Dollar bills

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Use of Private Collection Agencies  

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  

Red corded phone.

Stop calling me!

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!

Quarter, penny, and other coins.

Don’t Have to File a Michigan Income Tax Return? Maybe You Should Anyway

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

Stack of books

I am 65 and stuck with student loan debt. What do I do?

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?

Husband and wife standing in front of a house, smiling next to their new car with the driver door open.

An Unknowing Trap for Sellers of Motor Vehicles

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

House wrapped with Foreclosure tape front view

Step Forward Receives Additional Funding

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

Clip art house.

Applying for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit

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