Bankruptcy Law

How to Know which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for You

Making the choice to file for bankruptcy is not an easy decision to make, but it is the first step towards a financial fresh start. However, choosing which type of bankruptcy to pursue can be a difficult decision to make.  

Typically, consumers choose between a Chapter 7 “liquidation” bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 “reorganization” bankruptcy. Both forms of bankruptcy have their positive attributes, as well as their negative ones, and it ultimately depends on the consumer’s financial situation and the goals he or she wants to achieve as to which type of consumer bankruptcy will be best for him or her.  

Bankruptcy Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

Coronavirus and the Changes it has had to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

The coronavirus pandemic has affected our country in so many ways. It has also affected the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, specifically through the recently passed $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Within the CARES Act were revisions to parts of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, meant to help small businesses and consumers during this difficult time. The CARES Act amended the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA), which temporarily increased the debt threshold for filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy relief. The debt threshold increased from $2,725,625 to $7,500,000. After one year, the threshold will go back down to the original amount.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Debt Relief

How a Bankruptcy Affects Co-Signers

To obtain financing or approval for a loan, many consumers will resort to asking a loved one or family member to co-sign the loan for them. If the individual is not able to continue paying on the loan and defaults, the lender will be able to seek payment on the debt from the co-signer. However, what happens when the borrower who took out the loan files for bankruptcy? Does the co-signer receive relief from the obligation, as well?

What is a Co-signer?

A co-signer or guarantor is a person who takes on a financial obligation along with a borrower who often either has poor credit or limited credit. Deciding to sign a loan as a cosigner is more than just being a reference, a co-signer or guarantor is responsible for paying back the debt if the borrower is unable to do so.

A lender may see the borrower as a lending risk and will require him or her to find someone with a more solid financial history to co-sign the obligation. A co-signer may be needed for a personal loan, a student loan, an application to rent an apartment or other space, or a lease on a car, equipment or furniture. The responsibilities that accompany co-signing a loan are more than being a second signature on a lending application. By co-signing, that person is essentially taking on full responsibility for the loan in the event the original borrower defaults.

While a bankruptcy discharge may relieve the borrower, who is defaulting on the obligation, from responsibility or liability on the debt, the discharge does not always lift this burden from the co-signer on the debt. It often depends on the type of bankruptcy being filed as to what type of protections co-signers have regarding their debts.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

At the time of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filer will receive protection from collection on his or her debts through the automatic stay. However, protection from the automatic stay does not also extend to any co-signers on debts. This lack of protection leaves the creditors completely free to pursue collection on the debt from the co-signers on the loan.  If the borrower wishes to maintain a good relationship with the co-signer, it may be wise for him or her to take certain steps to protect the co-signer. The person may choose to reaffirm the debt, especially if it involves a secured debt, such as a home loan, car loan or other secured credit account. By reaffirming the debt, the borrower is giving up the benefit of bankruptcy discharge on that specific debt. Many creditors will accept payment plans or partial payment on the debts in lieu of receiving nothing. If they discover the co-signer has substantial assets, they may be less likely to accept anything other than full payment, however, so this may not be a possibility.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case does not offer much protection for co-signers, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case offers a little more. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a three-to-five-year long repayment plan, which gives the borrower more time to pay off the co-signed debt. When a Chapter 13 case is filed, the automatic stay issued will protect both the borrower and co-signer from collection on any consumer debts, which is called the Chapter 13 co-debtor stay. The stay will be in effect unless the court lifts it upon request of a creditor or dismissal of the case. The co-debtor stay may also be lifted if the bankruptcy court converts the Chapter 13 case to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Otherwise, a co-signer will receive considerably more protection under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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.

Related Resource:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/cosigner-liable-debt-file-bankruptcy.html

 

 

Bankruptcy Law, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

When to File for Bankruptcy

Coming to the decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy choice to make. Many individuals consider bankruptcy to be an admission of failure, but it can oftentimes be the only way for them to truly obtain a fresh financial start. Certain decisions and factors must be considered when coming to the decision to file for bankruptcy.

One consideration that often holds people back from making the decision to file is the effect the filing will have on their credit. The effects of bankruptcy on a person’s credit score depends on the score the filer had before filing for bankruptcy. If you have a higher credit score, the effect the bankruptcy will have will be more noticeable. However, if you have a lower credit score to begin with, the change may not be as much after filing for bankruptcy.

It helps to sort through the myths and facts before making that final decision, and if you do choose to file for bankruptcy, this does not mean all hope is loss. There are proven ways to rebuild your credit score after bankruptcy, and our clients are proof!

My credit score said on all three reports 775, I couldn’t believe that I had such a great score before 10 years. Tim for me was the best move I have made for my situation. I have no regrets, I am glad the past is the past. – Bill T.

Hi Tim- I just wanted to send a quick note and thank you and your team for handling my bankruptcy case.  It is only a month or two after discharge, and my credit scores are already in the upper 600’s. – C.S.

Traditionally, two of the biggest reasons people file for bankruptcy are the result of a serious medical crisis or a divorce. Both can cause a person’s financial situation to change overnight. Even if someone has medical insurance, a major medical crisis can still put them in a tough financial spot, especially if that person must pay a high deductible for his or her medical costs. The same goes for a divorce and losing the financial support of another person in a relationship.

Several factors need to be considered when deciding which form of bankruptcy to choose. Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes approximately three to six months to have the debt discharged, which includes most of the filer’s unsecured debt, including medical bills, credit card debt and personal loans. Other types of debt are excluded for the most part, including student loan debt, child support, spousal support and tax obligations. The bankruptcy trustee may choose to sell of non-exempt property to pay off the debt, although most property falls under an exemption- which means you can keep it. Property that is secured and is associated with a piece of property, like a home, can be kept so long as the debtor is able to keep up on payments and maintain the property. Therefore, if most of your debt involves credit card debt or medical debt, Chapter 7 may be the best option for you to eliminate this burden.

If you are behind on your mortgage payments but want to keep your home, many times, the Chapter 13 filing is a more logical choice. In a Chapter 13 case, you can lump past due mortgage payments into the repayment plan and pay them over time while keeping current on payments.

The bankruptcy means test determines whether or not you are eligible to file for debt forgiveness through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The test uses factors such as: income, expenses and family size to determine who can afford to repay their debts through reorganization and who cannot.

It is always recommended that you speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before making any decision to file or not file. If you are expecting a large lump sum payment, such as an inheritance or tax refund, the attorney may advise you to wait on filing and utilize that money on needed expenses first before filing to avoid losing it in a bankruptcy. Be honest with your attorney during this meeting and fully disclose all your financial circumstances so that the best decision can be made.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/pay-down-my-debt/debt-guide-file-bankruptcy/

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Reinstate Your Driver’s License

Filing for bankruptcy can provide different forms of relief for individuals facing financial crisis. Bankruptcy can help lift the burden that comes with facing collection calls, wage garnishment and related lawsuits, and provide you with a fresh financial start. However, many people are surprised to learn that you have options to have your driver’s license reinstated through bankruptcy.

The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend your driver’s license for a number of different reasons, and one of those reasons for suspension can include debt, although many individuals are not aware of this as a possible consequence.  If your license was suspended due to outstanding debt, it is possible that bankruptcy can help eliminate this debt, allowing your license to be reinstated.

The most common reason for why an individual’s license would be suspended due to debt is if the person was involved in a car accident and either did not have insurance or was under-insured. If he or she was found to be at-fault for the accident and did not have the money to pay for the other person’s injuries or property damages, the at-fault driver could end up losing his or her license, especially if a judgement is entered against them.

The consequences of losing your license can be far reaching. Not having the ability to drive can put you in an even more difficult financial situation, especially if you depend on driving to get to and from work or take your children to school or daycare. If you do not have adequate public transportation available to get you to your job and are not able to rely on the assistance of others, not having a license can result in you losing your job, thus making your financial situation even worse. It can be nearly impossible to make the money to repay the debt, digging that person further into a debt hole.

If your driver’s license has been revoked due to your debt, you can either pay the debt in full, or, if you do not have the funds available, consider filing for bankruptcy. Debts that are associated with car accidents are often considered dischargeable debts and are thus discharged when the bankruptcy case is successfully closed.

As long as you include the car accident and insurance company in your list of debts, you can have your driver’s license reinstated through bankruptcy. However, it is required that your license be eligible for reinstatement. For example, if you were not carrying auto insurance before the accident you will have to show proof of insurance before your license is reinstated.

See what one of our clients has to say about having their license reinstated through bankruptcy and their debt burden lifted…

Posted by Daniel on AVVO.com on December‎ ‎11‎, ‎2018

Driver License Back – Thanks to the professional work from Timothy Kingcade I enjoy the pleasure to have My Driver’s License back. Now to make money selling cars… Thanks…

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.

 

 

Bankruptcy Law

Timothy S. Kingcade Rated One of the TOP 3 Bankruptcy Lawyers in Miami

Best Bankruptcy lawyers in Miami
 

MIAMI – Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been rated as one of the Top 3 bankruptcy lawyers in Miami, FL.

“It is an honor to have received this award,” said Timothy S. Kingcade. “It is a testament to the commitment my firm and I make every day to each and every one of our clients.”

Three Best Rated® was created with a simple goal of finding the top 3 local businesses, professionals, restaurants and health care providers in each city. The selection process involves a 50-Point Inspection and includes everything from evaluating the attorney’s reputation and history, complaints, ratings, satisfaction, trust and cost to the general standard of excellence.

Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade practices exclusively in the field of bankruptcy law, handling Chapter 7 and 13 filings and foreclosure defense cases for the Southern District of Florida.  As an experienced CPA and proven bankruptcy attorney, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of their rights under the bankruptcy laws to restart, rebuild and recover.

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Miami-based Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. 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, P.A. 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.