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

The Benefits of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy case can mean different things to different clients. For many of our clients, it means a chance at a fresh financial start. It also means freedom from crippling debt and an unending barrage of collection calls. It is for this reason that many individuals choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to the many benefits this type of bankruptcy offers.

The benefits of filing for bankruptcy can include relief from debt collectors through the automatic stay issued at the start of the case, as well as relief of most of the filer’s debts, including medical bills, credit cards, personal loans, and other unsecured debts. By discharging these debts before they become legal judgments against the filer, he or she can avoid wage garnishment and repossession.

Bankruptcy Law

Timing is Important When It Comes to Filing for Bankruptcy

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, it is not always a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when.” Depending on a person’s financial situation, it can pay to properly time out a bankruptcy filing. Whether it is the right time to file for bankruptcy can depend on several factors including whether someone is facing foreclosure, vehicle repossession, wage garnishment, or any of the following.

Mortgage Modification

When someone is facing foreclosure, a few different steps can be taken to delay or even prevent the process. One of these solutions is through a mortgage modification. Homeowners facing foreclosure should try this approach first before filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Law

Mistakes to Avoid if You are a Senior Filing for Bankruptcy in Florida

More seniors are filing for bankruptcy than ever before, which has been the result of a number of factors including rising healthcare costs, lack of retirement savings and less social security.  Between the years 2013 and 2016, approximately one in every eight bankruptcy cases were filed by individuals who were older than 65. Twenty-one percent of those filing for bankruptcy were between the ages of 55 and 64.

The following mistakes were made by individuals in this age group as they attempted to explore options to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Law

Understanding the Bankruptcy Process: How to File & the Qualifications

Filing for bankruptcy can be an emotional and sometimes stressful process. However, enlisting the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney can make the process painless and worry-free.  Many clients have little understanding about what is involved when they file for bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding where a judge and bankruptcy trustee review the financial situation of individuals or businesses who are not able to pay their financial obligations and discharge qualifying debts that they are no longer able to pay.

The Purpose of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is meant to give an individual a fresh financial start, allowing that person to wipe the slate clean. It also serves as a way to give the filer some sense of relief through the protection of the automatic stay, which means creditors are prohibited from continuing collection actions against the filer. This allows the person time to regroup, protect valuable assets and work with the bankruptcy trustee to handle their debts.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Bankruptcy Checklist: What to Bring to Your First Meeting with Your Attorney

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is never an easy decision, but those who emerge from it are often thankful for a fresh financial start and the opportunity to rebuild their finances.

Before you sit down with an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney, there are several important documents you need to bring with you.

  • Outstanding Debts and a List of Assets. The most important documents to bring to your initial bankruptcy consultation are a list of your outstanding debts and a list of your assets (i.e. – major assets, such as homes, cars, boats, trailers, time shares, etc.)
  • Financial Documentation. Wage statements, a recent pay stub, tax returns, bank account statements and any large purchase receipts.
  • Budget. A rough budget of your household’s income and expenses.
  • Creditor Information. A list of credit accounts, account numbers, the amounts you owe and their contact information.
  • Loan documentation. Any mortgages and outstanding loans you may have, such as: car loans, personal loans, etc.
  • Real Estate documentation. Forms and information pertaining to any property you may own or rent.
  • Personal Property Documentation. Any major personal property items like vehicles, boats, valuable jewelry, electronic items, appliances or other items that could be repossessed.
  • Questions. A list of any personal questions you may have for your attorney.

While it is best to be as prepared as possible, if you are unable to obtain all of these documents, do not worry. You will be provided with adequate time to contact your banks, lenders and creditors to obtain the necessary documentation for your bankruptcy proceeding.  It is important to be open and honest with your bankruptcy attorney to prevent possible bankruptcy fraud or being accused of “hiding” assets.  By providing all necessary documentation and working closely with your attorney, you will help ensure the bankruptcy process runs smoothly.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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, 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

What It Means to Commit Bankruptcy Fraud

When filing for bankruptcy, it is extremely important that you fully disclose all information requested and that all information provided be accurate and true. Although, most people who file for bankruptcy are honest hardworking people, some individuals can be tempted to hide property and assets.  This is called bankruptcy fraud, which is a federal crime that the U.S. Department of Justice takes very seriously.

Bankruptcy fraud occurs when a person knowingly and fraudulently commits certain prohibited acts in their bankruptcy case. It is estimated that somewhere around 10 percent of all U.S. bankruptcy filings include some form of bankruptcy fraud. If this fraud is discovered, the person committing the fraudulent act can face fines up to $250,000 and even imprisonment for up to five years in federal prison.

The four most common types of bankruptcy fraud include: concealment of assets, petition mills, multiple-filing schemes, and bust-out schemes. It must be shown that the person intended to commit the crime of bankruptcy fraud, which means that intent to deceive must be present. The person must have planned to commit the fraudulent act. If, for instance, someone makes a mistake in their forms or accidentally forgets an asset when preparing the documents, fraudulent intent is not necessarily there.

One of the most common types of bankruptcy fraud is concealment of assets. Concealing assets accounts for approximately 70 percent of all bankruptcy fraud cases reported. A person should never assume they can outsmart the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy trustees are experts at finding undisclosed cash, property, vehicles, boats, jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. If you are caught trying to hide assets, the consequences are big. Your discharge will be denied, and you will be unable to discharge the debts you listed in a subsequent bankruptcy filing.

Another form of bankruptcy fraud is making false statements either in sworn documents filed with the court or in person to the bankruptcy trustee. Debtors are required to fill out a bankruptcy petition and a number of other supporting documents, which includes a schedule of income and assets as well as a sworn financial declaration. By submitting these documents, you are swearing that all information provided is completely true.

Bankruptcy fraud can also be committed by someone filing too many bankruptcy cases in two or more states. These filings can be made using the same name and information or also false name and information, so long as they were filed by the same person. In these types of cases, the debtor will list the certain assets on some claims while other assets on the others, thus confusing the system. The ultimate goal of these multiple filings is to keep assets from total liquidation, giving the person time to conceal assets he or she wishes to keep.

Another form of bankruptcy fraud that seems to focus heavily on non-English speaking claimants involves bankruptcy petition mills. These “mills” are fraudulent schemes committed by a third-party, where that person claims to be a consultant who can help someone avoid eviction. That person gets all of the tenant’s information and files a bankruptcy petition without the tenant ever knowing. While the bankruptcy case is pending, the perpetrator of the crime will often completely clean out the tenant’s bank accounts and destroy his or her credit.  Sadly, these types of schemes are on the rise, especially in areas where many non-English individuals reside.

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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, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Mistakes to Avoid Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one. Once you decide to file for bankruptcy, it is important that you avoid making mistakes that could impact your case or jeopardize your debts from being discharged.  Here are the top bankruptcy mistakes you should avoid before filing.

Filing too quickly

Bankruptcy is an excellent way to wipe out burdensome debt. However, you are limited to how often you can do so. The law places a limit on how often a person can file for bankruptcy. An attorney can advise you if the timing is right for bankruptcy and make sure your assets and income allow you to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy,

Waiting too long to file

It can also be a mistake when someone waits too long to file for bankruptcy. In fact, a recent study revealed some of the downsides of waiting to file for bankruptcy. Many times, it is best to file for bankruptcy quickly in the event the filer wishes to avoid wage garnishment or has a lawsuit pending against them due to outstanding debt. Initiating a bankruptcy proceeding will allow an automatic stay to be issued, which puts an immediate halt to any collections actions that are ongoing at the time of filing. However, if the filer waits too long, once a wage garnishment is issued, he or she will not be able to eliminate that debt, which would not have been the case if he or she had filed before the final judgment was issued.

Incorrect or Inaccurate Information

When filing for bankruptcy, you are swearing under penalties of perjury that all information regarding your assets, income, debt, expenses and financial history is complete and accurate. If you make a mistake, fail to disclose an asset or file incomplete information, the bankruptcy court may dismiss the petition. If the court believes that you knowingly misrepresented anything at all, you could also be subject to criminal penalties, which includes fines even jail time.

Incurring more debt

Some people when they know they are going to be filing bankruptcy, run up additional debt on credit cards or take out loans. If you run up too much debt 70 to 90 days before filing on purchases that are not otherwise considered daily necessities, the creditor for this debt will likely object to a discharge by stating that you incurred this debt without any intention of paying it back in full. This practice is known as “presumptive fraud” and can result in the debt not being discharge.

Hiding assets

Another mistake some filers make before officially starting the bankruptcy process is hiding or moving assets to a friend or family member to keep them from being subject to liquidation. It can be tempting to want to hide an asset that would be subject to liquidation in hopes of keeping it safe, but this is considered bankruptcy fraud and can result in your case being dismissed and even criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.

Incoming assets

If you anticipate receiving a large amount of money or substantial assets in the near future, such as a sizeable inheritance or tax refund, it may be best to hold off on filing for bankruptcy. Once these funds are received, they may not be exempt from liquidation in a bankruptcy case. This money could alternatively be used to pay off creditors or attempt to get out of debt outside of bankruptcy. However, it is best to first consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney if you believe you will be coming into money and are considering bankruptcy.

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:

NOLO.com

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Reinstate Your Driver’s License

Filing for bankruptcy can provide different forms of relief for individuals facing financial crisis. Bankruptcy can help lift the burden that comes with facing collection calls, wage garnishment and related lawsuits, and provide you with a fresh financial start. However, many people are surprised to learn that you have options to have your driver’s license reinstated through bankruptcy.

The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend your driver’s license for a number of different reasons, and one of those reasons for suspension can include debt, although many individuals are not aware of this as a possible consequence.  If your license was suspended due to outstanding debt, it is possible that bankruptcy can help eliminate this debt, allowing your license to be reinstated.

The most common reason for why an individual’s license would be suspended due to debt is if the person was involved in a car accident and either did not have insurance or was under-insured. If he or she was found to be at-fault for the accident and did not have the money to pay for the other person’s injuries or property damages, the at-fault driver could end up losing his or her license, especially if a judgement is entered against them.

The consequences of losing your license can be far reaching. Not having the ability to drive can put you in an even more difficult financial situation, especially if you depend on driving to get to and from work or take your children to school or daycare. If you do not have adequate public transportation available to get you to your job and are not able to rely on the assistance of others, not having a license can result in you losing your job, thus making your financial situation even worse. It can be nearly impossible to make the money to repay the debt, digging that person further into a debt hole.

If your driver’s license has been revoked due to your debt, you can either pay the debt in full, or, if you do not have the funds available, consider filing for bankruptcy. Debts that are associated with car accidents are often considered dischargeable debts and are thus discharged when the bankruptcy case is successfully closed.

As long as you include the car accident and insurance company in your list of debts, you can have your driver’s license reinstated through bankruptcy. However, it is required that your license be eligible for reinstatement. For example, if you were not carrying auto insurance before the accident you will have to show proof of insurance before your license is reinstated.

See what one of our clients has to say about having their license reinstated through bankruptcy and their debt burden lifted…

Posted by Daniel on AVVO.com on December‎ ‎11‎, ‎2018

Driver License Back – Thanks to the professional work from Timothy Kingcade I enjoy the pleasure to have My Driver’s License back. Now to make money selling cars… Thanks…

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.