Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

Which Type of Bankruptcy Eliminates the Most Debts?

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, several different options are available, depending on the filer’s financial situation and types of debt owed. Two of the most common forms of consumer bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy that wipes out most of your general unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills without the need to pay back balances through a repayment plan.

Bankruptcy Law

Timing is Important When It Comes to Filing for Bankruptcy

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, it is not always a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when.” Depending on a person’s financial situation, it can pay to properly time out a bankruptcy filing. Whether it is the right time to file for bankruptcy can depend on several factors including whether someone is facing foreclosure, vehicle repossession, wage garnishment, or any of the following.

Mortgage Modification

When someone is facing foreclosure, a few different steps can be taken to delay or even prevent the process. One of these solutions is through a mortgage modification. Homeowners facing foreclosure should try this approach first before filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Law

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Obtains Order Allowing Protections for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Client

Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken obtained an Order for his client in a Chapter 13 case (Case No. 20-10135-RAM), limiting the scope of permissible relief in a pending criminal contempt case. The Motion for Contempt seeks relief against Jeffrey Charlow and counsel, for proceeding with a criminal case pending against Kingcade’s client in Broward County, Florida.

The Criminal Contempt Case was initiated by an order entered by Judge Robert W. Lee in a civil case also pending against the client. The court determined continuation of the Criminal Contempt case was not a violation of the automatic stay, but imposed two important limitations protecting our client:  Judge Lee may not sentence our client to jail with an Order that expels the sentence if a fine is paid and payment will necessarily come from the property of the estate.

Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Steps to Take to Keep Your Home and Avoid Foreclosure

When someone is facing a difficult financial situation, one of the main concerns that person may have is losing his or her home. If a person is not able to pay day-to-day expenses, one of the biggest bills that will go unpaid is the mortgage bill. However, if the mortgage is not paid on time for more than 180 days, the lender may decide to proceed with a foreclosure action. The key is to respond quickly to avoid losing your home through foreclosure.

Bankruptcy Law

New Bankruptcy Laws Offer Relief for Veterans, Small Businesses and Farmers

President Trump signed legislation into law on August 23, 2019, that offers bankruptcy relief that will benefit veterans, small business owners and farmers. Now that these changes are being implemented, they will have long-lasting, positive effects when it comes to access to bankruptcy relief for these individuals.

The first piece of legislation is the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019. It doubles the debt ceiling allowed under the Bankruptcy Code for a “family farmer.”  This relief increases the number of farmers eligible to receive relief under Chapter 12 reorganization bankruptcy, which is a special form of bankruptcy that is designed to meet the needs of farmers facing financial difficulty.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?

One of the biggest concerns consumers have when it comes to filing for bankruptcy is how long will the bankruptcy remain on their credit report. While a bankruptcy does hurt a person’s credit score, the effect it has depends on several different factors. Ultimately, it depends on the type of bankruptcy being filed and the financial habits exercised by the consumer after the case is over.

Chapter 7

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will stay on a consumer’s credit report for ten years from the date of filing. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is also known has a liquidation bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy is normally used by people who have defaulted on their financial obligations and fall below a certain income threshold.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy trustee has the authority to liquidate the borrower’s nonexempt assets and use them to pay down qualifying debts. The remaining debts, which are mostly unsecured ones, are discharged. Chapter 7 forgives debts including credit card debts, medical bills and unsecured personal loans. Certain debts, including taxes, criminal fines, child support, spousal support, and student loans, are not discharged usually in a Chapter 7 case. Not all consumers can pursue a Chapter 7 case, however. They must first pass a means test to ensure that their income and asset-to-debt ratios satisfy the requirement to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A consumer’s credit score can drop by as much as 200 points after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, the alternative can be much worse if bankruptcy is not filed and the consumers ends up with multiple defaults and collections on his or her record. By exercising good financial habits over time, a person’s credit score can certainly be rebuilt.

Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans

FTC Takes Legal Action Against Corrupt Student Loan Debt Relief Companies

The case comes as a warning to student loan borrowers struggling with their debt and company’s looking to profit from it. The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on two student loan debt relief operations and the financing company that assisted them. The complaint is alleging the companies charged illegal upfront fees, led consumers to believe the fees would go towards reducing their loan balances, and falsely promised to permanently lower and even eliminate their balances.

The FTC has also charged the companies with locking its customers into high-interest loans and paying their fees without making required disclosures. This caused their customers to sink further into debt.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit

Tips for Renting an Apartment After Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy gives individuals a financial fresh start, relieving the stress of debt and collection calls.  However, declaring bankruptcy can add some additional obstacles to the apartment- hunting process, but not to worry: You can rent an apartment after declaring bankruptcy.  It comes down to the application process, and we have some important tips for you.

Honesty Is the Best Policy.

It can be tempting to want to hide the fact that you recently filed for bankruptcy, but unless the apartment or rental home is a property that does not require a credit check for rental applications, this fact will be discovered quickly. The last thing an applicant wants is for the landlord to find this out after the fact before the renter has any chance to explain the situation. If a bankruptcy is on the individual’s history, it is best to be upfront from the beginning. Honesty is the best policy.

Bankruptcy Law

Impounded Cars Cannot Be Held After Drivers File for Bankruptcy

Drivers in Chicago who are without their vehicles may be able to get their cars back from city impound lots after filing for bankruptcy, according to a new federal appeals court ruling. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the city’s policy of keeping impounded vehicles belonging to bankruptcy filers despite the fact that an automatic stay has been issued by the bankruptcy court is against federal bankruptcy law.

More specifically, the court argued that this policy essentially discourages drivers from filing for bankruptcy and violates the most basic of protections offered by a bankruptcy filing. It is the court’s belief that the city is doing this to generate revenue rather than help protect their constituents.

Eugene Wedoff, a retired bankruptcy judge who represented the debtors, argued that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case was meant to allow the filer to get back his or her life by putting property in the filer’s hands. By keeping these impounded vehicles away from their owners, they argue the city is violating their rights.

Bankruptcy Law

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Which option is right for you?

There are two types of bankruptcy available to consumers who are struggling with debt- Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Choosing the right one is critical to success in eliminating your debt. Below is a comparison guide to help you best decide which bankruptcy is right for you.

Chapter 7 is a form of liquidation and it is often considered the most straightforward type of bankruptcy. Consumers are essentially given a financial fresh start, oftentimes within three months of filing.

Contrary to the bankruptcy myths surrounding Chapter 7, it does not mean you will lose your home, car or retirement savings. In most Chapter 7 cases, filers do not have assets above the legal threshold, which is set by state law and therefore they do not have to lose anything- only their debt.  If a person is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, they can use Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions to protect valuable property.

Chapter 13 restructures your debt into an affordable repayment plan. The debtor’s obligations are combined into one monthly payment to the bankruptcy trustee, which is then distributed to the creditors. Chapter 13 takes into account your income and expenses, the amount of your debt, the types of debt, and even your property value when setting the repayment plan. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, Chapter 13 allows you to get caught up on these payments and save your home from foreclosure.

Chapter 13 plans can last anywhere from three to five years, but most are five-year plans.

If you are struggling to keep up with your Chapter 13 payments, or have recently lost your job or become ill, Chapter 13 may no longer be the right option for you. You can convert a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy at any time if you become eligible. Many of our clients are surprised to discover they never have to go to court or see a judge in order to convert their Chapter 13 filing to a Chapter 7.

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