Kingcade Garcia McMaken, Lawyers in the News

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Receives the Prestigious AVVO Clients’ Choice Award 2021 for the Eighth Consecutive Year

Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken has received the 2021 AVVO Clients’ Choice Award. To obtain this award, an attorney must receive five or more exceptional client reviews in the same year. Kingcade has been awarded the Clients’ Choice Award for the following years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

One of attorney Kingcade’s clients had this to say on AVVO: Mr. Kingcade helped me 20 years ago, and I went back to him 20 years later. He provides amazing service, promptly gets back to you with the answers to your questions. Hands down this is the place to go for all your Bankruptcy needs.

Bankruptcy Law

What are the Credit Counseling Requirements in Bankruptcy?

Whenever a person files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she must submit proof that a credit counseling course from a nonprofit credit counseling agency was successfully completed. The purpose of this course is to help the filer determine whether he or she can pay his or her debt outside of bankruptcy and provide proper financial guidance to prevent an additional bankruptcy filing in the future.

What Is Required?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), all bankruptcy filers must take an approved credit counseling course prior to filing. The U.S. Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program keeps a list of approved programs if filers are not sure where to go. Proof of completing a program must be submitted before the bankruptcy case can proceed further. In fact, this proof must be submitted within 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. The filer will normally walk away from the credit counseling program with a repayment plan, if a plan is realistic, although nothing in the FTC rules requires the filer to follow that specific plan.

Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Student Loan Debt Relief Scams to Watch Out For

Student loan debt is an issue for many Americans, and for a great number of them, the situation has become a desperate one. This fact could be why so many borrowers are falling prey to student loan debt relief scams.

It is estimated that the national total student loan debt is well over $1.5 trillion. The average student loan borrower in 2018 is carrying just shy of $30,000 in loan debt, according to Student Loan Hero. This figure only represents what the average undergraduate student owes. For a graduate or professional degree, the borrower may end up with student loan debt well into six figures. With this much debt, borrowers can be paying on their loans for decades, which is why many of them jump at the opportunity, when presented, to get some sort of relief on their debt.  The problem is these “relief opportunities” end up being more trouble than they are worth.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

When Can a Credit Card Company Garnish Your Wages?

When someone is facing a credit card collection action, the last thing that person wants is to have his or her wages garnished by the credit card company. However, credit card companies do have the right to garnish a cardholder’s wages, just like any other creditor.

Before credit card debt can be collected, it must be considered delinquent.  At the time a person gets a credit card, he or she enters into an agreement to make monthly payments. If these payments are not made on time, that contract is considered broken and the debt delinquent. Once this happens, the credit card company is within its right to collect on the debt. Normally, missing a credit card payment results in a significant interest rate hike, but if the debt goes unpaid for too long, the credit card company can file a legal action to collection on the debt.

This step is where garnishment comes into play. Credit card companies cannot garnish the cardholder’s wages without first filing a legal complaint to collect on the debt and serving the complaint on the cardholder. The accountholder has a chance to respond to the complaint and file an answer within a set period of time. If he or she does not respond, the credit card company can obtain a default judgment against the cardholder, speeding up the process. However, if the cardholder does respond, the credit card company must prove that the debt is owed at a hearing before a judge.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans

Student Loan Borrowers Diagnosed with Cancer Still Waiting for Promised Relief

In September 2018, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law, allowing student loan borrowers who have been diagnosed with cancer to delay their federal student loan payments. This new law was created to allow these individuals to focus on their treatment and not their student loan obligations through the course of their medical treatment and six months afterward. However, just nine months after the law took effect, borrowers who have requested this deferment are still waiting for approval.

The delay seems to be due to the U.S. Department of Education not yet providing student loan providers that administer its federal student loan programs an official application through which qualifying borrowers can apply. While the law may be in effect, service providers have no way to implement it.

The Department of Education insists that they are taking steps towards resolving this problem and creating an application for the cancer deferment. However, many borrowers are questioning why this was not done previously. As of January 2019, the Department of Education asked that the Office of Management and Budget conduct an emergency review and approval of the cancer deferment form created.

The Department of Education is also requiring a 60-day comment period on the proposed form, which is delaying the process even further. With cancer patients, time is of the essence. Many consumer advocates question why the comment period was not shorted to 30 or even 15-days.

Student loan servicers are offering temporary forbearances for borrowers who are seeking the cancer deferment. However, forbearance does not stop interest from accruing on the debt while payments are paused. Deferment, on the other hand, puts payments on hold while pausing interest from accruing, as well.

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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 Law, Credit, Debt Relief, Student Loans, Timothy Kingcade Posts

New Data shows 43 Percent of Credit Card Holders Have More Than $15,000 in Debt

According to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt is the highest it has ever been in the U.S. In December, American’s had a total of $1.029 trillion in credit card debt. This means the average household had $8,732 in credit card debt. A survey conducted by Student Loan Hero reported that 43 percent of credit card holders surveyed had more than $15,000 in credit card debt and 58 percent had at least $6,000 of credit card debt for more than a year.

The Federal Reserve also reported that the average interest rates on credit cards are approximately 14.99 percent, which makes it much more difficult for Americans to pay off their debt.

Carrying a consistent credit card balance is detrimental to your financial well-being. One option that is often overlooked by cardholders is getting a credit card consolidation loan. According to Student Loan Hero, only 52 percent of cardholders that have more than $6,000 in credit card debt have consolidated.

Below are three ways credit card consolidation loans may help you.

  1. They typically come with lower interest rates than credit cards do, meaning you are paying less in the long run.
  2. Installment loans set firm repayment plans, unlike credit card companies. This means you are more likely to pay off your debt when making your minimum payment each month.
  3. They combine your payments. This comes in handy if you have debts across multiple credit cards.

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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 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.

Credit, Student Loans, Timothy Kingcade Posts

How To File For Bankruptcy with Student Loan Debt

For consumers struggling with significant debt, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option to provide you with a fresh start. If your debts consist of federal student loans, it is not an easy process to get these discharged in bankruptcy; however, it is possible.

The first thing you must do is to decide whether you will file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the goal is to get unsecured debt wiped out. This means, you have little disposable income available to pay off your debts. If you choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your plan is to get your debts restructured in order to repay some of it. This also means you likely have some disposable income to repay part of your debt.

The most important part of your case when you have student loan debt is that you must prove “undue hardship” to the court. This means that you must prove that you cannot pay back your federal student loans. In order to prove undue hardship, you and your bankruptcy attorney must file a petition called an adversary proceeding, which is unique to bankruptcy involving student loan debt.

In most courts, The Brunner Test is used to evaluate hardship. Below are 3 factors of The Brunner test outlined by the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office:

  • The filer cannot maintain a basic standard of living if paying back federal student loans
  • The filer can prove the hardship will last for a large percentage of the repayment period
  • The filer honestly tried to repay the loans before filing

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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 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 Law, Credit, Debt Relief

Steps to Take if a Creditor Has Seized Your Bank Account

If you owe a debt to a creditor or a collection agency, they can legally seize your bank account and take back what is owed. However, agencies are supposed to notify debtors about the lawsuit beforehand. Unfortunately, creditors can take everything in your bank account and leave you with nothing if it is the same amount or less than what is owed.

Although your options are limited, here are three of your best options at this point.

  1. File Bankruptcy. If a creditor seizes your account and you immediately file for bankruptcy, you may be able to recover some or all of the money that was in your account. In some states, you can “exempt” those funds that were seized from your bank and the creditor would be forced to return it.
  2. Contest the Lawsuit. You may be successful in contesting the lawsuit if you were not properly served.
  3. Stop using your Account. If the first two options fail, it may be in your best interest to avoid keeping funds in your bank account. Creditors may continue to seize your funds until the balance is paid in full.

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 attorneywho 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.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Debt Relief

Things Not To Do Before Filing Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the list of actions to avoid is just as important as the list of things to do before filing. If you do not avoid these simple decisions, it may prevent you from getting debt relief.

  • Do not transfer assets out of your name. Doing so raises huge red flags in bankruptcy court, particularly if the transferal of assets occurs right before bankruptcy filing. In some cases, hasty asset transfers may be illegal.
  • Do not use a credit card for large cash advances. Many filers choose to max out their credit cards before filing for bankruptcy because they fear losing credit later or they assume the debt will be discharged. However, if someone has no intention of paying money back, it is considered fraud.
  • Do not pay off a preferred creditor. Oftentimes, bankruptcy filers try to pay off debts with friends and family members before filing. However, bankruptcy court may make them give the money back so other creditors can get their share.
  • Do not make large purchases. It may seem like a good time to make large, expensive purchases since your debts are about to be discharged, however; the bankruptcy court may consider these purchases fraudulent.

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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 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 Law, Credit, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

4 Tech Tools to Help you Get Out and Stay Out of Debt

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, household debt has reached almost $13 trillion as of September 30, 2017. If you are hoping to get a handle on your debt in 2018, here are a few tech tools to help you reach your goal.

  1. Make a Payoff Plan: Unbury.Me

Unbury.Me is a free online tool that allows users to create an account, list all of their debt and map out a payment plan to suit their needs. The app allows users to either use the “avalanche” method, attacking the highest interest rate debt first, then moving to the second highest and so on or the “snowball” method, which focuses on the lowest balance first.

  1. Attack Debt Subconsciously: Qoins

Qoins rounds each of your purchases to the nearest dollar, then applying that cash to your student loan or credit card debt. Nearly $1 million in spare change has been saved since the app launched in January 2017. To sign up, you log in and link your financial account to begin saving.

  1. Meet Payoff Goals Via Savings Goals: Digit

A great strategy for paying off debt is being able to do so without having to think about it. Digit is an app that analyzes your spending habits to gauge the right amount of money to auto-save for your goals. It only transfers an amount it thinks you won’t notice and the cash is moved from your checking account to an in-app savings account. You can also set a goal amount for a certain debt and once you have saved that amount, it will notify and congratulate you.

  1. Avoid Future Debt by Rethinking Credit: Debitize

If your goal is to pay off credit card debt, it is a good idea to put your plastic in a drawer and lock away the key until you have reached your goal. If you have paid off your credit card debt or you are hoping to avoid accruing more debt, Debitize is an app that will help you avoid more credit card debt. The app enables users to think of credit more concretely by automatically withdrawing the funds to cover any purchase you make immediately – then paying off the balance on your behalf within a day or two. Users end up with a credit card balance of zero each month.

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.