Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

How Much of Your Monthly Income Should go Towards Paying Down Debt?

Consumer debt. It seems to be an inevitable part of life for many Americans. In fact, most American consumers carry some level of debt. Getting out of it, however, is not so easy, which is why so many Americans use at least some portion of their income to pay towards their debt. Determining how much is appropriate can be complicated, depending on the consumer’s individual circumstances.

Generally speaking, it is important to pay more than the monthly minimum payment. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 50/30/20 rule. What this budgeting rule entails is the consumer spends 50 percent of monthly after-tax income or net income towards essential living expenses, such as mortgage payments, utility bills, food, and transportation costs. After that 50 percent is paid, the consumer allots the next 30 percent to his or her “wants,” meaning eating out, going on vacation, and other non-essential expenses. The remaining 20 percent is left for paying off debt or saving for the future.

Not all debt is lumped into that 20 percent. Since a home and a car is considered a “need” instead of a “want,” mortgages and car payments are lumped into the “need” category or the initial 50 percent.

For mortgage debt, financial experts recommend that the consumer’s mortgage payments should be no more than 28 percent of his or her monthly income.  This amount allows the consumer enough room in their budget to allocate to other expenses or debts.

Financial experts also recommend that consumers put their credit card debts in the “needs” category of spending. Since credit card debt carries higher interest rates, making it significantly harder to pay off over time, which is why it is important that it be paid off as quickly as possible.

If the consumer is not able to pay off the credit card balance in full, it is advisable to put no more than 10 percent of the consumer’s income each month towards paying off credit card debt. However, putting any more than 10 percent of monthly income towards credit card debt can put him or her in a difficult financial position to pay the remainder of his or her other necessary expenses.

It is important that debt does not take up more than 36 percent of the consumer’s income. The consumer’s debt-to-income ratio is important which compares how much the consumer owns versus how much he or she owes.  Debt-to-income ratio is important when it comes to being approved for financing in the future. The higher the ratio, the harder it can be to obtain financing.

While these rules apply in many situations, every consumer’s individual circumstance is unique. These guidelines are meant to help consumers get on the right track. If the amount of debt the consumer is struggling with becomes to be too much, a consumer bankruptcy case may be the best option for him or her. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to meet with the consumer and determine what would be the best course of action to help that person.

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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. Visit www.miamibankruptcy.com to learn more.

Bankruptcy Law, Consumer Bankruptcy

Will a Bankruptcy Filing Remove a Vehicle Repossession?

A bankruptcy discharge will relieve the filer of his or her debts, which means that the person can walk away with a clean financial slate.  However, a bankruptcy case does not remove all debts from the consumer’s credit report. In fact, certain debts and the legal proceedings associated with them can be difficult to remove, including vehicle repossession.

A consumer bankruptcy case, including Chapters 7 and 13, should remove negative marks on the consumer’s credit report. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case this is accomplished by liquidating the consumer’s assets that are not otherwise protected under a bankruptcy exemption and using those funds to pay off the consumer’s debts. Those not paid are then discharged at the end of the bankruptcy. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the consumer works with the bankruptcy trustee on a repayment plan that lasts between three to five years. At the end of that time, the remaining debts are discharged from the consumer’s record.

Bankruptcy Law, Consumer Bankruptcy

When Is Filing for Bankruptcy the Best Option?

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one. Many individuals hold off on filing for fear of what it will do to their credit or worse, fear of the unknown. For many consumers, taking that first step and initiating a bankruptcy case can be the best option for them. The key is deciding when to take that step.

The longer a person stays in debt, struggling to pay bills, defaulting on liabililities, the worse the financial damage will be.  Not to mention the emotional toll it takes.  By not taking action, a person can risk being sued by thier creditors or having their wages garnished. Credit card companies, creditors and even the IRS can take legal action to garnish your wages to pay off outstanding debt.

Consumer Bankruptcy, Legal Awards

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Named a Florida Super Lawyer 8 Consecutive Years

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 2021, in the practice area of consumer bankruptcy. This is the eighth consecutive year Kingcade has been selected to the Florida Super Lawyers list (2014-2021). The prestigious honor is awarded to only five percent of lawyers in the state.

After receiving one of the highest point totals, Kingcade was also selected to be on the Florida Super Lawyers Blue Ribbon Panel. Only those in each practice area with the highest point totals are asked to be part of the panel to evaluate the candidacy of fellow lawyers to enter the prestigious Super Lawyer rankings.

Lawyers in the News, Legal Awards

Kingcade Garcia McMaken Awarded ‘Best Bankruptcy Lawyers in Miami’ for 2021

The Miami-based bankruptcy law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been awarded one of the ‘Best Bankruptcy Lawyers in Miami’ for 2021, by Expertise for obtaining the highest scores in consistency, qualifications, reputation, experience & professionalism.

“We are extremely honored to have received this award,” says Founding Partner and Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade. “In today’s competitive legal environment, clients have an increasing number of options when choosing an attorney. It is important that clients and potential clients know how serious we take quality customer service and business ethics. This is a true testament to the commitment we have to our clients and the standards we uphold as a law firm.”

Bankruptcy Law, Business Bankruptcy

The Impact the Coronavirus has had on Bankruptcy Filings in Miami Beach

The economic impact caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been substantial throughout the country, and Miami Beach is not excluded. Countless businesses have been forced to close temporarily and many even permanently. While technically the number of bankruptcies were down at the end of 2020 nationwide, financial experts fear that the number of bankruptcy filings will increase over the next several years.  

While the number of consumer bankruptcies were down nationwide, the number of Chapter 11 business bankruptcies saw an increase of 18.7 percent when compared to 2019. This form of bankruptcy is normally used by businesses that hope to stay in operation through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process that allows them to renegotiate their debts. Several larger businesses, including Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 in 2020.  

Specifically, in Florida, a total of 37,776 bankruptcies were filed in 2020, which is 19.26 percent lower than the 46,786 filed in 2019. Of all the bankruptcy cases filed in 2020, businesses accounted for four percent of these cases. This number may seem small, but business bankruptcies tend to have a significant effect far past the bankruptcy case alone, including the effect these closures and filings have on the individual employees who lost their job as a result.  

Many times, a ripple effect can be seen on other businesses after one or more close.  

According to figures from the U.S. Courts Administrative Office, a total of 7,430 bankruptcies were filed in Miami-Dade County in 2020. This figure is slightly less than the 8,705 filed in 2019.  

While consumer bankruptcies were down in Miami-Dade County, the number of business bankruptcies saw a slight increase. It is reported that 322 Miami area business bankruptcies were filed in 2020, as compared to 215 filed in 2019. Of these cases filed in 2020, 188 of them were filed under Chapter 7, commonly referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. Only 129 Chapter 7 business cases were filed in 2019.  

Miami-Dade County did see an increase in the number of Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed in 2020. Approximately 120 were filed in 2020, as compared to the 62 filed in 2019.  

Individual consumer bankruptcies in Miami-Dade County did not see the same increase, however. According to court filings, a total of 7,108 non-business consumer bankruptcy cases were filed in 2020, as compared to the 8,490 filed in 2019. Of these cases, 4,841 were Chapter 7 filings and 2,260 were Chapter 13 filings. In comparison, 5,067 Chapter 7 cases were filed while 3,414 Chapter 13 cases were filed in 2019.  

Despite the decrease between 2019 and 2020, financial experts predict these numbers will continue to increase through 2021 and beyond. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more and more businesses and individuals will continue to feel the economic impact of this crisis.  

Please click here to read more.  

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.  

Florida Super Lawyers

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Selected to Serve on the Super Lawyers Blue Ribbon Panel

Managing Shareholder, Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been selected as a Blue Ribbon Panelist for Florida Super Lawyers. Only those in each practice area with the highest point totals are asked as part of the panel to evaluate the candidacy of fellow lawyers to enter the prestigious Super Lawyer rankings.

“It is an honor to be selected among the Blue Ribbon Panelists in the most comprehensive and independent review of exceptional lawyers. Being selected as a Super Lawyer the past seven years is an achievement in and of itself, but to know that Super Lawyers values my opinion in the evaluation of my peers receiving the title of Super Lawyer is a true privilege I graciously accept,” said Timothy S. Kingcade.

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.