Posts Tagged: ‘Florida seniors’

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.

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