Tidbits from the Law – May 2010

By Denice A. Gierach – May 2010

The following are items that may be of interest to you: …If you have a student going to college, consider the relief provisions for borrowers grappling with student loan debt through the federal income based repayment programs. These programs only apply to government backed loans. The current program, which began in July of 2009, caps the amount that the borrower has to pay back during the year at 15%. After 25 years of payment, any remaining balance, including both principal and interest, is forgiven. This program was recently expanded. For instance, for debt issued after 2014, the cap is lowered to 10% of income and the debt is forgiven after 20 years. For further information, check out the site IBRinfo.org, which has links to applications and calculators.

…If you are 65 or older and are still working for an employer with 20 or more workers and are covered by health insurance, the employer health insurance plan is your primary insurer. If you are satisfied with the plan, you don’t need to enroll in Part B. Later, you can enroll in Part B without penalty during a special enrollment period for eight months after you lose your group health coverage or you or your spouse stop working, whichever comes first. If you work for a smaller employer with less than 20 employees, that employer is not required to provide primary health insurance coverage to people who qualify for Medicare. For those employees, it is advisable for you to get it in writing that you will continue to be covered under a plan, or sign up for Part B anyway, to avoid the higher premiums.

…One of the new laws passed by Congress in 2009 is called the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009. This law states that it is now a major fraud to make a false statement in a mortgage loan application. This law can implicate a mortgage broker or agents who make false statements. It also sets up a commission called the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission within the legislative branch, whose purpose is to get to the bottom of what has caused the current financial crisis. It includes an appropriation of $165 million for enforcement by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney and another $40 million to the Securities Exchange Commission.

…Under amendments to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a vehicle parking pass for a person with a disability may only be used by the authorized holder. If it is used improperly, a police officer may confiscate the pass and the Secretary of State can revoke it and revoke the disability license plates.

Denice Gierach is a lawyer and owner of The Gierach Law Firm in Naperville. She is a certified public accountant and has a master’s degree in management. She may be reached at her website at 630-756-1160.