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 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, Debt Relief

Which Type of Bankruptcy Eliminates the Most Debts?

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, several different options are available, depending on the filer’s financial situation and types of debt owed. Two of the most common forms of consumer bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy that wipes out most of your general unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills without the need to pay back balances through a repayment plan.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

How to Receive Financial Help During the COVID-19 Crisis

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit our nation’s economy hard, with many Americans finding themselves suddenly out of work.  Countless small businesses have had to close their doors due to the spread of the coronavirus. Financial assistance is available during the COVID-19 crisis.

A record number of American workers filed for unemployment last week, which totaled 3.28 million people. The biggest form of financial help comes in the form of a recent $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress just last week. President Trump signed the stimulus bill into law on March 27, 2020.

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.

Bankruptcy Law

Miami Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade Obtains Order Allowing Protections for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Client

Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy S. Kingcade of the Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken obtained an Order for his client in a Chapter 13 case (Case No. 20-10135-RAM), limiting the scope of permissible relief in a pending criminal contempt case. The Motion for Contempt seeks relief against Jeffrey Charlow and counsel, for proceeding with a criminal case pending against Kingcade’s client in Broward County, Florida.

The Criminal Contempt Case was initiated by an order entered by Judge Robert W. Lee in a civil case also pending against the client. The court determined continuation of the Criminal Contempt case was not a violation of the automatic stay, but imposed two important limitations protecting our client:  Judge Lee may not sentence our client to jail with an Order that expels the sentence if a fine is paid and payment will necessarily come from the property of the estate.

Debt Relief

A Staggering Number of U.S. Borrowers are Underwater on their Auto Loans

Purchasing a vehicle is oftentimes a necessary expenditure. A vehicle is needed to get to and from work or driving to school, but for many Americans, buying a car means taking on a large amount of debt. As they trade in their current vehicles for a newer model, many are resorting to taking the unpaid balance on the car loan and rolling it into a new debt. The result is the person will often have a vehicle that is worth much less than what is owed on it.

This negative equity and is also referred to as being underwater on the vehicle. It is reported that during the first nine months of 2019, approximately 33 percent of consumers who traded their vehicles in to buy new ones had negative equity. Five years ago, this percentage was 28 percent, and it was only at 19 percent ten years ago. The average debt owed on these cars as they were being traded in is around $5,000 while the average amount was $4,000 five years ago.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Be on the Look-Out for These Student Loan Scams

More than 40 million borrowers are carrying an estimated $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. With that many individuals carrying student loan debt, it should come as no surprise that many scams are out there, hoping to take advantage of borrowers who are desperate to get out of debt quickly. Borrowers need to be aware of these debt relief scams in particular, which are now facing investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Student Loan Debt Elimination Scams

Many companies are out there offering the promise of eliminating student loan debt for borrowers who are desperate for a way out. However, if someone is offering a deal that sounds too good to be true, that is usually because it is, in fact, too good to be true. Many companies will promise to wipe away a person’s loans when they have no actual ability to do so. The fact of the matter is no one can promise student loan forgiveness or cancellation. Student loan borrowers can only ever receive forgiveness if they meet very specific conditions, and the fastest any borrower can receive loan forgiveness is five years. Even these forgiveness programs can be very difficult in terms of qualifications.

If the borrower has federal student loans, it should be noted that no student loan debt relief company can negotiate directly with the federal government to obtain lower rates on those loans. If a company promises the ability to negotiate a lower payment, this can normally only be done via an income-drive repayment plan, but most of these can be applied for directly by the borrower, not a third-party entity.

Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Student Loan Debt Relief Scams to Watch Out For

Student loan debt is an issue for many Americans, and for a great number of them, the situation has become a desperate one. This fact could be why so many borrowers are falling prey to student loan debt relief scams.

It is estimated that the national total student loan debt is well over $1.5 trillion. The average student loan borrower in 2018 is carrying just shy of $30,000 in loan debt, according to Student Loan Hero. This figure only represents what the average undergraduate student owes. For a graduate or professional degree, the borrower may end up with student loan debt well into six figures. With this much debt, borrowers can be paying on their loans for decades, which is why many of them jump at the opportunity, when presented, to get some sort of relief on their debt.  The problem is these “relief opportunities” end up being more trouble than they are worth.

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief

Trump Administration Delays Consumer Protections for Abusive Payday and Car-Title Lenders

New consumer protections against abusive lending practices have been placed on hold by the Trump Administration for another 15 months. The protections that were enacted in 2017 were set to take effect this week are now being delayed, perhaps indefinitely.  The reasoning behind the delay of this consumer safeguard: ‘It’s too troublesome for lenders.’

The delay is being viewed as just another example of the current administration stripping away consumer-friendly policies enacted under the Obama administration.