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‘Rapid rescoring’ can provide homebuyers a quick credit fix

Work with a trusted mortgage professional who utilizes “Rapid Rescoring” and ‘What-if’ simulator.  I work with both of these tools.  It’s what’s best for my clients.


Many mortgage applicants have never heard of “rapid rescoring” or CreditXpert score simulations — in part because some lenders choose not to educate them.

That’s unfortunate, because anyone who’s looking for the most favorable interest rates and terms in 2018’s rising interest rate environment ought to know at least the basics about them — especially if their current score puts them near a break point between getting a better deal or qualifying for a loan altogether.

Here’s a quick primer. Say you spot one or more errors in your credit reports — maybe there’s an account you’ve paid off in full but it’s still being reported as open and delinquent, or perhaps there’s a collection-account issue you’ve settled with a creditor but it’s still reported as ongoing. Both are potentially significant negatives for your credit score, but if you have documentation, you can show they’re out of date.

What to do? You could begin the standard process of getting them corrected by asking the creditors involved to request the national credit bureaus to amend your files. But here’s the problem: You’re under contract to buy a house and you need the errors corrected immediately — or you risk not qualifying for the mortgage or interest rate you need.

Fixing the errors directly with the credit bureaus could take weeks. Enter rapid rescoring — a process that frequently can get the erroneous information corrected in as little as two to three days. It works like this: You provide the documentation about the accounts to your loan officer, then request a rapid rescore using the loan officer’s mortgage credit-report vendor. The vendor’s staff will then verify your documentation with the creditor(s) involved and provide the corrected information directly to the credit bureaus.

The updates should show up quickly on your credit files, allowing the vendor to supply a new and more accurate credit report to your lender along with a new — and typically higher — credit score.

Paul Wohkittel of CIS, a national credit-reporting company, says that although the improvements in scores vary with the severity of the erroneous credit-file information being corrected, he’s “seen scores that go up by 50 to 60 points,” saving applicants thousands of dollars in higher mortgage payments over time.

Terry Clemans, executive director of the National Consumer Reporting Association, a credit-industry trade group based in Roselle, calls rapid rescoring “a great tool anytime consumers find something in error but need to expedite the (correction) process.”

But rapid rescoring is not for everyone who seeks a quick score boost. For example, if the negative information depressing your score is accurate, it won’t help. Then there’s the expense. Rescoring can cost $30 or more per updated account per credit bureau. So if you’ve got multiple accounts to correct in all three major national bureaus, the total cost can be significant. Plus, there’s another wrinkle: You as a consumer are not permitted to pay directly for rescoring. Your lender is required to foot the bill, though that might find its way into your total loan fees at settlement.

The expense of rapid rescoring is why some lenders are reluctant to raise the subject with certain applicants. Paul Skeens, president of Colonial Mortgage Group in Waldorf, Md., said that “a lot of people who have problems on their credit reports simply don’t have a lot of money to spare.” But for those who can afford it, “it really does work.” One applicant who had a good income but a 680 FICO credit score — too low for the best available mortgage rate — zoomed to a much better 740 after a rapid rescoring, Skeens said.

There’s another valuable mortgage credit tool you should know about. If your score isn’t quite what you need but the information in your files is accurate, your lender should be able to obtain a “what if” simulation through its credit vendor. read more via



Will Home Equity Loan Interest Be Deductible In 2018?


The answer…………it depends.  It depends on what you used or are going to use the home equity loan for.  Up until the end of 2017, borrowers could deduct interest on home equity loans or homes equity lines of credit up to $100,000.  Unfortunately, many homeowners will lose this deduction under the new tax law that takes effect January 1, 2018.

Old Rules

Taxpayers used to be able to take a home equity loan or tap into a home equity line of credit, spend the money on whatever they wanted (pool, college tuition, boat, debt consolidation) and the interest on the loan was tax deductible.  For borrowers in higher tax brackets this was a huge advantage. For a taxpayer in the 39% fed tax bracket, if the interest rate on the home equity loan was 3%, their after tax interest rate was really 1.83%.   This provided taxpayers with easy access to cheap money.

 The Rules Are Changing In 2018

To help pay for the new tax cuts, Congress had to find ways to bridge the funding gap.  In other words, in order for some new tax toys to be given, other tax toys needed to be taken away. One of those toys that landed in the donation box was the ability to deduct the interest on home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.   But all may not be lost.  The tax law splits “qualified residence interest” into two categories:

  • Acquisition Indebtedness
  • Home Equity Indebtedness

Whether or not your home equity loan or HELOC is considered acquisition indebtedness or home equity indebtedness may ultimately determine whether or not the interest on that loan will continue to be deductible in 2018 and future years under the new tax rules.  I say “may” because we need additional guidance form the IRS as to how the language in the tax bill will be applied in the real world.  As of right now you have some tax professionals stating that all interest from homes equity sources will be disallowed beginning in 2018 and other tax professionals taking the position that home equity loans from acquisition indebtedness will continue to be eligible for the tax deduction in 2018.  For the purpose of this article, we will assume that the IRS will continue to allow the deduction of interest on home equity loans and HELOCs associated with acquisition indebtedness. Read remainder of article by clicking


Buying a home? Misc. fees could cost you thousands. Here’s what to expect.

CHOOSE A TRUSTED and RECOMMENDED MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL! I read this article this past Sunday.  I was astounded that this even happened.  As a mortgage professional, it is my job to prepare an accurate Lending Estimate (formerly known as the Good Faith Estimate) for a borrower.  I’m responsible for quoting all closings costs, most of which aren’t even lender fees.  If I get it wrong, I/the lender am/is responsible.  The article does talk about Home Owner Associations in which the lender may or may not find out certain info.  Each lender will have their own requirements of what they want to know about a particular HOA.  So I recommend buyers and their attorneys vet the HOA about special assessments, budgets and reserves.  But closing costs?  This is my job; to disclose all costs associated with closing on a loan, refinance or purchase.


by Danielle Braff Chicago Tribune


You’ve likely heard of closing costs when buying a home, but this umbrella term includes a whole host of expenses — from appraisal and attorney fees to transfer taxes and title insurance — that you may have to pay before you get the keys to your new abode. And the jig’s not up once you own. Depending on the type of property, you may be shelling out other unexpected sums, such as special assessments. If you’re planning to purchase a home, make sure you plan ahead for these often-overlooked fees.

That’s something Nors Beatriz, 54, wished she’d done before buying her first home, in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, about 12 years ago.

The artist and jewelry-maker saved $20,000 for a down payment on a $235,000 home, but she wasn’t prepared to pay an extra $10,000 in closing costs. (According to online real estate marketplace Zillow, closing costs are typically 2 to 5 percent of a home’s purchase price.)

“There were so many more fees than I expected,” Beatriz said.

“I hired a lawyer who was supposed to look over the contract, but he never read it, and a couple months later, I found out that I had three mortgages — and they were balloon mortgages,” she said.

She struggled to get them consolidated, but then the market crashed, and her bank went out of business.

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The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do


by Seena Gressin Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too.

There are steps to take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s website,

  • Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
  • Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
  • You also can access frequently asked questions at the site.

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Don’t leap into buying a home based on school district alone — dig into these details first


Danielle Braff Chicago Tribune

When Marisa Dunn was trying to decide where to live, she considered three things: good health care, proximity to family and fantastic schools.

“We could travel for health care, we could travel to family, but we wanted to be in a school district that would provide the services our daughter would need, and would be good for future services,” said Dunn, 32, a labor and delivery nurse.

A year and a half ago, Dunn, her husband, Ed, and their daughter, Eleanor, who is nearly 3 and has Down syndrome, moved from Florida to Illinois. The trio resided with Dunn’s parents in Riverwoods for nearly a year while she delved into research on specific school districts before deciding where to settle.

After an extensive search, she chose Deerfield.

Then, the Dunns made some sacrifices to live in this relatively expensive suburb.

Instead of a four- or five-bedroom home, the family bought a three-bedroom ranch with a tiny kitchen, even though Dunn said she swore to herself that she’d never have a small kitchen again. She and her husband, a mechanical engineer, traded in their cars, too, in pursuit of more affordable auto payments.

“My husband gave up his beloved BMW sports car — that was his baby — for a Subaru,” Dunn said.

The Dunns aren’t unique. They join scores of other homebuyers placing an emphasis on school districts.

In a 2013 survey by of almost 1,000 prospective buyers, 3 out of 5
homebuyers said school boundaries would affect their purchasing decision; nearly 21 percent said they would pay 6 to 10 percent above budget to live within certain school boundaries and about 9 percent would pay 11 to 20 percent above budget.

But when several homebuyers want to purchase properties in the same school district, houses in those coveted areas become difficult to score. Competition can be stiff; even homebuyers without children recognize the value….

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Enjoy the ARTS this Sunday




A majority of consumers are terrified of the mortgage process

The overwhelming majority (92 percent) of U.S. consumers recognize buying a home as a better financial decision than renting, a national survey from Sente Mortgage confirmed. The problem is that most (70 percent) do not know how or where to start the process.

But it’s not their fault.

The mortgage process is not a simple one. After all, its complexity was one of the causes of the sub-prime mortgage market collapse, along with why so few people saw it coming. And as Sente Mortgage’s research makes clear, that complexity could be scaring away prospective homebuyers.

A new fear of mortgages

Forty-four percent of survey respondents described the mortgage process as scary or intimidating; 30 percent were unsure what mortgage amount they could afford; 25 percent said that they did not understand the long-term financial impact of buying a home; and one in five admitted they did not have the financial education necessary to make a home purchase.

“The homebuying process is complex, and it’s clear that for many of today’s consumers, gaps in financial education are leading to some risky purchase behaviors,” said Tom Rhodes, CEO of Sente Mortgage. “Unfortunately, many of the most valuable resources available to buyers go grossly under-utilized, but with the right guidance and support, owning a home can be one of the biggest contributing factors to long-term financial success.”

An opportunity to show value

One of the valuable sources to which Rhodes was eluding is real estate agents.

Most people do not take or ask for mortgage advice – respondents were 11 percent more likely to ask for vacation advice than mortgage advice, and were twice as likely to compare options when buying a TV than when selecting a mortgage. But they trust their real estate agents. Fifty-one percent, in fact, rely on their agent to recommend a lender, and that creates an opportunity to show value.

For a potential buyer whose only holdup may be a fear of mortgages, an agent competent in the lending process could be the difference between purchasing and choosing to rent for another year.



Putting Interest Rates in Perspective

Since the presidential election, mortgage interest rates have fluctuated first, for the worse and then have corrected a bit.  I read this statistic that really puts things in perspective when I think interest rates are volatile…


Worried the Fed is going to raise rates? Read on…

Recent market events have created the perfect scenario for mortgage rates to drop, and they just dropped down to three year lows! Call or email me today to start the conversation and see how much you could save!

Video Tutorial: 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Your iPhone

I get these emails regularly from Apple about my IPhone.  I usually dismiss them, but I’ve run across a couple that have really helpful information.


Many of us have used an iPhone exclusively from the day it launched back in 2007, and we’ve learned most of the ins and outs of the device. However, whether you are a long time user or a new convert, chances are you’re still doing a few things wrong. The price of smartphones has continued […]

Source: Video Tutorial: 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Your iPhone