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Pittsburgh Legal Issues Blog

Taking control of your medical debts

While medical debts have declined, 25 percent of Americans under the age of 65 have unpaid medical bills according to the Urban Institute. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 27 percent actually postpone health care because of challenges in paying premiums and meeting deductibles. The number one call by a debt collector involves medical debts, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Far too many U.S. citizens covered by insurance are one surgery or ambulance ride away from seeing their finances devastated.

7 facts women should know about bankruptcy

Being unable to sleep at night because your finances are keeping you awake is no way to live. You do have options to help you get out of the financial crisis. You deserve to live a life without worrying about creditors harassing you. Bankruptcy is one option that you might exercise. Consider these points before making your decision.

RadioShack returns to bankruptcy court

For unsustainable businesses finding its way in an ever-changing marketplace, one bankruptcy may not enough. Sometimes, it takes a second filing to determine if they can truly sustain in the future.

RadioShack is the latest example. Facing a challenging retail environment and an unsatisfying partnership with Sprint, the electronics retailer has returned to a U.S. bankruptcy court on March 8 to file its second Chapter 11 reorganization in two years.

Accurate tax payments can help reduce your debt load

For many Americans with standard employment, taxes are withheld automatically from their weekly, biweekly or monthly paycheck. At the beginning of each year, when taxes are filed, people rejoice when they receive news that they will be getting a sizable tax refund. Many people choose to use that lump sum to pay off or pay down some of the credit card debt they've accumulated through the year. Unfortunately, that balance on your credit card is accruing massive amounts of interest each month, while the money that the Federal government over-withheld in taxes does not.

While you may look forward to that potential refund every tax season, it's often not in your best financial interests to overpay your taxes in the hope of receiving a sizable refund. Especially if you are accumulating debt, that over-payment could be causing problems for you. If you are having a difficult time making minimum payments on your credit cards and struggling to pay your other bills, you may want to consider bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you review your debt and income to determine how you should proceed.

The growing problem of credit card junk fees

No one questions that credit card companies are moneymaking masters. They promote a product where desired possessions are but a swipe away. However, they are not as upfront about the costs associated with those swipes.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 was enacted to protect consumers from hidden and unreasonable charges. Fast-forward eight years. A pro-business presidential administration has taken control, promoting an agenda of de-regulation.

Night of the living debt collectors

After getting their start in low-budget, black-and-white horror movies, zombies have gained prominence in many genres. While the “walking dead” enjoy their share of fans, many enthusiasts become fanatics, creating doomsday scenarios of a real-life zombie apocalypse.

Those fears of attacks are no longer fantasy. Different kinds of zombies have ambled and stumbled into reality. They have found new ways to “make contact” with their victims.

The financial insecurity of being a baby boomer

Baby boomers were once well known for enjoying a significantly wider savings gap than those from prior generations. However, a growing trend shows a significant increase in debts for the 75 million boomers close to or at retirement age.

According to an analysis of federal data conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, U.S. residents from 65 to 74 years old hold are burdened with five times the borrowing obligations than Americans their age had two decades ago.

3 ways to pay off debt after completing college

Many people find themselves in situations where they can't afford their bills. Whether it's a result of a medical condition or your school loans, you have every right to get out of debt and to balance your financial future. As a young adult, you've just finished college and are starting a good job. Now focus on paying down your debt with these tips.

Rising healthcare costs and the burden of medical debts

The costs associated with serious ailments are continuing to rise in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, Americans spend more on healthcare per capita than any other nation in the word. Not content to stay at 10 times the global average, the amount continues to grow.

U.S. government figures show an increase of 5.8 percent in 2015 for a total of $3.2 trillion, representing 17.8 percent of the economy. That number accounts for close to $10,000 per person.

What are the signs of student loan scams?

Even though a new party is in power in Washington, companies are still using the hook of the previous president whose administration introduced programs to reduce student loan burdens. By invoking the Obama name and the association of repayment plans based on income, they make debt relief promises that they cannot keep.

These companies take advantage of complex and confusing federal loan repayment and consolidation plans. They engage in exploitation through illegal activities that range from deceiving their customers about actual costs to guaranteeing protection from default or garnishment. Some go as far as falsely claiming an affiliation with the U.S. Department of Education.

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