Posts Tagged: ‘Miami Bankruptcy’

Tips to Reduce Your Medical Debt

September 6, 2017 Posted by kingcade

When dealing with an unexpected medical bill, such as a trip to the emergency room or overnight hospital stay, one approach many consumers are taking is to negotiate the debt.  This trend is likely to continue.  According to a recent study, 20 percent of those 65 and older struggle to pay medical bills, and 30 percent of working adults with health insurance struggle with the same.  Almost half of Americans surveyed said they had trouble paying an unexpected medical bill of more than $500.

Whether your medical debt is the result of a high-deductible, out-of-network charge or procedure not covered by insurance, these tips will help reduce your medical debt.

  1. Be proactive. For a planned operation, make sure your insurance company covers the cost and the doctors and medical professionals working on you are ALL in-network.  Get a confirmation from your doctor  in writing or through email correspondence.  This will help you later if you learn an out-of-network provider was used.
  2. Research. Whether you are negotiating in advance or after you receive a bill, websites such as Fair Health and Healthcare Bluebook can help you determine what insurers pay in your area.
  3. Confirm the bill is correct. Ask your insurer if a portion of the bill will be covered or all of it.  Then call the provider that sent you the bill.  There may be some back and forth with this, so it is important to be patient- and persistent.
  4. Offer to pay cash. If you are able to pay most of the bill, offer to do so.  Medical advocates say they can often get a 15 to 20 percent “prompt pay” discount this way.
  5. Let them know if you cannot pay. If you are on a fixed income or struggling financially, letting the provider know you are not able to pay will give them a reason to offer you a discount or be placed on a reasonable payment plan.   If you cannot pay, tell them why you cannot pay.  Some states require hospitals provide free or reduced care to consumers within certain income limits.  Florida is one of these states.

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, 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.consumerreports.org/medical-billing/six-smart-steps-for-lowering-medical-bills/

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/

 

Supreme Court Supports Bids to Collect Expired Debts in Bankruptcy

May 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Voting 5-3, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that debt collectors can use bankruptcy proceedings as a means to collect old debts, where the statute of limitations has expired. The court ruled that this was not a violation of the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Consumer advocates accused debt collectors of violating the law by filing tens of thousands of outdated claims with bankruptcy courts in hopes that some debtors would not object.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion in which Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan joined. “Professional debt collectors have built a business out of buying stale debt, filing claims in bankruptcy proceedings to collect it, and hoping that no one notices that the debt is too old to be enforced by the courts.  Debt collectors do not file these claims in good faith; they file them hoping and expecting that the bankruptcy system will fail,” Sotomayor wrote.  This practice is both “unfair” and “unconscionable,” she added.

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.

 

New Legislation If Passed Would Allow Student Loan Debt to be Discharged in Bankruptcy

May 15, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Bipartisan legislation was introduced last week by Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., that would allow student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy.

The Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act (H.R. 2366) reforms federal bankruptcy rules to establish parity between student loan debt and other forms of debt. Rep. John Katko, R-New York, is the lead republican co-sponsor of the bill.

Currently, student loan debt is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.  The only exception is if a filer can prove undue hardship, which is extremely difficult in most circumstances.  Last year, total student loan debt hit a record high of $1.3 trillion dollars.

Click here to read more on this story.

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.

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/