by Karen Flores, Hotline Attorney Recently, the IRS has announced that it has initiated a new private debt collection program. The IRS has hired four private debt collection agencies to collect some longtime unpaid federal tax debts. Collection action will begin spring 2017. The four collection agencies are: CBE Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa Conserve of Fairport, New York Performant of Livermore, California Pioneer of Horseheads, … Continue reading Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Use of Private Collection Agencies
by Ellen Mason, Hotline Attorney If bill collectors are bugging you remember: you do not have to talk to them. Federal law lets you demand that a bill collector stop calling you. So the next time a bill collector calls and you don’t want to talk to him or her say “Stop calling me!” The bill collector must not call you again except (1) to … Continue reading Stop calling me!
by James Michael Curcio, Hotline Intern Many older Americans count themselves among the 45% of taxpayers who do not pay federal income tax, either because their income is too low or because their income is not taxable. While not owing federal taxes does not necessarily mean you do not owe state taxes, it is likely that if you are not filing a federal return, you … Continue reading Don’t Have to File a Michigan Income Tax Return? Maybe You Should Anyway
by Jadranko Tomic-Bobas, Managing Hotline Attorney Over the last decade, outstanding student loan debt has nearly tripled with the current total is $1.3 trillion. Households with a net worth of less than $8500 hold more than 60%. More than 3 million Americans ages 50-64 are in default on their student loans. According to data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, “Americans 50 and older … Continue reading I am 65 and stuck with student loan debt. What do I do?
by David Jones, J.D., Hotline Attorney It is all too common for sellers of used motor vehicles to simply sign the title over to the buyer, and assume the buyer will register it with the Secretary of State. However, if the buyer does not register the title, the seller can face some real legal problems because the seller is still the owner of title. I … Continue reading An Unknowing Trap for Sellers of Motor Vehicles
by Katie Burns, J.D., Attorney, Housing Counselor, and HUD Certified Reverse Mortgage Counselor The Step Forward Michigan program has helped thousands of homeowners avoid mortgage, reverse mortgage, and property tax foreclosure. It was created in 2010, after Michigan received $498 million of the Hardest Hit Loan Fund established by the US Department of Treasury. Michigan homeowners with a qualifying hardship receive a mortgage lien and forgivable … Continue reading Step Forward Receives Additional Funding
by Daryl Thompson, J.D., Hotline Attorney Are you in a financial pinch? The Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit may provide you with valuable compensation that you have missed. Michigan seniors seem to be missing out on a valuable resource. Many seniors do not file their yearly income taxes because they do not owe any income taxes. This could lead to them not claiming the Homestead Property Tax … Continue reading Applying for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit
by Sandra Wisnewski, J.D., Director of the Mid-America Pension Rights Project EDRO is the acronym for, Eligible Domestic Relations Order. Without getting too bogged down with the gory details, a EDRO is a document that is generated when a divorce occurs. A EDRO is used when one or both of the parties earned a pension through a public employer during the marriage. A pension … Continue reading What is an EDRO?
by Miles Morley, MiCAFE Community Partner Liaison This is part six of a recurring series on the most common types of fraud reported in the Consumer Sentinel Network’s 2014 Data Book for the State of Michigan. The fifth most common fraud category for the state of Michigan is that of prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries fraud. The Consumer Sentinel Network’s 2014 Data Book defines these frauds as … Continue reading Lottery Scams over the Phone
by Kathryn Larlee, J.D., Hotline Attorney The spectre of medical debts haunts many people and especially those who are living on fixed incomes. According to a study done at Harvard University, the leading cause of bankruptcy is medical debt in this country. The study also shows that 78% of filers had some form of insurance, so those with medical insurance are not immune to the … Continue reading Medical Debt and Non-Profit Hospitals