Tag Archives: credit repair

Disputing Disputed Accounts

Disputing Disputed Accounts

     Have you reviewed your Credit Report and Credit Scores recently?  If not, I urge you to do so.  For a number of reasons.

But if you have:  I applaud you. Did you find a debt, account, or error there though? After finding it, did you contact a Creditor, a major Credit Bureau, or take action to “dispute” the account?

If you’re planning on borrowing money SOON …  I’d advise against disputing an account or error that’s appearing on your Credit Report …

     Mortgage Underwriting platforms have changed their stance on “disputed accounts”.  Disputes used to be seemingly harmless actions.  Not so anymore.  Underwriting changes have made it possible for disputes to hold up … or even prevent … Mortgage Approvals. 

A recent Borrower of mine can sadly attest to that fact …

In my Borrower’s case:  It took hours and hours of phone calls to explain, detail, document, and sort out a dispute.  A dispute originally lodged by the Creditor.

To make this situation even more frustrating, we came to find that the Creditor’s action had been taken in error.  Nonetheless, it cost my Borrower time, stress, and money to straighten it out.  Requests to rush a revised Credit Report come at a cost.

Many times:  The best option for a Mortgage Applicant may be to leave the account “as is” … in error and undisputed.  At least temporarily, while trying to gain Mortgage Approval or while in the Mortgage Process.

     But what if you’ve already taken steps to “dispute” an account prior to applying for your financing? 

First:  Have an in-depth conversation regarding the situation with me or your own Mortgage Lender.

There is no set answer for this predicament.  That’s important to know and remember. A discussion with your Lender will help you find a solution and take action based on yourpersonal scenario.

Secondly:  I may ask that you write the 3 Major Credit Bureaus (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax) AND the Creditor itself, to request they remove the dispute.

Be prepared to take action and follow-up on it.  As your Lender I may provide guidance throughout, but I cannot make requests on your behalf.  That remains the responsibility of the Account Holder.

Understand:  Removal of a dispute may be the best and fastest way to address this issue.  It will also address the changes in Underwriting that I mentioned earlier.

In the case of my client, the Creditor later stated that “they guess they needed to review their policies” regarding the placement of disputes on accounts.  Hearing that was of little satisfaction to my Borrower.  And it didn’t reimburse them for their expenditure of time and money.

I will point out, that this issue could have been avoided had my client checked their Credit Report earlier or on a continual basis, as the dispute had lingered there for years.

 So Bottomline:  Reviewing your Credit Report on a regular (I suggest annually, at minimum) basis is a smart financial move.  And it will eliminate issues from arising in the future during your Mortgage Pre-Approval and Processing.

If you’re thinking of buying or refinancing a home soon, take action now.  Talk to me soon … and check your Credit Report.  Both will make your home purchase or financing go more quickly, easily, and successfully …


*  Are you hoping to Buy or Refinance a home in the Chicagoland area?  Contact Me today!  I’ll put my 37 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I can be easily found at:

Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
 
 
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 37 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, & Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  
The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL. 
 
Your Referrals are Greatly Appreciated!
 
     

Just Like Your Underwear: Credit Needs to be Freshened-Up, Scrubbed, Updated, Fluffed & Changed

Just Like Your Underwear: 
Credit Needs to be Freshened-Up, Scrubbed, 
Updated, Fluffed & Changed 
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx

     Everything needs to be “freshened up” once in a while.  It need to be given a trim.  Updated.  Fluffed.  Scrubbed-up.  Changed or re-arranged.

     Credit is no different! 

 
     But stop and think about it.  When was the last time you took a good hard look at your credit situation, your credit cards, or Credit Report?  Over a year?  Two?  More?

     Truth is, what worked for you credit-wise in the past, may not be serving your overall financial good now …  

  •  Interest Rates on your credit cards may have risen 
  •  Promotional rates may have fallen off 
  •  Rewards that initially drew you to a specific card, may   have lapsed. 
  •  The credit card company may have updated or dropped the benefits you liked from your card 

     It happens all the time … 

     And your mortgage rate?  The one you might have thought you were doomed to forever because of housing values?  It may actually deserve a second-look.  

     Mortgage Interest Rates have remained low … lower for much longer than most experts thought they would.  And as of this writing, have actually fallen some recently.  Enough that Refinances have come back on the radar for a large number of Americans in many housing markets.

     The airwaves, social media, and news are full of stories that tell of new security breaches. Passwords to banking accounts and websites need to be changed one more time.  We hear of it so frequently, that it’s begun to take on the air of “common occurence”.  

     But it’s not …

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     Your credit and Credit Report are always a “work in progress”.  If you haven’t checked your credit and Report out in the past 12 months, it’s time to now.  You can easily accomplish this on your own.  Just head to: 
 

and request your FREE Credit Report.

     If you want to find out what options exist for you to become a step-up home buyer, or to discover if Refinancing your present mortgage is an option … in the Chicago area, contact me.  Together we’ll run the numbers to find the opportunities that currently exist for you.  

     And if we find your credit and credit scores need improvement, we’ll “freshened them up”, give ’em a trim, fluff, scrub, change or re-arrange them so they’re the best they can be as you head into your financing and the future …

http://www.genemundt.com/ContactUs.aspx

      
     *  Hoping to Buy, Build, or Refinance a Home in the Chicago area?  Contact Me Today!  I’ll get you the facts, info, and figures you need to make the best home buying and mortgage financing decisions for you and your future.
I can be easily found at:

Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell or Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
 
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL

Heading to College? Protect Your Finances Now … and for the Future

Heading to College?  Protect Your Finances Now … and for the Future

     It happens fairly frequently …

https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx     While reading through a potential Mortgage Applicant’s Credit Report, I’ll discover that many of their reported debts and Credit Cards were first established while they were in college.  And now years later, they’re still trying to pay off those debts.

     Yes, it’s true.  The Credit Card Act (signed into law May 22nd of ’09) is supposed to be addressing some of these issues by removing Credit Card companies … and the temptations they offer to college students for applying for cards … from campuses.  

     For those under 21, the Credit Card Act has also made it harder to be approved for a Credit Card.  A parent, guardian, or spouse must be willing to co-sign on a Card … or the applicant must prove that they have sufficient income to pay for their credit obligation.

     These limitations and restraints are helping.  But I can tell you from experience, they’re not eliminating the problem.  Not by a long shot.  

     Ask many of my clients.  When they were in college or under the age of 21, they probably thought Home Buying was a long way off.  Or they might have even thought they weren’t interested in becoming a homeowner.  

     Whether you’re planning on becoming a future homeowner or not, it’s important to remain financially sound while in college.  Having poor credit or large amounts of debt hurts you financially … in the short term and long.  Access to services and the cost of those services (think cell phones/service), rent, car insurance, auto loans, and more are impacted by your debt and Credit Scores.  (Click HERE for a previous post on this subject).   

     So what are the biggest credit and financial issues I see taking root during the college years of Mortgage Applicants? 

  • Student Loans:  Face it, often they can’t be avoided if someone hopes to go to college.  But the amount(s) borrowed can be addressed, as can prophttp://genemundtchicagolandmortgage.blogspot.com/2013/08/tackling-millennial-student-loan-debt.htmler usage of the monies received from these loans.  

     Students must remember that Student Loans must be paid back and cannot be deferred forever.  Think long and hard before your borrow money … for any reason.

  • Lack of Budgeting:  Learning how to budget and then sticking to a budget is important.  Go crazy with your money and Credit Cards now and you’ll be paying for it for a long time after your graduate.
  • Making Minimum Monthly Payments:  Only making minimum monthly payments on Credit Card(s) raises the cost of the money borrowed because of all the interest charged.  Unfortunately, students often do not get the best terms for their Credit Cards.  Interest Rates are typically high.  

      A.  Credit Cards are vital to establishing a good credit history, so I’m not advocating that you don’t apply for a card prior to attending college or while there.  Just use the card(s) judiciously … and wisely.  

     B.  Pay as much as possible off the balance you owe each month.  You’ll save on the interest you’re charged, you’ll pay the balance off sooner, your Credit Scores will build higher, and you’ll be better positioned to buy and borrow for the things you need while still in school … and after you graduate too.

  • Applying for too many Credit Cards: Those offers and bargains offered at the store registers can come back to bite you later.  Stick to 1 or 2 low-limit Cards and pass on opening more.
  • Using the “cash advance” feature on Credit Cards:  Do this only when it’s an absolute emergency.

     So many of the Credit Reports I see are “haunted” … sometimes for years … by my Borrowers’ past expenditures and the poor credit decisions they made while in college.     Don’t let this happen to you (or your child).   

     Protect your financial future.  Establish a budget as part of the college plans you’re making.  Apply sparingly for Student Loans and Credit Cards.  Stick to your budget.  Your financial future will be much better if you do.  And should you decide to Buy a Home, you’ll be much better prepared to do so at the best possible terms …


     *  Thinking about Buying, Refinancing, or Constructing a  home in New Lenox, another Lincoln-Way Community, Will County, or elsewhere in ChicagolandContact Me Now!  I’ll put my 36 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be easily found at:

                                     Direct:  815.524.2280

Cell or Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
 
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL

Boomerang Buyers: What to do if you see a Short Sale in your Rearview Mirror

  Boomerang Buyers: What to do if you see a Short Sale in your Rearview Mirror

        You’ve probably seen me mention the term Boomerang Buyer in a few of my posts before.  This is a classification of potential Home Buyer that is contacting me more and more often for info, as of late.  As the housing downturn gets further and further in our rearview mirror, I believe that will happen even more often in the future.

     Because of the financial and real estate scenarios that gave birth to the “Boomerang Buyer” moniker, many of the questions I receive today surround the topic of Short Sales … and their effect on Credit Scores.  That certainly was the case with one couple that I spoke to a short time ago.

     As this couple was marrying soon, they also wanted to know how one future spouse’s credit history with a Short Sale would effect their Credit Scores as a couple … and how it would effect them if they made Mortgage Application for a new home purchase soon.

     I pointed out that Credit Scores are based on each individual’s unique Social Security Number and their respective histories.  Each individual has 3 Credit Scores specific to them and them alone. 

     In the specific scenario I refer to, it was the male that suffered the earlier Short Sale.  So moving forward, even after they marry, it would be only his Credit Scores that are impacted and reflect the past Short Sale. 

     The impact suffered on her Credit Scores because of the Short Sale most likely ranged from a 70 point drop in Scores to as much as 200 points.  Actually the “hit” taken by any individual’s Scores depends on their previous Credit rating.  The higher their Credit Score prior to the Short Sale, the bigger the “hit” taken.

     If there were late payments previous to entering the Short Sale and the Mortgage on the former property was “settled for less than full balance owed” … and reported that way to the Credit Bureaus by the Lender … the impact or drop in Credit Scores because of the Short Sale were less impactful.

     It is practically impossible to fully predict the actual number of a Credit drop without knowledge of the Credit History and Credit Scores prior to the occurrence.  But typically, the mere reporting of a Short Sale will mean a “waiting period” for home loan financing for a minimum of one (1) year , but likely longer timelines will be in play.  

https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx     Most likely the minimum wait will be two (2) years, unless the circumstances leading to the Short Sale stemmed from major income or employment hardships.   (See my post regarding “FHA’s “Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances” Program for further information on that topic.)

     Fact is, “Boomerang Buyers” or those having suffered through financial hardships, need to seek out the guidance and assistance of a Mortgage Lender well in advance of when they hope to buy a home again.  Each client’s financial scenario is (much like their Social Security Number) unique to them.  Individualized analyzation and guidance will be called for.

     Credit corrections, credit repair, and implementation of the advice I provide will move smoothly … but slowly.  Ample time is needed to successfully move forward with a purchase.  So contact me now with your Mortgage questions and needs.  We’ll get started immediately … 
http://www.genemundt.com/ContactUs.aspx

     

     *  Hoping to Buy a Home once again?  Looking to Buy, Refinance, or Construct a home in the Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, or elsewhere in ChicagolandContact me today!  I’ll put my 36 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be easily found at:

Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell or Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL. 


    

I Promise to Love, Cherish … and Pay My Bills??

I Promise to Love, Cherish … and Pay My Bills??

    *  Food for thought: 
        According to the 2010 Current Population Survey (conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau), there were about 7.5 million unmarried opposite-sex couples cohabiting in the United States, as well as another 620,000 same-sex couples. The same source reported that married couples account for only 48 percent of all households.

Improve your credit scores with Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender

      More and more often, especially with young, first-time home buyers, I am assisting unmarried partners with their mortgage financing … and I’m seeing huge differences in many of their money-handling styles and skills.   

     While I see it in older couples too, the differences often are far more dramatic in the young.  It’s typically very clear … one partner is the saver, the other is the spender.  The conversations I have with them certainly reflect that too, as do their credit report(s).
    Right now, I am working with a young, unmarried couple hoping to buy their first home and obtain a mortgage Well, I should say … SHE is hoping to buy a home.  I’m not sure about him.  SHE has been the catalyst of each and every call.  Every piece of information or documentation I receive to advance their mortgage comes from HER.  He has been forthcoming with little.  He’s also been very non-committal and evasive with answers.  I’m a bit unsettled about him, to be truthful.
     Now this young couple, may or may not end-up completing their sales transaction.  I say their chances are 50-50 at best right now.  The outcomes depends on how persuasive SHE can be.  And if he quits dragging his feet and finally commits to the process.

 

    It’s just my opinion too, but I think this couple has bigger issues that should concern them.  Their credit reports read like a life story.  While both partners are young, they are old enough to have already established financial outlooks, habits, and distinguishable spending personalities.  Theirs are vastly different on all counts.  Extremes.  And because of that, I see all sorts of problems before them long term.  Red flags screaming out “Warning!” and  “Caution!” 

Let's Talk About Your Credit & Finances!
    Should this couple hope to have a long, happy, and successful future together, I’d suggest they have a sit-down and talk about their finances … soon.  Possibly even counseling.  I think they need to be honest with each other about their financial histories (something I think she is possibly unaware of … or doesn’t understand the ramifications of) … and their financial goals and dreams for the future. There should be no surprises … no secrets kept between them.

     They, as well as any couple (married or unmarried), should both know, understand, and then commit to what financial responsibilities lay before them. They should also know just how and what they hope to contribute as they move forward together … and how and what they hope the other will contribute as well.  An indepth, lengthy, honest conversation is warranted.

 

      And as unromantic as it sounds, especially for this couple and other unmarried couples, this conversation needs to cover  any future “what-ifs” … and how those “what-ifs” affect them legally, should they part or die.
   Unmarried partners must not assume that the legal options and protections provided them are the same as for married persons.  It is my opinion that protections … legal protections … need to be arranged and put into place for each in this couple.  That is especially so prior to a large financial purchase/commitment, such as this home … or a car.

 

      Unfortunately, I do not see much financial harmony within MY young home buying couple right now … or the likelihood of any real indepth communications between them or any attorney occurring in the near future.  Time will tell if they can make a “go” of this, or not.  I’m hoping they prove me wrong … and all ends-up well.

 

      But I urge anyone hoping to buy a home with someone else, especially as a non-married partner … discuss your plans and goals with one another.  Then talk to a knowledgeable, experienced real estate attorney prior to making the financial commitment of buying a home or other large financial purchase.  Understand and know your options and possible outcomes.  Love and protect yourself enough to take these precautions …  

 

     *  In need of mortgage and credit advice?  Hoping to buy or refinance a home soon or sometime in the future?  Contact me.  I’ll put my 36 years of experience and expertise as a mortgage lender to work for you.  Together we’ll work towards a successful home purchase and find the financial solutions that suit your present financial needs and your future goals.
   Contact me at any of the following:

 

   Direct:   815.524.2280    
Cell/Text:   708.921.6331
     eFax:   815.524.2281   
 Click HERE for a FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx

 

 

 

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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL.  

 

Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender can be contacted at:
815.524.2280, 708.921.6331 … or via his email:  gmundt@goapmc.com.

Real Estate Round Table #1: Making Chicagoland First-Time Home Buying Easier

Real Estate Round Table #1:     Making Chicagoland First-Time Home Buying Easier

     They say stepping out of your “comfort zone” and showing a willingness to do new things is good.  That lesson is valid whether you’re talking about buying a first home … or doing your first webinar.  I did the latter just  this morning …

     With the assistance of small business and real estate consultant, facilitator, and wonderful friend Carra Riley, I tackled my first online webinar today.  A webinar that addresses the other “first” I speak of above … Buying a First Home.  

     There were a few minor hiccups with sound (at first), but all in all this first video webinar went well.  Many of the fears I had previously have now disappeared.  Truth is, the unknown was far more scarey than the actuality.

     Much the same can be said about Buying your First Home in Chicagoland.  Education and preparation are key, as is who you choose to work with during your transaction. I learned during the making of my first video that sometimes it’s best to learn as much as you can, make your preparations, and then dive into the waters. 

     I had great professionals at my side … and that made all the difference to my mindset and to the outcome.  Do the same during your First-Time Home Buying transaction … and you’ll end-up successful too.

     My new webinar featured two of my Chicagoland referral partners … 

Anne McMillin of Starting Point Realty …

Anne McMillin 
Real Estate Broker
Starting Point Realty
anne@StartingPointRealty.comCell:   708.601.1530 

   

Richard Stringham of Stringham Insurance Agency in Mokena … 

Richard Stringham – Owner/Agent
Stringham Insurance Agency
19646 South Wolf Road
Mokena, IL  60448
dick@stringhaminsurance.com 

Office:   708.479.2526  

     We hoped that the info and assistance provided within the video would aid Chicagoland First-Time Home Buyers.  Each of us was hoping to take the “fear factor” out of first-time home buying transactions for our viewers.  I hoped we accomplished that and more.

     Here’s my video/link:

Image

     I know I learned a lot today.  And again, I must say thank you to Carra Riley for that.  Making this video certainly reinforced a lesson about the “comfort zone” thing too.  Because of Carra’s generosity and efforts I know I’ll definitely be much more relaxed and educated about the ins-and-outs of video, webinars, and Google+ Hang-Outs in the future.  

     I’m looking forward to adding even more informational Mortgage financing videos and webinars in the future.  Be watching for them as I hope to share more on the topics of Mortgage financing, Credit/Credit Scores, Mortgage Pre-Qualification, preparing to Buy a Home, Mortgage Application, Chicagoland Construction financing, and more soon. 

     *  Have questions about what you heard in the video above?  Contact Me!  I’ll be happy to hear from you, answer your questions regarding Mortgage financing, refer you to  great professionals within the Chicagoland area, and more.
     I can be easily found at:

Direct:   815.524.2280
Cell or Text:   708.921.6331
eFax:   815.524.2281
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/WebApp/FullAppLogin.aspx

When Should a Will County – Chicagoland Home Buyer First Seek Financing Guidance?

When Should a Will County – Chicagoland Home Buyer First Seek Financing Guidance?  
     As a Mortgage Lender, I recommend that potential Home Buyers contact me up to one year in advance of their purchase.  That is especially true when that Home Buyer is a First-Time Home Buyer.  And here’s why …
     I recently had a young newly-engaged couple contact me for Mortgage financing.  They were hopeful First-Time Home Buyers wanting to learn how well they were currently positioned to buy a home.  They also wanted to know more about their Mortgage financing options and what was ahead of them during the Mortgage Process itself.
     This young couple was well-organized.  I’d recommended that they visit my website prior to our meeting and they had done so.  They had a good portion of their needed financial documentation in-hand and were prepared and ready to talk.
     But when this young couple sat down, I just knew they were scared to death.  It isn’t unusual to see this reaction.  Most First-time Home Buyers have little idea of what they’ll face, so it’s only natural that they’re a bit apprehensive.
     Many clients have probably heard that there will be an onslaught of questions to answer.  But they rarely know what those questions will be … or how answering those questions will end-up fulfilling a need within a transaction.
     After working with this young couple, I thought seeing some of the questions they were asked during their first Mortgage Consultation might prove helpful to others in their preparation to buy/finance a home.  Keep in mind, every Buyer’s needs and financing scenarios are different and can vary greatly.  But many of the questions you hear may be similar or close to those found below. 
     You will most likely be asked:
  •  How soon are you hoping to buy?
  •  Do you know your Credit Scores?
  •  Have YOU pulled your Credit Report from www.freeannualcreditreport.com(Depending on your personal situation, I may/may not request to run your Credit Report at this time).
  •  Have you saved any monies for a Down Payment?
  •  If so, how much have you saved for your Down Payment?
  •  Do you want to “keep back” or retain any of your savings after Closing?

     Other questions will include:

  •  Have you started an actual home search?
  •  Do you know the location and price range of home you wish to buy?
  •  Do you know what price a home with those features … and in that location … will demand?
  •  What debt do you currently have?  
  •  Do you have installment Loans, such as Auto Loans, Student Loans, Credit Cards?
  •  How many accounts (called trade lines) have you established?
  •  What about your Employment(s)?
  •  How are you paid?
  •  What are you paid?
  •  How long have you been on the job?
  •  Does that include overtime?  Will that overtime continue?
  •  Does your pay include bonuses? Will those bonuses continue to come … or are they unscheduled?
  •  Are their children involved?  Child Support? Alimony?

     Knowing this couple was an engaged couple, with a wedding day set, I also asked the following questions:

  •  Will your wedding and wedding expenses impact your credit/debt?
  •  If so, how much?
  •  Upon marrying, will monetary wedding gifts impact your Down Payment?
  •  How do you intend to use the gift monies?
  •  Have you set-up a separate banking/checking account for wedding/reception funds?  One that separates those monies from the Down Payment funds/account?

     
     As you can see, there is much to consider as you enter into Home Buying.  This is especially true if you are a First-Time Home Buyer or someone getting married during the Process.  The questions above also prove just how personalized today’s Mortgage Process has become … and just why I recommend starting the Mortgage Process so far in advance.  

     In my next post, I will address:

  • HOW and WHY having an early Mortgage Consultation can benefit you
  • WHY providing required documentation in a timely manner is important
  •  WHAT guidance and assistance you can expect as we move forward in the Mortgage Process together

     

     As always, you are invited to contact me with any questions or needs at your convenience.  You can easily find me at the following:
                                                                                                Gene Mundt
Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell/Text:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?

When Inaccuracies Show on your Credit Report … What Then?

When Inaccuracies Show on your Credit Report … What Then?


     Credit Scores and Credit Reports are very important …  

     That’s true whether someone is hoping to buy a home (or refinance) or not.  But should you be someone in the hunt for Mortgage financing to purchase or refinance a home, the stakes get higher.  Your Credit Scores and Credit Reports become paramount to the success you’ll discover when financing and the end-costs you face. 

     Most of my Mortgage clients understand this when we speak the first time.  Often one of their first questions is:  At what point during my Mortgage Pre-Qualification Process will you run my Credit?  Unfortunately, there isn’t one definitive answer to their question. 

     As with most things in Mortgage Lending today, the answer is something of a moving target.  Often, the answer lies in the client’s individual financial situation and scenario.  I’ve made an analogy regarding this before, but I offer it again here.  Truly, no two clients and their financial stories or scenarios are alike.  Just like fingerprints and snowflakes, each is distinct and unique.

     That said, when that point in a Pre-Qualification is reached and the Credit Report is run, we then go over the report with a fine-tooth comb.  Together we thoroughly review the results provided to make sure the Report is accurate and reflects their current debt status. 

     When inaccuracies are discovered on a Report, emotions can run high.  Clients know inaccuracies can drag down Credit Scores.  And lower Credit Scores can mean higher costs for lending, certain Mortgage Programs can become unattainable to them, higher Interest Rates can be charged, or they can even being turned-down for their loan.  

      So what do you do when inaccuracies occur?

     Once again the answer depends on the individual.  It can also rest on what error/inaccuracy is being shown.  Or where in the Mortgage Process you are, etc.  I know … I know … what??

https://1609956119.secure-loancenter.com/FreeConsult.aspx     Typically when this happens, clients want to immediately go to battle with the Credit Bureaus.  They want to confront them, contest or dispute the errors, and get the problems solved NOW.  But it’s not always wise to act immediately.  And there are right and wrong ways … right and wrong timing for correcting errors found in Credit Reports. 

     DISPUTED (and disputing) accounts can cause problems for Mortgage Applicants during their underwriting review.  The best way to address the errors found on a Report (especially while in the Mortgage Process) is to send the 3 major Credit Bureaus information and hard evidence and documentation that will allow (or force) them to correctly report or delete the account in question. 

      Be fully-prepared to roll up your sleeves and work hard at correcting problems you think exist.   Help the Bureaus to understand your situation in its entirety.  Provide the written evidence they need to resolve the issue.

     If you have no solid evidence to support a change in the Report,  the action of “disputing” the account becomes somewhat pointless.  So just like Steve Martin said in the movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”, you need to … “have a point” prior to formally disputing an account. 

     Working closely with your Mortgage Lender during this time is extremely important.  An experienced Mortgage Lender will help guide you through the communications and steps needed to address the Credit issues you are facing successfully and as quickly as possible. 

 
http://www.genemundt.com/ContactUs.aspx*  Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home in one of the Lincoln-Way Communities, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area?  Contact me.  I’ll put my 36 years of mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
     I can be easily found at:
Direct:   815.524.2280 
Cell/Text:   708.921.6331 
eFax:   815.524.2281 
NMLS #216987
Click HERE for a FREE Mortgage Consultation!
Ready to Apply for your Mortgage?
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Hoping to Buy a Home? Juggling some credit? Don’t drop the ball.

Hoping to Buy a Home? 
Juggling some credit? 
Don’t drop the ball.
    Juggling some credit?  Credit … credit scores … credit cards … debt? 
 
      Knowing how to handle or utilize your credit and debt to your advantage can  seem much like a juggling act.  Lose control of even a portion of it or for a second … and you can drop all the balls.  Both figuratively speaking and literally.
      The topic of credit is obviously one touched-upon often as I speak to my mortgage clients.  Questions arise as to the best plan of action regarding the credit and accounts they have … or need to open  in order to have good credit scores  and healthy credit.  And yes, you read that correctly.  Ironic at it may seem, having NO credit or debt (paying Cash for everything) actually works against you when applying for a mortgage.  I know, go figure.
    Many of the questions I receive revolve around the myths and misperceptions regarding the paying off of debt and CLOSING of credit accounts. Credit can be a tricky topic to fully grasp … and it doesn’t make it easy for my clients to understand, when there are no concrete, full-proof rules or recipe to follow regarding this topic.
 
     Credit, the optimization of credit scores, and the closing of accounts, remains a very personal, very individualized equation specific to the person seeking the advice.  What is the right plan of action for one person may actually be the worst plan of action for another.
 
    I try to help my clients understand the delicacy and fragile balance of their credit and credit scores by telling them to think of their credit and debt like “ratios” in a math equation … or like a scale.  What effects those “ratios” or how well the scale balances can be:
 
  •  The number of credit accounts you have
  •  How much is owed on each account
  •  The accumulative amount of the debt you owe
  •  The “age” of each account
  •  The type of credit/account it is
  •  And More …
 
    See how and why it can get so confusing?
 
     Credit scores can be damaged or lowered if the wrong credit account is closed.  But you don’t want to just neglect old accounts with zero balances either.
 
     There is also a right way and wrong way to close out an account.  And you want to make sure you receive actual verification or proof of record from the creditor after taking this action.  (Just to play it safe and protect yourself, should questions concerning the account arise in the future.)
     Juggling balances from one card to another can get your “ratios” out of whack too.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul can drive your credit scores down.  Exactly the opposite reaction you’re hoping for.
     Considering all of the above, you can begin to see why it’s so important to seek guidance from your Mortgage Lender  when hoping to improve your credit scores to their maximum potential.  Why it’s so important to take action and seek help, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.
 
     If YOU are hoping to buy a home in the future … and you have multiple credit cards, rent, car payments, or other debt in the mix … NOW is the time to talk to a Mortgage Lender.  They will know what YOUR personal credit and debt ratios should and need to be to secure mortgage approval when you buy a home.  Plus, they will know how to best optimize your credit to your advantage, allowing for the best mortgage program options and interest rates to choose from at the time of your home purchase.
 
    Please remember this too …
 
     Polishing your credit and optimizing your credit scores can take time.  Months.  A year.  Maybe even longer.
     Interest rates are presently at historic lows. But home prices are on the rise.  If you should hope to take advantage of the perfect blend of low interest rates and lower home prices, now is the time for action.  And the further ahead that you start the process, the better positioned you will be when you buy your home.
    Hoping to Buy a Home?  Juggling some credit?  Don’t drop the ball. Act now so we can talk together soon!
    *  Hoping to buy a home or refinance in Will County, Chicagoland, or elsewhere across the country? Contact me today!  I’ll be happy to hear from you and put my 35+ years of mortgage experience and expertise to work for you on your behalf.
    I can be found at the following:
Cell/Text:    708.921.6331 
Email: genemundt
Skype:    630.219.1316 

When the Identity Thief is Mom or Dad … What Do You Do?

 

      I’ve seen the topic written about often. Real estate agents and mortgage lenders expressing that they are called upon to perform duties outside and beyond those typically associated with their professions.
 
      Real estate agents helping clients out in emergencies.  Walking dogs.  House sitting for repair appointments.  Mortgage Lenders performing counseling of all types.  Helping with financial planning, budgeting, and cleaning credit mishaps.  Both real estate agents and mortgage lender hand-holding and providing a sympathetic ear on family issues, jobs, money, repairs, more. 

       Most real estate agents and mortgage lenders don’t even blink when faced with performing these tasks.  By most real estate professionals … it’s just considered “part of the job” and what you do to assist a client through their home buying and mortgage transactions.

      But every once-in-awhile, as a real estate professional, you run across something that stops you dead in your tracks.   According to statistics, one such issue that has that potential is cropping up more and more often.

      

     And that’s …  financial abuse and  identity theft  committed by parents against their children.

      And when it’s Mom or Dad, or some other family member, perpetrating the identity theft … as a real estate professional, what can you do?  What should you do?

      The temptation to utilize a child’s Social Security number or identity for credit purposes has grown in tandem with the pressures of the current recession’s un-employment and financial challenges and resulting rising bills. Evidently, many parents that have committed these crimes have reported that they thought they would establish credit in their child’s name and no one would be the wiser.  They thought they would, of course, see a turn-around of their fortunes and then repay the credit prior to anyone knowing that they had manipulated their child’s credit and finances.

     But so many times, this did not happen.  Debts were not repaid.  The credit of the minor child was irrepairably or severely damaged.   These parents typically have not confessed regarding their financial setbacks or sins of identity theft, so their children are often unaware of the crimes committed until the child themself tries to establish credit, rent an apartment, buy a car.  Imagine the child’s surprise when they are turned down because they are thousands of dollars in debt … as a result of actions of their own mother or father.

      While this crime is typically uncovered well prior to an adult child applying for a home loan, I have seen remnants of it existing on a mortgage applicant’s credit report. The fallout of the parent’s action is still visible … still needing to be addressed … prior to successful mortgage application.
 
      Charles E. Nelson, a San Diego psychologist and Board Member of the  Identity Theft Resource Center,  relates that children whose credit is ruined or compromised by parents “suffer some of the same emotional fallout as those physically molested by a parent”.  He goes on to say that victims of both crimes feel a similar sense of betrayal that can make it hard for them to trust others or form relationships. 

     The Identity Theft Resource Center is presently working on a proposal that will provide a “minors list” … that would include all Social Security numbers belonging to those under the age of 18 to police departments and credit bureaus. This list WOULD NOT include corresponding names to these Social Security numbers.

      It is very hard to get a true accounting of the numbers of these crimes being committed, as many children do not want to press criminal charges against a parent or family member.  The emotional toll exacted on the child is very high for these crimes and many victims decide not to press the issue for those very sensitive reasons.  But the  Federal Trade Commission  has found that 6% of victims of identity theft identified family members or other relatives as the perpetrators of their misery.

     What are the warning signs that a child’s identity has been stolen?

  • Pre-Approved credit card offers in the child’s name (Please note: These may also stem from a child’s legitimate bank account or college savings account).
  • An  Internal Revenue Service  notice that the child’s name or Social Security number is listed on another tax return.
  • An addict or someone with a history of fraud — who knows the child’s Social Security number — has a sudden infusion of cash or an improvement in their lifestyle.
  • Calls from collection agencies, bills, or credit cards sent in the child’s name.

     After finding out that an identitify theft or financial crime has been committed by a parent, family relative, or family friend … what recourse does a minor or child have?  And should this crime be found out while in the act of buying a home and applying for a mortgage … what can the real estate professionals involved suggest or assist with?

      The most obvious answer is the law must be brought into the matter. But should a minor or adult child not wish to take that road or navigate those emotional waters, it is best that professionals that are licensed in counseling, both emotional and financial be sought out.

      I have had someone recently question me as to the soundness of the action of securing a new Social Security number.  Although this may be done under specific guidelines  (click here for a link to ITRC Fact Sheet 113, Changing a Social Security Number)  or contact the  Identity Theft Resource Center  or  Federal Trade Commission  for additional information and assistance),  I caution those considering this action.

       Obtaining a new Social Security number does not guarantee your problems are behind you regarding the old Social Security number. Banks, credit bureaus, and governmental agencies will probably retain your old number.   And should you be able to start anew with a new Social Security number, it means you no longer have any established credit history … and these days, that causes its’ own set of problems when applying for new credit.

       Finding that a home buying client has been the victim of a crime, especially a crime perpetrated by a client’s own family member, can be upsetting for the real estate professionals on many levels.   Knowing how to guide and support a client while going through their trauma is an important portion of the professional’s services.  But being educated and prepared to face the resulting upheaval on a personal basis for the  real estate professional  is important as well.

       Having the knowledge and information needed to address this crisis correctly before something of this nature occurs will most certainly help the real estate professionals involved cope far better.   All involved are better-served through this education …