Archive for: ‘August 2018’

The Truth About Credit Card Debt Forgiveness

August 31, 2018 Posted by kingcade

The thought of having your credit card debt completely forgiven can seem too good to be true. However, like so many things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The truth is, debt settlement comes with its own set of unintended consequences.

If a consumer is not able to pay off a credit card balance and has missed a number of payments, that person may choose to either work directly with the credit card company- or if the debt is sold, a third-party debt collector to settle payment. Credit card companies want to receive payment at the end of the day, and they are willing to accept less than what is owed in lieu of not receiving payment at all if the debtor chooses to file for bankruptcy and have the debt discharged.

The problem with debt settlement involves the consequences that come along with settling your credit card debt. For one, even if the balance is settled, it can still have a negative impact on a consumer’s credit score. In addition, if the amount that originally was owed is a lot more than the amount that ended up being paid, the difference is still considered taxable income by the IRS and state government, which means the consumer will have to pay taxes on the forgiven debt.

If you are successful in negotiating the amount with the creditor, make sure these agreements are in writing and be wary of any plans that seem too good to be true.  If you are receiving collection calls, unable to make payments, facing wage garnishment or have a lawsuit pending with a creditor, it is important to at least sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, who can advise you of all your options.

Consumers should avoid working with debt settlement companies.  The cons often outweigh the pros, as many of these companies engage in unfair practices, require their clients pay large upfront fees and result in a consumer’s credit being irreparably damaged, and still left with debt.

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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.

 

 

 

Women Hold the Majority of Student Loan Debt

August 30, 2018 Posted by kingcade

When it comes to who holds the most student loan debt, a recent report issued by the Federal Reserve showed that women carry the highest burden. According to the Federal Reserve data, the total amount of student loan debt is now around $1.52 trillion as of March 2018. Of this amount, women carry $900 billion.

Experts believe that this number is because more women are now attending college than men. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), 56 percent of college enrollees in the fall 2016 semester were female. In 2017, it was reported that 57.3 percent of college enrollees were females, which indicates an upward trend.

The data also indicated that women were more likely than men to take on student loan debt. According to the AAUW data for the 2015-2016 school year, 41 percent of all female undergraduate students signed onto a new student loan debt to go to school. Only 35 percent of male undergraduate students did in comparison. Of course, the numbers varied depending on the type of degree being sought, where the student went to school and the degree levels.

Not only were more female students taking out student loan debt, but the loan balances were higher for female students. In fact, the numbers showed that the female student loan balances were 14 percent more than their male counterparts. The female students ended up with around $2,700 more in student loan debt upon graduation than their male colleagues. It could be because the female students were reported as pursuing a graduate degree after undergraduate studies were complete, which only added to their already higher balances.

The problem with these numbers is once women graduate from college, the pay gap that exists between the two genders makes it harder for them to pay off their debts. According to Pew Research, women only make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes in the workforce. Women are also more likely to take time off from their careers to have children and raise a family, only returning to the workforce after the children are grown, which also puts them at a disadvantage for catching up to their male counterparts in income and in paying off their student loan balances.

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. There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan 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.

 

 

 

Resignation of Student Loan Watchdog Demonstrates Trump Administration’s Unwillingness to Protect Borrowers

August 28, 2018 Posted by kingcade

The recent resignation of the government’s chief watchdog of the student loan market has raised serious concern among advocates as to how the government will proceed with enforcement.  Seth Frotman, the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), resigned this week, in a letter that indicated his resignation came as a direct result of the current administration’s lack of protection for student loan borrowers.

Frotman’s letter was delivered to Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the CFPB. In the letter, Frotman stated that his departure was a direct result of changes at the bureau, including the lack of enforcement for violations and recent protection that bad lenders have received.

The purpose of the ombudsman position is to protect the interests of student loan borrowers, a number which has now been estimated to be approximately 42 million Americans. It is also estimated that the current figure of outstanding student loan debt is $1.4 trillion.

According to the deputy director of higher education policy at New America, Clare McCann, Frotman’s resignation seemed to come from his frustration in his inability to carry out his original mission when coming onboard at the CFPB. In his letter, Frotman stated, “You have used the bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America.”

The ombudsman is an important position, serving as the voice for 42 million student loan borrowers. Since 2008, the student loan ombudsman office has reimbursed over $750 million to borrowers who were victims of illegal lending practices and servicing failures.

Frotman has been the student loan ombudsman since 2016. He was key component in the current lawsuit against one of the largest student loan providers, Navient. It was the claim of the CFPB that Navient illegally cheated its borrowers from the right to lower their student loan payments.

The Navient lawsuit is still pending, and many are wondering if the company will be held responsible for its practices. If the ruling is lenient on the company, this will only further demonstrate the concerns advocates have for the direction that is being taken when it comes to representing the rights of student loan borrowers.

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. There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan 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.

 

 

 

Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Obtains Successful Order Requiring Miami Regional University to Release Client’s Diploma and Transcripts

August 27, 2018 Posted by kingcade

MIAMI – (August 27, 2018) Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade, founding partner of Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken successfully obtained an Order for his client in a Chapter 7 case (In re: Adriana Gonzalez Case No. 18-15980-RAM), requiring Miami Regional University to immediately release client’s education transcripts and diploma, and make no further attempts to collect on the discharged debt, in compliance with the bankruptcy automatic stay.

“Justice was served today for our client, who prior to this Order was being denied the basic protections of the bankruptcy automatic stay.  The creditor in this case (Management Resources Institute, which operates a for-profit school, Miami Regional University) has willfully and intentionally violated the automatic stay by refusing to release our client’s diploma and transcripts. After the bankruptcy case is over, our client will need certified copies of her transcripts, which would have been continually denied by the creditor in this case,” Kingcade said.

Our client filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on May 18, 2018.  The problems as described in the motion started on June 6, 2018 and have continued through the date of the amended motion. The creditor, Management Resources, Inc. d/b/a Management Resources Institute, which operates a for-profit school known as Miami Regional University was listed on the bankruptcy petition. The creditor in this case was verbally advised of our client’s status in bankruptcy and the pending automatic stay.  Our client returned at least twice to the school seeking her transcripts and diploma.

Henry Babani, Vice President of Corporate Finance for the Creditor in the case confirmed to our client that the underlying debt would be discharged in the bankruptcy, but unless she paid what was due, the Creditor would not release her diploma or her transcripts.

The stay violation has continued since our client’s first visit and since the filing of this motion. Even though the Creditor operates a nursing school (Miami Regional University) where this situation is likely to recur, the Creditor’s position is the automatic stay and/or a discharge in bankruptcy is irrelevant to our client’s right to receive a current copy of her transcript, her diploma or future certified copies of her transcripts.

Our client who is currently applying for jobs, which require these documents for employment, is in jeopardy of losing job opportunities because of the Creditor’s willful violation.

Given the continuing nature of the stay violation and Creditor’s untenable position regarding our ability to receive her transcripts and diploma (and the future right to receive certified copies of her transcripts) an award of punitive damages is warranted against Creditor as a coercive sanction to compel Creditor’s future compliance with this court’s automatic stay and/or discharge injunction.

This is not the first time our firm has obtained justice for a client in a similar circumstance, where a school willfully and intentionally violated the automatic stay by refusing to release student transcripts.  On December 21, 2016, a successful Order was obtained requiring Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, a Miami-based Catholic school, to release education transcripts in compliance with the bankruptcy automatic stay and to pay our clients’ legal fees.

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Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken was established by managing partner and bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client, clearly explaining the options according to the unique circumstances of his or her life. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care for the financially disenfranchised. All partners and associates at Kingcade Garcia McMaken specialize in consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure and have dedicated their practices to this area of the law. Additionally, all attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish.

 

For more information visit, https://www.miamibankruptcy.com/.

Homeowners Fight Unnecessary Foreclosure Fees

August 24, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Facing a foreclosure can be stressful enough but for a number of homeowners the banks where these loans originated added hidden fees on top of mortgages, after their cases were dismissed.

As a result, a class action lawsuit has been brought against the offending banks for these fees.

Zacarias Cabrera is one individual who is fighting several different banks over the past decade to keep his home from foreclosure. He is now a part of the class action suit. His troubles started in 2008 as he took care of his mother diagnosed with terminal cancer. He missed work due to having to his obligations and reached out to his bank after struggling to pay his mortgage. He was refused a loan modification, and the bank soon tried to foreclose on his home. The bank ended up dismissing the foreclosure case, but then it tried to foreclose again three years later. Again, the bank attempted to dismiss the case.

The problem came up when Cabrera noticed his monthly balance on his mortgage statements was much higher. After investigating further, he noticed the bank’s attorney fees were on the bill even though the case was dismissed on the bank’s motion. He is now facing a third foreclosure and has countersued for attorney fees that were added previously.

According to Florida law, to collect attorney’s fees, the individual must win the lawsuit and have the court specifically award these fees and costs as part of the ruling. If no winning party exists, it is assumed that each side is responsible for his or her own attorney’s fees.

The attorneys leading this class action lawsuit claim that adding these fees and not alerting the homeowner is a direct violation of the Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act. The banks should be aware of this fact, but are hoping borrowers’ will not know the difference.

In fact, it is happening quite frequently and has been said to be a result of the financial institutions taking advantage of the fact that the homeowners are not educated enough on the subject to know better or will not notice these fees on an already confusing billing statement.

If you have had a foreclosure case filed and then later dismissed by the bank, carefully review your statements. If any charges that are indicated as “corporate advances” or “legal fees,” it is highly possible that the bank has added these illegal fees to the statement. Contact an attorney as soon as possible and dispute these fees as soon as they are noted.

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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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.