Posts Tagged: ‘Florida seniors’

Seniors See Rise in Personal Debt

April 26, 2018 Posted by kingcade

While personal debt can affect people of all ages, few are affected by it more than seniors who are already living on fixed incomes.  A recent study by the Washington, D.C.-based Employee Benefit Research Institute highlights the risk of financial strain that comes with aging.  Researchers found that between 1992 and 2016, a higher percentage of American families headed by people age 55 and older are struggling with debt.

The increase in those carrying debt has been most prevalent among families headed by those age 75 and older, where the percentage rose from 31.2 percent in 2007 to 49.8 percent in 2016.  The debt is coming from different sources. A number of seniors are helping their children and grandchildren attend college by co-signing student loans.  In fact, the number of people age 60 and older with student loan debt as quadrupled in the last 10 years to 2.8 million, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford the monthly payments while also paying for necessary food, housing, prescriptions, and medical expenses. The trouble begins for many seniors when they begin using credit cards to pay for basic living expenses.

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

More Seniors Struggling with Student Loan Debt

January 17, 2018 Posted by kingcade

More than 5 million people began paying off federal student loan debt between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  And not all of them were young people.

The number of borrowers over the age of 60 with student loan debt has quadrupled over the past decade in the United States.  Of the more than 5 million people, 580,671 of them — or 11.5 percent — defaulted on their loans. This is a slight increase from the previous year’s 11.3 percent and the first time the percentage has increased in the last five years.

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

Seniors living month-to-month on fixed incomes are most likely to default.  When this happens to borrowers 65 and older, a portion of their social security benefits can be seized by the government.  Many seniors who are carrying federal student loan debt are eligible for income-based repayment plans, but student loan servicing companies have not made it easy for borrowers to enroll in these programs or even let them know it is an option.

For Florida seniors 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 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.dcourier.com/news/2018/jan/12/more-seniors-citizens-have-student-loan-debt/

 

Seniors and Bankruptcy: The Reasons Older Americans Are Filing

November 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Medical debt is the No. 1 cause of personal bankruptcy filings in the United States and a key reason more seniors are filing for bankruptcy.  Another reason for the uptick in bankruptcy filings among Americans 50 and older is the rising cost of healthcare.  We recently did a posting on Tips for Seniors to Avoid Medical Debt. The 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act made it more difficult for some consumers to qualify for bankruptcy, but it did not change the number of people who had more debt than they could afford to pay.

Making matters worse for older Americans are the collection practices of unscrupulous debt collectors. A recent report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that debt collection was the most-complained about product or service for consumers over 62.

Bankruptcy brings with it emotional relief and getting their case filed and debts discharged relieves so much stress for our clients.  Seniors can protect assets through bankruptcy. Social security, 401(k)’s, pensions, qualified profit-sharing plans, and individual retirement accounts worth up to $1.245 million are all exempt from creditors during bankruptcy. This means that retirement income and savings are out of reach and protected under federal law. Protecting equity, which is the value of a property, minus the amount owed, is important for seniors. Using a homestead exemption, designed to protect the equity of a main residence in a bankruptcy, will usually keep retirees from losing their homes. Florida homeowners can take advantage of the fact that Florida does not have a limit on the equity that is exempt.

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.

Tips for Seniors to Avoid Medical Debt

November 6, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Open enrollment began November 1, 2017 for health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act.  On October 15, open enrollment began for Medicare recipients.  For many seniors, Medicare enrollment is a complex process that does not always cover all medical bills and expenses.  As a result, some seniors are left with thousands of dollars in medical debt.  Here are some ways seniors can stay one step ahead and avoid medical debt:

Set savings aside to cover unexpected medical expenses.  A recent analysis found couples may need as much as $350,000 for medical bills post retirement.  Factor this amount in when saving for retirement.

Understand Medicare options and costs. Remember to sign up for Medicare at the right time. Most people are eligible to enroll in Medicare beginning three months before their 65th birthday. Enrollment continues until three months after they turn 65. You can choose standard Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. The second option offers lower out-of-pocket costs, but a higher monthly premium, for coverage through an HMO or PPO.

Gather all personal information and keep it organized.  Have this information readily available so a loved one or caregiver can help manage your healthcare if you are hospitalized or unable to do so.  This should include a daily list of medications, medical providers, your medical history and medical and legal documents such as advance medical directive and a will.  Here is a checklist to help manage your personal medical information.

Review medical bills carefully.  A recent study found that 49 percent of Medicare medical bills contain errors or unnecessary charges. When you receive a bill for a procedure, hospitalization or nursing care, take time to review it for accuracy. If you received only a total due, request an itemized list of services provided.

Avoid putting medical expenses on a credit card.  More than half of adults over the age of 50 put medical bills on their credit cards, according to a recent survey by AARP.  Request an affordable payment plan from your medical provider.

Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney 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, 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://www.wrex.com/story/36647166/8-must-dos-for-seniors-who-want-to-avoid-medical-debt

 

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.