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Help Save Fred's Auto and Engine Repair Shop

freds auto buzzz machine shop small engine repair schenectady new york

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#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 12, 2015 - 08:38 AM

Hello all!  I know it has been quite a while since I have posted anything on the forums here, but I have been very busy working 2 jobs now and trying to fix my truck that I blew the engine in last year.  But anyways, I wanted to post this here to try to help drum up support for my campaign.  I am trying to help fundraise to help out a Schenectady, NY small business owner who has fallen on hard times lately due to health issues and his resulting medical bills. He has helped me out a lot with fixing my cars, engines, and tractors, so now I would like to try to help him out in his time of need.

 

Please visit http://www.GoFundMe.com/SaveFredsAuto and donate whatever you can to help out Fred!

 

Please also re-post this to your Facebook or Twitter accounts to help spread the word! Thank you in advance for all your help!

 

Fred has two of my Bolens Tractors right now that need engine rebuilding, but he was unable to work on them for the past year and a half due to his health problems and being in and out of the hospital so much.  His medical bills have really piled up and now they are chasing him for the money and have put a hold on his bank accounts and taken his VA Pension and Social Security money, leaving him with nothing to live on!  I have been helping him out with $200-$300 a month and buying him food and such, but he needs more help than I can give him right now to keep him in his home and puttering around his shop.  That is why I started this campaign to try to help him out as he has been very good to me and has helped me out a lot over the years with my projects.  He has even let me use his shop on the weekends to work on my cars and tractors.  With any luck, maybe this year I can make some progress on some of my projects...  but only with some help to keep Fred's shop open.

 

I thank you all for your time reading his story, donating to this cause, and helping to spread the word!

 

 

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#2 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted April 12, 2015 - 09:04 AM

Buy his shop and You keep it going or hire out someone to run. Would think that be best offer in this circumstance.  I guessing he will Never be back in the business to make money if sick.  Maybe Disability needs to be looked into? Selling off, like it or not, seems best idea to me. Sometimes you just have to move on, like it or not!


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#3 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 12, 2015 - 09:11 AM

If he has a VA pension, the VA should have paid his hospital bills! It takes atleast a 30% disability to get a VA pension. Someone is giving him a run around. He needs to talk to a rep of the DAV. They have people to help in these things. I have been told many times that SS and VA payments cannot be attached by anyone except the Federal Government. Something is missing from this story. Good Luck, Rick

 

What percentage does GoFundMe take? I've heard that alot of them take a big part.


Edited by boyscout862, April 12, 2015 - 09:13 AM.

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#4 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 12, 2015 - 09:39 AM

Yes, GoFundMe does take a cut, which I don't like, but I guess it is not all that much when you think about it.  They take 5% of the donations and the payment processing company they use (WeFund.com) takes 2.9% plus 30 cents on each transaction.  So, it ends up being around 7.9% of the donations go to the website and you get the rest.


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#5 greenb69 ONLINE  

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Posted April 12, 2015 - 09:48 AM

If he has a VA pension, the VA should have paid his hospital bills! It takes atleast a 30% disability to get a VA pension. Someone is giving him a run around. He needs to talk to a rep of the DAV. They have people to help in these things. I have been told many times that SS and VA payments cannot be attached by anyone except the Federal Government. Something is missing from this story. Good Luck, Rick

What percentage does GoFundMe take? I've heard that alot of them take a big part.

I am a vet and get a pension. I agree that part of the story is missing. Only the Feds can attach your pension and SS. Something isn't right.
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#6 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 12, 2015 - 09:51 AM

I have been told many times that SS and VA payments cannot be attached by anyone except the Federal Government.

 

Yes,  we all thought the same thing too.  Fred has been told the same thing by his lawyer and the advocate at the VA.  They are all surprised that they were able to take this money.  However, if the medical bills are in collection now since they were not paid by either the VA or by his insurance and they managed to put a hold on his bank account, whatever money gets deposited in there regardless of where it came from is going to be taken out and sent to the collection agency.  It is not like he is receiving a physical check from the VA or Social Security and somehow the collection agency is able to intercept that money and prevent the check from going out.

 

I have tried to explain the situation to the best of my ability from what he has told me, but as this is not my personal situation, I do not know all of the precise details or what they have told him over at the VA.  I know part of the problem was that his insurance had lapsed while he was in the hospital since he was not able to get his mail or keep current with paying his insurance premiums.  He has since reinstated his health insurance and has been trying to get them to pay his medical bills retroactively, but evidently they will still only cover up to 70% of the medical bills, leaving him to pay the co-pays and the out-of-pocket expense portion of the bills.  I do know that the VA has picked up the majority of the tab, but for whatever reason they have not covered 100% of all of his medical bills.  I am not sure why that is or what percentage they are supposed to cover or the full details of that.


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#7 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 12, 2015 - 10:04 AM

We had the same problem many years ago. The hospital was trying to double bill and we had to notify the Attorney General. He went after the hospital which had been double billing all vets. It took time but it got straightened out and the hospital paid a big fine to the State of CT. 

 

He needs to get a lawyer. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, April 12, 2015 - 11:49 AM.

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#8 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2015 - 07:28 AM

We had the same problem many years ago. The hospital was trying to double bill and we had to notify the Attorney General. He went after the hospital which had been double billing all vets. It took time but it got straightened out and the hospital paid a big fine to the State of CT. 

 

He needs to get a lawyer. Good Luck, Rick

 

No, I do not believe that is the issue here.  The hospital is not double-billing or anything.  Since you asked these questions though, I talked with Fred this week about it and here is what I found out that should answer your questions.

 

First, the VA did not pick up all of his medical expenses because he did not go to a VA Medical Center when he had is stroke and was in the coma.  There is no VA Medical Center with a Trauma Center in Albany and as he needed to go to a hospital with a Trauma Center and the closest one was all the way in Syracuse, NY, he had to be taken somewhere else closer.  As it was, he fell into the coma after he made it to the local hospital.  If they had tried to take him to the VA Medical Center in Syracuse, he most likely would have died on the way there.  But because of this, the VA will only cover 70% of his hospital bill.  They will only cover 100% of the bill if he was treated at a VA Medical Center.  So, that is why the VA did not pick up the whole tab.

 

He did have supplemental insurance to cover any expenses not covered by the VA, but the insurance still requires his to pay co-pays of service and pay a certain amount of out-of-pocket expenses before they will cover the rest.  This is where Fred got slammed with close to $10,000 in medical bills from the insurance company.  Plus, to make things worse, while he was in the hospital for so long, he could not get his mail that was piling up at home.  As he has no wife or kids or family who could get into his home and bring him his mail, he did not get the bill for his insurance.  So, his insurance ended up lapsing as he didn't pay his premiums on it while he was in the hospital.  He has now since paid the premiums and reinstated his insurance and has been fighting with them to make his coverage retroactive to cover his bills from when he was in the hospital, but they have been dragging their feet on it.  If they do come through, it could lower his obligations on the hospital bill, but he will still end up with a pretty hefty portion of his overall medical bills to pay.  The co-pays on a hospital stay alone are around $50-$150 per day.  Follow-up doctors visits are $20 each time (and he was going a couple of times a week, especially just after he got out of the hospital).  This all adds up quickly over a year and a half, almost.

 

I also already addressed why I think the collection agency was able to take his VA Pension - since they are intercepting it directly out of his bank account as they have a hold on his checking account.  It is not like the collection agency went to the VA or Social Security and told them that this guy owes us money, so you need to send us his pension checks.  If that were the case, then yes, the VA or Social Security would have told the collection agency to pound salt as they cannot be attached by a collection agency like that.  However, since all of these pension and benefit payments are paid through direct deposit now and they do not send out a physical check that he can cash, that is how the collection agency is able to intercept his money.  He has been trying to get his lawyer to fight it, but it has been a slow progress and most likely by the time it is resolved, he will have paid off what the collection agency says he owes anyways.

 

This is why I have been trying to help him out.  It is a tough situation.  He fought hard and was able to make a decent recovery from where he was at over a year ago (although still nowhere near 100% better), but now he needs some help to keep going.  Also, to glgrumpy's comments, why should he have to sell off everything he owns and has worked for to pay his medical bills?  Would you want to do that if you were in his shoes?  Where would he live then if he had to sell his house?  What would he do with himself without a shop to work in?  This is his life here - he might as well have just died in the coma then if he has to give up everything.  And he can't really hire someone to run his shop or hire employees to work for him to try and grow the business so it will take in more money if he doesn't have any money right now to pay them with.  The old adage, "it takes money to make money" certainly shows here.


Edited by MailmAn, April 15, 2015 - 08:02 AM.

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#9 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2015 - 07:49 AM

He needs to appeal with the VA. Emergencies such as his are supposed to be covered 100%. If he lives more than 40 miles from a VA facility, he is not even required to go to the VA but, the VA should still pay. There have been alot of recent law changes that treat veterans better. Unfortunately, many at the VA have not kept up and need to be dragged kicking and screamming into 2015. The DAV can help. Good Luck to your friend. Rick


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#10 greenb69 ONLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2015 - 03:10 PM

As I stated before, I am a vet and I have had to go to local hospitals at times and the VA tells me to not pay the hospital as they will negotiate with them on my behalf. When I get a statement from the VA it states that the amount paid is considered payment in full. The hospital has then tried to bill me more but that is illegal and when I call them they drop it. I would get a new attorney and call your congressman right away. He is being jerked around. He should also file an appeal with the VA right away because they will only go back 6 months on corrections. Lastly, all vets that live far from a VA facility is given a card that covers them at local hospitals. Get aggressive with these idiots or they will walk all over you.
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#11 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2015 - 04:26 PM

Okay, thanks a lot for your input and help, boyscout862 and greenb69.  Perhaps a lot of it is just there is no good help at his local DAV to sort this out for him.  I know his lawyer is overworked and not really taking care of him as he has a lot of over clients and cases that are taking priority.  This is important to Fred, but evidently not important (or a big money maker) for the attorney, so he is kind of pushing him off.  Fred can't really afford a better attorney, so you get what you pay for, I guess.  I will definitely have him look into this further and see if we can get this situation straightened out for him, even if I have to go with him to the VA and yell at these people myself with the knowledge that you guys have given me.  I'm not a veteran myself, so I'm not sure what all the laws and rules are concerning this stuff.

 

But I do appreciate the help!  I'm just hoping that it turns out to be more helpful than actual donations - since if we can get this stuff reversed for him, then he wouldn't need any help as he will be getting his money back.  Still, in the meantime, I have been a bit dismayed that so far no one has donated to the campaign, even though it has gotten 66+ page views in 4 days.  He still could use the help in the immediate time being until this situation can be straightened out.  If I can get this fixed for him, it could still take quite some time to get everything all sorted out so that he will start receiving his pension again.



#12 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 07:30 AM

Can he just change where his money is deposited to avoid the garnish/hold on his bank account?

 

Seems like a simple solution.

 

I'm sorry, I don't give donate money to any causes or such that I don't personally know.  Seen too many odd things online.  I hope the best for Fred and will include him in my prayers.



#13 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 08:42 AM

Can he just change where his money is deposited to avoid the garnish/hold on his bank account?

 

Seems like a simple solution.

 

 

That was my thought, as well.

 

What legal right does a collection agency have to freeze or drain a bank account?  ...How can this be done without a court order?







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