Bankruptcy Law, Credit Card Debt, Debt Collection

Important Tips to Know about Credit Card Debt Forgiveness

Credit card debt plagues so many today. Even with the economic stimulus relief, some consumers are having to utilize credit cards to make ends meet. Escaping the load of credit card debt can seem like an impossible feat. Whenever someone offers a way out or credit card debt forgiveness, it can be easy to jump to accept the offer. The problem is credit card debt forgiveness can be more complicated than simply having the debt forgiven.   

Not All Debt Forgiveness Strategies Are Equal  

Credit card debt is forgiven usually from two strategies, namely debt settlement or bankruptcy. Many consumers try a third strategy, which involves ignoring the amount owed until the statute of limitations has passed for collecting on the debt.  However, the damage that can result to the consumer’s credit score as a result of this failed strategy make it often not worth the wait.  

Patience Is Required  

Debt settlement is not an immediate process. The debt settlement process involves working and negotiating with the creditor or collection agency, if the debt collection process has gotten to this point. The longer the consumer waits to work with the creditor, the harder his or her credit will be hit, especially if the account moves from delinquent status to “in default” or “collections.” It can take several months or even longer to work with the creditor or collection agency on negotiating the settled amount. For this reason, many consumers choose to hire a debt relief company, so long as the company is reputable and does not require the consumer to charge fees upfront. 

Credit Score Damage 

Both credit card debt settlement and bankruptcy will affect the consumer’s credit score. By the time the consumer has gotten to the point of settling or forgiving the debt, however, the damage has already been done. Missing payments, having accounts go into default, and being on the receiving end of a collections case will also hurt the consumer’s credit score, just as much if not worse than bankruptcy or debt settlement.  

The consumer’s credit score can rebound with good financial habits after the matter is finalized. Eventually, the bankruptcy case or debt settlement will fall off the person’s credit report, too. Debt settlement will stay on the consumer’s credit history for seven years while bankruptcy cases will stay for ten years.  

Legal Assistance May Be Needed 

Many consumers do not feel equipped to handle the negotiation process alone, especially if they decide to pursue bankruptcy. Whether it be a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney can guide the consumer as to the wisest choice for him or her.

Alternative Methods

If the consumer does not want to pursue debt settlement or bankruptcy, other methods can be used to pay down the debt, including the snowball and avalanche methods.  Both accomplish the same goal of eventually paying down the debt through prioritizing certain debts over others.  The snowball method focuses on paying off the consumer’s smallest balance first before paying down the one with the next smallest balance until all credit cards are paid in full. Alternatively, the avalanche method starts with paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate first and continuing this trend with other cards until all are paid in full.   

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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.   

Bankruptcy Law

How Often Can a Person File for Bankruptcy?

If you have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past and have found yourself facing financial trouble again, it is possible to file for bankruptcy a second time.  In fact, approximately eight percent of bankruptcy filers end up needing to file again at some point. Ultimately, how often someone can file for bankruptcy protection depends on the type of case he or she filed initially, as well as how much time has passed since that first case.  

One of the more commonly used forms of consumer bankruptcy is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy also known as a “liquidation” bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy lasts a few months, allowing the filer to work closely with the bankruptcy trustee to sell any nonexempt assets to pay off qualifying debts. At the end of the case, the remainder of the filer’s debts, which are usually credit cards or other unsecured debts, are discharged. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another form of consumer bankruptcy, also known as a repayment or reorganization bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filer works with the bankruptcy trustee on a repayment plan, which lasts anywhere from three to five years, where the person pays off his or her debts, liquidating what is left at the end of the case.  

Bankruptcy Law

What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy? 

The bankruptcy process is meant to give consumers who are struggling financially a fresh start. However, many consumers hold off due to the fear of filing for bankruptcy, even if it is the best option. Bankruptcy cases have both positive aspects, as well as negative ones, that go along with beginning and successfully finalizing a case. It is important to understand how a bankruptcy case works before moving forward with filing so that the person filing knows what to expect.  

Automatic Stay 

One of the most positive aspects of proceeding with a consumer bankruptcy case is the automatic stay that accompanies the filing. As soon as a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is initiated, an automatic stay of all collection efforts against the filer is issued. What this means is the consumer’s creditors are temporarily blocked from moving forward on collecting any outstanding debt. This stay also stops wage garnishments, foreclosures, or completion of legal collections cases. The purpose of the automatic stay is to give the consumer a chance to work with the bankruptcy trustee on determining how various debts should be handled. A creditor can file a request to continue collection even though an automatic stay has been issued, but they can only continue if the request is granted.  

Bankruptcy Law

The Fear of Bankruptcy is What Keeps Many Consumers from Filing

The fear of the unknown is a powerful force. Unfortunately, the fear of filing for bankruptcy and the unknown keeps many from proceeding with a bankruptcy case, even when it is the best option.

It is for this reason that only a small portion of American consumers file for bankruptcy annually, even though many of them could benefit from either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. While many different reasons exist for this failure to file, a misunderstanding of the process and fear of taking that first step keeps them from moving forward.    

Bankruptcy Law

Applying for a Mortgage After Bankruptcy

One of the biggest worries that filers have when proceeding with a bankruptcy case is how the matter will affect their ability to obtain financing in the future, including a mortgage for a new home. While a bankruptcy case does impact a person’s credit score, all hope is not lost for eventually being able to purchase a home and obtain a mortgage. It depends a great deal on the success of the bankruptcy case and the consumer’s financial habits after the case is closed.

A Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy case is a much faster bankruptcy route that takes several months to finalize, while a Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy case can take between three to five years to finalize. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can stay on a person’s credit report for up to ten years from the date of filing, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case can stay on a person’s credit report for seven years from the date of filing or ten years if the bankruptcy is not completed or discharged.

Bankruptcy Law, Lawyers in the News

Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Interviewed by The Miami Herald

With about one out of every nine Miami-Dade workers — and nearly one out of every six in Broward — still out of a job due to the coronavirus pandemic, a question lingers in South Florida: How long can the region stave off an even worse economic disaster?

After a rough start, Florida’s unemployment system has come online to furnish tens of thousands of local workers with as much as $875 per week in unemployment insurance — the state’s standard $275, plus an extra $600 through the emergency U.S. CARES Act passed in March. But Florida’s unemployment insurance lasts only 12 weeks. And the extra $600 from Congress is set to expire July 31. Greater Miami ranks as one of the hardest hit metros in the country, thanks to its reliance on a tourism industry that has instantly dried up.

Florida Super Lawyers, Kingcade Garcia McMaken

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Named a Florida Super Lawyer 7 Consecutive Years

MIAMI – Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers 2020, in the practice area of consumer bankruptcy. This is the seventh consecutive year Kingcade has been selected to the Florida Super Lawyers list (2014-2020). The designation means that he is a top-rated attorney as recognized by peers. The prestigious honor is awarded to only five percent of lawyers in the state.

Attorney Kingcade practices exclusively in the field of bankruptcy law, handling Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings 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.

Florida Super Lawyers, Kingcade Garcia McMaken

Attorney Kristina Gonzalez of Kingcade Garcia McMaken Selected as a 2020 “Rising Star” by Florida Super Lawyers

MIAMI – Attorney Kristina Gonzalez of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers 2020 as a Rising Star in the practice area of consumer bankruptcy.

The list recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in the State of Florida. A select group of 2.5 percent of attorneys are named to the prestigious Rising Stars list.

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

Top Reason Americans Are Carrying an Average Credit Card Balance of Over $6,200

Credit card debt is a burden for many consumers. Most have a complicated relationship with their credit cards. On one hand, disciplined and modest use of a credit card to make certain purchases can help establish a good credit score. On the other hand, if the balance on a credit card is not paid in full each month, and on time, the balance can quickly spiral out of control.

According a recent study by CompareCards, American consumers are carrying an all-time high of $1.1 trillion in credit card and other types of revolving debt. This figure is up nearly 20 percent from where it was just ten years ago.