Read the Latest Issue of ‘Your Money & The Law’ Newsletter
It’s a debtor’s nightmare: You pay a company to help you pay off what you owe, but the company rips you off for thousands of dollars, then makes empty promises to give you a refund. The victims file a class-action lawsuit and fight for four years to recoup what you’re owed, all you ultimately get is $185. That’s what happened to California consumers who hired debt-settlement companies to help them consolidate and pay off debts.
Missouri is one of the latest states to strike down damage-cap laws that hurt consumers when they file a medical malpractice or injury lawsuit. The laws were enacted as part of an anti-consumer movement known as “tort reform.” Starting in the 1970s, it was designed to severely cut awards made by juries.
A divorce decree addresses, among other things, division of both the assets and debts accrued during the course of a marriage. This includes credit card debt. Credit card companies, however, are not bound by divorce decrees. Unless you are careful right from the moment you decide to separate, you can end up being liable for your ex’s credit card debt.
A last will and testament, as well as other estate planning documents, are important parts of your overall financial strategy. Join Lawyers.com and estate planning attorney Sharon M. Siegel on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 10 pm ET for a free online discussion about last will and testaments, probate, power of attorney and other estate planning issues.
Medical debt is one of the main factors leading to bankruptcy. In fact, it’s a contributing cause in 62 percent of personal bankruptcy filings, according to one study. Medical debt differs from other forms of consumer debt, since it usually results from something completely unpredictable—an illness or injury. In addition, health issues often prevent a person from working and earning income to pay off the bills. Many American families are just one serious illness or injury away from bankruptcy.