Not So Fast Seattle – The Bust Is On It’s Way

Oh to all those who thought they sailed through the housing debacle relatively unscathed, it looks like the reaper is on his way. From 2007 to today, we have all heard the horror stories of towns like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and the whole of California being drawn down into the quagmire of foreclosure and falling home prices.  Yet, there were still pockets of stability and good news spread throughout the country. Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta and hosts of other locales were relatively unaffected, until now.  New data shows that these once spared markets are beginning to feel the same pain as the rest of the country. “But other regions are a step or two behind–so they’re feeling more acute pain right now. And as the effects of last year’s federal tax credits for homebuyers continue to wear off, things could get even worse. The Seattle market, for instance, is down by 31 percent from its peak in 2007.” We will continue to monitor the developments in these markets, and share information we have learned from our credit repair clients,  on both how to survive this and of the potential windfalls to be had for those with the ways and means to profit from this situation. For further information on the second coming of the foreclosure crisis, click...

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Experian To Begin Reporting Your Rent Payments

In a really nice win for us, Experian, has announced that it will begin reporting as a trade-line your rent payments.  This is a great opportunity to add additional positive information to your credit report and help you increase your credit score. Although, they have agreed to report this information, like all trade-lines, it is still incumbent on your landlord to report the information to them.  It is not automatic that all landlords will participate and in fact many will not.  We are continuing to investigate alternatives to relying on your landlord for this potentially positive information. “For many, rent was their biggest monthly expenditure, and they never got the credit they deserved for making those payments,” said Brannan Johnston, vice president and managing director of Experian’s RentBureau. “Historically only negative information showed up for renters through collections or evictions.” Click here to read more on how Experian is throwing us a bone with reporting rental...

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Panning For Gold – The New Retirement Plan??

With the price of gold reaching nearly $1,400 an ounce, wouldn’t it be nice to find a little on your own? There seems to be a resurgence of panning for gold going on around the country as many retirees with depleted savings and a little too much time on their hands turn to Mother Nature to enhance their retirement nest egg. “That’s the promise, at least, of panning for gold, a pastime catching the fancy of retirees from the hills of Vermont to the Arizona desert.” It doesn’t seem to matter where you live, there is gold fever running rampant.  But is it more about finding riches or finding an enjoyable hobby that allows you to get outdoors and have a little fun, and occasionally a few bucks. To read more about the the new gold fever check out this...

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I Don’t Care If Your Kid Died, Pay Me

Unfortunately, this is the mantra of many student loan providers, but the practice may soon be coming to an end. Generally, when applying for financial aid the lender will require that a parent or guardian become a guarantor, or co-signer on the loan.  Thereby, if there is a default on the loan the lender will turn to the parents to satisfy the debt. But what happens if the student/child passes, or becomes severely incapacitated before the loan is paid off in full?  Up until a couple of years ago the policy of virtually every lender was one of indifference, and the guarantee made by the parents was pursued aggressively. It appears there may be a shift in this draconian and heartless practice.  As detailed in this article by the Wall Street Journal, only a couple of years ago Sallie Mae, modified their policy after a public tragedy, to relieve the guarantor parents of student loans of their obligations.  Recently, Wells Fargo also became one of the benevolent revising their policies as well.  However, there are significant numbers of lenders who continue the practice of going after the guarantor, even after death. Congress appears poised however to be on the verge of mandating a bit of a heart to the cold lenders who continue to harass parents in the wake of tragedy. “The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act in September, and the bill was introduced in the Senate earlier this month. The bill honors a Rutgers University student who died in 2006 but whose family continues to make monthly payments on his $44,500 in private loans.” Be cautious whenever co-signing any loan, the perils are great and may last even unto...

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What’s In Your Light Socket?

Once again, consmers are taking matters into their own hands. In preparation for one more government intrusion into our lives, some consumers have sprung into action.  This time it’s the government’s new war on the good old incandescent light bulb.  As part of a 2007 law, next year will begin the phase out of the manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs in favor of more eco-friendly alternatives including Compact Flourescent Lights (CFL’s) and other “green” technology. Well it appears that the future lack of the standard light bulb isn’t dimming the fondness for them today.  There are reports of consumers already beginning to hoard the traditional light source that has been our standard for more than 100 years, and as the time gets closer to their complete phase out, I expect this action to increase. The USA Today, has a good article, on the pro’s and con’s of this government mandated phase out that you can read here. So are these new laws a further overreach of the government, or do you think it is ok for the government to mandate even one more area of our life?  Sound, off and let us...

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