Real Estate Information Archive


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The 7 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Credit Score

by Leslie Edwards

This Article Was Written by Broderick Perkins and Reposted
Because it is Great Information About Your Credit Score.

John Ulzheimer, president of Consumer Education at, the credit blogger for, is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft.

Formerly with FICO, Equifax and, Ulzheimer is a rare editorial source -- a recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry.

He often references in his writings the "Seven FICO Deadlies," credit score deflating actions, but only recently identified them in one consolidated list.

Your credit score, from about 350 (poor) to 800 (excellent) is a numerical rendition of your credit report. The higher your score, the more likely you'll get approved for credit and the more likely you'll get the best rate and terms. Negative actions posted to your credit report, take a bite out of your credit score.

Here's what Ulzheimer says are the seven worst things you can do to your credit score. And speaking of "seven," that's how many years these black marks can stay on your credit report.


  • Deadbeat behavior. Frequent, significant and late payments 30 days, 60 days, 90 days late. Don't believe a 30-day-late payment won't hurt. It may not ruin your credit but it's not helpful and can remain on your report for years.

    Collection activity. When the lender gets tired of your deadbeat behavior it will call out the dogs -- a third-party collection agency. The collection agency will report collection activity to the credit bureaus and again, seven years of bad luck.

  •  Charge offs. If the lender gives up on your collection case, acknowledging you'll never pay the bill, it charges off the debt and puts your credit report on notice for seven years.

  • Public recordings. Bankruptcy, tax liens, judgments and the like are killers for your credit rating. Judgments are good (or, from your viewpoint, bad) for seven years, even if you pay them off. Bankruptcies can dog your credit report for 10 years and unpaid tax liens never go away.

  • Settlements. If you pay a portion of a debt to your lender in a settlement, say a some of the mortgage in a short sale, you can get a settlement notice on your credit report card for seven years. Credit cards and other debts, likewise can be settled, with negative impact to your credit report.

  • Foreclosures. If you can't or won't pay your mortgage the lender will eventually foreclose and relieve you of your home. Another seven year negative notification will drag down your score. The same applies when you give the home to the lender in a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

  • Repossession – When you don't pay your vehicle loans a bounty hunter will be coming your way. He or she is not coming after you, but your vehicle, and that's often without notice, after you've been dunned for a while. It's all legal. The repo man can take your property down and your credit score will follow.

    Although getting a mortgage is more difficult today than it was a few years ago when the real estate market was hot, qualified buyers are getting approved everyday. Call me and let's discuss your situation and see how I can help you.  Your information is always confidential and as always, there is no obligation to do business with me.  Let's talk.

    leslie edwards                                                                       Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active Real Estate Agent 770.460.9448                                                                                           

    CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert                                                                              CRS   Certified Residential Specialist                                                                                          Epro  Certified Internet Professional                                                                                              ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative                                                                                       GRI   Graduate of the Realtor Institute                                                                                            Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider                                                                                   Selling South Metro Atlanta including:Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties. Call me now tow buy or sell in all the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport, including, but not limited to:Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more

    Moving Families Since 1978                                                                                                                 Let My Experience Work For You                                                                                     770.460.0739 Fax                                                                                                                                    See All the Lisings in The MLS At                                                                                                                                                                      RE/MAX Around Atlanta


    Save your credit, relieve the uncertainty, and most of all, help your family. Call me for Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure Solutions and let's get started on the path to recovery.







    The Impact of a Foreclosure or Short Sale on One's Credit

    by Leslie Edwards

    The Impact of a Foreclosure or Short Sale on One's Credit

    With today's real estate market driven by foreclosures and short sales, a common question today is how will a foreclosure, short sale, or loan modification affect one's credit score?  Below is some helpful information regarding each one of these areas.  To fully understand these comments, it is important to understand that currently there are no codes or mathematical algorithms that distinguish between a foreclosure, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or short sale.  Thus, current credit scoring models treat all three of these occurrences the same.  In addition, it is important to understand that every credit report is based on different variables and, thus, how much one's score will be impacted is impossible to gauge (i.e. someone with a fabulous long-term past credit history will be less affected than someone with a brief negative credit history).

    • Remains on a credit report for 7 years.
    • Current Conforming guidelines require a waiting period of at least 5 years since the completion date of the foreclosure as well as a 10% down payment and at least a 680 credit score.  In addition, no 2nd home or investment property purchases are allowed nor cash-out refinances until the foreclosure has dropped off of the credit report.  
    • FHA guidelines require a waiting period of 4 years since the completion date of the foreclosure or 3 years if there have been extenuating circumstances.

    Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure

    • Although this is a "voluntary" foreclosure, it is reported the exact same way as a foreclosure on a credit report.
    • The Conforming guidelines are the same as for a foreclosure but require only a 4 year waiting period rather than 5.

    Short Sale

    • Can be reported as either a charge-off, a settlement, or a type of foreclosure on the credit report (different creditors do it different ways).  
    • Thus, how much a score will be affected depends on who is doing the reporting and how they are choosing to report.  
    • Despite some reports to the contrary, there is no set answer to how much a credit score will be affected on a short sale.  It is a type of foreclosure, so it is best for one to expect the same foreclosure guidelines as above to be in effect for a short sale unless the foreclosing bank clarifies otherwise.  

    Loan Modification

    • Under this arrangement, a lender simply lowers the borrower's rate and payment.  This solution does not reduce the principal balance nor is the lender forgiving any of the debt.  A loan modification is simply a method to avoid foreclosure and it is not considered as serious as the other methods above.
    • On the credit report, a loan modification is reported as a "Partial Payment Plan."
    • Credit scores will decrease with a loan modification but how much will depend on the other factors showing on the credit report.

    The bottom line is that clearly one's credit score will be adversely affected by any of the above occurrences, however, the exact amount of impact remains quite a mystery.

    Save your credit, relieve the uncertainty, and most of all, help your family.

    Call me for Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure Solutions and let's get started on the path to recovery.

    leslie edwards                                                                           Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active Real Estate Agent                                                                                        770.460.9448                                                      

    RE/MAX Around Atlanta


    Small Projects for Big Impact

    by Leslie Edwards

    With huge competition for buyers, be sure that your home looks as good as possible.  Here are some ways to improve the look of your home with small inexpensive projects.  Click here to read the entire article.

    If you are thinking of selling, call me now.  I have been moving families since 1978 and know how to sell homes in any market.  Let my experience work for you.

    leslie edwards


    CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert

    CRS   Certified Residential Specialist

    Epro  Certified Internet Professional

    ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative

    Fax  770.460.0739

    Selling South Metro Atlanta including:

    Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties

    All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport,

    including:  Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, McDonough,

    Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Peachtree City and many more

    Moving Families Since 1978

    Let My Experience Work For You






    The Facts About The Homebuyer's Tax Credit

    by Leslie Edwards
    • A tax credit, not a tax deduction, meaning you get that much more cash back in your federal tax refund.
    • $8000 for a first time buyer, meaning not having owned a home in the last 3 years
    • $6500 for a current owner, provided the home they sold or will sell was their primary residence for 5 out of the last 8 years
    • Does not have to be paid back as long as they remain in the home for 3 years
    • Must be under contract by April 30, 2010
    • Must close by June 30, 2010
    • Must earn less than $125,000 if single or $225,000 if married
    • Money can be collected immediately by filing a tax return or an amendment to a previous return

         It is a great time to buy with prices and interest rates at record lows and FREE money too.  The tax credits have brought more buyers into the market so it is also a great time to sell.

     We closed 67 transactions in 2009 while the average agent closed 2.  Our goal is to close 100 transactions this year and we need your help to do it.  If you know anyone we can help buy or sell real estate, call me at 770.460.9448

    If you know anyone who is behind in their payments and are trying to avoid a foreclosure, let them know that I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert and can help them with a short sale.

    leslie edwards, ABR, CDPE, CRS, EPRO, GRI (advanced educational designations)  Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider  770.460.9448                                                                                   RE/MAX Around Atlanta                                                                     Serving South Metro Atlanta                                                           Supporter of Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity





    Amazing Investment Plan

    by Leslie Edwards

    Buy A House For The Baby

    by Leslie Edwards

      Worried about having the money to send your children to college?  Here's an idea that will help you insure that the money will be there when the time comes.

      As soon as you have a child, or as soon after as possible, buy a small rental house, not too far from your home.  When you rent it, the tenant pays the mortgage for you.  When there is good cash flow, you can fast track the mortgage payoff or make deposits into a 529 education account for the child.

      When it is time for college, you have an asset you can sell, refinance  or, if you have been able to payoff the mortgage, you can use the cash flow to pay college expenses.

    Being a landlord is not always great, however, over the years I have helped several new investors become wealthy owning real estate. 

    This idea is better than you refinancing your principal residence to get the money for college or saddling students with loans they be paying for years after graduation.

    Because the market is oversupplied with homes for sale, prices have been driven down, creating some terrific opportunities for homeowners and investors.

    If you would like to discuss investing in real estate,                            call me at 770.460.9448                                                                                   email me at 

    See all the MLS listings at

    Leave your comments here.  If you don't want to register, make something up.

    Good News, Bad News

    by Leslie Edwards

    New homes starts fell to the lowest since 1945.  Several local builders have gone out of business and new homes are being foreclosed at rates I have never seen during my 30 years as a REALTOR. This is bad news for builders, construction workers, the trades, vendors and real estate agents who typically work in new home neighborhoods.  The effect on small business, individuals and families is widespread.

    On the other hand, while there has been a glut of new homes on the  market for years, builders continued to build on speculation, hoping for a buyer. It was obvious that there were more new homes than potential buyers and builders were competing for a few buyers. What is happening now in new homes is truly a market correction. It had to happen.

    The benefit for a few is that qualified buyers can buy new homes for much less than they would have appraised for two years ago.  The builder may not be in business and unable to come back for minor repairs under a builder warranty but, if the deal is great, a buyer can afford a handyman.  All new homes are inspected by the counties throughout construction so buying a foreclosure does not mean less quality.

    As the inventory of new homes declines, prices will begin to rebound.  It is all about supply and demand.  It will take awhile, but it will happen. 

    If you are a buyer, this is the time to get th emost house for your money. Buy low, sell high.

    If you have questions, comments or just want to talk real estate, call me, email me or leave your comments here.  I am available for a FREE buyer or seller consultation, with no obligation to buy or sell with me.

    leslie edwards                                                                                sells real estate                                                                 770.460.9448                                                                         RE/MAX Around Atlanta                                                                                              Search the entire MLS at

    Conserve, Reuse, Recycle

    Guard Your Metal

    by Leslie Edwards

    As long as I have been selling real estate, I never, until late last year, heard of people stealing  metal to sell to the recyclers.  I have had air conditioners stolen and wiring and copper pipes stripped from homes I was selling. 

    Late last year I was marketing a foreclosed property on 5 acres with a huge, way bigger than the house, metal outbuilding.  One day the man who had the property under contract called in a panic because he bought the property because of the huge building and demanded to know why was it being torn down? 

    We contacted the police who went over there and arrested three men who were attempting to dismantle the entire building to sell the metal to scrap metal dealers.

    I saw this article about copper and it reminded me about that transaction and that I should warn homeowners about this new trend in crime.  Remember to guard your metal.

    Copper Is Like Gold These Days

    With copper at more than $4 per pound, thanks to demand in Asia, home owners should guard the metal like it was gold.

    "You would never leave gold sitting out in the yard," says OneBeacon Insurance Group executive Charlie Sidoti, who estimates a 300 percent increase in claims of copper theft in the past 18 months.

    Homes sitting empty are easy targets. Sidoti recommends installing fences, motion-detector lights and security cameras to discourage thieves from ripping out air conditioner coils, plumbing, rain gutters, sprinklers and bronze lawn ornaments.

    Meanwhile, 35 states have pending or signed legislation requiring people selling metal to show identification to scrap dealers.

    Source: Time Rebecca Winters Keegan (06/23/2008)

    If you want to talk real estate, call me at 770.460.9448 or email

    leslie edwards     sells real estate     RE/MAX Around Atlanta

    30 Years  Experience Isn't Expensive ......  It's Priceless

    Who Says Real Estate Is Not Selling?

    by Leslie Edwards

    As of today, May 13, 2008, I have closed 22 properties with an additional 3 properties scheduled to close by the end of this month.  While I have sold more in past years, my current sales numbers are more than 10 times the average real estate agent's sales.  I think there are good reasons why this is true.

     Sellers and Buyers who might have used their new, part-time or unproductive real estate agent relative, friend, church member, neighbor, etc. are choosing experience over friendship and family loyalty in this challenging market

    After 30 years as a full-time, successful REALTOR, I have learned to adapt to constantly shifting market conditions.  We have systems in place to provide consistently exceptional service to our clients regardless of market conditions.. 

    The current reality is that there are at least twice as many sellers than buyers so the job is to attract and capture buyers. 

    Studies show that buyers typically call more than one agent and continue calling until someone is available to talk to them.  The first available agent often gets the sale. 

    My phone is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by a live person.  We have three licensed agents on our team to insure that someone is always available to talk to a buyer when they call.  The office and the answering service transfers calls directly to one of us immediately.  We prefer that instead of taking messages, we talk to people when they call.

    The percentage of buyers who search for homes on the internet continues to soar.  Our properties are listed on more than twenty individual websites and include multiple photos and visual tours, both of which increases the number of unique visitors who will stop to view your property online.  To see how we market properties visit and

    Contact me for a FREE Buyer and/or Seller Consultation by email, phone or in person.

    leslie edwards  sells real estate  770.460.9448

    30 years experience is not expensive.  It's priceless       

    RE/MAX Around Atlanta All Stars

    A Great Start to the New Year

    by Leslie Edwards

    January turned out to be a fabulous real estate month.  We got ten new listings and eight new contracts.  Two of our new listings sold in the first week.  Those were some happy Sellers. 

    Do you want to know how we are selling homes when most agents only sold 2-3 properties all last year?  I want to be your resource for real estate information so call me on the phone at 770.460.9448  Where our telephone is answered 24 hours every day by a live person and I am never hard to find. Or Email me at                      I am happy to answer all of your real estate questions, the sale of your property or any part of the buying process with you and there is NO OBLIGATION.

    leslie edwards,   the name you know in real estate.  See all the listings in MLS and find lot of useful information for buyers, sellers and homeowners at

    Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14

    If you hear of anyone who wants to buy or sell in any of these areas, please mention me and then call me so I can contact them. I appreciate your referrals!