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

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.

Debt Collection, Debt Relief, Medical Debt

How Long Does Medical Debt Remain on a Person’s Credit Report?

After suffering a serious injury or illness, it can be hard to pay the bills that inevitably follow. Considering how many Americans are now facing medical debt in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many wonder the effects this will have on their credit score and how long the debt will remain on their credit report.

After medical debt has been reported to the credit bureaus, it can remain on a consumer’s credit report for up to seven years. However, a person’s medical debt is not immediately reported to that individual’s credit as soon as it is incurred. It will not be reported to a person’s credit so long as that debt remains with the original service provider. Once a person defaults on the debt and it goes to collection, only then will the medical debt begin to show up on a person’s credit report.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, student loan debt, Student Loans

How Student Loan Borrowers Will Benefit from the Stimulus Bill

The recently passed $2.2 trillion stimulus bill provides several different forms of financial assistance for American consumers during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The new bill also provides options for student loan borrowers who are struggling to keep up on their loan payments, which comes as good news for the over 44 million borrowers holding more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

Borrowers who have federally owned student loans will not have to pay on their loans through at least September 30, including Parent PLUS Loans. This payment suspension will occur automatically and does not need to be requested by the borrower.

Bankruptcy Law

Tips to Recover Quickly from Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy offers consumers a fresh financial start, but many people hold off on filing bankruptcy for fear of the negative effect it will have on their credit.  This is one of the most common bankruptcy myths,  and can keep individuals who are drowning financially from filing for bankruptcy. Bouncing back after bankruptcy is possible, and with proper discipline, it can be done relatively quickly.

According to a recent study by LendingTree, 65 percent of people who filed for bankruptcy in 2017, had a credit score of 640 or higher in two years.  The following tips can help you bounce back quickly after bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Credit Card Debt

Steps to Remove Judgments and Collections from your Credit Report

Every consumer should review his or her credit report at least once a year to confirm that there are no inaccuracies.  Lenders look to a person’s credit score to determine whether he or she is a lending risk. The lower the score, the harder it will be for that person to obtain financing.  It can also affect the interest rate on the loan.

Certain actions, such as a judgment against the consumer or a collections action, can negatively impact a person’s credit score. However, if a consumer does have judgments or collections actions on his or her report, it is possible to have this information removed.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

How to Bounce Back After Bankruptcy

There are many misconceptions surrounding the amount of time it takes to rebuild credit and bounce back after bankruptcy.  A recent study by LendingTree, reveals that individuals who file for bankruptcy can improve their credit score sooner than they think.  In fact, more than 40 percent of consumers end up having a credit score of 640 one year after filing for bankruptcy. Approximately 65 percent of filers see the same score, at least, three years after the bankruptcy case is over.

We have some important tips to help you bounce back and stay on track after filing for bankruptcy.

Put Together a Bankruptcy File.

After the bankruptcy case is complete, chances are, the filer has a lot of paperwork. It can be very tempting to put it all away, never to look at it again, but it is important to keep all these documents handy in the event they are needed in the future. If a consumer wants to purchase a car or a home, he or she may need to produce the bankruptcy paperwork before receiving financing. It helps to stay organized and put together a file for your bankruptcy paperwork.

Look Back at the Past and Strategize for the Future.

Before moving forward, it helps if the consumer gets a clear understanding of how he or she got in the bad financial situation to begin with, whether it be due to a job loss, divorce, an illness, overspending, or just bad financial luck. It helps to take a moment and strategize how the consumer wants to move forward.

Develop a Good Relationship with a Bank.

Even if the possibility is in the distant future, if the consumer wants to qualify for a loan or make a big purchase, like a home, it is important he or she has a personal relationship with a good bank. Many times, it helps to tell them a bit about how the person ended up in bankruptcy and give them a human face to the numbers on the account.

Be Cautious in the Future.

Once a consumer is out of debt, he or she will likely receive communications from lenders offering financing for various purchases. They will see that the person no longer is in debt and will not be able to declare bankruptcy again for many years, making that person an easy target. The kind of lenders who reach out to consumers right after bankruptcy, however, are not always the most reputable lenders. Be very cautious when considering these offers.

Review Your Credit Report.

After filing for bankruptcy, it is important to periodically review your credit report. A credit report can be reviewed annually for free, and it shows not only the progress being made in rebuilding the consumer’s credit score but also any false or old charges that should no longer be on the report.

Think Before Borrowing.

It can be tempting to borrow again, believing that the consumer can handle a payment when, in fact, he or she cannot. Make sure that the payments are feasible by building a budget before applying for another loan. Also keep in mind that a credit score takes a hit after applying for a new loan, and this could quickly destroy any progress made on rebuilding the credit score.

Work on Rebuilding Your Credit.

One of the best ways to get credit back to where it once was is to pay all bills on time every month. Missing a payment is an easy way to hurt your credit score.  Using a secured credit card after filing for bankruptcy is also an excellent way to improve your credit score, as the payment history is reported to the credit bureaus. Put together a budget, see what your monthly expenses are, and stick to that budget. Make sure you have enough income every month to meet your monthly obligations, and set up automatic payments, if needed, to make sure no bills are missed.

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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.

 

Credit, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Errors on Credit Reports Lead to Major Life Disruptions for Thousands

It is always recommended that you review your credit report periodically to ensure that no errors exist in your credit history. If you do discover a discrepancy or error on your report, it is recommended you contact the credit agency to have the problem fixed. For the most part, after this is done, you expect the error to disappear and not create any problems in the future. What if that does not happen? That scenario was the case for thousands of American consumers who later discovered that what they thought was fixed came to haunt them at a later date.

Thousands of Americans have been fighting legal battles related to errors found in credit reports by all three of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Not only are these individuals fighting legal battles, but they are feeling the effects on their credit scores. Credit errors can also lead to mistaken identity if one person who has excellent credit happens to be mixed up with someone who does not. For some, these errors have caused their credit scores to tank so much that they have lost the ability to be considered to rent an apartment or for a job. By the time the error is fixed, it is often too little too late for that person. The job may already be filled at that point or apartment rented.

It is estimated that in the past three years, more than 4,000 federal lawsuits have been filed against Equifax by litigants who claim that the credit reporting agency failed to follow federal law with respect to fair credit reporting. Other cases were filed locally via state court. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 175,000 complaints were filed with the CFPB between 2015 and 2017 regarding credit report errors. Of these complaints, 65 percent of those filed in 2017 had to do with information that was incorrect.

Some of these errors can occur when people who have similar names, addresses or even Social Security numbers are mixed up. One way or another, their files cross paths, causing information to be mixed up and incorrect.

However, one major problem has to do with how much credit bureaus can get away with when it comes to accountability. It can be extremely easy for them to avoid a full and comprehensive review.

In response to many of these court filings, Equifax has argued that it has procedures in place to ensure that their reports are accurate. They dispute any responsibility and say that banks and credit card companies that provide this information to Equifax are the entities who should be held responsible. Attorneys representing the consumers involved insist that these errors are mostly the fault of the credit reporting agencies, especially when it comes to consumers being mixed up if their names or information is close or similar.  Many times, these agencies do not require information used to sort consumers to be an exact match which can lead to these problems.

This problem is not a new one by any means. In 1992, Equifax came under fire after attorneys general in 18 states claimed that mixed consumer files caused damages these individuals. At the time, Equifax told regulators that they would put procedures in place to detect these errors when they occur. However, whether these procedures were actually effective is debatable.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims that one in every five American consumers has an error on their credit reports. Many of these errors go undetected by consumers.

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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, Credit, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

When will a Bankruptcy be removed from My Credit Report?

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one. Many people hold off on filing for fear of what bankruptcy will do to their credit once all is said and done. However, having a bankruptcy filing on a credit report does not necessarily mean the end of your finances or your ability to access new credit in the future. It is possible to begin rebuilding credit after filing for bankruptcy.

What Type of Bankruptcy?

The most common types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a liquidation bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy involves the bankruptcy trustee liquidating assets that are not otherwise exempt and paying off the qualified debts with the proceeds. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to get a fresh start financially and erase past debts, but a legitimate concern consumers have is the effects it will have on their credit score and their ability to take out credit again.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will take approximately 10 years from the date of filing before the case will come off of the filer’s credit report. On the other hand, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a reorganization bankruptcy. This case allows the filer to work with the bankruptcy trustee to put together a repayment plan to pay for some or all of the filer’s debts over the course of three to five years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case will be automatically deleted from the person’s credit report seven years from the date of filing.

Can the Process Be Faster?

It is possible to have the bankruptcy removed from the person’s credit report sooner than is normally allowed.  There is a big misconception that bankruptcy cannot be removed from a credit report and that you will be penalized for 10 years, not being able to access new credit.  The truth of the law or the way law is written, there’s a maximum amount of time a bankruptcy can remain on your report, but there is no minimum amount of time.

This is done by filing a dispute with all three of the credit bureaus. It is recommended that the person reviews the bankruptcy filing and the specific debts related to the bankruptcy that appear on the credit report. If any incorrect items are found, the person can file a dispute.

When a credit dispute is filed with one of the bureaus, it must be verified and validated for it to stay on that person’s credit report. If the disputed items are not verified within 30 days of the dispute, they must be removed from the credit report, including bankruptcies.

Getting Back on Your Feet.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to get a fresh start financially and erase past debts, but a legitimate concern consumers have is the effects it will have on their credit score and their ability to take out credit again.

One of the biggest misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy is that it will ruin your credit score and your financial future.  To the contrary, after filing for bankruptcy you can begin restoring your credit right away.

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: http://blog.credit.com/2018/05/when-can-i-get-a-bankruptcy-off-my-credit-report-65750/