Articles Posted in Rebuilding Credit Scores

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expiredIf a creditor waits too long to sue, the creditor can be barred from ever bringing suit.  The purpose of having a statute of limitations is so that lawsuits are brought when the matter is still fresh:  before documents are destroyed and memories fade.  If they can no longer bring a lawsuit, then there is no way to legally enforce the debt.  Each state has their own laws as to how long the statute of limitations is and it varies tremendously by state and also by the type of action.  In Florida, the statute lasts five years for a written contract and four years for a credit card account.  While this seems simple, it is often amazingly difficult for a lay person to analyze because a contract may provide that a different state law applies, even a state that neither party has anything to do with.  The answer may also vary depending upon whether it is a procedural or substantive question of law or how complete the writing was.  The Florida Statute of Limitations on this is contained in Section 95.11:

Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced as follows:

(2) Within five years.–

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Did you ever wonder why certain items appear on your credit report?  The answer lies in a federal statute, 15 U.S.C. 1681c.  A consumer reporting agency may not make a report that includes the following items.  I’ve bolded some of the more pertinent items that affect our Tampa Bay area Florida clients.  Not all creditors report, but when they do, they are supposed to provide an accurate report.  Remember whenever settling debt, there are ways to get the debt removed from your credit.

First if they report, we can ask in the negotiations for a trade line deletion. Then all the late pays and the fact the debt was settled for less than what is owed will not be reported any longer.  Second, if the debt buyer we are trying to settle with does not report, then we can obtain proof of payment/settlement and our client can then dispute the item.  The credit bureaus will return to the original reporting creditor for validation and they will not be able to validate that the debt remains unpaid.  Both options will clear the debt from our client’s credit which can help them qualify for a home or a better interest rate on a car for instance.

“(1) Cases under title 11 or under the Bankruptcy Act that, from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication, as the case may be, antedate the report by more than 10 years.

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forclosure-vs_-short-sale~s400x400.jpgTraditionally in Florida, doing a short sale rather than allowing a foreclosure sale to occur is considered much better for your credit. Not so much difference in credit score per se, but mostly for future governmental financing when it is time to buy a home again.

You may think who cares, why would I want to buy another home after this disaster? The thing is, seven years is a long time to wait if you change your mind, get married or see a good deal.

Short sellers can qualify for new conventional loans in as little as two years. The same two year period of time that is required following a bankruptcy. Foreclosures though often require a seven year wait for a new mortgage that complies with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’s guidelines.

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house shopping cart.jpgIt will take less time than you think to qualify to buy a home after bankruptcy. I generally advise my Florida clients that they will likely qualify within 2-5 years.

Where do these numbers come from exactly? FHA and HUD regulations are readily available online.

If you have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, HUD Guideline 4155.1 : 4.C.2.g provides: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not disqualify a borrower from obtaining an FHA-insured mortgage if at least two years have elapsed since the date of the discharge of the bankruptcy.

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Fico 2.bmpFico 1.bmpA lot of our clients in the Tampa Bay area have questions regarding how exactly their credit score will be impacted by a short sale, foreclosure, or a bankruptcy.

A recent article by FICO, Banking Analytics Blog, researched these very questions.

The FICO study focused on three sample consumers with credit scores of 680, 720 and 780. As shown by the charts above, the answer depends a lot on what the existing credit score is. The higher your score is, the longer it appears to fully recover. However, after 18 months of otherwise good credit, this impact may be minimized.

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