Posts Tagged: ‘FDCPA’

How do you know if it’s the IRS Contacting You?

August 11, 2017 Posted by kingcade

When the IRS contacts you, their first form of communication is through the U.S. Postal Service.  The IRS will NEVER initiate contact though email, social media or text messages.

Here are some additional ways the IRS will contact tax payers. It is important to be aware of these so you do not fall victim to an IRS-related scam.

  • An IRS agent or tax compliance officer may call you after mailing a notice to confirm an appointment or discuss an item for a scheduled audit;
  • Private debt collectors can call taxpayers for the collection of certain outstanding inactive tax liabilities- but only after the taxpayer and their representative has received written notice;
  • Private debt collectors for the IRS must respect taxpayers’ rights and abide by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

All payments should be made to the U.S. Treasury.  Taxpayers should never use a prepaid debit card or wire transfer to make a payment.  Specific guidelines to make tax payments can be found at irs.gov/payments.

IRS employees will NEVER:

  • Be hostile or insulting;
  • Demand payment without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount;
  • Require a specific payment method (i.e. – a prepaid debit card);
  • Threaten lawsuits, arrest or deportation for not paying;
  • Request credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

A special page on IRS.gov, “How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door,” helps taxpayers determine if a person claiming to be from the IRS is legitimate or a scammer.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.examiner-enterprise.com/business/20170806/how-do-you-know-when-irs-is-contacting-you

 

Debt Questions you may be Afraid to Ask

August 4, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Talking about debt can bring up all sorts of emotions, leaving some to worry in silence about their own debt or a family member’s finances.  Here some answers to some of the most common questions about debt.

Can I inherit my spouse’s or family member’s debt after they die?  This depends on the debt. The assets left behind after a death typically go towards paying off that individual’s debt.  After that runs out, the creditor typically suffers the loss.  Co-signers when it comes to student loans, mortgage debts and joint credit cards will likely be on the hook for any remaining balance.  Know the dangers co-signing a loan and make sure and carry enough life insurance to cover all of your debts.

Is there a limit to the amount of debt I can take on?  The answer is no, but it depends largely on the type of debt.  Lenders sometimes offer you more credit than you can pay back.  Think of a loan you would take out to start a new business or taking out a mortgage to purchase a new home.  Even if you qualify for the loan, be realistic about what you can afford to repay.

Can I be arrested for outstanding debt?  The answer is no.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) bars debt collectors from harassing and threatening you with arrest or jail.  However, they can sue you for payment.  Know your rights when dealing with debt collectors and consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before receiving a court summons or being sued by a creditor.

If I file for bankruptcy, will ALL of my debt be erased?  Alimony and child support obligations cannot be erased in bankruptcy.  Student loans, certain tax debts and judgments against you can be difficult to get discharged as well.

Click here to read more on this 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.

The Cost of Bankruptcy and How to Pay for It

August 2, 2017 Posted by kingcade

You are struggling financially and need to file for bankruptcy.  A common question is how I can afford the cost of hiring an attorney when I can’t even meet my bills?  Many people think they cannot afford to file for bankruptcy.  However, bankruptcy laws allow you to eliminate some debts and lower payments on others.   This now “freed-up” money, oftentimes hundreds of dollars a month, can be used to cover the cost of your bankruptcy attorney and filing fees.

The U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Laws were designed to give you a fresh start and a second chance when it comes to your finances.  

When it comes to the cost of bankruptcy, you will face two expenses: the court filing fees to handle your case and the attorney fees for your bankruptcy lawyer who files your case and represents you in court.

There are several types of bankruptcies to choose from, but the most common consumer bankruptcies are Chapter 7- where most of your debts are forgiven, and Chapter 13- where your debt is reorganized and restructured into a payment plan.

Filing fees remain the same nationwide, but your attorney fees can vary greatly, depending on location, the complexities of your case and your attorney.

  Chapter 7 Chapter 13
Filing fees $335 $310
Attorney fees* $500 – $3,500 $1,500 – $6,000
Total $835 – $3,835 $1,810 – $6,310

 

Here are some tips on how to pay for your bankruptcy:

  • Work out a payment plan with your attorney. Payment plans can vary.  Some lawyers allow you to spread the payments over six months, others over three months.  Most will want payment in full before filing your case.  The simple reason: Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most of your debts, so you would not be legally obligated to pay your attorney any outstanding fees after filing.
  • Raise the money. Try to earn some additional income.  Consider having a garage sale, selling items on consignment, on Ebay or Craigslist (i.e. – think old electronics, hand bags, etc.) or taking on a part-time job to earn some fast cash.

Consumers who owe debt know the fear associated with going to the mailbox, answering the phone when it is an unknown number.  This fear is eliminated once hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney.  Debt collectors must stop contacting you immediately and communicate only with your attorney- thanks to the protections in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/bankruptcy-costs-pay/

 

The New Age in Digital Debt Collection

July 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Experian announced a self-service platform named eResolve, which it says will let consumers negotiate and resolve past-due debts without ever speaking to a debt collector.  The latest technology in “digital” debt collection is allowing consumers to interact on their terms at any time of the day, using a digital channel that is more preferred over the traditional phone calls during dinnertime and having to deal with aggressive debt collectors.

TrueAccord, another digital debt collection technology says they have had “hundreds of thousands” in successful resolutions where consumers can easily click and tell them they have been victims of identity theft or had recently filed for bankruptcy so collection attempts can stop.

Negotiating debt through digital platforms seems to be more straightforward as well. For example, with TrueAccord a similar digital-type platform:  Debtors get an email with an offer such as making three payments with 0% interest, or 90 cents on the dollar if paid in full. Depending on what lenders say they will accept, a consumer who turns down that offer might get a subsequent pitch for an 80-cents-on-the-dollar settlement.  According to certain experts, this digital-based debt collection solves two problems. Chief among them: Regulatory issues. Computers do not call or text at the wrong times. They do not use profanity or threaten arrest to get you to pay, which are all in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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.

FTC Shuts Down Debt Collector for Allegedly Threatening Lawsuits, Arrests against Consumers Who Don’t Owe Anything

July 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on “Phantom” debt collection schemes that go after individuals for money they do not actually owe.  The FTC shut down an operation that collected more than $690,000 in fake debts by threatening consumers with lawsuits and arrests, a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

A court order has stopped the business operations of Hardco Holding Group and S&H Financial Group.  The debt collection operation is accused of using deceptive and abusive practices to collect fake debts.  Since June 2015, the companies and their operators Daryl M. Hall and Dequan M. Sicard illegally collected supposed payday loan and other debts from consumers using the threat of legal action and arrest.

Often, doing business as Alliance Law Group, the companies employed a two-step collection process. The complaint alleges the first step involved calling victims claiming that a lawsuit had been or would soon be filed against them due to an outstanding debt they owe.  The victim of the scam would then be provided with a phony case number for reference.

The FTC claims that during most of these calls, the operators of the scheme did not identify themselves as debt collectors. To make the collections seem legitimate, the FTC notes that the collectors would often possess or claim to possess individuals’ personal information, or claim to be from an unrelated, legitimate small business.

The reps advised callers that they could settle the action by making a payment over the telephone using a credit or debit card.  If the victim refused to pay immediately, collectors would threaten legal action and arrest.  The FTC charged Hardco and S&H Financial with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and seeks to refund individuals affected by the fake debt collection scheme.

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.