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Am I Responsible for My Elderly Parents' Medical Bills?

As you get older, the roles reverse and you become responsible for your parents. Just as they cared for you when you were vulnerable, now you too must fend for them, especially if they are sick.

You understand this as a moral imperative, but you can't help wondering if there is a limit to this directive. Does it extend to paying parental debts when they are unable to cover their own costs, most notably medical bills?

As long as zombies remain a fictional trope of movies and television, they're pretty fun. But a real-life zombie would be horrifying. It's pretty much the same with zombie debt: not so threatening in theory, but when put into practice it can have catastrophic consequences on your life.

So what kind of debt can rise from the grave and try to feast on your brains wallet? Here's a breakdown of zombie debt, and whether the companies trying to collect on it are doing it legally.

Payday lenders prey on those in financial need, offering quick money with interest rates as high as 300 or even 1,000 percent. But it's about to get a bit harder for those lenders to find their next victim. Google announced this week that it is banning advertisements for payday loans and related products from its AdWords system.

The search (and everything else on the Internet) company positioned the new rule as protecting users from fake or harmful products and misleading advertising, and civil rights advocates have supported the move.

What Is Welfare Fraud?

When you think about crime, you probably think violence -- murders, robberies, that kind of thing. However, a lot of crime is committed by people you would never consider criminals, and who don't see themselves that way.

Every day, regular folk at all socioeconomic levels commit fraud on the government by misreporting information to avoid making payments or to receive benefits. Welfare fraud is among these crimes, and the consequences when caught can be severe. Let's look at a recent Connecticut case that illustrates welfare fraud.

Do Car Loan Companies Discriminate Based on Race?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice have been fighting for our right to fair financing, and you might be surprised by an area of recent focus. Since 2013, the agencies have been investigating indirect lenders associated with car companies and dealers, and they found their financing policies have a discriminatory impact on non-white borrowers.

The most recent target of investigation, reports JD Supra, is Toyota Motor Credit. The company this year entered into an enforcement order with the agencies -- a sort of plea deal -- to address the issue. It should be noted that the agencies did not find discriminatory lending was deliberate, yet it ended up having a discriminatory impact.

Almost all of us have had a disagreement with our credit card company. Whether it's a disputed charge, a surprise annual fee, or a shift in the interest rate, disputes are bound to happen. And when they did, most user agreements meant that consumers were obliged to resolve those disputes via arbitration, rather than lawsuits.

But those days may be over. A new proposed rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) would allow aggrieved consumers to bring class action lawsuits against financial institutions like credit card companies. So what does this mean for you and your credit card dispute?

Sallie Mae, a company that has faced numerous lawsuits for predatory and discriminatory lending practices to students, has found a new target for school loan debt: students' parents. It's a smart ploy from the lender/debt-collector -- why saddle young, unproven, and possibly unemployed kids with debt when you can put it on older and employed versions that are more likely to pay it back?

So if you just got done paying off your student loans, and are feeling that empty nest melancholy double whammy of no kids in the house and no loans on the books, fear not. Sallie Mae has a way for you to continue paying off student debt for maybe your whole life.

Scams are all around us. Fake wedding vendors; fake office supplies; and even fake grandchildren in distress. And now fake jury duty?

Most people do everything they can to avoid jury duty, and now they have to tray and avoid a jury duty scam so convincing it almost duped an experienced lawyer. Here's how it works:

When Should a Lawyer Look at Your Mortgage or Closing Documents?

Buying a house is a big deal for most people. It is a dream come true but it can turn into a nightmare, too, if you don't get help. Although state requirements vary widely and in many places you are not obligated to have an attorney for closing, you should consider hiring one anyway. It's best to have a professional look over your mortgage agreement before you sign.

Even if you trust the people you are dealing with, closing on a home is complicated. It involves numerous documents -- financial and otherwise -- and getting a careful professional review can save you money down the line, as well as minimize stress while buying a house.

Checklist for Creating a 'Living Together Contract'

You are not ready to tie the knot but you and boo want to take your relationship to the next level. You plan to move in together. Do you just go with flow or do you need a written agreement?

If you create a contract, are you undermining the romantic aspects of your evolving union? In other words, is it just too weird to turn your love into a business deal?