Monthly Archives: July 2009

Bankruptcies Driving the Health Care Bill

I was asked by one of my clients to pull a credit report for a prospective buyer of one of his homes. He had the person fill out our form and sign the authorization and then we scheduled a time to talk together to discuss whether this would be a good candidate.

Nothing about this person’s credit was good. There were a number of small medical collections totalling around $800. Then came the unpaid utility bills – around $2000. After that we had four credit cards that totaled over $20,000 – all charged off by the credit card companies for lack of payment.

Two past landlords filed a suit for non-payment of rent and the state of Michigan has a lien filed for non- payment of taxes.

I scheduled a time to talk with this person to hear her story because my client was considering a “rent to own” situation (which I obviously cautioned in this particular case).

Some notable quotes from the phone call:

“Some of my debts are mine and some are from someone else who stole my credit.”

“I’m considering filing bankruptcy (for which she will represent herself) but I will only wrap in those debts that are mine, not the ones that this other person took out, because I’m a Christian person and I’m not like that.”

(Christian enough to go into debt and to file bankruptcy) Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all debt is unchristian, but come-on, this is sounding a lot like justification for bad behavior, but it gets better!

She kept saying that her situation was because of a medically related problem she had, so naturally I asked her for the amount of medical bills she paid that caused her to go behind on so many other bills. She informed me that Medicare covered everything except for the amount on the credit report (remember, this came to $800 and she plans to file bankruptcy to avoid paying this).

Then I asked her for her proof of income, because she must have lost time at work; that must be the reason she went behind on all of these accounts. Nothing there either. She was employed – and paid full time – right up to the point that she was approved for disability (did I mention the lawsuit against her employer) – she was recently awarded over $30,000 cash and was then given a disability income of 60% of her net pay – really not skipping a beat.

“Getting this disability was a Godsend” she said, relieved. “I’m hoping to make a little bit of money from home while I take care of my sister’s kids for her, my sister will pay me under the table and I’m allowed to make a certain level of income with out losing the disability pay” (Oops, don’t tell the Christians at church about this one either – good thing for privacy laws!).

Next time you hear a politician sell you a costly health care bill because 50% of all bankruptcies are related to someone’s lack of health care – which is the box this woman checked on her self prepared bankruptcy filing – think of her and vote for a different plan.

The plan that’s currently on the table makes this kind of behavior standard. Why would I pay for something if other responsible citizens will pay for me? I guess now even the Christians can’t be trusted on this one. Go figure that into the cost of the bill! Continue reading

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Is Lansing, MI real estate a good buy? Why I think it is.

You’ve seen the Wall Street Journal head line.  What does this mean for Lansing, Michigan?  Today’s email will answer these important questions; take the time to read through to the end. What is the S & P Case-Shiller 20 City … Continue reading

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Lower Taxes and create Economic Growth – hmm, never thought of it.

I have a three minute commute to work.  The nice thing about that is I only have to listen to three minutes of talk radio in the morning (why I even subject myself to that much, I don’t know).  Be … Continue reading

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There is no such thing as a bad question (but some ARE less relevant than others)

In any single day we are faced with hundreds and hundreds of decisions.  Most of them need to be made in the moment.  Very few of them carry a long term impact. Do I buy a half gallon of milk or a … Continue reading

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