Posts Tagged: ‘Miami bankruptcy attorney’

The Dangers of Medical Credit Cards

June 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A medical credit card can help you cover an unexpected medical expense or procedure, but it is important to know the costs associated with these type cards.  Offered at most doctors and veterinary offices nationwide, medical credit cards are designed to spread out the payments on medical-related bills you cannot afford to pay upfront.

Approval rates for these cards are high- you can even get approved right at the doctor’s office, according to CreditCards.com.  These cards offer a type of financing called “deferred interest,” which sounds appealing in theory, but beware of the consequences.  If the balance of the card is not paid in full by the end of the agreed-upon payment period, you are hit with all of the accrued interest at one time, which is typically a very high interest rate.  For example, CareCredit’s APR is 26.99%, while the average credit card has an interest rate of around 16.5%.

Something else to remember: the promotional financing applies only to “healthcare-related” expenses, so if you use the card to buy groceries or fill up your gas tank, you will incur interest charges if you do not pay the bill in full during the billing cycle- even if it is within the promotional period.

One of the top medical credit card companies, CareCredit has come under fire when it comes to their lending and enrollment practices.  CareCredit was forced to refund customers$34 million in 2013 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for deceptive enrollment practices, because consumers thought they were signing up for interest free cards.

If you have medical debt, the best option is to work out a payment plan with the doctor’s office or hospital.

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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.

 

Mark Your Calendars: Starting July 1, certain negative marks will vanish from credit reports

June 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Starting July 1, many people with tax liens, civil judgments and certain medical debts will see a boost to their credit scores.  The three largest credit bureaus- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, will no longer report a tax lien or civil judgment on a consumer’s credit report if it does not include the person’s name, address and either their social security number or date of birth.  Existing liens missing this information will also be expunged.

Consumer-friendly changes will also be made to the way medical debts are reported. According to the new rules, bureaus will not display medical collections until at least six months after the account became delinquent.  They will also remove any existing medical collections that insurance companies have paid or are paying for.  After the liens and judgments are expunged, some consumers can expect to see their credit score increase by as much as 40 points- enough to affect a loan approval or the terms.  The leading scoring company, FICO, estimated that out of 200 million “scorable” consumers, roughly 12 million will have a lien or judgment disappear from their report.

Starting July 1, the credit bureaus also will check lien and judgment data every 90 days to make sure the information is still accurate. These changes come as credit bureaus have been put under pressure from regulators and state attorneys general to improve the accuracy of credit reporting.  To confirm their data is correct, consumers should get a free copy of their credit report from each of the three bureaus once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

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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, 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 to Remember When Applying for a Balance Transfer Credit Card

June 19, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Some debt is unavoidable and not always a bad thing, like taking out a mortgage to purchase your new home.  But if you are carrying a lot of high interest credit card debt, you may have trouble reaching certain financial goals.  One of the most effective ways to pay off the credit card debt quickly is by transferring the balance over to an interest-free credit card.

Here are three helpful tips for using these cards.

  1. Read the fine print. Do this carefully and find out what your credit limit will be. You will not be able to transfer more than the limit and if you exceed that limit, you will likely face a fee.  Find out if there is a penalty, APR.  That is when the credit card company increases your interest rate to 25 – sometimes 30% if you pay a single bill late or commit another violation of the terms & conditions (usually listed in the fine print).
  2. Choose your card wisely. Balance transfer credit cards vary and typically offer initial interest rates at 0%, but beyond that there are some big differences.  Remember, the 0% interest rate will only last between six and 12 months, after that a more standard interest rate will apply- and typically not a good one.  In addition, a lot of balance-transfer cards will charge a balance transfer fee.  The fee will typically be between 3% and 5% of the sum of what you are transferring.  For example, if you are transferring $20,000 and paying a 4% balance transfer fee, it will cost you $800.
  3. Pay off your debt within the “promotional” period.  To make the most of your balance transfer, set a goal of paying off the debt before the 0% rate expires. This will require you curb your spending habits.  Canceling your cable package and instead streaming movies and TV shows can save you $1,500 or more a year.  Take your lunch to work three days a week, instead of eating out every day.  Making small changes like this to your daily routine can really add up.

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, 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://host.madison.com/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/tips-to-know-before-applying-for-a-balance-transfer-credit/article_4e4cac08-515f-59a6-aaff-d3175e8af42a.html

 

Supreme Court will not Expand Debt Collection Abuse Law in Santander Case

June 16, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to expand a federal law protecting consumers against harassment and threats in debt collection attempts.  The court unanimously upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a proposed consumer class action lawsuit against the auto-lender Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. over allegations it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The case came down to the definition of “creditor” and “debt collector” and whether a company that buys debt should be treated as a creditor, not subject to the the collections law.  The law applies only to companies that collect debts on behalf of others and does not apply to businesses like Santander who purchases the distressed debt from other companies after it defaults, the Supreme Court ruled.

The ruling was the first written by the court’s newest justice, Donald Trump-appointee Neil Gorsuch, who wrote that any changes to the law should come from the U.S. Congress, not the court.  The four Maryland residents who had defaulted on their car loans filed the proposed class action lawsuit in 2012 in federal court, accusing Santander of violations of the debt collection law including misrepresenting debt loads and bypassing the debtors’ lawyers.

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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, 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.marketwatch.com/story/supreme-court-wont-widen-debt-collection-abuse-law-in-santander-case-2017-06-12

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-debt-idUSKBN1931NA

 

The Surprising Debts Holding Many Americans Back

June 15, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent survey, student loans and credit card bills are not the only debt holding many Americans back.  Credit Sesame, a site consumers can use to check their credit score, analyzed more than 5,000 user accounts and found they had significant amounts of debt from medical expenses, utility bills and cell phone charges.

Consumers whose medical debt had gone into collections had an average of three accounts, with a combined total of $3,670 in collections.  The average balance for customers who had cell phone bills in collections totaled $887 per account.  Customers whose utility bills were in collections owe $368 on average per account, the study concluded.

Not surprisingly, having those bills in collections hurt consumers’ credit scores.  The average credit score for someone whose medical debt is in collections is 552.  Those who have delinquent cell phone accounts have average scores of 550.  And those who have outstanding utility bills have a score of 542.

Lenders see applicants with lower credit scores as riskier than applicants with higher credit scores.  They oftentimes make you pay for this risk by charging a higher interest rate.  A poor credit score can affect your ability to rent an apartment, as landlords often check an applicant’s credit score before allowing you to sign a lease.

Utility companies may require you pay a deposit before setting up your service.  Even certain jobs and employers can discriminate against applicants who have a less than perfect credit report. Certain jobs, particularly those in upper management or the finance industry, require a good credit history.  Note: employers check your credit report and not your credit score.  They are not necessarily checking for bad credit, but for items that could affect your job performance.

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, 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.thebalance.com/side-effects-of-bad-credit-960383