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Mother fell victim to fraud, now debt collections is after her

My mother fell victim to fraud regarding her mobile account. The amount of charges went up close to $30,000. She had the phone company open up an investigation on the issue and they ended up siding with my mother and got rid of all the charges. However, they ended up contacting my mother about a month later and said there was an “issue” with the investigation and went back on it.

The person who contacted us from the mobile phone company ended up saying they will only send about $12,000 to collections. We ended up filing a police report for investigation. They concluded that my mom was indeed a victim, but was not able to do much outside of that since the fraud came from overseas. This is on record with the police department.

She ended up getting a letter from the billing department regarding the debt. But it was for the full amount. Not the $12,000 that was supposed to be sent. We initially thought this was some sort of scam letter at the time since the billing calls were coming from India.

She just got a debt collection notice from a legitimate collection agency for the full amount. I am in the process of helping her wright back to dispute all or at least part of the debt.

I am wondering what should she do about this. What details should/shouldn’t she give to the debt collectors for the response? Should I try to talk to the debt collectors first, or should I lawyer up first to fight this? What kind of lawyers should I look into if so? And how much would be a rough estimate for a lawyer for this case?

I am open to any other advice as well.

My mom wants my brother to co-sign a 30 year real estate loan with her

My mom has been homeless for the past year, jumping from hotel to hotel, and my brother has been staying with her, mostly out of obligation and to help her pay for their hotel rooms. It took him awhile to start working after high school, but he is now, and I’m incredibly proud of him. He doesn’t need to live with my mom anymore, he could, with some help, strike out on his own. But I don’t think my mom could manage without assistance of some kind. All of this is worrying enough for me, but my mom has also been trying to get a home loan. She found one (that I’ve looked into: it is legitimate) that requires no down payment, and is stretched out over 30 years of monthly payments. The problem is this: her credit score and income is not enough by itself to attain this loan. But my brother has very fresh credit (no established credit, but no bad credit either), a solid job, and a lot of money saved up. It looks like, if he co-signed this loan, they would both be able to get a house, and pay a mortgage instead of expensive “rent” to a series of hotels. Mom said that he’d be removed as soon as possible from the loan, so it would all be on her, and both of them would be living in this house either way, but I’m still incredibly worried. I wanted to post here and see if my worry is justified, and if so, what should I do?

I got the job! Now I have some deduction questions!?!

So I got an over the road job and I was wondering if I can deduct things like purchases of clothing or the cell phone bill that I use on the cell phone that is strictly for when I am on the truck and anything else that I might be able to deduct that won’t be disputed by the IRS ?

I was thinking close, food not paid for by the company as well as any lodging, hygiene, items purchased and only used while on the road, etc.

Basically anything that is purchased and used solely while working and on the road or under load.

Cash out whole life insurance

My grandfather started a whole life insurance policy when I was born, I’m now 26.

The cash value of the policy is $65k, death benefit $500k

I purchased a home last week with an assumable mortgage. In order to do this I had to take on a 40k HELOC at an 8.5% interest rate to cover the previous owners equity.

I also don’t have very much in the way of liquid cash at the moment as I sunk all of my savings into the down payment on this purchase to reduce the HELOC.

Do I cash out and take the ~53k after tax to help rebuild my savings and eliminate the HELOC?

Any advice appreciated.

How to invest in child’s future beyond college savings?

We have a 1 year old and want to set him up as ideally as possible. I do not want “his” money sitting in our savings any longer as it isn’t doing anything.

We already have a 529 College Advantage account open for him and will continue to contribute on a monthly basis for the next 17+ years so I don’t believe I want to dump a lump sum into that account.

Ideally, I would like to start investing on his behalf now to benefit him when he starts his own family (late 20s/early 30s etc). I feel like I’m stuck and have no idea what to do. I wanted to invest in some mutual funds but it sounds like a “custodial account” will transfer over at ~18-21 years of age which seems incredibly young.

Our personal finances to the best of my limited ability, my wife and I both get the max match from our 401Ks, we have a nest egg (several months’ worth of bills/mortgage etc), our debt is in our mortgage and my student loans, I have a Roth IRA that I am contributing to (a simple Vanguard Index Fund targeted date of 2055) but I am not MAXING our contributions as we aren’t that well off and money is tight lately.

I appreciate any guidance and suggestions you may have for this scenario. To recap: 1 year old, already has a 529 set up, looking to dump the lump sum into something that can actually accumulate a small amount of wealth not just sit in a savings account if possible.

Am I crazy to have expected a higher raise with my promotion?

For context, I work in finance and have about 2 years of working experience. Recently just had my end of year pay convocation which includes how much my bonus will be as well as yearly raise. This year my performance was very well and I “exceeded expectations” which included a promotion, a raise, bigger bonus and increase in my overall bonus percent for next year’s performance. Here are the numbers: salary went from 76k -> 82k (~7% increase), my bonus was 120% funded of my 12% (came out to a little over 10k) and overall bonus percent went from 12% -> 15%.

Based on my research, promotions typically can result in a pay increase of 10-20% from my understanding. Additionally, last year I got a raise of 9% (70k -> 76k), however, my performance was “met expectations”. So, sure I got a bit more when it comes to the bonus but compared to last year’s salary increase it feels as if my new salary increase was a bit low. On top of that, market rate for the role I am in pays on average around 100k per year so I feel as if I am being underpaid. Am I crazy to have expected at least 90k for my salary?

Can a disputed credit card transaction go to collections?

I’m currently in a situation where I was involved in a home improvement project gone wrong. I went through Lowes for countertops and the third party contractor they used to fabricate and install them destroyed my renovation work and installed poorly fabricated countertops. On top of that, they forged the final paperwork indicating to Lowes that the project was “Complete” when it was not as I was still unhappy with their work. I’ve been talking to Lowes on and off for a few days now and it sounds like they’re getting ready to send the remaining balance to collections.

It’s not a matter of if I can pay for it or not because I can. Its $2600 remaining on the balance. The issue is that I have not yet received the product I paid for.

I have a perfect credit history having never missed a payment and I’m sitting in the 780-800 range for my credit score, I do not want to mess that up.

My question is, can I pay the remaining balance on a credit card and then dispute the transaction with my Credit Card company to have a line of defense between me and Lowes? Or can Lowes still send that disputed transaction to collections and hit my credit score?

Repaying Debt vs Investing

I (M23) have a education loan with INR 590k outstanding at an interest rate of 7.9%

I’ve don’t have to start making even minimum payments July ’24.

I easily have a surplus of >80k INR every month.

Should I invest the money or start repaying the loan asap?

Early payoff statement from credit card company

My wife and I are using our equity in our property to renovate our home/payoff a debt. However they need a payoff statement from this cc company. Before we can close but I don’t have a statement generate for another week. Is there a way to get an early statement from a cc company.

Opening a Roth IRA: Lump sum or divided contribution?

Hello! I’m planning on opening a roth ira account with fidelity soon (this month) just have a few questions.

Is it better to do a lump sum (~$6000) to invest now or divide the contributions? For next year,2024, I’m planning to divide contributions but this year to catch up I’m not sure if I should lump sum the whole limit.