Posts Tagged: ‘debt relief’

The Surprising Debts Holding Many Americans Back

June 15, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent survey, student loans and credit card bills are not the only debt holding many Americans back.  Credit Sesame, a site consumers can use to check their credit score, analyzed more than 5,000 user accounts and found they had significant amounts of debt from medical expenses, utility bills and cell phone charges.

Consumers whose medical debt had gone into collections had an average of three accounts, with a combined total of $3,670 in collections.  The average balance for customers who had cell phone bills in collections totaled $887 per account.  Customers whose utility bills were in collections owe $368 on average per account, the study concluded.

Not surprisingly, having those bills in collections hurt consumers’ credit scores.  The average credit score for someone whose medical debt is in collections is 552.  Those who have delinquent cell phone accounts have average scores of 550.  And those who have outstanding utility bills have a score of 542.

Lenders see applicants with lower credit scores as riskier than applicants with higher credit scores.  They oftentimes make you pay for this risk by charging a higher interest rate.  A poor credit score can affect your ability to rent an apartment, as landlords often check an applicant’s credit score before allowing you to sign a lease.

Utility companies may require you pay a deposit before setting up your service.  Even certain jobs and employers can discriminate against applicants who have a less than perfect credit report. Certain jobs, particularly those in upper management or the finance industry, require a good credit history.  Note: employers check your credit report and not your credit score.  They are not necessarily checking for bad credit, but for items that could affect your job performance.

Click here to read more on this story.

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:
https://www.thebalance.com/side-effects-of-bad-credit-960383

Divorce Court Cannot Decide on Bankruptcy Obligations

May 23, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A Superior Court judge in Georgia could not order that a divorce settlement be wiped out in bankruptcy, a federal bankruptcy judge has ruled.  Even though the divorce decree provided that “the property division payments to the Plaintiff shall not be dischargeable in bankruptcy,” Judge W. Homer Drake of the Northern District of Georgia makes it clear that the Georgia court lacked jurisdiction to decide the effect of bankruptcy on the divorce.

There are certain kinds of debts that are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.  However, these bankruptcy exceptions include support obligations arising from divorce, but do not include property settlements distinct from support.

The divorce decree included provisions that the defendant would pay his ex-wife $1,300 a month for child support and $53,000 “as part of the property division,” the court said. But the decree also said that “the property division payments to the plaintiff shall not be dischargeable in bankruptcy,” it said.

The bankruptcy court rejected the Georgia court’s decree that the obligation would not be dischargeable because it violated public policy. In addition, it found that the state court lacked jurisdiction to make that call.

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.

Good News for Home Buyers with Student Loan Debt

May 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Mortgage lender Fannie Mae has just made significant rule changes that should make it easier for former students with costly student loan debts to purchase their first home or do a “cash-out” refinancing to pay off debt.

These new policies could be game changers for a large number of consumers. Approximately 43 million Americans are carrying student loan debt, totaling $1.4 trillion nationwide. Costly student loan debt not only impedes on borrowers’ ability to save money for a down payment, but it is also a key reason why so many young, potential home buyers remain renters or are living with their parents.

Below are three big changes that Fannie Mae has made that could affect you:

  • If you’re one of the 5 million borrowers who participate in federal-reduced payment plans on your student loan, your actual monthly payments, as reported to the credit bureaus, will count toward your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio calculations. For example, if your payments were originally supposed to be $500 a month but you have had them reduced to $100 through an income-based repayment plan, only the $100 will be added to your monthly debts for DTI purposes. Previously, lenders were required to factor in one percent of your student loan balance as your monthly payment on the student loan, even though you were actually paying a fraction of that.
  • For an estimated 8.5 million American homeowners who are still carrying student debt, Fannie Mae has lowered the costs of a “cash out” refinancing, provided the extra cash you pull out from your equity is used to retire your student debt. Among the potential beneficiaries: parents participating in “parent plus” programs that help pay off their kids’ student loan debts, and parents who have co-signed for their children’s student loans. Fannie is eliminating the usual extra fee it charges for cash-outs, as long as the funds that borrowers withdraw pay off student loan debts.
  • If you have nonmortgage debts that are being paid for by someone else such as your parents, these will no longer be included in your DTI computation, provided the payments have been made steadily for 12 months. This should improve the DTI ratios of young buyers who are still getting a little help from their parents.

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.

Puerto Rico Files for Largest U.S. Municipal Bankruptcy

May 11, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Last week Puerto Rico filed for municipal bankruptcy with a total of $123 billion in debt and pension obligations. It is the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, far exceeding Detroit’s $18 billion bankruptcy filing in 2013.

Governor Ricardo Rossello said, “Given the deficit that we inherited, it is my responsibility to guarantee the best interests of the Puerto Rican people.”

The court proceedings could potentially make the island solvent again for the first time in decades. However, many of the prominent Wall Street firms who own Puerto Rico’s bonds are not too happy about the bankruptcy filing because they fear they won’t get paid back the money they are owed.

Puerto Rico has been in an economic recession for more than a decade and the unemployment rate is 11.5 percent.  The island’s financial crisis is so bad that Congress installed a Fiscal Oversight Board last year to call the financial shots. However, the board stopped negotiations with creditors last week and filed for bankruptcy.

While on the campaign trail, Donald Trump said he would not “bail out” Puerto Rico. He repeated that again in a recent tweet. His budget director also said that the White House pushed hard to ensure no federal dollars would go toward paying the island’s debts in the latest Congressional budget deal.

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://money.cnn.com/2017/05/03/news/economy/puerto-rico-wants-to-file-for-bankruptcy/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/business/dealbook/puerto-rico-debt.html?_r=1

400 Percent Increase in Scams this Tax Season

April 17, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to the IRS, there has been a 400 percent increase in tax scams during this year’s filing season, compared to last year. The IRS has issued warnings about the growing threat of scams as the end of tax season nears. Scammers use tax season to trick taxpayers into disclosing confidential information so they can access bank accounts, make fraudulent purchases, apply for loans and steal tax refunds.

The most common way scammers steal W-2s is through phishing emails. Hackers create a fake email address, posing as a CEO or CFO of a company and send a request to an employee in payroll asking for a PDF of all employees’ W-2s.

According to the Department of Justice, stolen identity tax refund fraud has affected hundreds of thousands of taxpayers and has cost the United States Treasury billions of dollars.

Other common scams claim there is an urgent situation requiring taxpayers’ immediate attention, such as an issue with processing refunds, additional forms or an audit warning.

The best way to protect yourself from tax scams is to know the signs:

  • Emails that appear to be from the IRS with suspicious links and attachments
  • Text messages that instruct you to call a toll-free number
  • Phone calls with pre-recorded messages that ask for confidential information

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.