What You Need to Know Before Divorce

Although the following story seems like a joke someone would tell at a bar, it’s actually a true story. To protect their identity, let’s call them Bob and Mary.

Bob and Mary did not get along, and eventually Mary decided to call it quits after five years of marriage. In the courthouse going through the divorce proceedings, it almost seemed to Bob like the judge had a crush on Mary because things just weren’t going his way; after all, Mary was awarded the kids, the car and the house, and poor Bob seemed to be just left with the credit card debt.

Life moved on with old Bob though, and even though his was living at a Motel 6 and riding a skateboard to work, he decided not to wallow, but to better his attitude and his way of life. He saved every penny, paid off the credit cards and even put enough in savings for a down payment on a home.

After seeking out his trusted mortgage broker, Bob walked in to her office all ready to go. After listening to Bob explain his qualifications, the broker enthusiastically pulled Bob’s credit.

Lo and behold,  she saw that Bob had a 550 credit score with a string of late payments.

Bob dismissed this issue with wave of his hand as he said, “Don’t worry about those lates, because they don’t even belong to me. Those are my ex-wife’s.”

Then the mortgage broker explained that they can’t just ignore them. They are on his credit report and have affected his score.

Bob replied, “You don’t understand. I was there at the court house! My ex got everything, including the house and the car, so those don’t apply to me.”

No Bob, you don’t understand… and neither do most people…

When it comes to your credit report, the divorce decree is pretty much worthless. It does not protect you!

The creditors don’t care about it and the credit bureaus care even less. Why should they? They never agreed to the separation of debt, and they are much more likely to get their money if there are two people to go after instead of one.

Creditors are not party to a divorce. So regardless of the divorce decree, the creditors can still hold both parties responsible.

Sure, Bob could sue Mary for not holding up her end of the bargain, but suing someone who doesn’t have the money to pay their bills is relatively useless.

Bob should have separated his credit from Mary’s credit as soon as he knew she was filing for divorce.

If you know someone who is going through a divorce, make sure they see this message, because it is imperative that they separate their credit immediately. Close all joint accounts. For auto and mortgage loans, the loan will have to be refinanced to remove one person’s name from the obligation. There is no other way to do it.

A big thank you to Anthony Iacobucci, National Credit Care, for permission to post this client story. His contact info is below. He fixes credit for people like Bob–or anyone else who needs their credit restored. For DIY credit repair, this 5-star book is available on Amazon here.

Anthony Iacobucci
Regional Director and Manager
National Credit Care
Cell: (303)500-5052
Office: (866)595-6313 Ext. 410
Fax: (877)754-5724
Email: anthony@nationalcreditcare.com

News For Home Buyers! Bank Buster loan!

If you want to buy a home in 2019, this news is for you!

Earlier this week, the top wholesale mortgage lender in the United States announced that they are dropping their interest rates to unprecedented lows with the new Bank Buster program!

What does this mean?!!?

The insider secret is that they are giving mortgage brokers loans at $0 upfront profit to themselves in order to scoop up a bigger share of the market. That’s right…

They are at war with the banks! Perfect timing, too, because more and more people are discovering that they can get better interest rates, faster closing, and better service with much less stress when they go with a mortgage broker.

A mortgage broker shops wholesale lenders to get you the best loan.

A direct lender or a bank has only their own loans.

Banks are great for checking accounts. But come on, they cannot compete with a mortgage broker who specializes in only one thing: mortgage loans. Here’s what I’m talking about…

  • Mortgage brokers close loans faster. For example, as a broker, I closed loans that were a “rush request” in only two weeks — from application to closing! I’ve never heard of a bank doing that. They usually take a month or more to close.
  • A mortgage broker meticulously manages your loan from start to finish. They don’t pass it off to a team member and then focus on getting the next application in line.
  • Mortgage brokers have more loan choices and are not limited to the bank’s limited portfolio of loans.
  • Loan officers at banks are not required to take the 20-hour training and pass a vigorous test. Nor are they required to get a background check, fingerprinting, and get licensed. Therefore, they do not have the same expertise. Truth is, there are loan officers who are guilty of fraud hiding in banks.

If you want the best steak, go to a steak house.
If you want the best Chinese food, go to a Chinese restaurant.
If you want the best mortgage, go to a mortgage broker.

It makes sense! And now, with the new Bank Buster* program, watch out! Because if you’re not checking with your mortgage broker, you could very well be setting yourself up for higher pricing, more stress, and a longer closing time.

FACT: A mortgage broker is required by law to get you the best loan at the lowest interest rate they can. That is not true for direct lenders, credit unions, or banks.

* This new super low interest rate loan program requires a credit score of 640. If your score is 639 or lower, here are two resources for do-it-yourself credit improvement. Both books are available on Amazon.

Thank you for reading and passing on this information.

Feel free to re-blog and post on social media.

I am a licensed in Washington and California, NMLS # 1284134.

What’s Ahead for 2019?

The important thing about looking ahead is to prepare so that we aren’t caught unaware.

With that in mind, here are my comments on the predictions for the New Year.

Forecast: Interest rates will go up.

Comment: For the past five years, economists predicted rates to rise. Only in 2018 were they right. The year ended with rates about .5% higher than 12/2017. My opinion is that rates will increase moderately in the first quarter and then go flat.

Forecast: House sales will increase but at a  slower pace  than the past two years.

Comment: I don’t see how that could be wrong. Young people are coming into home buying age faster than old people are going into assisted living. Immigrants also need housing. The frantic, insane bidding wars are over — and that’s good.

Forecast: About three quarters of economists believe a recession is coming somewhere between late 2019 and 2021.

Comment: Get out of debt. Stay out of debt. Have a savings as a cushion to live on in case your income drops or you need to find another job. If you have a financial safety net and top tier credit, then you can afford to purchase luxuries. If you are thinking of going into debt (such as taking a home equity loan) for non-essentials like a prettier kitchen, then that is unwise and a bad idea. Save the home equity loan option for a true need such as when your furnace quits or your roof leaks.

Additional comment: Having too much debt lowers your credit score. When your credit score is low, you lose financial power. You lose the ability to get the lowest insurance premiums and lowest interest rates. You lose respect in the business community. That is no way to live!

If your score is below 740, then take steps to educate yourself and improve your finances. YOU are in control of your credit score. You are not a victim to FICO. Learn what it takes to achieve top tier credit and then proceed with confidence!

If saying goodbye to rent and buying your own home is your goal, then don’t procrastinate. Speak with a mortgage broker (not a banker) to learn your options.

Here’s to the New Year!

Let’s make 2019 the best year so far. How? By writing down a plan and then working the plan. A goal that is not written down is only a dream. Turn your goal into reality by having a written, workable plan; and then share that plan with someone you can trust to keep you accountable.

Happy New Year! May we have peace and God’s guidance every day and every step of the way.


Experian Wants to Spy into Your Bank Account

Experian has announced that it wants access to view people’s bank accounts. It wants to see who you’re making debit deposits to, who you’re paying, and when. It wants to look at items that do not report to the credit bureaus.

For instance, Experian wants to look at your cell phone payment, your utility bill, your Xfinity bill, and possibly your rent payment.

They’re calling this new program “Experian Boost.”

Their excuse for gaining this extra access into your personal life is that they claim it will improve credit scores for people who have thin credit, meaning not much credit.

But here’s the problem…

The Experian Boost program uses the FICO Score 8 model, which mortgage lenders consider outdated and don’t even use anymore. Mortgage companies are using FICO10. So this spy action won’t help you qualify to buy a home.

The good news…

is that you must give Experian permission in order for them to access your bank accounts. No permission from you = no spying by Experian.

This new “pioneer program” (as Experian likes to brag) is scheduled to come out in 2019.

Is There a Dispute Note on Your Credit Report?

If you sent a letter of dispute to Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion stating that something was not 100 percent correct about an account, then there might be a notation that says account in dispute or disputed by consumer.

If you hired a professional credit repair service that disputed on your behalf, then the same thing applies.

There’s a Good Reason for the Dispute Notice — and It Helps You

If a negative account (late payments, collection, anything bad) is on your credit report, it lowers your score. If the negative account is false, it would penalize you unfairly. Therefore, the credit bureaus remove the disputed account from the mathematical scoring system. Interesting, as this opens a door of opportunity!

This was a strategy credit repair services used in the past. They would send a dispute, your score would increase, and then you could quickly apply for a mortgage while your score was up. But wait!

The mortgage lenders caught on to that scheme and put a stop to it. They didn’t want risking hundreds of thousands of dollars on a borrower who wasn’t honestly credit worthy. So they made a new rule: No loan approval until all disputes are removed. 

Removing a Dispute Notice

When the dispute has been resolved, the notice will automatically be removed. No worries.

But, if you need to get a mortgage approval before the resolution, then you will need to send a request to the credit bureaus asking for the dispute notice to be removed. OR, in some lucky cases with mortgage brokers, the lender may only require that you write a letter for your loan file that states the account is no longer in dispute (such as when there is a zero balance).

Fix Your Credit First, Apply For a Home Loan After

If you’d like to buy a home, your first step is to review your credit situation and make sure it qualifies. Do not race out to visit open houses and engage a professional real estate agent when your credit is badly in need of repair, because that is a waste of time and emotional energy for everyone — especially you!

Horror Story!

Don’t be like the mom with four children who signed a purchase contract before she applied for a home loan. Here she was in contract, and her credit didn’t even qualify! Her thinking was, if I show a lender my contract, they’ll know I’m serious and approve me. 

Sorry, but it doesn’t work like that. Having a signed purchase contract in no way influences the lender for approval. The story got even worse…

…not only had she signed a purchase contract, but she had given notice to her landlord and couldn’t stay in the apartment longer. She and her children were about to become homeless… if her father had not generously opened his house to the family.

What You Need to Know About the Law

You have the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act to protect you from false and untrue items on your credit report.

Your credit report is supposed to be 100% accurate, not 99% accurate. If there is any negative item, such as a late payment notation, an incorrect account number, an incorrect date, or an account that does not belong to you showing on your report, you have the right to have that corrected or removed.

Good to Know!

The dispute notice is a result of the process. As long as you don’t intend on applying for a home loan during the dispute process, there is no negative consequence whatsoever to having the note temporarily on your report. As soon as the inaccuracy is taken care of, the dispute notice will disappear.

This week, I received several emails from readers telling me about their success, thanks to following Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. One reader had their score increase by 70 points when inaccurate negative items were removed. If you need credit repair and don’t have the funds to hire a professional, pick up the DIY book from Amazon that has helped so many other people.

Loan Limits Increase, Saving Buyers Money


Conforming loan limits have increased to $484,350.

High balance loan limits have increased to $726,525.

Conforming Limits

If you want the best loan, a conventional loan, you can now borrow up to $484,350 without paying a higher interest rate for a jumbo loan. If you have not owned a home in the past three years, you can do as little as 3 percent down payment (5 percent down for previous home owners).

High Balance Limits

If you live in an area where the median price of homes is higher than the national average, such as much of California or in Western Washington, then you can borrower up to $726,525 without paying a higher interest rate for a jumbo loan.

Advantages of the Mortgage Broker

  • Your mortgage broker (myself in CA or WA) can get you these loans now, today. The banks and other lenders are trailing behind at waiting until 2019 for availability.
  • Your mortgage broker will shop wholesale, saving you money over retail (banks, etc.) Why pay more?
  • Only the mortgage broker is required by federal lending law to get you the best and lowest interest rate they have available.
  • A mortgage broker is required to take classes annually, to update fingerprinting/criminal background checks every three years, to have their credit checked regularly. Why would you go to an unlicensed loan officer at a bank or credit union for the most important financial decision of your life? Yes, I am biased, but for a very good reason!

Thank you for reading and passing on this vital information to your real estate agent and interested home buyers.
Carolyn Warren, NMLS # 1284134 Apply online here.

Build and Protect Your Credit Like the Pros

Released today! 

Build your credit profile in the very best way so that you achieve top tier credit, gain respect from everyone you do business with, and save thousands of dollars on everything from auto insurance to a home loan.

Reading this book will take you from beginner status to expert. It starts with the basic of how to get your first credit card and proceeds to insider information not many people outside the industry know. When you finish, it will be like having a college degree in credit, if there were such a thing!

It’s not enough to have top credit. You must also protect your credit and finances, because there are more scams, frauds, and schemes now than ever before. Get the tips you need for protecting yourself from rip-off artists.

Makes a good gift for young adults, immigrants to the U.S., and anyone else who wants to improve their expertise on credit scoring.

Paperback available today for only $8.99. Kindle is $5.99.

Order here.


Three Things To Do When You Want to Buy a House in the Near Future

Is buying a home in your near future? If so, you will probably be asking to borrow $200,000, $300,000 or even $500,000. That’s a lot of cash!

Certain requirements come along with lending large sums of money. Here’s what you can do now to improve your chances of getting approved.

Buying a House?
Here’s Your “Must Do” List

1. Save money like a squirrel saving nuts for the winter. Stop buying $5 coffee drinks, another pair of shoes (when you already have pairs with no holes in the soles), clothes on sale, restaurant meals, and all those other seemingly small — but honestly — unnecessary items. The underwriter wants to see your bank balance increasing every month to show that you will be able to afford a house payment that’s more than your rent.

2. Say no to offers to open new credit. Getting a new credit card to save 10 percent on your purchase today will lower your credit score. It is not worth the savings! You want top tier credit so that you qualify for the lowest interest rate on your mortgage. It makes no sense to save $20 today and pay $1,000s more in interest on your house payment.

3. Be happy driving your old car. One of the biggest mistakes people make is adding an auto loan to their debt ratio. The proper way to prioritize is house first. Everything else is secondary and must wait until after you are in your new home.


Do your friends a favor and pass on this information to them. As always, thank you for reading my posts.


New Underwriting Guidelines Coming December 8

Fannie Mae has announced that DU 10.3 coming out the weekend of December 8, 2018, will have new underwriting guidelines. If you plan to apply for a home loan soon, or if you are a mortgage lender, here is what you need to know.

Tighter Rules for Debt Ratio

For people who have a high housing ratio, approvals are tightening.

This means if the house payment is most of your monthly outgo, you will not be able to push the debt-to-income ratio as high as before. Statistics show that people who have little to no debt other than their house payment are a greater risk to lend to when the house payment pushes the limit.

Looser Rules for Appraisal Waivers

More properties will receive an appraisal waiver as those loans continue to perform well.

This means that if you have a good credit score, good assets, and a good down payment, Fannie Mae might not require an appraisal on the property, saving time and money on the loan. However, even if you do have all those factors, an appraisal report could still be required for another reason, such as there is not enough data on the particular address.

Good News for Medical Collections

This is not a change, but as a reminder, medical collections do not factor into the credit score.

No Tax Liens or Judgments on Credit Reports

Judgment and tax lien information are no longer reported on the credit report due to the National Consumer Assistance Plan.

However, lenders use other sources for discovering liens and judgments, so you still have to deal with them to get a home loan. If you have been a tax lien and a payment plan, and if you’ve been paying on time for 12 months, that will not stop you from getting approved for a mortgage.

To apply for a home loan with me, please see here.

Thank you.

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