Saturday, September 27, 2008

IRS vs. Healthcare

As some of you know, my wife and I have spend the last 3 years paying out on a bankrupcty plan. We finally completed that.

We paid out 100% of our debt. That situation arose out of a few years of lackluster employment after the tech buble burst and Dick Armey spearheaded legislation to pay corporations to move their jobs overseas. The final kicker was when my wife suffered heart failure due to high blood pressure. Her one week stay in the hospital put us over the edge.

During the bankruptcy, we had a tremendously crappy lawyer that lied to us constantly about the terms of the agreement and about paperwork he filed or didn't file. When we entered bankruptcy, I had a temproary, high paying contract job. Through the period of bankruptcy, I took a series progressively lower paying jobs, just to stay employed. My attorney kept telling me that paperwork had been filed to get an adjustment, but everytime, he lied.

So I ended up making significantly less money, but still paying the premium rate. The only way we could manage this was to short the IRS. My lawyer actually recommended this as he said they won't come after us until the bankruptcy was over. Then he'd be off the hook.

Now we're dealing with the IRS. They keep changing the figures that we owe and keep asking for increasingly larger lump sum payments as our first installment, if we want good terms.

My wife has started needing medical care again. So we've shelled out some large lump sum payments for her tests. She has a suspicious growth on one of her kidneys. Tests to determine if it's cancerous, are going to run nearly $3,000. The IRS wants a lump sum payment of $2,500 within the month.

We can afford neither. If we put off the IRS and save for the medical tests, the IRS will just assess more huge fees and penalties. If we pay the IRS, then we're rolling the dice on whether my wife has cancer or not.

It's back to interesting times again.

Don't worry, we don't have insurance. So those of you worried about your rates going up, be sure they won't. We'll be paying out of pocket. These days insurance is for rich people and government employees


At 2:56 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Oh, man, I feel for both of you. I had a cancer scare this past summer. I was lucky. I had insurance and it was benign.

They're gouging us all. We had our prescription co-pay tripled.

Hang in there, we're with you.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger an average patriot said...

Damn Wease!
Take care of your wife and call the local Bar Association and talk to a Lawyer free. The IRS will fuck you over, take your house, and let your wife die. I have been strong armed in the past and my sister is right now! I used JK Harris an accounting firm to straighten me out but you don't want to pay anything. You can settle pennies on the dollar! Something can be done take care of your wife!

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous bay said...

Oh wease...i'm just sorry for your troubles...

take care....

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous edgar said...

damn irs, the revolution won't come quickly enough i fear. i hope your wife will be okay weaseldog.

At 8:41 PM, Blogger enigma4ever said...

I am so sorry that you are going through this...if I can do anything to help...or if you want us to sponser a fundraiser to help with everything,...or anything..I would gladly help do that...we are a community - we can help each other....many many prayers me if you want help ( or if you have any nurse questions I can help with...)

At 3:49 PM, Blogger an average patriot said...

Hey Wease
I have been caught up dealing with Houses just wanted to drop in and say I hope things are working out well for you guys. Take care!

At 4:45 AM, Blogger The North Coast said...

I feel so bad for you and your wife and hope you can get through this! Get another lawyer, call your bar association, and see if you can get a one-time settlement with the IRS. Their treatment of you two is brutal, especially given the light treatment they gave a man I know, who didn't report or pay taxes on a income of $250K a year for 4 solid years, but won a one-time settlement of only $2800 without even filing BK.

Your case shows how easy it is for honest, diligent people to fall through the cracks because of a convergence of personal disasters- catastrophic illness,unemployment-that you did nothing to cause. There is no succor for the non-rich who run into such circumstances, and this is one of the things we need to change.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments.

I have different lawyer for my tax problems than I employed for my bankruptcy.

The story I'm getting from him is that because receipts are way down, the IRS is taking a hard ass view again. He's telling me that the attorneys that are still promising the easy settlements, aren't able to deliver, and are currently under investigation.

My wife and I aren't completely blameless. We could have handled our money differently in 1999 and 2000 and been in a much better financial situation. I knew there would be a market turn down coming, and I sold what I had in the market while it was high.

Where my mistake was made, was in being too optimistic about the downturn. During my period of unemployment we drained our savings. Had we just paid off the house and the credit cards from the beginning, this would all be different. We'd be tight for cash, but we wouldn't be in debt.

We compromised, and the house is 70% paid off. But we're not out of the woods. I worry how things will work out in the next few years.

My attorney says to bear with the situation with the IRS for now. There are still measures that can be taken. We're not done yet.

I'm not yet ready to ask for charity. Though, when I do feel that way, we might all be looking for some.

My grandmother would've been shocked that I write about my problems in a public forum. But it's my view that in darkness, problems fester. We need to be telling each other what is going on. Our shared stories are the only way that the trials of our lives can be known. The media isn't going to report on our personal stories. We're just numbers to them.

If we don't tell our stories, then we don't exist. I have been touched by the stories of other people who have been tested in these times. I feel that I should be returning the favor.

Times are going to get worse. This is just the beginning. We are not alone.


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