Fixing Your Credit – The Real Story

Over the years of working in the family law field, I have observed different trends with regards to debt and bankruptcy. The bankruptcy laws have changed drastically and I tend to steer my clients away from bankruptcy because there is a much easier route to get debt relief and most people are not aware of … Continue reading “Fixing Your Credit – The Real Story”

Over the years of working in the family law field, I have observed different trends with regards to debt and bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy laws have changed drastically and I tend to steer my clients away from bankruptcy because there is a much easier route to get debt relief and most people are not aware of how easy it really is.

When I use the statement “easy” I do not mean simple. There is work to be done and patience to be had. My approach to credit repair is the same regardless of the number of debts that need to be addressed.

While I will not share trade secrets, I will share some basic information that may help with the decision on what road you should take to get some financial relief.

My approach is not to use bankruptcy as an out. The reason is obvious. With my system, your credit will get better not worse. Not only will your credit rating improve, your debts will disappear at the same time, this is a win win scenario.

With bankruptcy you will go through the hassle of appearing in court, paying an attorney to prepare the bankruptcy documents, and then the 7 to 10 year mark on your credit.

No matter what, this is the ONLY thing that cannot be removed from your credit report. By law it must remain on your report for at least 7 years.

I have had many of my clients try other credit repair companies with little success. Part of the reason we are successful is we understand the laws and we do not quit until all items are removed.

I caution people to stay away from companies that charge by the month because common sense says that there is no incentive to getting the job done in a timely manner.

Keep in mind that there is no set time that this can take. I have had clients who I was able to “get clean” in four weeks and some take four months. There is no method to the madness. The process is the process and there is really no way to take short cuts as there are laws that govern the process.

The reality is sometimes it takes guts to take on some of the debtors and collectors so someone with thin skin may not be as successful. As a former Settlement Administrator for a Public Company I have no problem going up against the best of the best. I have studied the laws regarding debt collection and reporting and am confident in my ability to remove anything.

At the end of the day you have to make the best decision for you and your situation. Getting your credit report clean is a very real thing and you can have clean credit in as little as four weeks.

Pay For Delete Letter – Does It Really Work?

If you look on any financial website on how to remove a negative item from your credit report you’ll more than likely see the ‘pay for delete’ option listed. Pay for delete is a negotiation strategy to get a negative listing or trade line removed from your credit report. You negotiate a full or partial payment in exchange for a complete removal.

Do they work? It really depends on who you ask! Some will state they know from experience that it works and they’ve been able to get from under their debt while simultaneously improving their credit from the deletion. Others will vehemently deny its effectiveness saying the creditor will get their money and leave you hanging. To add, if you look at one of the credit bureaus website; they’ll even hint that it is illegal to remove a negative item via this method (go figure, huh).

Honestly, it has worked on occasions yet I would be lying if I stated it works all the time. I can also state that I have not found anything in the law that flags the practice as illegal; the reason credit bureaus are against the practice is because it cuts into their profit. Bad credit is big business. Of course, they’ll state that the integrity and authenticity of the report is ruined by this practice, but so is their inability to accurately report true and authentic information on a credit report so that theory is out the window. I will admit, I personally am not a fan of the pay for delete method. And I’ll share why.

First and foremost, it really only works with collection agencies or 3rd party debt collectors. So, if you have negative information on your report from an original creditor the chances of them deleting anything for payment is pretty slim. They’ve more than likely already charged off your account, have gotten their tax and insurance claim benefit from the write off and sold your debt to a collection agency, so their cool. Why make your life easier?

So, what you’re really doing is negotiating with a company that purchases bad debt to make a profit. You’re offering to pay them money to delete the negative item from your credit report. Let’s say they accept. You get their agreement to delete in writing and send them the money. Now you wait, and wait and wait. Hmm, they haven’t deleted anything! You have it in writing so you send a dispute letter to the three credit bureaus with a copy of the agreement that they promised to delete for payment and… the credit bureaus refuse to delete as well. There’s nothing you can do about this. Collection agencies can revoke their ability to access or report any information with the credit bureaus if they delete what’s believed to be accurate information from your report. Further, by giving the credit bureaus proof that you paid the debt, you pretty much have admitted the debt is yours and can forget about disputing it with them for removal. Now, if it’s in writing you can sue them for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; which states that a collector cannot lie or use deceptive practices in order to get payment for a debt. But, as one of my clients stated: “Who has time and money to go through that?”

The goal is to rebuild your credit and to restore your score. If you settle a debt with a company, they legally have the right to send you a 1099 tax form for the remaining balance; the IRS views the amount you did not have to pay as income; which you have to pay taxes on. Thus, you’ve just created another bill.

Another thing to mention is that if your debt is being reported by the original creditor and by the collection agency, paying for a deletion will not remove both debts; just the collection. Your score will still be negatively affected by the charge off that is reporting.

If you do decide to go ahead and offer a Pay for Delete, please do so after you have asked them to validate the debt. What you are asking them to do is prove that you owe the debt and that they own the debt and can provide documentation to back it up. If they can’t provide this, they have to delete it anyway. In addition, check your state’s statute of limitation to see if they can legally collect from you according to your state laws. The time frame for a creditor or collector to enforce payment of a debt is limited, if you pay less than the full amount you risk restarting that time limit to day one. You also want to see when the debt will be deleted from your credit report. If it’s going to fall off soon why pay anything towards it? By paying, you risk them adding an additional trade line to your credit report that details the payment received and possibly a new negative ‘Paid Collection’ notation on your report. Lastly, send everything certified mail return receipt and keep copies of everything!

Hope this helps!

If you’d like assistance pinpointing the items that are negatively impacting your credit score, please do not hesitate to contact me! We’ve helped thousands of people successfully removed over 700,000 derogatory items from their credit reports.

Valuable Car Finance Tips

The second largest investment you will have in a lifetime perhaps is getting your own car. After you have scrutinized every model and zeroed in on the best car to purchase, the next process is to determine how you are going to pay it.

The road to car ownership is paved with car finance options. The package you choose will make the difference between monthly struggles and easy payments. Will you get to keep driving your car or have to default on the loan over a certain period?

When looking at your financing options, here are valuable tips to consider:

Think about interest rates. Your interest rate will depend on a number of factors such as the type of the car, the length of the loan term, your credit rating and the lender. Generally new cars have much lower interest rates. Higher interest rate is required for longer car loans. You will get lower interest rates if you have been pretty good at keeping a good credit rating score. Focus on the interest rates as different companies provide varying options.

Choose from as many lenders as possible. Your options for car financing could be banking institutions, the automaker, credit unions, and other lending sources. Weigh the pros and cons of the different types of lenders. Going through all the interest rates and loan-terms of the different lenders will be overwhelming task. Experts not only help you make the right choice, but also offer you a number of good options. Consumers today get the right financing for their vehicles with finance consultants working exclusively on helping consumers.

Seek expert guidance. A financial consultant would point out key features you may want for your loan, allowing you to get a tailored approach, and therefore an ideal solution, to your financing. Such expert help would also come in handy for businesses looking to invest in company cars and employers who may want to offer a lease (also known as salary packaging) to high performing employees.

Ask for special deals. Special deals on certain loans are offered by some lenders in order to get fairly competitive in the market. Depending on the automaker you have chosen, you could be given zero-percent financing or offered lower rates for short-term lengths.

Companies are able to help employees on their car financing needs through a special form of lease. The lease is a three-way agreement between the employer, the employee and the finance company. As the employer though, be aware that while you should be able to finance a car after a bankruptcy, you may not be able to get the best car finance rates.

Three Ways A Car Dealer Can Attract The Millennial Market

For a car dealer, competition can be tough, and the trick to creating brand and business loyalty is to lure in the next generation. Many have tried to produce interesting ads featuring hip-hop music, computer graphics, and cutting-edge humor, but they have found that that really isn’t enough to pull in the generation known as the “millennials.” This demographic has been notoriously hard to reach, and television advertising to the younger buyer is nearly a moot point in the age of DVR recordings, YouTube, and Netflix.

The age group’s importance to auto sellers is also compounded by the fact that they have much less interest in driving than those in previous generations. However, there are still recent high school and college grads that are ready to become proud owners of their first vehicles that are not registered to Mom and Dad. So, how can a car dealer cater to these new consumers? Here are a few things that vehicle sellers can do to maximize their sales to young adults:

1. Recognize The Extent Of Their Smartphone Dependence

Young adults these days use their smartphones as electronic guides to the world. Why wouldn’t they? After all, they don’t really know life any differently. This demographic relies on their phone, or better yet, the Internet, to get directions to the dealership, find reviews, get showroom hours, and browse inventory. Therefore, the savvy car dealer will ensure that he or she has an updated and informative, mobile-friendly website, and perhaps even a mobile app.

2. Respect The Fact That They Have Already Done Their Research

Many vehicle salespeople get frustrated when attempting to pitch various automobile models to college-aged clients. Younger drivers already spend countless hours researching each automobile online to see if all their standards are met. After doing their homework, most of the adults in this age group visit the car dealer after their choices have already been narrowed down to one or two models.

3. Get Straight To The Point Without Gimmicks

Many millennials already have quotes from up to four competing sellers at the time that they walk through the door of a dealership. In this day and age, many younger auto buyers realize that they have the power and opportunity to leave a seller as soon as they hear something that they don’t want to hear.

Google’s statistics have shown that most adults in their early twenties tend to visit an average of 25 websites before they decide to purchase an automobile. This only reinforces the idea that an informative website is crucial for modern-day marketing. Auto sellers should also take note that young adults prefer quick responses to any online inquiries that they send through the seller’s website. Many young consumers wish to hear from the business immediately, not after several hours or days.

Hopefully, each neighborhood car dealer will eventually understand these modern ideas so they may earn the business of the next generation of consumers. Just like any other industry, automobile sellers will have to research the methods used by younger customers to shop for vehicles, and incorporate what they find into unique ways to market to that audience.

Secrets of Bonding 96: Bullies, Banks and Bonding Companies

Growing up I was a tall kid, one of the tallest in my class. I was taught “not to fight,” so sometimes I became a target for (shorter) tough kids who wanted to push around the big guy.

Now that we’re all grown up, I’m glad to say that’s all behind us… or is it?

Let’s look at the case of construction companies. If you are a contractor, you may feel bullied sometimes, by VENDORS who purport to serve you. One of them could be your banker.

Banking Relations for Construction Companies

Working capital is an important financial resource for contractors, especially when starting up a new project. They may have to work for forty five days or more, paying out of pocket for labor and materials before they receive their first money under the contract. Bank credit can be a perfect solution for this.

The new contract is an asset for the company, and the bank can rely on this when lending money. But what happens when the contractor brings the bank a bonded project? They will refuse to lend against that job! Their position is that the rights of the surety conflict with their own.

Bonding Relations for Construction Companies

More bullies: Now let’s look at the surety side. When applying for bonding support, the underwriters ALWAYS ask about banking relations:

  • “Do you have a working capital line?”
  • “How much of it is currently available?”
  • “How is it secured?”
  • “If you do not have a bank line we want you to apply for one. It can help you get through a problem and prevent a bond claim.”
  • “The bank line can help you finance the start of additional projects without depleting your cash position.”
  • “If you are approved by the bank, it helps assure us that you also deserve bonding credit.”

Feel bullied? You should!

The reality is that construction companies may need both bank and surety support. In order to pursue public work (municipal, state, and federal contracts), surety bonds are mandatory.

The bonding company wants you to have a bank, but the bank doesn’t want to support bonded projects. You can’t win!