By Eric Olsen for

A debt collector is threatening to sue me and put a lien on my home. Can they really take my property over one debt that I can’t afford to pay? And how would this affect my children if I die and there’s a lien on the property they’re supposed to inherit?

— Margaret B. in Illinois

Eric Olsen, Executive Director of HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm, answers…

Seniors often worry that if they are sued that a judgment could become a lien on their home. They fear that a judgment creditor could take their home. I will explain why this is almost never the case.

Many income sources for seniors are protected


Her parents have saved nothing, so she’s getting a job herself. What should she do next?

By Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m 15 years old. I’ll go to college in a few years. My parents haven’t saved up any money, but I’m getting a job soon so I can start saving. Where should I put the money? A 529 plan? A Roth IRA? Somewhere else? I don’t want to leave all of my savings in a savings account because FAFSA will see that and I’ll get less aid. Thanks!

– Cheyenne in California

Howard Dvorkin CPA responds…

First of all, Cheyenne, congratulations on being wise beyond your years. Not many teenagers realize that saving money is so important. …

By Deb Hipp for

Women already face obstacles to retiring securely, such as lower pay and possible time away from work for parenting or caregiving duties. Now the COVID-19 pandemic brings even more challenges to women trying to save for retirement, according to “Women and Retirement: Risks and Realities Amid COVID-19,” a report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS).[1]

“Amid the pandemic, these challenges have intensified with layoffs, furloughs, and extended periods of time working from home,” said Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and one of the authors of the report. …


Maybe you got an offer in your mailbox or inbox, telling you the amazing rates available to refinance your home. But if you are new to the home-owning game, you might not even understand what refinancing is. Before you decide if you should refinance your mortgage, let’s understand more about what it entails.

What does refinancing mean?

In the simplest of terms, refinancing is when you take your existing home mortgage and transfer the balance into a new loan. The primary goal is usually to get more favorable, more stable, interest rates. Refinancing is especially helpful for those who take out adjustable-rate…

Don’t wait for the foreclosure and eviction moratorium to end. Here’s advice for homeowners and renters from 12 real estate and housing experts.


President Biden has signed an executive order asking federal agencies to extend the foreclosure and eviction moratorium. The order seeks to extend moratoriums that were set to expire at the end of January through March 31, 2021.[1] These moratoriums protect renters from eviction and homeowners from foreclosure due to non-payment. The current moratoriums are set to expire on February 28, 2021.

Extending the foreclosure and eviction ban is just one part of the administration’s plan to rescue homeowners and renters. …

Make sure you’re up to the executor appointment before saying yes to a friend or relative.

By Deb Hipp for

Has a parent, sibling or friend asked you to be the executor for his or her estate? It may be your first instinct to agree immediately to settle the estate for someone you love after they die, but not everyone is cut out for the job.

Before you agree to take on the many detailed and tedious responsibilities of an executor, it’s crucial that you make sure you have the personality and skills necessary to settle the estate without causing undue stress and disruption to your life.

1. Do I understand the duties of an executor?

As the executor of someone’s estate, you will…

Scammers take a stab at preying on public health fears with COVID-19 schemes.

By Deb Hipp for

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning in December to Americans that scammers are using the public’s interest in COVID-19 vaccines to obtain personally identifiable information (PII) and money through a number of schemes.[1]

In December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized both the Pfizer COVID-19 and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, and those vaccines, along with Operation Warp Speed distribution plans, have been in the news daily.[2]

So, of course, scammers have stepped up to cash in on Americans’ COVID-19 fears and concerns with fake advertisements for vaccines, bogus messages…

COVID-19 has changed how we think about our healthcare and our social lives. Will it change how we think about our finances?

By Joe Pye for

January 12, 2021

Long after the vaccines are injected and the pandemic has passed, COVID-19’s aftermath might linger for years. Perhaps none will be more profound than how Americans think about their money.

A new poll from and asked more than 1,000 working Americans about their financial habits as the pandemic dragged into (and now past) December. More than two-thirds of respondents say they’re spending much less than during normal times — which includes those who haven’t suffered any income loss.

While that’s not really a surprise, this was: HerMoney and asked…

There’s more rumor than news right now, but here’s what Biden can legally do and what he can’t — and maybe shouldn’t.

By Joe Pye

When Joe Biden is sworn on Wednesday as the nation’s 46th president, he’ll be on the clock for all his campaign promises. One of those was about wiping out student loan balances for thousands — or was it millions? — of Americans.

“It’s holding people up,” Biden said on the campaign trail. “They’re in real trouble. They’re having to make choices between paying their student loans and paying their rent, those kinds of decisions.”

Now Biden has to make some tough decisions. On the campaign, he promised to forgive…

  • $10,000 of federal student loan debt for all…

Millions of seniors failed to save enough to stop working, and now younger Americans are making their same mistakes

By Joe Pye for

My grandmother used to beg my grandfather to save money so they could one day stop working. She would say to him, “please, Fred, I don’t want to eat cat food when we retire.” He never did save his money, but luckily she never had to eat cat food.

The two divorced in their 50s because she grew sick of his selfish behavior with money. It was a smart choice for her, but it was just the beginning of a difficult journey rebuilding her credit and financial life late in the game. My grandfather’s choices… helps people with credit card debt, tax debt, student loans debt, credit report errors, ID theft issues, bankruptcy & more!

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