Posts Tagged: ‘filing for bankruptcy’

What Bankruptcy Can and Cannot Do

January 4, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Bankruptcy can be used as a powerful financial tool to eliminate debt and allow you to push the restart button on your finances  However, filing for bankruptcy does not eliminate all debts and before you file it’s important to know which debts will be discharged and which ones will remain.

Here are some things filing for bankruptcy can do:

Eliminate credit card debt and other types of unsecured debt. Your credit card debt is considered unsecured debt, which means the creditor does not have a lien on any of your property and cannot repossess any items if you fail to pay the debt. This is the exact type of debt bankruptcy is designed to eliminate. Other types of unsecured debt include: utility bills, medical bills, personal loans, payday loans, etc.  Most debts are unsecured.  Primary exceptions are home and auto loans, which are almost always secured.

Stop creditor harassment and collection attempts. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) limits the tactics that debt collectors can take to collect on a debt.  When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay immediately goes into effect and stops creditors from having any sort of contact with you.  They must now communicate only with your attorney.

Here are some things bankruptcy cannot do:

Eliminate child support and alimony payments. Child support and alimony payments cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. You will continue to owe these debts in full.

Eliminate other non-dischargeable debts.  These include debts for personal injury or death caused by intoxicated driving, fines and penalties imposed for violating the law, etc.

Eliminate student loan debt, except in very rare circumstances. Student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy only if you can show that repaying the loan would cause you “undue hardship,” an extremely difficult standard to meet. You must not only be able to show you cannot afford to pay your loans right now, but that you have very little likelihood of ever being able to repay your loans in the future.

Prevent a secured creditor from repossessing property. A bankruptcy discharge eliminates debts, but it does not eliminate liens.  So for secured debts, where the creditor has a lien on your property (and can repossess it if you do not pay the debt), bankruptcy can eliminate the debt, but it cannot prevent the creditor from repossessing the property.

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 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.

10 things you should NEVER do before Filing for Bankruptcy

March 7, 2016 Posted by kingcade

  1. Run up credit card debt. Credit card charges that exceed a certain amount are considered abuse under bankruptcy law if they are made within 70 to 90 days of the bankruptcy filing. A bankruptcy trustee can exclude that debt from your bankruptcy case.
  2. Purchase a luxury item. If you purchase a luxury item within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy for at least $500, it is considered abuse under bankruptcy law. This means, the bankruptcy trustee has the authority to exclude that purchase as well.
  3. Take out a large cash advance. Cash advances that exceed $750 and are made within 70 days of a bankruptcy filing are presumed to be an abuse and will most likely be thrown out by the bankruptcy trustee.
  4. Sell valuable property. Bankruptcy trustees have the authority to revoke any fraudulent sales or transfers made before a bankruptcy filing. Transferring property raises a red flag because the trustee will assume the transfer was made to avoid losing the property.
  5. Pay off a debt to a relative. In bankruptcy cases, relatives are considered “insiders.” Bankruptcy trustees can force “insiders” to return payments or rescind property sales that were made just before a bankruptcy filing.
  6. Access funds from your retirement. Federal bankruptcy law protects retirement accounts. Florida is one of seven states where all IRA’s are considered a bankruptcy exemption. Under Florida Statute 222.21, IRAs and Roth IRAs are completely protected by debtors in bankruptcy court.  Another exception in most states is if a living spouse is the beneficiary of the IRA, they are allowed to treat it as their own in bankruptcy court and it is therefore, exempt. If you try to use money from your retirement account, you may still end up filing for bankruptcy and drain your retirement savings.
  7. Foreclosure, garnishment or repossession. Bankruptcy can protect you from collection actions, but only if you file before a collection action has begun in court. If you wait too long, you risk losing your home or car.
  8. Utilize a secured loan. Secured loans are considered non-dischargeable debts in bankruptcy. If you are searching for alternative solutions before filing for bankruptcy and take out a secured loan against your vehicle or home, you may ultimately lose them if you cannot make the payments.
  9. Take out loans or make credit purchases you don’t intend to repay. Bankruptcy trustees have the authority to look back a year or more to decide if a purchase on credit was an abuse because the filer never intended to repay the cost of the item.
  10. Not consulting with a bankruptcy attorney. You should talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can look at your financial situation and provide advice on whether or not bankruptcy is the right step to take.  These consultations are oftentimes free of charge. Do not rely on friends, family or your own judgment.  Seek expert advice.

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.

Detroit the Latest City to File Bankruptcy?

May 17, 2013 Posted by kingcade

A recent report by Detroit’s emergency manager declares that the city is broke and at risk of running completely out of money. This financial meltdown could mean employees do not receive paychecks, retirees lose their pensions and residents endure even deeper cuts in municipal services.
If Detroit cannot bounce back from this devastation, the only remaining option appears to be bankruptcy. In March 2012, Detroit borrowed $80 million from Bank of America to avoid running out of money. However, in the last year there has been no improvement. The budget deficit that a few months ago was believed to be about $327 million could reach $386 million before July 1. The city also owes more than $400 million, including $124 million for public improvement projects. Its long-term debt tops $14 billion.

Click here to read more about the latest city on the verge of filing bankruptcy.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

How to Rebuild your Credit after Filing for Bankruptcy

May 15, 2013 Posted by kingcade

A poor credit score can affect everything from your credit card and mortgage interest rates to your insurance premiums. It can even affect your employment prospects. Repairing credit takes time, but it’s not impossible. If you are in the subprime category because of a foreclosure or bankruptcy, below are some steps you can take to start improving your credit and getting your score above the all-important 700 mark.

1. Get a secured credit card: A secured credit card can be a good payment method to keep you out of debt. If you deposit $500 to your card, your credit limit becomes $500. Make sure that the issuer reports your activity to the three main credit bureaus (i.e. – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) to help raise your score.

2. Use Retail or Gas Cards: As your credit score improves with secured or prepaid cards, you will eventually qualify for retail cards from department stores and gas stations. The interest rate on these cards is often high making it essential that you don’t hold a balance beyond the grace period.

3. Beware of Quick Fixes: Do not pay a lot of money to somebody promising to rebuild your credit in a short amount of time. There are no quick fixes. It will take time to repair your credit, but you will likely have a score above 700 before the bankruptcy falls off your report.

Click here to read more about how to improve your credit after filing for bankruptcy.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

Dealing with Creditors and Debt Collectors While Filing for Bankruptcy in Florida

October 12, 2011 Posted by kingcade

One of the reasons that many people file for bankruptcy is that they are being harassed by debt collectors, or are facing wage garnishment and foreclosure, and they know they cannot turn around their financial situations without help. Filing bankruptcy stops all collection actions, including home foreclosure, but while people are in the process of filing a bankruptcy petition, they are often still dealing with creditors. Following some simple steps can reduce the stress of debt collectors bothering a person filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Protections

One of the most attractive benefits of bankruptcy is the stay of all foreclosure, garnishment, repossession and utility shut-off actions by creditors. Once a person files a bankruptcy petition, all of the person’s assets become part of the bankruptcy estate for the trustee to distribute to the creditors according to their priority under the law. Creditors cannot try to take money or other assets from the bankruptcy estate because it would potentially be “cutting in line” in front other creditors who have a higher priority.

Tips for Dealing with Creditors While Filing Bankruptcy

If a creditor is harassing a debtor with phone calls and letters during the time the debtor is filing the bankruptcy petition, the best course of action for the debtor is to inform the creditor that he or she is in the process of filing bankruptcy and that any actions to collect will be in vain.

It is advisable to keep all communications with the debt collector brief and only inform them of the upcoming bankruptcy petition. Many debt collectors will say things that are upsetting to the debtor or try to get the debtor to say things contrary to his or her interest. Writing a letter to the creditor is one possible way of ensuring that the communication is limited.

However, if a creditor has already obtained a judgment against a debtor against the debtor, the creditor may be motivated to act even more aggressively upon hearing the news that the debtor is filing bankruptcy by garnishing wages or bank accounts. The creditor cannot take more than $600 or the bankruptcy court will likely call that a “preference” and make the creditor return it. However, creditors may rush to garnish wages or accounts and take just under $600, knowing that they will likely be able to keep it and that is possibly the only payment they will ever see on the debt. In such a situation, the only remedy is to file the bankruptcy petition as quickly as possible.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. 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, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.