Reviews and Reflections About Baby Boomer Stuff

Rosie's Boomer Review

November 2nd, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Baby Boomer Credit Fitness-Avoid Bankruptcy Double Jeopardy

Our guest author for this post is Morlino and Lathea Morris on How to Avoid Bankruptcy Double Jeopardy

As more people remain unemployed and layoffs continue, more and more consumers are finding themselves unable to pay their bills and forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although you expect your credit score to take a hit when you file bankruptcy, you shouldn’t be penalized twice. But many consumers who have filed bankruptcy and anxiously applied for financing soon after their bankruptcy is discharged, are shocked to learn they have been denied only because the credit bureaus have failed to do their job. Credit bureaus sometimes don’t update consumer credit reports to show debts that are included in the bankruptcy. A court ruling requires the three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to report all debts that are discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy to be listed as such on consumer credit reports. Delinquent debts that were discharged through bankruptcy that still appear on your credit report not updated will negatively impact your credit score. Why? These debts will be looked upon as current debts and will appear to a potential lender that you still owe these debts.

A customer who has been using our Complete Credit Management Toolkit to smartly manage his credit after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unfortunately, missed a very important follow-up step.  He spent a period of time getting his family finances in order and remaining debt free. But it wasn’t until his mortgage application was denied, that he realized he had failed to take a very important step. Had he reviewed his credit reports after his bankruptcy was discharged, he would have discovered credit cards debts that had been included in the bankruptcy were being inaccurately reported on his credit reports. So despite the fact in reality he was debt free, to the mortgage lender he was carrying more debt than he could afford, and he was delinquent on these accounts as well. The lesson here is this, if you see a bankruptcy in your future, remember, once your bankruptcy is discharged, your job is to follow-up with the credit bureaus to make sure they have done their job. Unresolved errors will negatively impact your credit worthiness. Here are some Smart Credit Moves:

1. Request a copy of all three of your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You can get them free online at www.annualacreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.

2. Examine your reports carefully for errors. Pay particular attention to any accounts that were discharged as part of a bankruptcy. Any civil judgments discharged in a bankruptcy should be reported as discharged or included in bankruptcy and show a zero balance. Any other accounts discharged in bankruptcy should be reported as discharged or included in bankruptcy and show a zero balance versus showing charge-off or any other reporting.

3. Report to the credit bureaus any errors uncovered. Send them a copy of the credit report with the errors high-lighted, include any supporting documents from the bankruptcy court.

During these economic times, it’s more important than ever for consumers to review their credit reports for inaccuracies that could cause their credit score to plummet -and interest rates and insurance premiums to spike! It is your responsibility to make certain credit bureaus are doing their job. Be Proactive!

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September 7th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Boomer Credit Fitness-Credit Bureaus – Friend or Foe?

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Credit Fitness

I am excited to have two awesome guests post a series called Credit Fitness! Morlino and Lathea Morris will be sharing some powerful tips. They are credit experts. So put your seatbelt on and enjoy the ride!

Managing your credit can be a challenge. There’s a lot of information that most lay people just don’t know. To educate consumers about credit management is one of the major reasons why we created and launched our first credit toolkit in 2004. So, put this need to know information in your arsenal of knowledge about credit bureaus.

What can cause your credit score to take a major dive? The answer – Errors in your credit report can steal points from your credit score and money out of your wallet. In the hope of getting errors cleared away as quickly as possible, many consumers go online to dispute credit report errors. Is this a smart credit move? Well, disputing errors in your credit report online can sometimes be tricky.

All three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion process most disputes using a system that’s almost entirely automated. e-OSCAR is a web-based automated system that enables data furnishers (your creditors and others) and credit bureaus to create and respond to consumer credit history disputes. However, some lenders do little more than check the disputed information against their own records, even if those records were the source of the error. This is precisely why we coach our clients to dispute errors with their creditor first. I know this is not a perfect system, but, believe it’s a better strategy. Credit bureaus are often skeptical of disputes submitted by consumers, however, they are more inclined to trust information coming from your creditors, clients of the credit bureaus.

Additionally, credit bureaus retain contractors who gather tax lien and bankruptcy information from courthouses and government offices. If these contractors transpose a digit or misread a document, their error gets entered on your credit report. These are just a few more reasons why it’s so important for consumers to keep their finger on the pulse of their credit reports. Take advantage of getting free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com. You can get all three copies of your reports free annually or request one report every four months.

If you have exhausted all sources to get an error deleted, consider retaining a consumer advocate attorney to fight on your behalf. Go here to find an attorney. Now, that’s a smart credit move.

Be sure to visit The Credit Alternative and Morlino and Lathea’s  sites.

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