Things You Should Know About Your Credit Report

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in Alerts, Warnings, Alerts, & Hot Topics | 0 comments

The first thing you should know about your credit score is that you just don’t have one score, but over 100 of them. Companies take whatever factual data that they can collect on you, and use an algorithm to calculate a credit score on you. These credit scores are always evolving and constantly changing. The market leader credit score is what is called “FICO,” and is done by the Fair Isaac Company. They command about 75% of the market share of credit scores. For example: When applying for a home loan, the mortgage lender will use your FICO score to determine credit worthiness to obtain the loan and to establish your loan rate. While there is no way to tell you exactly what goes into your credit score, after years and years of working with FICO and the other agencies that set your credit score, the industry has figured out several things about how your score is determined. These factors allow you to control your own credit score. THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS THAT AFFECT YOUR SCORE 1. YOUR PAYMENT HISTORY Your payment history makes up about 35% of your credit score. Your history of paying your bills shows your attitude towards your creditors. According to FICO, only 3 out of 10 people have ever been late more than 60 days. In terms of payments, your credit score focuses on these three factors: a. RECENCY: The more recently you have been late with a payment, the bigger the hit you take on your score. It’s even worse for people with higher credit scores because when they are late with a payment, their credit score can drop several points more than someone who with a mild history of late payments. b. FREQUENCY: More late payments on a credit report than fewer may appear to be a pattern. c. SEVERITY: A 30 day late payment is not as bad as a 60 or 90 day late payment. The more severe the late payment, the greater the damage to your credit score and report. 2. HOW MUCH YOU OWE ON YOUR ACCOUNTS This part of the score not only looks at how much you owe, but what percentage of your available credit that you use. Most Americans only use 30% of their available credit. According to FICO, only 1 in 7 people use 80% or more of their available credit. You should know that many creditors such as credit card companies report the outstanding balance due to the credit reporting agencies every month at around th same date. Even if you pay your credit card balances in full at the end of the month, if on the reporting date your balance is close to the maximum of your available credit, you can and probably are getting penalized. 3. HOW LONG YOU HAVE HAD CREDIT The longer...

Read More

Steps To Protect Your Credit Report

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in Alerts, Warnings, Alerts, & Hot Topics | 0 comments

STEP 1: Pull your Credit Report Pull your credit at least three times a year. Each of the three credit bureau reporting agencies allows you to obtain one free credit report per year. So each quarter request your credit report from a different reporting agency. You can also request a free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Their website is sponsored by all three credit reporting agencies. This site will only let you pull your credit report once per year. In essence using this service you can pull your credit report for free four times a year. STEP 2: Review Your Credit Report When you pull your credit report, be sure to check it. Here is a guideline on what you should be looking for in your credit report: 1. Public Records to see if there are any judgments or liens that do not belong to you; 2. The “Potentially Negative” items section to be sure that each of these is appropriate; 3. Your trade lines to be sure that all of them belong to you. Then check the payment history to be sure that your creditors are reporting all of the payments that you have made, and that they are being reported correctly; 4. Check the bottom of your report to see who has pulled your credit report. Every time someone pulls your credit report, it leaves a “foot print” showing the name of the company and the reason why it was pulled. If you did not authorize any of these credit reports to be pulled on you, then your rights have been violated and your credit score may be adversely affected. STEP 3: Post a dispute to anything that is not accurate about your credit report. Tell the reporting agency and your creditor what the mistake is on your credit report. BE SPECIFIC. Be sure to attach as many documents as you need to prove your point. We recommend you submit “certified copies” not the originals. You should always keep your originals in a safe place. For example: If you went through bankruptcy and a pre-bankruptcy trade line is showing a balance due, dispute that trade line and attach a copy of your notice of discharge from the bankruptcy court. While it is tempting to post your disputes on line, you are far better off presenting your dispute in writing, and having it sent via certified mail. Be sure to keep a copy of your dispute letter and all your supporting documents you sent. It will be your proof that you made your dispute to the credit reporting agency should you have to file a lawsuit. STEP 4: If you have posted a dispute with the Credit Reporting Agency about an inaccuracy on your credit report, follow up with the agency if you do not receive a response after 30 days. The credit reporting...

Read More

Investigative Websites

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in Alerts, Warnings, Alerts, & Hot Topics | 0 comments

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=morethantraffic.com http://www.completewhois.com/ http://news.netcraft.com/ http://whois.webhosting.info/ http://www.dnsstuff.com/ http://www.cybercrime.gov/s&smanual2002.htm http://www.declude.com/Articles.asp?ID=100 http://audited.netcraft.com/bank-fraud-detection http://www.rhyolite.com/anti-spam/bin/group.cgi?group=14 http://www.completewhois.com/invalidwhois/index.htm...

Read More

Myth of Offshore Companies

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in Alerts, Warnings, Alerts, & Hot Topics | 0 comments

There is this myth that if a company is registered outside of the United States, known as being an offshore company, they are not subject to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) rules and regulations. This is only true under one situation. The company cannot sell any products to U.S. citizens, and they must state on their website all U.S. citizens are excluded from participating in their programs. Otherwise, they must be in compliance with the SEC rules and regulations if they expect to take money from U.S. citizens. Here, for example, is what the SEC says about registration obligations (Securities Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Investment Company Act of 1940, Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and so on) under federal securities laws to the use of Internet websites to disseminate offering and solicitation materials for offshore sales of securities and investment services. Bear in mind that the SEC’s definition of ‘securities’ is very broad, and includes many of the multilevel schemes currently apparent on the internet: €œThe application of the U.S. securities laws depends on whether Internet offers, solicitations, or other communications are targeted to the United States. For example, those who implement measures that are reasonably designed to guard against sales or the provision of services to U.S. citizens would not be viewed as having targeted U.S. citizens through their Internet offers. They give examples of such measures: “(1) the website includes a prominent, meaningful disclaimer making it clear that the offer is directed only to countries other than the U.S.; (for example, the website could state that the securities or services are not being offered in the U.S. or to U.S. citizens, or could specify those jurisdictions (other than the U.S.) in which the offer is being made) and(2) the website offeror implements procedures that are reasonably designed to guard against sales to U.S. citizens in the offshore offering (for example, the offer or could ascertain the purchaser’s residence by obtaining such information as mailing addresses or telephone numbers (or area code) prior to the sale, which would allow the offeror to avoid sending or delivering securities, offering materials, services, or products to a person at a U.S. address or telephone number). These procedures are not exclusive, and other procedures may suffice. Regardless of the precautions adopted, however, the SEC would view solicitations that appear by their content to be targeted at U.S. citizens (e.g., offers that emphasize the ability to avoid U.S. income taxes) as made in the U.S.” In the absence of clear evidence of such prominent measures having being taken, the SEC is likely simply to ASSUME that the “offering and solicitation materials for offshore sales of securities and investment...

Read More

FBI Warns Of Increase In Reverse Mortgage Scams

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in Alerts, Warnings, Alerts, & Hot Topics | 0 comments

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) urge consumers, especially senior citizens, to be vigilant when seeking reverse mortgage products. Reverse mortgages, also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), have increased more than 1,300 percent between 1999 and 2008, creating significant opportunities for fraud perpetrators. Reverse mortgage scams are engineered by unscrupulous professionals in a multitude of real estate, financial services, and related entities to steal the equity from the property of unsuspecting senior citizens aged 62 or older or to use these seniors to unwittingly aid the fraudsters in stealing equity from a flipped property. In many of the reported scams, victim seniors are offered free homes, investment opportunities, and foreclosure or refinance assistance; they are also used as straw buyers in property flipping scams. Seniors are frequently targeted for this fraud through local churches, investment seminars, and television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements. A legitimate HECM loan product is insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). It enables eligible homeowners to access the equity in their homes by providing funds without incurring a monthly payment. Eligible borrowers must be 62 years or older who occupy their property as their primary residence and who own their property or have a small mortgage balance. See the FBI/HUD Intelligence Bulletin for specific details on HECMs as well as other foreclosure rescue and investment schemes. Seniors should consider the following: Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements. Be suspicious of anyone claiming that you can own a home with no down payment. Do not sign anything that you do not fully understand. Do not accept payment from individuals for a home you did not purchase. Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor. If you are a victim of this type of fraud and want to file a complaint, please submit information through our electronic tip line or through your local FBI office. You may also file a complaint with HUD-OIG at www.hud.gov/complaints/fraud_waste.cfm or by calling HUD’€™s Hotline at...

Read More

Seniors Being Scammed By Their Fellow Seniors and Professional Advisors

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in Alerts, Warnings, Alerts, & Hot Topics | 0 comments

It is no secret that Senior Citizens have been the target of conmen, scammers, rip-off artists, fraudsters for decades, but what is new is who is now doing the scamming, ripping-off, and stealing Senior Citizen’€™s money. The latest trend against Senior Citizens is being done by their fellow Senior Citizens and Professional€™s they thought they could trust. Yes, I did say fellow Senior Citizen€™s and by Professional€™s. So if you are a Senior Citizen, who do you trust? NO-ONE! You now have to do as much due diligence on your professional provider as you do investment firms today. Here are just a few of the seniors and professionals who scammed their fellow seniors in the past year: Bernard Madoff – €“ 70 The Godfather of Senior Scammers Andy Bowdoin -€“ 74 Maxwell Smith -69 Paul Greenwood – 62 Stephen Walsh – 65 Larry Atkins -€ 65 Judith Zabalaoui -€“ 71 Arthur Nadel -€“ 76 Richard Piccoli -€“ 82 Ronald Keith Owens -€“ 73 James Blackman Roberts -€“ 71 Patrick “Pat” Kiley -€“ 71 Gregory Bartko -€“ 56 Kenneth Kenitzer -€“ 66 Julia Ann Schmidt -€“ 68 Eugene D. Miley -€“ 58 David F. Merrick -€“ 61 Richard M. Harkless – €“ 65 Lawrence Dwain Hoover -€“ 71 Daniel William Heath -“ 81 What is just as shocking as these Senior Citizen€™s scamming their fellow Senior Citizen€™s is the number of Professional€™s who have also joined the ranks of scamming their Senior Citizen clients. Here is just a small sampling of attorney€™s, insurance agents, financial planners, accountants, stock broker€™s, pastor€™s, and even a radio host, who have targeted their Senior Citizen clients: Paul Greenwood. 62, and Stephen Walsh, 65, principals in WCM and an arm known as WG Trading of Greenwich, Conn., both were arrested. WCM is headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif. Greenwood and Walsh were accused of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. They were sued last week by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh amid fears that $114 million had been lost as a result of massive fraud. The Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) severed its contract with WCM earlier this week, on the heels of the action by CMU and Pitt and in the wake of the suspension of Greenwood and Walsh from the National Futures Association for stonewalling during an audit. IPERS entrusted $339 million to WCM. Investigators called it a $1.3 billion scam. In a separate action, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Greenwood, Walsh and others with fraud. Larry Atkins, 65, a former insurance salesman was charged with 78 felonies. Authorities said he ran a Ponzi scheme that stole more than $3 million from at least 30 victims, including senior citizens...

Read More