DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

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Apr 6 2009

Avoiding Foreclosure

by Amanda L

making-home-affordable-logo

I blogged several months ago about the resources that the Library has and other sources available for those having trouble paying their mortgage. This blog entry is still helpful to those that have missed payments or have had their mortgage company begin the first step towards foreclosure.

There is now new help available through the Federal Government’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan that might be helpful to those folks who have mortgages ballooning or have lost all or part of their income. The first question to ask: do I qualify for this new help? To see if you might be eligible, check out the Making Home Affordable website created by the Federal Government.

The website lists two ways that the Plan might be able to help you. The first is refinancing your home. The second is what they call modification. This site helps with a Frequently Asked Questions page to determine which type of help might fit your situation.  It also has a couple of questionnaires that you can fill out to determine if you might qualify for help.

The Making Home Affordable website  lists additional resources that might be helpful if you are trying to keep your house and avoid foreclosure. In the future, the site will list the mortgage companies and banks that will be participating in this program.  It links currently to the Hope Now Alliance website.  This site  lists many of the mortgage providers’  mitigation websites.  Hopefully, this information can help, you or someone you know, have a place to start the process to keep their house.

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Feb 12 2009

Free Tax Filing at your Library

by Lesley B

One of the free IRS tax prep services that DeKalb County Public Library hosts each year is the AARP Tax-Aide program. AARP volunteers help hundreds of people each year file their taxes and collect their refunds. The IRS provides the computers and software. Volunteers complete approx. 100 hours of training before assisting low- and middle-income taxpayers of any age with their federal and state tax returns.

At the Dunwoody Library, Jerry Vitt is returning for his 12th year as an AARP Tax-Aide Coordinator. Last year his crew of volunteer tax counselors filed more than 750 tax returns. Mr. Vitt said, “The one thing I wish everyone knew is that this service really is absolutely free. It’s open to everyone, not just seniors, and you don’t have to be a member of AARP.” He added that even if someone doesn’t need to file a federal tax return, they should still come in to see if they’re eligible to claim the Georgia low income tax credit. The Dunwoody location files about 95% of the tax returns electronically, but they can print out a paper copy for those uncomfortable with the internet.

When you come to the library for tax help, bring the following with you:

  • current year’s tax forms and booklets
  • copy of last year’s tax return
  • all income forms, such as W-2, SSA-1099, all 1099 forms
  • child care provider information (name, employer, ID, SS#)
  • receipts or canceled checks if itemizing deductions.
  • Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and all dependents

Take a look at the AARP Tax-Aide website for more information about this program and for a list of all their locations, so you can let your grandmother in Florida know about this terrific FREE program.

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