Posts Tagged: ‘statute of limitations’

Steps to Take if Your Personal Debt Goes to Collections

June 5, 2018 Posted by kingcade

When someone is facing serious amounts of debt, it can feel like there is no end in sight. Odds are the individual is fielding continuous calls from debt collectors, all of whom are threatening legal proceedings if the person does not pay the debt owed. However, certain steps can be taken to help handle personal debt issues and hopefully avoid a lawsuit.

1. Review the Debt in Question.
The first step is to review the debt amount. Do not automatically trust what the debt collector is telling you, the debt they are attempting to collect could be expired or past the statute of limitations. It is recommended that the person facing the debt collection action first examine the information provided, research the collection agency that is reporting the debt and see if any discrepancies exist. The debtor has 30 days to verify that the amount is correct after the collection agency has contacted him or her. Take advantage of this time and carefully review the debt before making any payments.

2. Dispute an Incorrect Debt.
If, during this 30-day period, the individual discovers any figure that is inaccurate or unusual, it is recommended that he or she report this and provide proof that it is inaccurate. It is possible that the debt collection agency will clear up any discrepancy and adjust it as necessary.

3. Be Aware of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Not many individuals are aware that they do, in fact, have rights when it comes to collections. Simply because someone has missed a payment and has fallen delinquent does not mean that he or she has no rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that protects the rights of consumers against harassment and aggressive collection practices by third-party collection agencies. Take the time to review the law and to understand what these rights include.

4. Discuss Payment Options.
If the debt is valid, it can help to talk with the collection agency about payment options. At the end of the day, these companies would rather be paid than have the debt be discharged in bankruptcy. Talk with the company to see what payment options are available. The consumer should examine his or her household budget to see what can be done to make payments to repay this debt.

5. Negotiate the Debt.
Another option that many consumers do not realize they have is to negotiate the debt. Many debt collectors or creditors are quite open to discussing other options for payment. If the individual is facing extreme circumstances or hardships, the creditor or collector may be willing to at least reduce the amount of debt owed or extend the deadline for payment.

6. Know the Statute of Limitations.
Every legal matter comes with its own set deadline for when legal claims can be made. Every state has its own statute of limitation for how long debts can be pursued. It is important that the consumer research what his or her timeline is and know what actions affect this timeline.

7. Be Aware of the Timeline.
After the collection proceeding is over, the debt will stay on the person’s credit report for seven years. This seven-year timeline does not start from when the delinquent account was originally opened but rather seven years from the time it became delinquent. Being aware of this fact can help when negotiating a payment on the debt since a paid debt will be viewed more favorably than one that continues to remain unpaid.

8. Understand the Consequences.
It is equally as important that the individual know what the consequences are to leaving a debt unpaid for too long. It also helps to know what the consequences are of ignoring a legal action if one is eventually filed. If the person is sued, it is extremely important that he or she at least appear in court and respond. It can be tempting to just ignore the matter, but by not appearing in court, the individual is likely to lose by default judgment and could have their wages garnished.

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.

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.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Debt Collection Appeal

October 21, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal filed by Midland Funding, a subsidiary of Encore Capital Group, which was sued by an Alabama debtor named Aleida Johnson. Johnson entered into bankruptcy in 2014 and claims Midland Funding has sought payment of $1,879 in debt that Johnson had incurred more than a decade earlier. Alabama has a six-year statute of limitations for debt to be collected.

Supreme Court Justices will decide whether or not people can sue companies who have attempted to collect debts that they are not legally required to pay back due to their state’s statute of limitations.

It is common practice for some debt collection companies to attempt to collect on an old debt that is not legally recoverable under state law. However, if a debtor does not object to the payment, claims can be made against them when they enter into bankruptcy.

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 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.

Florida Supreme Court to Rule on Statute of Limitations in Foreclosures

February 17, 2016 Posted by kingcade

In Florida, there is a five-year statute of limitations that prevents banks from proceeding with a foreclosure beyond that time period, even after a lengthy court process. However, some mortgage servicers are making payments on behalf of their borrowers to help keep the accounts active in an attempt to preserve their foreclosure rights.

These servicers are waiting on the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on the case U.S. Bank v. Bartram. This case will determine if servicers can restart foreclosures after five years or if they will be barred by Florida’s statute of limitations.

If the court rules that mortgage servicers cannot restart the clock, some foreclosures could be permanently barred, forcing banks to accept less, give deals or greatly lower the monthly payment, according to the article by Moody’s Investors Service. Banks may also opt for a short sale in order to get any recoveries.

According to the report, the court’s ruling will impact a minor amount of cases. “Only approximately three percent of private label loans backed by properties in Florida had a prior foreclosure dismissed and are greater than 60 days delinquent or in foreclosure.”

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.

High Profile Foreclosure Case moves to Florida Supreme Court

November 30, 2015 Posted by kingcade

The Florida Supreme Court is in the final stages of determining when the clock starts ticking on mortgage foreclosure cases.  In the case of Bartram v. U.S. Bank, the now defunct law firm of David J. Stern filed a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit against Lewis Bartram of Ponte Vedra Beach back in 2006.  Years later, after the law firm shut down, with tens of thousands of foreclosure cases in limbo, U.S. Bank missed a case management conference and its foreclosure case was dismissed.

Thanks to the five-year statute of limitations on mortgage foreclosures, the case was revived and Bartram received another favorable judgment. But U.S. Bank appealed that ruling, and in 2014 Florida’s Fifth District Court ruled in favor of the bank, disregarding Florida’s five-year statute of limitations on mortgage foreclosures.

This was a sad day for struggling homeowners and a victory for the banks in Florida who continue to foreclose on loans that defaulted years ago. Many of those loans are referred to as “zombie mortgages,” or a foreclosure that has been started but not completed.

The issue in this case comes  down to mortgage acceleration. Most mortgage contracts carry an acceleration clause, which allows the lender to sue for the entire loan amount immediately, starting a five-year clock on the foreclosure process. But the Fifth District ruled that the court’s dismissal of U.S. Bank’s lawsuit in 2011 negated the loan’s original acceleration date that had been set in 2006, effectively resetting the acceleration date to 2011.

Two other Florida courts have issued similar rulings that uphold the Fifth District decision, but a court in Miami recently ruled against it, leaving it up to Florida’s Supreme Court to decide.   We will keep you posted – A ruling on this case is expected in the next couple of months.

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.