Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

One in Four Consumers Have Errors on Their Credit Reports

A study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) showed that approximately 26 percent of consumers found errors on their credit reports. However, only about five percent of these study participants had errors on their credit report that was damaging to their credit score. The five percent with damaging errors on their credit score are more likely to be denied for loans or have higher interest rates, as a result of the errors. There has been controversy for many years regarding the accuracy of credit reports and the recent study by the FTC made valid points for both sides of the argument. The study followed 1,001 consumers as they checked their credit reports for errors. Those who did find errors were also followed as they disputed the errors. Once the errors were fixed, it tracked how the consumer’s credit score improved.

The best way to avoid damaging errors on your credit report is to keep a close eye on it. You can request a free report once a year from three major agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. If you find a mistake, you should dispute the error. Unfortunately only 19 percent of credit reports errors are disputed. However, disputing an error is relatively easy, if you use the online features that are available.

To read more on this story visit: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/watchdog/mc-credit-report-errors-watchdog-20130216,0,2700796.column?page=1

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

5 Quick Fixes for Your Credit Score

Mortgage borrowers are struggling to obtain the best rates when purchasing a new home. If your credit score is less than 740, these quick fixes are for you:

1. Pay down credit card balances. FICO scores are the highest for those who carry less than a 20% balance on their credit cards. Most analysts believe paying down credit card balances is the best way to improve your credit score.

2. Fix credit report errors. Many individuals have credit report errors weighing down their scores and have no idea. A common credit report error is a medical collection. You may think your insurance company has taken care of a bill and vise versa. It is vital that you make sure your credit report has no errors.

3. Eliminate disputed accounts. Removing disputed accounts from your credit report is essential to improving your credit score. Disputed accounts appear as a negative item. If you are applying for a conventional loan guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, these items must be removed.

4. Use an old credit card or apply for a new one. Unused credit cards will not have a positive impact on your score unless you begin using them. It may seem as though it will help your score if you do not use your credit cards, but using them responsibly will improve your score at a much faster pace.

5. Do not close any accounts. Opening new credit cards that are unnecessary and closing unused credit card accounts are equally negative for your credit score.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/5-fast-fixes-for-your-credit-score

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Foreclosures, Timothy Kingcade Posts

6 Great Credit Cards to Rebuild after Bankruptcy

Many Americans are struggling to redeem their pre-recession credit scores. Whether you have recently filed for bankruptcy, been foreclosed on by your bank or simply struggled to pay your bills, rebuilding your credit score can be a long process. Below are six great credit cards to help you rebuild your credit score:

1. Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Card: According to credit card expert Beverly Harzog, this is one of the best credit cards for rebuilding a credit score. You must be in the military or related to someone who is in the military to be eligible for this card. This card has no annual fee and the percentage rate is a variable 8.9%. It has a 25 day purchase grace period and it reports to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

2. Citi Secured MasterCard: With this card, you will earn a 1.01% annual yield because Citi invests your money in an 18-month certificate deposit of savings account. The annual fee is $29 per year, which is very low. This card is best for those who do not typically carry a balance because the variable APR is very high.

3. Capital One Secured MasterCard: This card also has a very high variable APR at 22.9%, but a low annual fee. A positive feature of this card is that the bank supplies cardholders with a credit-monitoring tool so that if you are struggling with your score, you can monitor it closely with this card.

4. Wells Fargo Secured Card: This card has a very low annual fee of $25, but it has a high APR of 18.99%. If you use this card responsibly, Wells Fargo will consider you for an unsecured credit card.

5. US Bank Secured Visa Card: Similar to Wells Fargo, this secured card can put you on the track to an unsecured credit card. Responsible card users can qualify for an unsecured card from US Bank in as little as 12 months.

6. Platinum Zero Visa Card from Applied Bank: Cardholders should be aware of the $9.95 monthly maintenance fee on this card. However, if you typically carry a balance on your card, this one is ideal for you. This card charges 0% interest on purchases and there is no credit check required.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/credit-cards/6-great-cards-for-rebuilding-credit

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit, Foreclosures, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Mortgage Interest Rates Frozen – Money Tips for 2013

It’s been reported that the Federal Reserve will likely keep interest rates regulated throughout 2013. In order to spark housing market growth, the Federal Reserve will keep the lending rate between banks in the 0% – 0.25% range until mid-2015.

Below are some savings and credit tips for the 2013 economic climate:

Freeze your mortgage rate. Mortgage interest rates are at a 40-year low; therefore, you can lock in your mortgage with a fixed-rate. The interest on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been 3.57% throughout January.

Lower your mortgage term. If you are planning on refinancing your home and might be moving within a few years, you should consider an adjustable-rate mortgage. During January, initial rates on five-year ARMs were 2.68%.

Open long-term CDs. Place your cash in a long-term CD with low withdrawal penalties. This will give you the opportunity to make thousands of dollars in just a few years time.

Avoid rising-rate CD lures. If a bank offers you an option for a higher yield on a CD if rates rise, you typically get a low initial rate. It is better to shop around and compare other rates with the fixed equivalent.

Use local banks. Online banks sometimes have the best rates. However, if you prefer a bank you can physically go to, community banks are a great choice. Most local banks are less affected by the Federal Reserve and offer great rates. Visit www.findbankrates.com for the best rates in your area.

Transfer a balance. Average interest rates on credit cards are extremely high right now. You can transfer a balance from a card with a higher rate to a card with a lower rate and save money.

Carry rewards cards. If you are usually able to pay off your credit card balance, you are best suited for a rewards card, rather than an extremely low interest rate card.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/01/news/economy/interest-rates.moneymag/index.html

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Don’t Let a Car Accident Wreck Your Credit

Many car accident victims are often burdened with major medical bills after their accident. In fact, according to a Harvard study 62 percent of bankruptcies are caused by outstanding medical bills. Insurance claims can be extremely confusing and differ according to state and policy. While waiting for your insurance claim to settle, these medical bills are often sent off to collection agencies. This in turn can have an immediate impact on your credit score. Insurance companies have a reputation for taking their time settling claims, leaving accident victims sitting on a mountain of debt.

Below are some ways to avoid the accident having a negative impact on your credit score:

1. Provide all health and auto insurance information to any health care providers you have seen after the accident. The worst mistake you can make is to assume that one or the other will be solely covering your medical costs. Also make sure you provide your claim number with your medical providers.

2. Even though it is a stressful time, you must be proactive. Promptly report the accident to your insurance company. If you delay your claim, insurance companies may try to use this against you as grounds for denying a claim.

3. Keep all of your mail, records, reports, etc., organized. Save every piece of mail you receive regarding the accident. This can include any type of correspondence between you, the medical providers or the insurance companies.

4. Educate yourself about balance billing. Most health care providers are required to follow certain billing procedures. If you are not aware of the procedures, you might become the victim of balance billing where you are not billed within a timely manner.

5. Do not hesitate to ask your insurance agent for help.

6. The best results come to those who are persistent. You may feel as though you are annoying your company’s adjusters; however, they are more likely to settle your claim in a timely manner if you are persistent.

7. It is not in your best interest to try and settle your claim alone. There are often important deadlines and procedures that you do not know, therefore consider hiring an attorney to help you through this process.

8. If you are denied a claim, challenge the denial. Your attorney can help you file a suit to rightfully claim your settlement.

9. The scary truth is that you may be liable for some of your medical bills. However, you can try to negotiate the amount you owe. Your attorney can also help you negotiate this with your health care provider.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/will-a-car-crash-wreck-your-credit?page=2

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit, Foreclosures, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Why Short Sales Can Ruin Your Credit

There has been a longtime notion that opting for a short sale as opposed to a foreclosure is a way to avoid a major hit to your credit score. Most homeowners find out after the fact that a short sale has the same effect that a foreclosure will have on your FICO score. In a short sale, homeowners basically hand over their keys to the lenders. The home is then sold for less than is owed on the mortgage. Many struggling homeowners are under the impression that their cooperation will be rewarded with a lesser hit to their credit score. However, foreclosures and short sales are considered the same occurrence in the FICO formula for credit scores and can remove between 140 and 160 points from a score.

The FICO research showed 72% of those with a foreclosure later defaulted on another debt, compared with 55.1% of those with a short sale and 50.1% of those who arranged a deed in lieu of foreclosure, which means they voluntarily surrendered their keys to the bank rather than going through formal foreclosure. Following the mass amount of defaults on mortgages from the housing market crash, the rate of short sales has spiked. Rather than fighting foreclosure, homeowners seem to have surrendered to the banks. In most foreclosure cases, economic conditions are the reason homeowners are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments. A hefty percentage of homeowners’ mortgages are now ‘underwater,’ meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. FICO’s reason for not altering the formula is based on the notion that homeowners who are foreclosed on or participate in a short sale, are more likely to default on another loan in the near future.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/why-short-sales-trash-your-credit?page=2

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Top 7 Financial Resolutions for 2013

Today marks the first day of 2013 and for many this is a time for making New Year’s resolutions. For some people, the resolution might be to improve their health or stop smoking, but for many this marks a time to make financial resolutions. To get your economic house in order, begin with these seven mantras:

1.) Start an emergency fund: Only one in four American households have an adequate emergency savings cushion. It’s recommended that the money be taken directly out of your paycheck or checking account so you will never miss it. The first priority should be building up three to six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund.
2.) Stop paying bank fees: As most people are aware, banks are trying to make up for lost revenue, so they charge on everything from monthly maintenance to overdraft protection. A May, 2012 Pew study reported that the average overdraft fee is $35, and said big banks charge an average of $117 per year. Opt for an online bank, a community bank, or a credit union—the only place you will find hassle-free, no-fee checking.
3.) Save for retirement: Whether you are 25 or 45, most people are not saving enough for retirement. Since the retirement contribution limits for IRA’s and workplace retirement programs both increase in 2013, there is room for everybody to save more for retirement this year than they did last year.
4.) Pay off your debt: According to a recent study by CardHub, credit card debt hovers around $6,700 per household. This does not include debt that people have defaulted on but are still responsible for. Pay down high-interest credit cards first, as less of the dollar will be going toward interest and more to the principal.
5.) Make a budget: People often shy away from this because they find it trivial or tedious, but it’s a necessity and will help you decipher between luxuries and necessities in your spending habits.
6.) Build your credit score: This is important, because the better your credit the more you can take advantage of rewards and zero percent introductory interest rates.
7.) Talk about money with your partner/family: Most people shy away from this because it can be uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be. Check in with your family members to see what plans they have in place to protect their heirs and assets. Make sure that your family is provided for in the unlikely event that you are injured.

To read more on this topic visit: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/top-financial-resolutions-2013/story?id=18026466

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit, Foreclosures, Timothy Kingcade Posts

What You Can Do to Own Again After Foreclosure

After foreclosure, many people feel that it is impossible to ever own a home again. However, if you take progressive steps you can become a homeowner, again in a relatively short amount of time. For some this can take up to seven years, for others it can take as little as three years. One of the best things you can do after foreclosure is to reflect on the financial mistakes that led you there. If you are able to learn from the financial mistakes made on your first home, you are likely not to repeat them with your second home.
Your next and most important step is to work on building your credit score. The foreclosure process will damage it- but only temporarily if you play your cards right. While you are waiting to buy again, pay off your debts, cut off unnecessary spending and start saving. Chances are, you will have a little more money each month than you are used to having; however rather than spending it, learn to budget it.
Your last step is to be honest and communicate with your bank, creditors, lenders, family, etc. about your financial situation. When you reapply for a mortgage, be honest with your lender and tell them exactly what happened with your last home. Tell your lender the steps you have taken to have a better experience with this home. If you make all of these steps forward, you should have no problem owning another home.
To read more on this story visit: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/11/29/how-to-get-back-in-game-after-foreclosure/
Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy Law, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Bankruptcy is an Option to Help You, Not Hurt You

For many Americans, the thought of filing bankruptcy is a very scary thing. So scary in fact, that many of them miss out on the positive changes and financial freedom filing for bankruptcy protection can bring. The first thing that happens when a person files for bankruptcy is an automatic stay will go into effect for all of their bills, which forbids creditors from harassing debtors.
Perhaps the most common worry among Americans when it comes to filing bankruptcy is the long-term effects it will have on their credit score. Many believe it is impossible to ever have a decent credit score, again. This could not be further from the truth. Almost immediately after a person is discharged of their debt, there are many steps available to rebuild their credit score. The person filing for bankruptcy is most likely delinquent on bills and already their credit score has suffered. Filing for bankruptcy protection can actually be the easiest way to improve an already troubled credit score.
To read more on this story visit: http://www.miamibankruptcy.com/blog/2012/08/afraid-of-bankruptcys-impact-it-might-actually-improve-your-situation.shtml
If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

8 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score after Bankruptcy

Thoroughly examine your credit score post bankruptcy. You want to make sure that creditors know the debt that you were relieved of has been wiped clean from your credit report. The items should have a “BK” notation next to them to show you were relieved of them.
2. Re-examine your credit score several times, because even after your debts are discharged, it may take some time for this to reflect on your credit report.
3. Create a strict budget for yourself. Review your finances several times per week to ensure you are sticking to your budget.
4. Do not avoid applying for new credit; in fact, responsible credit spending is a great way to begin building up your credit score.
5. Set up automatic payments for your cable, Internet and phone bills, so you do not miss your payment due date. Again, watch your finances closely so that you know when money will be coming out of your account.
6. Student loan payments are a top priority. Student loans are not discharged after filing for bankruptcy and paying these timely can be an excellent way to improve your credit score.
7. Pre-paid credit cards can be a great way to improve your credit score if you are having trouble getting approved for a non-secure credit card. Be very cautious of companies that have high annual charges.
8. Defaulted loans are not the only item that impacts your credit score. Having your credit cards to the max will have a negative effect on your score in the same way. Bottom line: Never max out your credit cards.
To read more on this story visit: http://articles.marketwatch.com/2010-08-26/finance/30762498_1_credit-report-filings-credit-rating/2
If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.