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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Sep 3, 2012.

Question

The state says they over paid me in unemp[loyment benifits in 2009. They say i need to pay back now i have it down to 1800.00 from 2200.00, but I did appeal and did that four times and won three out of the four and they still making me pay them back. if unemployed they take all of my benifits to do that. But how can i get this paid in a short period of time with other living bills no splurging. Making on average of four hundred a week bills are power 130.00 mo internet 17.00 water 30.00 and home phone 40.00 and one car loan at 103.00 and per paid phone at sixty a mo. and dog food at sixty a mo.and food for home three to four a mo. what can i do.

Answer

Unfortuantely, I would advise to continue to go back to the state and try to negotiate a settlement. Although you were successful in reducing the benefits, you also have to try to negotiate more time to pay off the alleged overpayment. Explain to them that with your current cash flow, it is impossible to pay the amount that they are demanding. Send them as much detail as you can and try to work with a supervisor if possible.
The aggressiveness of collections really does vary by state. Some states will work with you if you are showing a willingness to pay the debt off. Some may even forgive it altogether and apply any underpayment to future unemployment, lottery or other state payments. My understanding is that some states will also grant a waiver for some period of time.
Again, I think that showing willingness to pay it back should work in your favor. Tough situation, expecially if it was a mistake by the state.


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