive collectors but fearing jail time if they are not able to make payments.

Between January 2016 and June 2017, the Federal Trade Commission received 2,779 complaints regarding both Rent-A-Center and Acceptance Now. Out of these complaints, 90 percent of them involve aggressive collection tactics, involving employees banging on customer’s houses and blasting car horns outside of homes.

Know your rights when it comes to creditor harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was designed to help prevent creditor abuse and harassment.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have 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.

Second Landlord This Month Held in Contempt of Court for Willful Violation of the Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

May 11, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Miami bankruptcy attorney Timothy S. Kingcade’s Motion Granted by Judge, Creditor Required to Cease and Desist all Eviction Proceedings and Pay Attorney’s Fees and Other Sanctions

MIAMI – (May 11, 2018) This is the second time this month Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade, founding partner of Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken and Attorney Kristina Gonzalez, have successfully obtained an Order for a client in a Chapter 7 case, requiring the creditor to  cease and desist all eviction proceedings and pay attorney’s fees.  The creditor in the case (In re Danny Looney Case No. 17-25332-LMI), Massmar Investments, LLC, was listed in the bankruptcy petition and was advised multiple times that the client was in bankruptcy.

“This is a victory today for our client. The landlord in this case chose to completely disregard the automatic stay put in place that protects bankruptcy clients from harassment and repossession of property. Despite having notice of the bankruptcy, the landlord continued with eviction proceedings, disregarded the law and harassed my client to no end,” Kingcade said. “Unfortunately, this is something we are seeing more of in my practice.”

The Order directs creditor, Massmar Investments, LLC to cease and desist any further eviction proceedings and dismiss the wrongfully filed eviction case, abide by the automatic stay, and pay attorney’s fees to Kingcade Garcia McMaken for having to bring forth the action.

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Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken was established by managing partner and bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client, clearly explaining the options according to the unique circumstances of his or her life. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care for the financially disenfranchised. All partners and associates at Kingcade Garcia McMaken specialize in consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure and have dedicated their practices to this area of the law. Additionally, all attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish.

For more information visit, https://www.miamibankruptcy.com/.

Landlord Held in Contempt of Court for Willful Violation of the Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

April 30, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Miami bankruptcy attorney Timothy S. Kingcade’s Motion Granted, Creditor Required to Cease and Desist all Eviction Proceedings and Pay Attorney’s Fees

MIAMI – (April 30, 2018) Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade, founding partner of Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken successfully obtained an Order for his client in a Chapter 7 case, granting Emergency Relief Requested.  Florida Bankruptcy Judge, A. Jay Cristol signed an order holding the landlord / creditor, Jonathan Smith and Delores Smith in Contempt of Court for Intentional Violation of the Automatic Stay (In re Montalvo Case No. 18-11489-AJC). Creditor, Jonathan Smith and Delores Smith are directed to immediately cease and desist all eviction proceedings and pay Kingcade Garcia McMaken $2,250.00 in attorney’s fees for having to bring forth the motion to enforce the automatic stay and protect its client.

“We are extremely pleased with this victory for our client today.  The landlord in this case completely disregarded the automatic stay put in place that protects bankruptcy clients from harassment and repossession of property. Despite having actual knowledge of the bankruptcy and automatic stay protections, this landlord continued to harass and threaten my client, causing them unnecessary distress, even going so far as to serving them with an eviction lawsuit during the case,” Kingcade said.

The Order directs creditor, Jonathan Smith and Delores Smith, jointly and severally, to pay attorney’s fees to Kingcade Garcia McMaken for having to bring forth this action and to cease and desist all eviction proceedings until further order of court.

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Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken was established by managing partner and bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client, clearly explaining the options according to the unique circumstances of his or her life. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care for the financially disenfranchised. All partners and associates at Kingcade Garcia McMaken specialize in consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure and have dedicated their practices to this area of the law. Additionally, all attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish.

For more information visit, https://www.miamibankruptcy.com/.

Legal Tips to Stop Creditor Harassment

February 19, 2018 Posted by kingcade

People accumulate debt for all kinds of reasons, whether it’s going back to school, having a baby, or one of life’s unexpected emergencies.  Regardless of your circumstances, being in debt can be stressful- it can be made even worse by creditor harassment.

The first step is to try to address the issue before it becomes a problem.  Do not ignore the debt and hope it goes away.  It will not.  Tell the creditor you are unable to pay the bill.  You can attempt to settle the debt at a reduced amount or request to be placed on an affordable monthly payment plan.  If these options do not work, you can write a letter requesting that the collector stop contacting you all together.

Another option is to sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation to discuss your financial situation in greater detail.  Bankruptcy automatically protects you from further collection activity and is an effective way to stop creditor’s from harassing you.

If you are struggling with debt, know your rights and what debt collectors can and cannot do.  The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) limits the tactics that debt collectors can take to collect on a debt.

Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, it is illegal for debt collectors to do the following:

  • Call you repeatedly
  • Contact your employer or neighbors about your debt (they may only contact them to locate you, but may not mention the debt)
  • Call you late at night or at unreasonable hours
  • Call you at work
  • Engage in deceptive conduct
  • Calling you without disclosing their identity
  • Use obscene, derogatory, or insulting remarks
  • Threaten arrest or loss of child custody or welfare benefits
  • Publish your name
  • Use any communication, language or symbols on envelopes or postcards that indicate that the sender is in the debt collection business
  • Threaten repossession without legal right or present intent to do so

If the collection agency has made any of these violations, you may be able to sue them for damages, your attorney fees, plus an additional $1,000.00.

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.legalzoom.com/articles/got-debt-stop-creditors-from-harassing-you-with-these-few-legal-tips

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