Kingcade Garcia McMaken, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Kristina Gonzalez Named Partner at Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A.

The Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristina Gonzalez to the position of Partner with the firm.

“We are delighted to have Kristina become a Partner with the firm. Kristina is an exceptional bankruptcy lawyer and is the perfect fit to support our firm’s growth and positioning as the leading consumer bankruptcy law firm in Miami,” said Timothy S. Kingcade, the firm’s Managing Partner.

Ms. Gonzalez focuses her practice on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, foreclosure defense, and debt settlement. Kristina represents debtors throughout the bankruptcy process – initiating petitions, guiding debtors through meetings, depositions, and litigation with the trustee and advocating for debtors before the bankruptcy court.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

How to Manage Credit Card Debt After Losing a Job

Many South Floridians are finding themselves out of work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This loss of income can be devastating and make it difficult to continue paying monthly expenses, including credit card debt.

Before the crisis hit, credit card debt had reached an all-time high after the Federal Reserve reported that the fourth-quarter of 2019 credit card debt increased by $46 billion to $930 billion nationwide. It is expected that balances will only increase as Americans find themselves shut in with limited income being earned. Additionally, serious delinquencies were on the rise at the end of 2019, and these numbers are also expected to trend upward, specifically for consumers between the ages of 18 and 29.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Credit Card Debt Can Be Bad for Your Health, According to Recent Study.

Having large amounts of credit card debt can not only stress you out, but according to a new study it can also be bad for your health. The high levels of stress associated with the debt can get so serious that it can adversely affect the person’s health, according to a study from CompareCards.com.

According to the report, fewer cardholders can pay their balances in full at the end of each month. Anything left on those balances roll over to the next month and are compounded even more by interest. Before long, those balances inch closer and closer to the maximum balance allowed. One in three consumers surveyed by WalletHub reported being fearful that they will max out their credit cards when making a large purchase. Most of those polled said they considered a large purchase was anything more than $100.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

How Small Business Owners Can Protect Assets in Bankruptcy

Many business owners worry about what will happen to their companies and their business assets when facing bankruptcy or a lawsuit. It is important for any business owner that he or she creates an asset protection plan for these exact types of situations.

The first step is to develop a debt management plan for the business. Having debt is not always a bad thing. The key is to manage the debt in an intelligent manner to stay out of trouble.  Business loans will usually involve offering business assets as collateral, which means that if the business owner ends up defaulting on the loan, the lender can seize the collateral to pay the debt. Some lenders will require borrowers to sign a personal guarantee if the collateral is not enough to cover the debt.

Bankruptcy Law, student loan debt

How to Handle Zombie Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt has been known to haunt borrowers for years, if not decades, after that first loan is issued. Many borrowers find themselves on payment plans that can least up to 25 years. To them, a student loan is like a mortgage without the benefit of having the house to live in. Once the debt is paid in full, the last thing that person wants to think about again is that loan. However, for many borrowers, that debt never seems to go away and often comes back in the form of zombie debt.

Most forms of debt are limited by a statute of limitations, which governs how long a creditor can sue the borrower for the debt. Federal student loans were once governed by a six-year statute of limitations until 1991 when that statute of limitations was lifted. Now they are technically collectible indefinitely. Private student loans, however, are still limited by statute.

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, Debt Relief

How Is Debt Handled in Divorce?

When a couple goes through a divorce, their property and finances are not the only thing that is divided in the legal proceedings. Many times, couples end up having to divide debt. The following rules determine how debt is handled in divorce.

Equitable Distribution

In Florida, property and debts are handled using the concept of equitable distribution. Many states require that property and debt be divided equally under the concept of community property, but Florida requires more of an equitable or “fair” division of assets and debts. This normally results in a relatively equal division, but equitable does not always result in a precise, equal division.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

How to Protect Your Home in Bankruptcy

When facing the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, whether it be Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the thought of losing your home can be frightening. In fact, losing one’s home can be one of the biggest concerns holding someone back from filing for bankruptcy. The lawyers at Kingcade Garcia McMaken work hard to protect people from losing their assets in a bankruptcy case, including the filer’s home.

Automatic Stay

One of the first protections filers receive when proceeding with any type of bankruptcy case is the automatic stay. The automatic stay keeps creditors from continuing any collections actions, and it immediately goes into effect after the bankruptcy petition is filed.

student loan debt

A Growing Number of Bankruptcy Filings Are Being Driven by Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt is playing a large part in many recent bankruptcy filings, according to a recent study from LendEDU. According to their data, 32 percent of people filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy report having some amount of student loan debt, showing that student loan debt is definitely a growing concern when it comes to consumers considering filing for bankruptcy.

LendEDU reported that, of this 32 percent of total consumers, student loan debt made up almost half of their total average debt. The student loan debt crisis is said to be reaching an all-time high with the total national amount exceeding $1.5 trillion.

According to the Student Loan Hero, the average undergraduate student leaves with $29,800 in student loan debt. This figure does not even begin to consider those students who must take out more loans to pay for necessary expenses or other students who continue with graduate studies. Many of these students end up carrying six figures of student loan debt after graduation.

The data reported by LendEDU only covers filers who are pursuing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and not a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is an option that offers a restructuring of debt over the course of three to five years.

This LendEDU study points to an even bigger problem involving the burden student loan debt places on young consumers. Many of them struggle with keeping up with basic living expenses, on top of their student loan obligations, which makes it very easy for them to fall behind in payments. Eventually, many of these borrowers feel they have no other choice but to declare bankruptcy to pay them off. The bankruptcy may not end up discharging their loans, but it will erase other debt that makes it hard for them to continue paying their obligations. Student loans are normally non-dischargeable in bankruptcy cases, which is a large part of the problem.

Taking these facts into consideration, this would mean that if the people surveyed by LendEDU who fall in the 32 percent carrying student loan debt, they will only receive partial relief through the average bankruptcy case. If 49 percent of their debt is still considered non-dischargeable, that is still a large sum to continue paying following a bankruptcy discharge.

Borrowers must prove that paying their loans  would be an undue financial burden, a legal standard which has traditionally been very difficult to meet. Movement is being made towards possibly fixing this issue by allowing student loan debt to be treated just like any other unsecured debt in a bankruptcy case.

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.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/people-filing-for-personal-bankruptcy-carry-student-loan-debt-2019-6

 

Credit, Debt Relief

The Dangers of Subprime Auto Loans

Having a car for most of us is a necessity, especially if someone wants to get a job and maintain employment. However, the purchase of a vehicle can be tricky for those struggling financially. For many car buyers, a subprime auto loan seems like the perfect solution. However, these types of loans are often more trouble than they are worth, and we caution consumers before using them to finance a vehicle purchase.

What Is a Subprime Car Loan?

A subprime auto loan is a loan aimed at borrowers who have lower credit scores to help them purchase a vehicle. They are offered by various lenders, including larger national banks, as well as smaller finance companies. Many subprime car loans are offered through online lenders, appealing to those who need quick financing.

Disadvantages of Subprime Car Loans

Many different downsides exist to using a subprime auto loan to purchase a vehicle, including the following:

  1. High Interest Rates: Because subprime car loans are normally targeted towards borrowers with lower credit scores, they come with higher interest rates. In fact, subprime car loans can have interest rates that are three times what a borrower with good credit would receive. These high interest rates are meant to offset the risk the borrower poses to the lender, but what results is the borrower making higher payments for a longer period of time on a car that is nowhere near the value of the loan owed on it.
  2. Subprime Car Loans Are Expensive: Because of the high interest rates that accompany subprime car loans, the total amount the purchaser ends up paying can be significant. In fact, a large amount of what the purchaser ends up paying on a monthly basis is solely interest that serves as profit for the lender and makes no dent in the principal owed.
  3. Aggressive Debt Collection Tactics: If the purchaser is not able to keep up with payments on the subprime loan, the situation can get ugly very quickly. Some of the less-than-reputable subprime lenders have been known to be quite aggressive when it comes to collecting on a subprime loan. If the loan was obtained through a larger bank, some of these lenders may be willing to work with the borrower on a payment plan, while others will go directly to collections or even repossession of the vehicle. The last thing a borrower with a low credit score needs is a default or collection on his or her credit report, but the high interest rates on these loans can make it very difficult to keep up with payments.
  4. Vehicle Tracking for Repossession: Not every vehicle that has been purchased through a subprime loan comes with this feature, but it is a common practice for subprime auto lenders to use electronic trackers on the cars to make finding the car easier in the event the vehicle is repossessed. Other devices have been known to completely disable the car if a payment is missed or until the lender gets the car back. The problem is the purchaser may not even know this device is on the car until it is too late. If the borrower believes he or she is going to be late on a payment, it is best to let the lender know in the event this device is installed on the vehicle.

Avoiding a Subprime Car Loan

Many different options exist for a borrower who has bad credit and who still needs to purchase a car. One common solution is to find a co-signer with good credit to help get the loan. Another option is to find a second-chance lending program to purchase a car. Many lenders offer these types of programs to their customers who have less than perfect credit. However, not all lenders offer these types of programs.

In the event a borrower has no choice but to accept a subprime car loan, it is recommended that he or she keep up with payments. After a year or so of regular and consistent payments, the borrower may be able to refinance the loan with a better interest rate and loan terms.

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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.