What Debt Relief Companies Get Horribly Wrong When Helping Seniors

Almost half of seniors have incomes within 200% of the poverty line. They are classified as economically vulnerable and retire owing more debt than ever before. It is natural then that seniors with financial problems would search for someone to help them. Before the internet, communities had a local Consumer Credit Counseling Agency that would … Read more

The Lovable Credit Unions Have Some Hidden Devil

Credit Unions have a very loyal customer base. They are not-for-profit and owned by their members. As a result, they often offer lower interest rates. But there are some important differences between credit unions and banks regarding lending money. The Horrible Cross Collateralization Agreement Credit unions incorporate a “cross-collateralization agreement” in all loans except mortgages. … Read more

You Can Make the IRS Stop All Collections if You Do This

Persons with lower income who owe income taxes can often qualify for “Currently Not Collectible” (CNC) status and not be required to pay their past due IRS taxes. Therefore, it is not that difficult to obtain CNC status if you are in the lower-income bracket. Income Requirements You can qualify if your income is within … Read more

When Bad Debt Advice Hides Behind Good Advice

I just saw a Houston Texas TV story about Suzanne Black, an elderly 70 years old woman involved with a nonprofit debt management company, Money Management International. She paid $63,000 over the last five years with their help to get out of debt. While this may sound all fine and good on the surface, I … Read more

Credit Card Debt and Age: What Happens When Seniors Can No Longer Pay Their Debt? A New Look

By Eric Olsen, Attorney and Executive Director HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm Many seniors with credit card debt can’t afford to search for solutions. They see an ad on TV or search the internet and turn to a debt relief company for help. There are scores of these companies with fancy websites, BBB, and A+ ratings … Read more

Deceptive Answers Given to Seniors With Debt

by Eric Olsen, attorney and Executive Director HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm I recently read a question on a website that helped persons with credit card debt. The answer given is typical of the deceptive, incomplete, and false answers many websites and their experts provide to seniors with financial problems. Here is the question posed from … Read more

How Should a Representative Payee Deal With an Economic Impact Payment?

Question: Dear Steve, I need to ask for some advice. When the Economic Impact Payment was approved it included those who receive SSI, SSDI, and Veteran benefits. When the IRS was sending out the $1,200 and $2,000 I think for family’s they deposited in bank accounts that was used to file taxes, bank accounts if … Read more

An Open Letter to The National Council On Aging “Please Stop”

“Dear Mr. Knickman and the Board of Directors of the NCOA: My Name is Eric Olsen, Executive Director of HELPS, a national 501 (c) nonprofit law firm that assists lower-income and poor seniors. I am writing concerning a topic of grave concern where the NCOA may be providing harmful information to seniors. Your website makes … Read more

Garnishment of Poor Seniors by Federal Agencies- a Shameful Practice

By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, attorney, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm In 1996 a federal law was passed governing the collection of debts owed to federal agencies. It is called the “Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.” This law authorized a 15% garnishment of social security for various debts owed to federal agencies. Each agency is … Read more

Do Seniors Need Debt Settlement or Debt Management?

By Eric Olsen HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm Whether you’re relaxing in front of the TV set or working in front of the computer screen, it’s hard to miss advertisements for so-called “debt settlement” and “debt management” companies. Both claim to offer relief from debt. Both like assuring they can, “get you back on your feet … Read more

When Bankruptcy for Seniors Might be a Bad Idea

This guest post by Eric Olsen is a great example that not all debt experts need to agree all the time. Eric presents a very valid point of view and mine is slightly different. Eric describes a situation where seniors may consider it unnecessary to file bankruptcy. In my experience, bankruptcy in similar situations can … Read more