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Ilyce Says ….

I’m a little bit annoyed with the new proposal from the Democratic leadership about paying for health care reform. I’m all for paying more in taxes, but it would be nice to get a program that might help everyone – not just the uninsured.

Supposedly I’ll benefit because getting everyone insured means we won’t have millions of Americans using emergency rooms for regular preventive care.

But I have to say, health insurance is really unaffordable for anyone who has to buy an individual or family policy. We are now paying more for our health care bill than any other single line item in our budget. Our $30,000 in health care (which includes medical insurance premiums, our 20 percent share, our dental bills, prescriptions, etc.) is more than our mortgage, food bill, entertainment bill, insurance premiums (homeowners, auto, excess umbrella liability, life, etc.) and real estate property taxes.

We had tried to apply for a less expensive plan, but because Sam had been diagnosed with a herniated disk 7 years ago, we’re ineligible. (The guy works out every day without a problem!) So, we’re stuck with our plan at the moment, which is increasingly expensive.

I don’t mind paying, but it would be nice to know that we could benefit from health insurance reforms as well.

Homestead Exemption

We heard from Brian today. Brian’s neighbor told him that the homestead exemption is going away. Brian called for clarification. I was unable to find out anything on the Georgia Department of Revenue Website. I’m tracking down some information, but would welcome anyone providing any links for me to look at.

In general, county governments are suffering as more people don’t pay their property taxes and tax revenue is decreasing while expenses keep going up. So tax assessors are well aware of the problem and don’t want to see more revenue disappear than is absolutely necessary. Watch this space for an update.

Websites and Phone Numbers from Today’s Show

We had a whole bunch of calls today from people who aren’t hearing back from their lenders regarding loan modifications and refinancings. I’ll see if I can get someone on air for Sunday who can discuss why it takes so long to process loan modifications, refinancings, short sales and foreclosure sales. Stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s the contact information I gave out earlier on the show:

Georgia Dept. of Banking and Finance. If you’re not getting your lender to pay attention to you, give the DBF a call: 770-986-1633 or online at http://dbf.georgia.cov.

Homeowners HOPE hotline. If your lender isn’t getting back to you on a loan modification, you may have found someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Call 888-995-HOPE to speak to a HUD-certified housing counselor. You can also call Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Atlanta and speak to one of their HUD-certified housing counselors (404) 527-7630.

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