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February 2008
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April 2008

Jim, Can I Stop A Collection Agency From Calling Me At Work?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives all Americans the right to stop collectors from calling them, at work or anywhere else for that matter. Collection agencies call people at work to embarrass and harass them, plain and simple. If you want to stop the harassment, simply send a certified letter and put the collector on notice that they cease and desist all collection phone calls to you. Instruct them that they may only communicate with you in writing. After they receive this letter, they may be subject to fines of more than $10,000 PER CALL if they continue. If... Read more →


Jim Addresses Several Questions Related To The Upcoming Tax Filing Deadline And the Mailing of Tax Rebate Checks.

1. What is the filing deadline this year for a federal tax return? April 15. 2. Can I get more time if I am not ready to file by April 15th? Yes, you can file IRS form 4868 and request an extension of up to six months to file your return. 3. What if I owe money and can not pay at the time I file my return? If you owe money to the IRS and can not pay that when filing your return, you should still file anyway. Additionally, you should submit IRS form 9465 (request for installment agreement).... Read more →


Jim, My Employer Is Discontinuing Health Insurance Coverage And Is Going To Pay Me The Cash To Buy Insurance On My Own. My Wife Thinks I Should Quit My Job, What Should I Do?

I just read an article on this last week in USA Today. The idea of dropping company paid health insurance and instead giving employees the money to buy their own coverage is a growing trend, but not new. For many years, I did this in my businesses. I became very frustrated with how little employees seemed to appreciate my payroll costs. I found out very quickly that we could pay an employee $200 to $250 per month in extra salary and simply discontinue our group health insurance plan and save thousands. This worked for me, since most of my employees... Read more →


Jim, How Can I Stop A Collection Agency From Calling Me At Work?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives all Americans the right to stop collectors from calling them, at work or anywhere else for that matter. Collection agencies call people at work to embarrass and harass them, plain and simple. If you want to stop the harassment, simply send a certified letter and put the collector on notice that they cease and desist all collection phone calls to you. Instruct them that they may only communicate with you in writing. After they receive this letter, they may be subject to fines of more than $10,000 PER CALL if they continue. If... Read more →


Jim. I Am Behind On My Mortgage. A Person Has Approached Me Offering To Take Over My Payments, Should I Consider This?

I would probably not allow someone to take over your payments unless you have absolutely no way to sell the property and are facing imminent foreclosure. It is possible to sign away your rights on a property(executing a quit claim deed) and leave someone with the obligation of making your ongoing mortgage payment. This is known as selling “subject to” the existing mortgage. There has been much written on subject to real estate transactions. A common practice is for the subject to buyer to make your back payments and then agree to make the payments going forward. This is usually... Read more →


We Are Buying Our 16 Year Old A Car. Should We Put Her Name Or Ours On The Title?

I have received this question many times and I wish there was a perfect answer. Of course, there is no greater control over a teenager than to have the authority to take away their car, but having your name on the title can be very risky. In the event of an accident, the driver and the owner of the vehicle can be sued. By putting the title of the car in your child’s name, it would be difficult for you to end up being sued if they were at fault in an accident. There are still some legal theories upon... Read more →


Jim, I Have Been Seeing A Lot Of TV Infomercials About Foreclosures. What Are Your Thoughts On Buying Foreclosures At This Time?

Yes, the infomercial guys are really starting to push foreclosure investing. I have an e Book on this topic available for only $9.95, which will give you everything you to know to get started with finding and buying foreclosures (a far better deal that you will find through the TV infomercials). Jim's Foreclosure e Book The major drawback involved with buying foreclosures is that you will likely need to buy the property and hold it for at least 2 to 3 years. This is why my primary recommendation on buying foreclosures is for people to use this as a strategy... Read more →


Jim, Should I Answer An E Mail Asking For My Tax Information?

Jim, I received an e mail that was allegedly from the IRS. The e mail contained a link that took me to a page that requested all of my personal information as well as my Social Security Number. The e mail suggest that I was due a refund, could this be legitimate? To my knowledge, the IRS does not send out refund notices via e mail. It is very likely that what you received was a “phishing” e mail (a type of e mail used to steal personal information). The first tip off would be if the link contained in... Read more →


What Is Umbrella Liability Insurance and Do I Need It?

Comprehensive personal liability insurance (CPL), also known as umbrella liability, provides a method for individuals to carry additional liability coverage to protect against liabilities that may exceed the coverage limits on homeowners and auto insurance. The term umbrella liability is used to describe the concept of an umbrella of liability protection over an individual (that extends beyond the auto and homeowner policies). We are all familiar with the liability coverage we purchase for our vehicles and our homes, a CPL simply stacks additional coverage above and beyond those limits. As an example, if you have a maximum of $500,000 in... Read more →