Sunday, October 11, 2015

Don't Be Bullied By Debt Collectors

By Bob Massi - Fox News

While watching my Redskins try to beat the 4-0 Falcons, I flipped over to Fox News and caught a re-run of Bob Massi, the Property Man. I love this show. He is based in Las Vegas, the foreclosure capital of the world. This show featured a debt collection segment that is worth recommending. Here is a link to the original article about the show:

If you have become overwhelmed and fallen behind in paying your credit obligations, you are not alone. Roughly one in three Americans have unpaid bills that have been sent to collection agencies. Being contacted by debt collectors can create psychological stress and makes getting back on sound financial footing even more challenging. Knowing how to handle requests for repayment can put you in charge of getting your credit back on track.
First, and most importantly: If you believe the debt is not yours, send a letter to the collection company demanding verification.
If you have an unpaid debt and are being contacted by debt collectors, your first step is to contact the original creditor. Call the credit card agency, doctor’s office or cellphone company directly and offer a plan to settle your payments. Even when an account is turned over to a collection agency, the majority of creditors continue to own the debt. The collectors are hired hands who get paid when they recover it. The more money you pay the original creditor, the more they earn. This explains why debt collectors are frequently aggressive in their approach. They want you to pay as much as you can, as fast as you can, because their own paycheck depends on it.
Sometimes a debt collection agency will “buy” the debt at a reduced face value from creditors who believe they will be unable to collect. The agency then tries to maximize how much it can collect. In this case, the bad news is that you are going to have to deal with the collection agency and not the original creditor. The good news is that federal law compels these collection agencies to follow specific rules of contact when trying to recover a debt.
No matter how outside agencies obtain your contact information to pursue collection, they generally follow a set pattern of contact once they have it. First, they send a letter. Next, they begin making calls. Sometimes – but rarely – they will file a lawsuit. These collection activities can be reported to the three major credit bureaus, which is particularly damaging because the information stays on your report for up to seven years – even if you settle the account.
A debt collector must inform you that he is a debt collector trying to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose. In some cases, this contact can feel intimidating. But the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits the procedures a third-party agency can use to collect.
Don’t be bullied. By law, agencies are not allowed to:
  • threaten you in any way, including threats of jail time or wage
  • garnish wages (unless they have obtained a court ordered judgment against you)
  • try to collect more money than is owed
  • use abusive language
  • communicate with third parties, like friends or relatives, regarding your debt
  • harass with phone calls late at night (after 9 p.m.) or in the early morning (before 8 a.m.)
  • call at work if you have requested not to be contacted at your place of business
  • continue to contact a debtor who has requested in writing not to be contacted
If you are being harassed by overly aggressive debt collectors, you can report suspected violations to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.
If the debt is valid, and the collector has not violated a law in trying to collect it, negotiating a settlement is often the best resolution. If your debt is complex or you are being contacted by multiple collection agencies, you may want a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. But for the most part, you should be able to deal with the agencies yourself.
When you settle a debt, ask to have any credit reporting that lists the collection amount removed. Follow up by reviewing your credit reports carefully and correcting any misinformation.

Robert Massi joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1996 and currently serves as a legal analyst as well as host of Bob Massi is the Property Man, part of FNC’s weekend lineup (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET / encore Sunday, 3 p.m. ET). The program highlights the various facets of the housing industry and features experts who break down current property trends and pricing deals. Massi appears weekly on Fox & Friends for his segments “Rebuilding Dreams” and “Legal Ease” along with appearing at other times on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network (FBN) for real estate and legal segments.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

T-Mobile is Victim of Breach by Experian - 15 million Clients Information Compromised

SAN FRANCISCO — A hacker has acquired the records of 15 million T-Mobile customers and people who had applied for credit, the company reported Thursday.
The breach, which affected two years worth of records,occurred at Experian, the vendor that processes T-Mobile's credit applications, T-Mobile  CEO John Legere said in a post on the site.
Experian North America said in a notice that one of its business units was compromised, but that its consumer credit bureau was not affected.
Experian has notified both U.S. and international law enforcement. Experian North America's parent company, Experian is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
"The investigation is ongoing, but what we know right now is that the hacker acquired the records of approximately 15 million people, including new applicants requiring a credit check for service or device financing from September 1, 2013 through September 16, 2015," Legere wrote.
"The data set was for applicants and customers of T-Mobile who applied for service over that two year period," said Experian spokeswoman Susan Henson.
The breach happened approximately two weeks ago. It "was discovered within two days, secured immediately, comprehensive forensic investigation launched (and still continuing) and we announced it today to quickly notify consumers. Our notification to state attorneys’ general happens tomorrow," Henseon said.
In a refreshing change from the corporate-speak often used by CEOs whose businesses are breached, T-Mobile's Legere stayed true to form with his directness.
"Obviously I am incredibly angry about this data breach," he said, saying he would conduct a "thorough review" of his company's relationship with Experian but that his top concern for now was "assisting any and all consumers affected."
The compromised information includes customers' names, addresses and birth dates as well as encrypted fields with Social Security number and ID number, which could be a driver’s license or passport number.
Experian told T-Mobile the encryption protecting those numbers may have been compromised, Legere said.
Experian and T-Mobile have set up two years of free credit monitoring and identity resolution services for compromised customers. Ironically, the service is being offered through Experian's own credit monitoring service.
Experian cautioned consumers that under no circumstances would either Experian or T-Mobile call them or send them messages asking for personal information in connection with the breach.
"You may go to the website, but you should not provide personal information to anyone who calls you or sends you a message about this incident," Experian said in a statement.
Get your 2 years of credit monitoring from Experian here:

Next Post: 7 Secrets To Get a PERFECT Credit Score:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

7 Secrets on How To Get The PERFECT Credit Score

By: Dave Sullivan.

People always ask “How can I get a perfect credit score?” 

The truth is, credit scores above 760 will get you the very best loan rates. If consumers credit scores make it above 800 the only possible benefit  is a slightly better home and auto insurance rates. 

What is the formula for a perfect credit score?  I’ve seen a few perfect credit scores and I have seen a few that we’re almost perfect. The ones that are close to perfect credit tell a very interesting story.  

Here are the 7 steps to the perfect 850 credit score;

1. The number one most important thing is no late dates ever. Never late on any account and no collections.  Also you can not have any current accounts that are marked “was 30 – 60 – 90 day late now current” All accounts need to have 100% perfect payment history.

2. Consumers need at least one bank credit card that is thirty years old or older. A thirty year old history with no late dates ever on that account.  That is a key anchor for a perfect FICO(r) credit score.

3. One important ingredient that will keep consumers from a perfect credit score is, a  store credit card. Store cards will not give you as many points as a bank credit card.  One of the “Reason Codes” on a almost perfect credit report I recently reviewed listed; “too many store credit cards” as the reason why the credit score was not higher. (they only had one).

4. Another important ingredient is  five to seven bank credit cards with balances around five percent of the high credit limit, not zero, although some of the perfect credit scores had accounts that were zero. I tell people to keep their balances at five to nine percent if you want to get the best score. In addition, you need to have the every other credit card with at least five to ten years of history.

5. Another common ingredient is an old mortgage. The mortgage needs to be in the last few years of a thirty-year or fifteen year mortgage. Meaning the mortgage is nearly paid in full.

6. An optional ingredient is a home equity line of credit. I’ve seen perfect credit scores with and without a home equity line of credit.  I like the home equity line of credit from a credit perspective because it gives you a real boost in your credit score.

7. The last two ingredients are; no new account less than five years old.  No credit card, auto loan or mortgage of any type less than five years old.  Also you cannot have any hard inquiries in the last two years. A hard inquiry is when you apply for credit. A soft inquiry is when a consumer checks their credit for their own information.

That is a formula for a perfect credit score. If you want to see more videos about credit and credit scoring check these out at

Link to original article:

Message from Robert:

This is the first article that I have re-published from anyone who holds an anti-credit repair viewpoint. Dave works for a large national mortgage tri-merge credit report provider which is where he get's his experience and knowledge. I really hope that you have learned a lot from this article!

Like many mortgage industry insiders, Dave is only against credit repair companies that simply write dispute letters and sell a dream without backing it up. All of you know that is NOT what Credit Restoration Associates is about. REAL credit repair is a true art, and there are not enough artists.

Call us at (804) 823-9601 for a professional credit report review and professional credit consultation at absolutely no charge.        

Visit the Credit Restoration Associates Website 

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