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88% fully vaxed and new cases still risi   The Serious You: How Current Events Affect You

Started 10/20/21 by WALTER784; 18822 views.
Jeri (azpaints) said:

Do you remember the Shell oil contamination in CO in the late 70s early 80s? A friend of mine bought a house that had been condemned and "restored". She was a wonderful gardener until she tried planting a veggie garden and could barely grow zucchini. Zucchini grows in Colorado like grass in the plains. Drop a seed and harvest 50# of zucchini. Several yrs later there was a second class action suit by the new owners for the failure of the restoration

I remember the Love Canal story, and locally there was a case of hexavalent chromium in the soil about 10 miles from here. They sent everyone who has a water well within a 20 mile radius a big thick thing about the case. It didn't really migrate beyond a few hundred yards in the ground water in detectable amounts.

There is also a former electroplating place adjacent to a park made from reclaimed land. I stumbled on it in the woods while hunting geocaches. There was this fenced in area, and the whole lot had about 3 feet of concrete poured on it right up to the fence, and you could see bits of pipe and the top of a barrel barely poking out. There were big font danger signs plastered all over the fence warning of persistent poisons, yellow diamonds with skull and crossbones, and "do not enter do not touch anything" in English y en Espan~ol.

But there's a lot of places in Colorado contaminated by leaching from mine tailings all over the place.

A particularly cruel thing that some collection agencies have done is, when you negotiate down a huge bill once it has aged a bit, is they accept that but then send you a 1099 form declaring to the IRS that the amount they wrote off as "forgiven debt" which becomes taxable income.

This means that, say someone who makes only $20k a year, now ends up with an "income" of $250,000 with nearly all of that as "forgiven debt". And they are on the hook for income tax for all of that, and that kind of number pushes them into a really high tax bracket.

So they might have had this huge medical debt settled for maybe $3k and now they owe the IRS, maybe 38% of the $250k balance that was written off, which the victim never actually saw or handled - so they owe a huge tax bill on essentially Monopoly money that they never had access to.

That is just plain old wrong. But the federal government doesn't really care.

and tax debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

The only real way to avoid the dreaded 1099 is to actually wait and see if judgments are filed - lawsuit, etc. - and THEN file bankruptcy to cram down the balance to what one can actually pay. Do things in the wrong order and it's game over..

And if they don't file a lawsuit to collect and get a judgment, the safe strategy is to do nothing once the statute of limitations runs out. It stays on your credit report but, lots of people try to do the right thing and settle only to be sucker-punched by the IRS with a tax bill that may exceed their total actual income for the year plus all of their savings, home equity, etc.

Most people are unaware of that trap.

Jeri (azpaints) said:

Sadly, several states have that attitude

It's unlikely to change. Most people who are directly affected are not of prime voting age, or politically active, and since you don't inherit debt (fortunately), the medical debt is extinguished upon death unless someone was stupid enough to co-sign something. Most people die with a negative net worth anyway, so inheritance for most people is a moot point.

Thus those who can't inherit the family home and thus are condemned to years of apartment living and life on the treadmill when they could have saved hundreds a month to save for retirement, are in too small of a minority of votes to swing an election or have the lobbying power to get the laws changed.

I was hoping that Covid would kick a move to some kind of universal health care into overdrive but it looks like that once in a lifetime opportunity fizzled, leaving the US the lone place in the world where an illness leads to financial ruin.

And the supreme irony is, - bad debt writeoffs are a much bigger number than what it would cost to just bite the bullet and have universal health care.

Well, many don't realize that is the only way to get treatment until it's too late.

And many won't move to a blue state for other reasons. The U-Haul rental pricing and availability is a good indicator of which way the mass migrations are going. Young, healthy, fit people are fleeing the deep blue states in droves, like East Berliners fleeing to the West during the Cold War but without facing mine fields and barbed wire to keep them in. And so there's a rising brain drain in those places.

There has to be a functional balance between ruinous taxation and everyone totally on their own. But with polarization getting more extreme, I doubt we will see that, ever.

Jeri (azpaints)

From: Jeri (azpaints)


Since I wasn't paying for the bill, I didn't ask for itemized bills.  In the past when its been on my dime I did.

Jeri (azpaints)

From: Jeri (azpaints)


Yes.  She and hubby moved to Boston, bought a house near the harbor.  Sadly, she died a year later from a rare, deadly and quick acting cancer.  

Jeri (azpaints)

From: Jeri (azpaints)


I get shocked every month.  One med costs ver $4,000 but ins pays about $1100 for it.  Dr charges $350 a visit, insurance pays $95!  The system is really messed up!

Jeri (azpaints)

From: Jeri (azpaints)


This is the one I was talking about. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1988-12-20-mn-600-story.html  $1Billion in settlement.  

Superfund cleanup sights are all over the place.  I wonder if any have been successfully cleaned up.  There was one here near my DHs work but Ive lost track of it.  Johns Manville in CO had a real mess on their hands, too.  

I was surprised a couple yrs ago when the sight of a horse stable that held roping events here in Phoenix was put up for sale and the sale was stopped because the land was contaminated.  The owners hauled about 12-14" of top layer dirt over a 10 acre sight and then hauled in fresh dirt? Leveled it and its now the sight of part of Arrowhead Housing development.

Jeri (azpaints)

From: Jeri (azpaints)


I thought there was some movement to stop that practice.  We got caught in that mess several years ago and ended up paying tax on a $15,000 insurance deal.  I was livid!


From: Showtalk


That’s the time to hire an attorney and take it public.