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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 SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft.

Formerly with FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, 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 www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com      www.leslieedwards.com/blog                                                                     leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                                                                           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.

    http://www.leslieedwards.com/Blog/What-is-a-Short-Sale-and-Why-You-Might-Want-One

      

     

     

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    Is it "Me", "Myself" or "I" ?

    by Leslie Edwards

    95% of the time when I hear someone use the word "myself" in a sentence, I cringe.  The word "myself" is rarely used correctly.  More often than not, the correct word is either "I" or "me". 

    Below are two explanations of when to use "Me" "Myself" or "I"

    "In the old days when people studied traditional grammar, we could simply say, "The first person singular pronoun is I when it's a subject and me when it's an object,' but now few people know what that means. [. . .] The misuse of I and myself for me is caused by nervousness about me. [. . .] But the notion that there is something wrong with me leads people to overcorrect and avoid it where it is perfectly appropriate. People will say, 'The document had to be signed by both Susan and I' when the correct statement would be, 'The document had to be signed by both Susan and me.'

    Trying even harder to avoid the lowly me, many people will substitute myself as in 'The suspect uttered epithets at Officer O'Leary and myself.' Myself is no better than I as an object. Myself is not a sort of all-purpose intensive form of me or I . Use myself only when you have used I earlier in the same sentence: 'I am not particularly fond of goat cheese myself'" (Brian’s, Common Errors in English Usage).  *** I wanna be, all by myself. le

    When do you use "me"?

    The craziest rule of all, to my ear, is the rule that governs the use of "myself" and "me". Which of these *sounds* correct to you?

    1. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and myself.

    2. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and I.

    3. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and me.

    The correct version, of course, is the 3rd. The word "me" is always a direct or indirect object (never a subject) and "I" is *always* a subject--that much doesn't sound too far-fetched, and it rules out the 2nd example.

    "Myself" is a special object (direct or indirect), to be used only when the subject is you (note I didn't write "...when the subject is yourself"). I can give a gift to *myself* since I am the one doing the giving. The Captain can never "give a gift to myself" since the subject is the Captain.

    Part of the confusion comes from the two-part indirect object in the examples above ("my partner and me") but the same grammar rules apply whether or not the object is compounded.

    leslie edwards, Realtor                                                                       770.460.9448                                                                                                        leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                                                          see all the listings at                                            www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com                                                                     As a Certified Distressed Property Expert, I help families avoid foreclosure.  If someone you know can't pay their mortgage, ask them to call me.

     

    List Your Home For Sale In Winter

    by Leslie Edwards

    Sellers will often take their homes off the market if they have not sold by Fall or they will wait to list until Spring because a common belief is that homes do not sell in the Winter months.

    Although there are fewer buyers looking during the 2nd Season (Fall to Spring) than during what is considered the hot Selling Season, a lot of the people looking when the weather is nice and school is out, never buy anything. 

    I have found that if people are looking at  homes during the 2nd Season (Winter) are serious buyers who intend to buy. Fewer showings but the buyers are ready, willing and able to buy. Since showings tend to follow the light of day, the showing hours are compressed and evening appointments are very rare. Fewer, more convenient and better quality showings are less intrusive for the family.

    Since most Retail Sellers (not distressed, short sale or foreclosure) believe nothing sells in Winter, there is less competition for the buyers who are looking.

    According the National Association of Realtors 1 in 4 home sales across the US involved a distressed property.  In some areas of South Metro Atlanta the number is much higher making short sales and foreclosures the biggest competition for Retail Sellers.

    Recently, some of the largest mortgage companies, including Chase, announced that they were halting foreclosures until they work out some paperwork and process issues that could void some foreclosures.  Many mortgage servicers typically slow down on foreclosing during the holidays.

    If there are fewer foreclosures on the market, there is less competition for the Retail Sellers.

    Less competition, less intrusion, better quality prospects.... Three good reasons to market your home now. 

    I am expecting a lot of 4th Quarter real estate activity so call me and let's get started.  I offer FREE Buyer and Seller Consultations with no obligation because I want to be your real estate resource.

    If you or anyone you know is behind on their mortgage, call me.  I help people avoid foreclosure.

    leslie edwards                                                                       770.460.9448

    CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert                                              CRS   Certified Residential Specialist                                                      Epro  Certified Internet Professional                                                      ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative                                                       Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

    Fax  770.460.0739

    Selling South Metro Atlanta including: Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Meriwether, Pike, South Fulton & Spalding Counties                                      All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport,

    Including:  Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Hampton, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Peachtree City, Tyrone and many more

    Moving Families Since 1978

    Let My Experience Work For You

    leslie@leslieedwards.com

    RE/MAX Around Atlanta

     See all of the properties for sale in the MLS at www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

     

     

    This is not what I signed up for....

    by Leslie Edwards

    Way back in Elementary School, my expectation was that I would go to college and study to be a therapist.  Some say that lots of crazy people go into the field to figure out what is going on with themselves. Hmmm...                        College came 5 years after High School (that's a whole other story) and it took me another 5 years to get a degree in Psychology while working full-time.          It was pretty exciting when I got my first job/internship with the Fulton County Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center.  I thought I was on my way to the career I had planned for since Elementary School.                                                       The reality of the situation was not at all what I expected.  The failure rate of addiction treatment was huge compared to a very small success rate. I found out quickly that the chance that I could actually help someone was minuscule.  All I could really do is listen, which left me seriously depressed.  If the patient cried, I often cried too.  I carried their pain home with me and it did not take me long to realize that the job was too hard on my own mental health.                  

    In 1977 I got a real estate license on a lark.  Part time I closed a few transactions and soon, real estate was in my blood. I could actually help people get what they wanted and if they came back, it was a success, not a failure. At closing, everyone was happy. The buyers got a house, the seller got a check, agents, loan officers and attorneys all got paid a fair fee for their work. 

    There is a "new normal" in real estate today and my job has changed so much that it now looks and feels more like my Therapist experience than my real estate experience of the first 30 years.

    Today, buyers have to wait months to close a foreclosure or a short sale, both of which dominate the current real estate market.  Sellers who have to move, because of the foreclosures and short sales in their neighborhoods, are bringing money to closing or negotiating a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure with their mortgage companies, which has a huge negative effect on their credit ratings.  The fees for real estate agents, loan officers and attorneys have steadily decreased while expenses and the work involved have more than doubled.  So rarely at closings today, is everyone happy.  Often nobody is happy.   Listing appointments today consist of telling sellers their homes are not worth what they paid and finding out if they are behind on their mortgage payments and if so, how much.                                                                 It often feels like I am in my Psychologist mode rather than in my Sales Person mode.  A lot has changed in the past few years. So many sellers are experiencing hardships that make it impossible to make the payments and are at risk of losing their homes.  When I listen to some of them tell me their stories, I still want to cry and I still take their pain home with me                                                         

    It does not look like things are going to improve any time soon.  The news reports claim people are once again spending money so the economy must be recovering.  I don't think so.                                                                  Often, right after people have an accident or serious illness, they will drive more cautiously, quit smoking, eat right and exercise.  Human nature is such that, over time, these same people will start falling back into their old habits. 

               My sense is that those spending money are just reverting to old spending habits that got them into trouble in the first place.

    Foreclosures are moving steadily up in the higher price ranges.  There are also many interest only loans that cannot be refinanced because the appraisals willl not support the loan amount they approved when the interest only loan was made.  Because we have had historically low interest rates, those loans have remained manageable for many.  Once the interest rate starts moving up, and it will, those interest only loans will start to adjust to higher interset rates and monthly payments, causing a whole new stream of foreclosures and short sales.

    The job has changed. Because I have 32 years of experience in the real estate trenches, I can help some people fix their problems and that is some consolation. Some people can't be helped.  Sometimes it is their own fault but most often something bad has happened to cause them to lose their home.

    If you know someone who needs help, have them call me. I will do a free consultation to find out what we can do for them.

    I am ready for the business to return to the time when we all got to be happy at closing, but until then, I am trying to help everyone I can.

    You cannot change the world one at a time but if you help one person, you can change their world.

    leslie edwards 770.460.9448                                                               selling real estate throughout South Metro Atlanta

    environmentally aware, socially conscious, politically active

     

     

    Negative Energy

    by Leslie Edwards

    The weekend after Christmas I was walking to my car in the Target parking lot at Hwy 74 and Peachtree Parkway.  I watched as two cars directly behind eachother started to back up out of their parking spaces at the same time.  There was honking, but neither would move so the other could back out and leave. There was more honking and some waving and still, neither woold move.  I could not stop watching. I had to see which one would give up first.  Others stood around and like me, did not try to pretend they were not looking. Both drivers had to know they were attracting a crowd.  Still no one gave in.  It seemed like the standoff lastest for days, but it was probably minutes.  

    It got me thinking about what kind of hostillity do you have to work up to get so invested in who gets to back out first?  Was something else going on in one or both of their lives that caused their reaction?  Perhaps. Or, is one or both of them basically an asshole?  The occasionally stressed out from life people I can understand and forgive.  The assholes are the people who start out being assholes instead of waiting to se if the situaton warranted such a strong reaction. The negative energy has to permeate thier lives and it's hard to imagine that it would be anyones' choice to feel that way.  Maybe someone needs better meds.  If you need it, take it.

    So, always try nice first, and sometimes second, before moving on to assertive, aggressive hostile and violent.  My goal every day is to have a happy, stress free life, which is possible no matter what the circumstances.  It too, is a choice everyday.  I expect the best.  I get what I expect. leslie

    leslie edwards                                                                                                                                                   sells real estate    770.460.9448                                                                                                                RE/MAX Around Atlanta                                                                                                     leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                                                                                   Selling South Metro Atlanta for 30 years Call me if you hear of anyone who wants to buy or sell real estate.  Your referrals are appreciated.

     

     

     

    Product I Love. Juice

    by Leslie Edwards

    When I go to the grocery store I like to buy at least one thing I have never had before.  Sometimes I find something I like a lot and sometimes I try something I vow never to eat again.  I don't like to drink out of plastic bottles and it is not easy to find drinks in glass bottles.  I have been taste testing juices ,in glass bottles, for a few months and have a favorite to share. 

    R.W. Knudsen, Simply Nutritious, Morning Blend.  All natural, no artificial ingredients, Over 100% of the recommended daily allowances of  Vitamins A, C, E &  Beta Carotene.  Very tasty,  good for you and in glass bottles.  They hide it in the organic or greenwise section of the grocery store so you will have hunt, but it's worth it.  Try it and let me know if you like it as much as I do.

    If you have a product you love that is organic or all natural, I hope you will share it with me.

     leslie edwards                                                                                                                                                                                               770.460.9448                                                                                                                                             RE/MAX Around Atlanta                                                                                                              770.460.9448                                                                                                                                            For all your real estate needs

    www.leslieedwards.com                  leslie@leslieedwards.com

    3rd Quarter 2008 Fayette County Real Estate Market

    by Leslie Edwards

    There are currently 1350 single family homes for sale in Fayette County. The average list price of the homes for sale is $400,770.                     From July1st through September 30th: 308 homes sold with an average sales price of $299,044 down from the 1st quarter average sales price of $309,228.  392 homes expired unsold which means that 56% expired and 44% sold.

    76% of the foreclosures sold with an average sales price of $235,598 while only 16% expired.  Foreclosures tend to be priced way under market, which helps drive the prices down, which forces anxious sellers to sell for less, which continues to drive the prices down. And it goes on and on....

    But it is not all bad news. Smart buyers know that this is the perect time to buy.  Prices are down, interest rates are low and there are plenty of homes to choose from.  Buy low, sell high.

    During my 30 years in real estate, I have seen a few really bad markets.  When Jimmy Carter was President, although the interest rates were 14% to 18%, people still bought homes.  I sold 40 houses in the worst year with no help, no fax, no cell phone and no GPS.

    It is never as bad as the media would have us believe.  Real estate, like the stock market, moves in cycles, up and down.  Buy low, sell high.

    If you want to or need to sell and are willing to sell at a discount, call me.  Experience pays in any maket.  In a challenging market, the agent you choose is critical.  I offer a FREE, no obligation, consultation to give you the information you need to make you real estate decisions.  Call me. I want to be your resource.

    leslie edwards                                                                                   sells real estate                                                                                 770.460.9448                                                                                 RE/MAX Around Atlanta                                                                    Serving South Metro Atlanta

     

    Clayton Co. 3rd Quarter 2008

    by Leslie Edwards

    Clayton County real estate activity 7.1.2008 through 9.3.2008

    3022 properties currently for sale throughout Clayton Co.

    40% of those properties are listed for under $100,000

    344 properties are under contract and may or may not close

    70% of the under contract properties were listed under $100,000

    843 properties sold within the 3rd Quarter

    67% were sold for under $100,000

    1066 properties expired unsold

    44% sold

    56% expired

    The market in Clayton County is flooded with properties for sale, which is great for buyers because oversupply means lower prices.   Investors and home buyers can certainly benefit from low prices, lots of selection and low interest rate mortgages.

      Regardless of what you are hearing about the availability of home loans, there is always money for credit worthy buyers. 

      It is the buyers with slow credit and no money in the bank and no down payment that are having trouble getting financing.  The lending culture for years has been to find a way to squeeze every buyer into some kind of mortgage, even if they really cannot afford to buy. 

     The low starting interest rates for interest only loans and a variety of adjustable rate mortgage products gave buyers a starting payment they could afford.  Selling points of those mortgages were the assumptions that buyers would get a raise and make more money and the value of the home would increase. 

      The reality is that home prices continue to fall while the cost of living continues to increase, jobs are not secure, companies are failing and the expected raises aren't happening. 

      When the interest rates adjust, the payments keep going up until the homeowners can't make the new payments.  These homeowners can't sell because prices are falling instead of increasing and they owe more than the market value of the home. When they qualified for the loan, neither the lenders or the buyers factored in unexpected expenses, ie: a new transmission for the car, illness, job loss, babies, divorce etc.  When a couple qualifies for the maximum loan and one of them stops contributing financially, neither can afford the payments.  

      When homeowners can't make their payments it is too easy to walk away, especially if they did not make a down payment.  Letting the homes go into foreclosure continues to drive prices even lower.  This downward trend also shows homeowners that allowing a foreclosure no longer carries the stigman it did in the past.  The mentality seems to be that everybody else is doing it so why not?

     This market climate creates excellent opportunities for buyers to purchase a home for far less that the value of a few years ago and get more house for the money. 

     This is a great time to buy so if you can, take advantage.  My thirty years of real estate experience, through many up and down cycles, has convinced me that no matter how low the market goes, it always comes back, often with a vengance The variable is time.  

      No one really knows how long this downturn will last but it is clear that a down market creates opportunities for investors and home buyers. Some buyers are waiting for the bottom of the marke to get the best price.  We know the market is at the bottom when it starts going back up.  Don't miss out on great buys.

      Call me at 770.460.9448 for the help finding the very best properties for the very best prices.

       Sellers. It is not the best time to sell so, if possible, wait.  If you really want to move, considering renting the house until the market turns.  If neither waiting or renting are options for you, call me at 770.460.9448 for a FREE market consultation.  Let my 30 years experience work for you.

    leslie edwards            

    sells real estate  

    770.460.9448

    RE/MAX Around Atlanta

    Think Green to save money and the planet

    Smart Realtor, SMART Car

    by Leslie Edwards

    For years I have driven large cars with great ooh aah value but not so great miles per gallon ratings.  I also had an older BMW convertible for sport.  Recently I gave the convertible to my grandson who will be driving this month and I was looking at several brands of convertibles to replace it.  There is nothing like Spring and Fall in a convertible. 

    A few years ago in Italy, I saw hundreds of SMART cars everywhere and learned they were popular all over Europe but were not available in the U.S.

    Early this year, I saw that SMART was coming to America and I got one as soon as they arrived.  Most are sold by preorder which can take 6 months to 18 months to deliver.  Luck was on my side when I found that the only dealer, Mercedes of Buckhead, had a few that the buyers were unable to take delivery on that were being sold to teh first person who came ready to buy.  By the time I drove to Buckhead from Fayetteville, only one of the two convertibles remained unsold.  There were people sitting in it exhibiting buying signals.  I really wanted that car, so I went inside and found a young sales woman and asked her to write it up, without a test drive, sitting in it or seeing it upclose. 

    The car is a SMART fortwo Passion Cabriolet convertible and is rated at 33-46 mpg.  I am getting in the high 30's mpg, which, I suspect, is due to my well known propensity for driving fast.  Since I got the car, I rarely drive the 740IL BMW because when I do, I am very conscious of dragging around a huge machine with only one person riding, at 17.5 average miles per gallon. 

    All my groceries fit in the SMART and large men tell me that when they are in the car it does not feel small. The SMART has a good safelty rating because it is built around a steel cage and includes a roll bar and multiple air bags.  It does not sway when it is passed on the expressway by big trucks. 

    The exterior is installed as panels that are interchangeable so if I get bumped, I can have the damaged panel replaced.  If I want to change the color of the car or make it two toned, a whole new set of panels is $1,200.

    The one great feature that is so superior to my BMW's and so many other cars, is that the SMART has got great CUP HOLDERS. 

    The day after I bought the car, I had it lettered with my name, phone number, company, website address and the Slogo "Smart Realtor, SMART Car".  The car is on the road everyday so as a promotion, it is like a moving billboard.  I have met lots of people who stop me everywhere I go to ask about the car.  I finally had cards printed with all of the details about the car to give out because everyone asked the same questions.

    It is my plan to always be moving in a greener, all natural direction by purchasing cars with better mileage, recycling, reusing, conserving and choosing products and food that are all natural instead of all chemical. 

    To those people who say there is so much that one person's efforts make no difference, I say, if we each do a little it adds up to alot. 

    Leave your comments here and let me know what are your best Green/All Natural products and ideas?  If you do not want to give personal info, make something up.  I would love to hear from you.

    If you want to talk about my green/all natural initiative or if you have real estate questions or need a hardworking straightforward Real Estate Agent, Call or Email. 

    leslie edwards                                                                                          sells real estate                                                     770.460.9448                                                                        RE/MAX Around Atlanta                                                          Serving South Metro Atlanta for over 30 years  leslie@leslieedwards.com    See more than 100,000 properties for sale at  www.leslieedwards.com

    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@leslieedwards.com

    leslie edwards     sells real estate     RE/MAX Around Atlanta

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

    Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 18

    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!