Posts Tagged: ‘Florida seniors’

More Seniors Taking Out Loans Against Their Homes – But at What Cost?

August 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

An increasing number of seniors facing foreclosure are opting to take out reverse mortgages on their property, according to recent federal data.  A reverse mortgage allows cash-strapped seniors to borrow against the equity in their home that has built up over the decades- but it also comes with financial risk.  Property owners are still responsible for keeping up with other charges, including the taxes and insurance on the property.

A HUD report issued last fall found that nearly 90,000 reverse mortgage loans held by seniors were at least 12 months behind in payment of taxes and insurance and were expected to end in “involuntary termination” in 2017.  That is more than double the number the year before.

More than 18 percent of reverse mortgage loans taken out from 2009 to June 2016 are expected to go into default because of unpaid taxes and insurance, according to the HUD report.

The federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has warned seniors about deceptive advertising practices when it comes to reverse mortgages.  Last year, the federal agency fined three companies — American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions and Aegean Financial — for alleged false claims, misleading seniors to believe that if they took out a reverse mortgage they would not have to make monthly payments or face foreclosure, leaving out the risks of failing to pay property charges.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

New HUD Budget Wording Threatens Reverse Mortgage Protections

August 15, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A slight change to the wording in a proposed HUD budget request could lessen the protections of reverse mortgages and increase the risk of foreclosure for some elderly homeowners.  The wording change affects 2-year-old provisions in federal housing rules that award certain rights and protections to the spouse of a borrower who takes out a reverse mortgage and later dies.

This wording change could increase the chances that the surviving spouse who did not sign the documents could lose their home in foreclosure.

Senators Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D.-Nev.) sent a joint letter to Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and the Budget, seeking clarity on the proposed wording in the budget request and asking whether the agency was seeking to reverse the earlier policy change.

The fact that there has been no response from HUD raises concern.  Before this change in policy two years ago, a surviving spouse who had not signed the mortgage document often had to pay what was left on the loan in full or was at risk of being evicted, due to the home going into foreclosure.

In the letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the senators referred to the old policy as a “loophole” that had “compounded the stress faced by widows and widowers at a time when they were already grieving the loss of their spouse.”

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

 

Senate Approves Legislation to Fight Scammers who Target the Elderly

August 10, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A new law protecting seniors, The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, passed unanimously and strengthens the federal reporting system for fraud complaints and requires the FTC to monitor fraud schemes targeting seniors.

This story and thousands more like it prompted the new law:

A Duluth elderly mother had picked up the phone to happy news. She had won the lottery- $2.5 million and a new Mercedes!  But before she could claim her prize, the contest organizers needed something from her.  You can probably guess what it was.  In a matter of days, the phone scammers had defrauded the 82-year-old woman out of $47,000, forcing her into bankruptcy.

Seniors are extremely vulnerable and face a constant influx of lies and scams to their mail boxes, inboxes even their phones. These phony contests, fraudulent charities, fake investment opportunities, even scams involving their supposed “grandchildren” who got in trouble overseas and need money wired to them, immediately- all attempt to drain seniors’ of their hard-earned life savings.   A new fraud scheme targeting seniors appears almost daily, according to a fraud investigator for the AARP.

The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 strengthens the federal reporting system for fraud complaints and requires the Federal Trade Commission to monitor the market for fraud schemes targeting seniors.

This bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish an office within the Bureau of Consumer Protection to advise the FTC on the prevention of fraud targeting seniors and to assist the FTC in monitoring the market for mail, television, Internet, telemarketing, and recorded message telephone call (robocall) fraud targeting seniors.

The office must: (1) disseminate to seniors and their families and caregivers information on the most common fraud schemes, including methods of reporting complaints either to the FTC’s national toll-free telephone number or to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, where complaints become immediately available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, state attorneys general, and other appropriate law enforcement agencies; (2) provide, in response to a specific request about a particular entity or individual, publicly available information regarding the FTC’s enforcement action; and (3) maintain a website as a resource for information on fraud targeting seniors.

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.startribune.com/senate-signs-off-on-legislation-to-fight-scammers-who-target-the-elderly/438744333/

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/81

 

Tips for Seniors Struggling with Credit Card Debt

May 2, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you are a senior struggling with credit card debt, you are not alone.  For the first time, middle-class households headed by someone 50-plus years of age carried more credit card debt on average than households of people younger than 50, according to a recent study by Demos National Survey on Credit Card Debt.  Half of the respondents said they carried medical debt on their credit cards and a third said they used credit cards to pay for daily expenses.

Seniors carry credit card debt for a variety of reasons.  Some are still paying off educational loans or their children’s educational loans.  Many seniors are carrying credit card debt into retirement.  The debt may have been management when they were working, but has become a burden when their income level drops.  Oftentimes, medical debt compounds the problem, as health insurance only covers a portion of healthcare costs.

Here are some tips for seniors to help take control and manage their credit card debt:

  • Find a nonprofit credit counselor.  The sooner you seek help, the better.
  • Contact your credit card company to see if you can work out a payment plan.
  • Adjust your lifestyle. Cut your expenses (i.e. – expensive cell phone plans, cable and Internet packages);
  • Get help with budgeting. Paying off your debts only works if your spending is under control.  Know where your money is going every month.  Making a few small changes  to your monthly expenses can add up and give you more money to pay down debt.
  • For medical debt, talk with your doctor’s office to see what your options are. Avoid medical credit cards they may offer you; these come with very high interest rates, regardless of your credit score.
  • Consider a reverse mortgage. There are many ways you can use your home to get through difficult financial times, but there are risks associated with taking this route.  Make sure this will solve your financial problem without adding to it.
  • Consider bankruptcy. If you are struggling with insurmountable credit card or medical debt, bankruptcy may be right for you.  This option will allow you to reorganize your financial situation and discharge your debts if you cannot pay them.  There are several different types of bankruptcy, so you want to carefully weigh your options.  Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations and will advise you on the best course of action.

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 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.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/04/09/seniors-rising-credit-card-debt-squeezes-tight/100102614/

 

Struggling with Student Loan Debt after 50? You’re not alone

February 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Student loan debt is no longer limited to the young.  In fact, Americans age 60 and older are the fastest-growing population of student loan debtors.  Those seniors who are living month-to-month on fixed incomes are the most likely to default.  When this happens to borrowers 65 and older, the government can seize a portion of their social security benefits, even if this pushes them into poverty.

Approximately 20,000 Americans 50 years of age and older had their Social Security checks cut below the poverty line in 2015 because of student loan debt.

Many have accumulated the debt helping their children or grandchildren, either by borrowing directly or co-signing on loans.  As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford their loan payments while also paying for food, housing, prescriptions, and dental and medical expenses.

Many seniors who are carrying federal student loan debt are eligible for income-based repayment plans, where borrowers can pay as little as zero dollars per month or may even qualify to have their loans forgiven after a specified period of time.

But loan servicing companies have not made it easy for borrowers to enroll in the programs or even let them know it was an option.  This deprives seniors of information about payment plans that would allow them to meet their loan obligations without having to skimp on food or necessary medical care.

The federal government needs to make this group a priority, which means ending the practice of garnishing the Social Security benefits of poor or disabled student loan debtors.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/opinion/haunted-by-student-debt-past-age-50.html?_r=0