Update to Previous Debt Settlement Blog PART I

UPDATE to the PREVIOUS Debt Settlement Blog PART I

 

So welcome back, I have to tell you I have never received so many phone calls in regards to a blog than this one AND AFTER SOME OF THESE CALLS NEVER REALIZED JUST HOW SLIMEY THESE COMPANIES ARE.

 

So email me with questions and your experiences with companies and their names, I will review the email, make my own call to them to verify the kind of tactics they use and let all who read these know what is done and why they try to do it to you!!!

 

Let’s just dispense with the standard chit chat and talk about what has occurred and been asked of me over these last several weeks. And I will also throw out some specific information and company names along with some of the company’s ways they “explain” the process and what they tell and don’t tell you.

That information will not be coming from me but from people that have emailed me with their stories (keep them coming!),  so if a debt collector reads this if it mentions their company name you can take a leap as I have proof of what was said and it wasn’t me making up stories.

Now that I got that part out of the way, let’s recap and point out the one question you can ask that slaps “Credit Associates” (And most likely others if they say this also) in the face with a bold face lie on TV.

Their commercial says “if you have more than $5,000 in credit card debt you have the right to let us settle that debt for a fraction of what you owe”.

Now they also mention “there’s a secret the credit card companies don’t want you to know”.

So mini recap – Tell them that you have a question first before you explain your situation. What is the right/law/rule that allows you to settle your debt for a fraction of the money owed?

Possible answers:

1) The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA)

WRONG—- that has NOTHING to do with money you owe or settling it. It is in regards to the reporting and accuracy of information reporting on your credit file.

2) The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)

WRONG—- this is basically to protect people from unfair billing practices regarding billing statements NOT debt settlement.

3) The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

WRONG—- protects consumers from discrimination based on race, color religion, etc.

4) The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA)

WRONG— this deals only with Collection Companies and their practices when trying to collect debt and what they can and cannot do.

 

The above is just a few popular laws that may be quoted and how you can respond to them to see their response and I guarantee you will see them moonwalk backwards and get back to trying to SELL YOU and should be pretty apparent to you that they are.

 

I just recently spoke to a gentleman we will call MIKE, he contacted a company called National Debt Relief. Mike owed $20,000 on a business card he used and had 2 other cards in good standing totaling with the first card $29,000.

He told me the company said they would have to take all 3 cards to help….                           REALLY?

When he asked what they think they could help get it down to they said approximately $21,000.

WOW!  That is sad….. I just had a $70,000 debt a client had and helped get it down to $15,000.

 

INSIDE INFORMATION

What these companies don’t talk about or “forget to verbally disclose to you” but its most likely in the fine print of the contract is what this method would do to his good standing cards is not pay on them for 3-4 months (destroying his current 750+ credit score) .

Here how this works…..

This is basically a game of leverage, if there is too much month at the end of the money and you’re paying on time or going 30 days late every so often then if you think about it what leverage do you have? Why would they lower the rate, you’re paying them and they actually want you to pay for years as look at your statement. It should have how long it will take to pay off and how much money they will make.

Once the money stops coming in and they stop getting paid and you hit the 90 days late part they really start to worry about their business agreement with you so now they are interested in doing a settlement but they don’t tell you how the process works so they hit you with what they call their payback plan or whatever term they use which typically does not benefit you at all.

What you need to understand is you can ask for discounts, now of course someone who deals with these people all the time is better qualified than you. As the companies you’re calling are trained to do this so while yes, you can try to do it yourself and “wing it”. But it does make sense that the more you do this the more you know how each company works behind the scenes.

 

IF the companies brag about being an A rated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) then you may want to google the ABC investigation of the Better Business Bureau. It shows how they are a paid member and how members get more favorable ratings. The general public thinks this is done for free but it is a ploy, there are statements all over the internet where business owners say the “Sales” reps said we can help you with your rating if you become a member.

Most business owners hate the BBB as they have created the illusion of how they work for the public, but they just leverage their own made up “rating” system with what they think and just recently starting allowing consumers to rate the businesses.

Take me for example, the people who rated me 5 starts on the BBB site told me they and I have their affidavit’s saying so but as our business is filled with slime-balls even though I have 8+ years with NO Complaints and all reviews are 5 stars they rate me a C+?

I’ll keep you up to date as when I have a little time I will be suing them so that will be an interesting blog.

With the holidays coming I should be able to get in at least one more blog in but hoping for two so please email me your stories and experiences and if you need to speak with me my number is on the website.

I promise to give direct and straight advice, I may not be able to help if you do not fit the guidelines I use BUT I will point you in the right direction.

NOTE:

If you email me, then please send me a synopsis of your situation so i can be of more help to answer your questions…    =)

 

Want to learn more about how the world of credit works? Contact me today and get my book in full blown color. No nonsense direct answers and easy to understand.

                              How the “Real world of credit” works. wayne@ waynethecreditguy .com

(NO SPACES as that was done to prevent me getting spammed).

 

And of course if you need some credit work to increase your credit.

Student Loan Mail Scam

Student Loan Mail Scam

For this week’s blogs we are going to talk a little about Student loans and what to look out for. I like many Americans have student loans and will have them for many years to come.

Things to be discussed this week is to understand how some companies try to take your money because you’re afraid to call, others to take over the loan and make a lot of money off you over the years. And just the general things about student loans and how it affects your credit in more ways than one.

I recently received a letter in the mail talking about student loan consolidation and it was in pink and labeled “FINAL NOTICE”, and if I had issues about my loan. I didn’t of course since I know how they work and the details of it. BUT at the very bottom of the letter where disclosures have to be made in a font size I would classify as maybe 6 a font it stated basically that what they are doing you can do yourself all for FREE if you called the loan people and asked about your options that are available.

NOW… the issue with calling the student loan people is if you have read these blogs before talks about how little most customer service people care about their jobs and the amount of training they have or have not had. So understand they do not care about your story or situation, their job is to get money from you monthly when you call so be ready for them to want to get financial information from you asap. BUT remember, YOU DO NOT HAVE TOO, tell them you’re calling to discuss all potion on the table and later decide what is best for you (not them)

Back to the letter, So there are companies out there that charge hundreds of dollars to look at a list of maybe 3-5 different options concerning your student loans, then take some financial information from you and submit it on your behalf.

Think that was worth it? Awesome to hear you have that money to give to someone for some advice on a short list you could read yourself. Remember, they are YOUR student loans after all so it probably would make sense that you pay some attention to them to know what’s going on with them. Now it is totally normal for people to bury their heads in the sand and put things off time and time again but don’t be afraid, take a deep breath and call them. You are one of millions of millions in the same situation so it will be ok.

So the smartest thing for you to do is call your student loan people and have a pad and a pen ready to write things down or if your computer literate be on their company web page so they can direct you to where to go to get what you are looking for. If you never set up an account before, do that now and verify it so you can be logged in when you call them.

AGAIN, when you call their job is to get you to pay them TODAY!

NOW do not let that worry you or deter you, no one is holding a gun to your head.  So just simply tell them you are doing research first on the matter before you decide what option is best for you just like I mentioned before.

Once they go over the different options and you have the details of them and then ask the rep what option do you think is best for me if:

Option#1:

If your student loans are in good standing then simply ask them which option is best for you and your finances.

Option #2:

If you student loans are not in good standing (meaning delinquent or default) and ask them which option do THEY think is best for your finances AND your credit.

 

IMPORTANT…

Thank them and tell them you will check back with them to get the ball rolling. THEN hang up and call back in an hour or so (even the next day and go through the same thing with another rep to see if they reach the same conclusion. That is really the only way to make sure which option is best suited specifically for you.

If your loans are in default or delinquent understand that calling them is like calling a collection company. They have monthly ”quotas/goals” they are supposed to meet and need to pull in dollars the moment you call.

They do not care if paying today continues to screw up your credit report and score.

AND GUESS WHAT?  If you start paying them today and you’re in default for an example it’s still reporting in a negative light on your credit the entire time.

IF the representatives say it will stop the negative information reporting on your credit then it will be NO PROBLEM to send you a letter saying that PRIOR to you making a payment.

Once you have any type of negative account or reporting think of it as NOW you’re in the system. And that means nothing but red tape and BS. Nothing anymore is simple and could take much longer than you expect to get out of it.

FOR FUTURE HOMEOWNERS:

If you are trying to get an FHA loan and have student loans in default then you will fail what is called a CAIVIRS check which is a federal database of loans to the government as they guarantee the FHA loan so be aware of that and getting out of default could take almost a year.

As I always say credit is the cornerstone of the economy and your credit score is your financial good name. And credit repair is a necessity if you have had any life challenges and of course isn’t that why they call it life?

Being in this industry now for over 12 years and approaching 13 years which is hard for me to imagine sometimes and through those years I believe I have seen almost every scenario there is and sometimes a new one pops up but due to the nature of it I am of a way around it or at the very least know how to mitigate it to affect someone the least way possible.

Feel free to send me an email to (going to break it up for spam purposes)

Wayne @ wayne the credit guy.com   (of course no spaces when you use it)

Thanks and talk to you next week!

 

Too much Month at the End of the Money

Too much Month at the End of the Money

This week’s educational blog covers two areas, one is about the recent horrible natural disaster known as Hurricane Harvey (and now IRAA), the other while a part of it talks about what happens when there is too much month at the end of the money.

While I will not go into over the top great detail on both and may at a later date what is needed now is an overview and solid understanding of what has happened what can happen and hopefully how to get you to start doing something now to prepare.

In 95 % of the American population this is a typical issue. Studies have shown that almost 80% of families are one paycheck away from considering bankruptcy and that is a scary thought.

With the natural disaster of Hurricane Harvey looming over America’s heads as well as for the victims going through it as we speak and will continue to go through it for at least the next year trying to recover just like from Katrina.

Now is a time to stop and think, how many of those people in Houston and the surrounding cities & most of the State of Florida were paycheck to paycheck? And now throw this into the mix, imagine what they are going though and what future problems they have in front of them, especially with their credit and finances? And for most that is the LEAST of their problems but will soon become the biggest issues.

I remember seeing the results from the hurricane Katrina problems, what did these lenders (car, credit card & mortgage) do to help?
NOTHING of course, they continued to post late payments and all they did to “help” was post in the comments section “Affected by natural disaster”.

It talks about how you “MAY” be able to arrange for deferred payments. MAY?? Really, how about you CAN.

Now to understand what a deferred payment is as many people I have spoken to do not know what it is. It typically applies to finance only NOT leases. Think of deferred payments as skipping a few (depending on what lender tells you) and put it on the back end. But watch out for additional penalties.

BUT…
You typically have to do that immediately and with what’s going on people have more important things to be concerned about. As once your behind then you have to “catch up “in order to qualify for a deferment. But with what’s going on now in 2 major states, eating is a tad more important and seeing if your house is still there.

Now… I could be wrong and lenders may have adjusted the way they handle these natural disaster issues but I doubt it as they are good at paying for commercials stating they care but it’s all about the dollar.
Now the link below from Experian’s site explains how these codes “help” But if you read it it’s just like the credit bureaus to have many loop holes in these “explanations”.

http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/2013/05/24/protect-preserve/

And remember the credit bureaus can only suggest the lender do that as it’s ultimately the lender that has to report it.
SO…

After all this let’s talk about the reality of the world you are living in and its relationship to credit scores, your personal credit file and your funds.
Just recently I have had several high net worth clients hire me and the way out brain works is if you make 400k a year (individually or as a couple) you create a lifestyle that supports that income.

And that’s when we call life for what it is, and you all know the saying about how “things” happen.

Once couple took over 180k from their 401k to pay for credit card debt (within 2 years’ time) and such and while I hope the best for them like I do will all clients my concern is the reality of how they don’t seem concerned with having a budget has hit them yet.

Many reading this most likely do not make that kind of money. And quite possibly live paycheck to paycheck or a little ahead of that number.

When you get tight on money you typically look for a loan to get you by.
NOW, one of the worst things I will say are Payday Loans… BUT I will explain both sides after you read this next part.

Had a client send us the paper work received from lender show a $700 loan with a 640% interest rate!!!

No, I did not mistype that…. State’s do not regulate or cap out the interested allowed by payday loans like they do car loans (24% in TX).

Now how can someone bring themselves to agree to that you ask, typically desperation and not knowing if there may be another way.
No one wants to sit down and create a budget or cut or limit what they can or cannot do, but ask yourself after watching the news… what if that happened to me?

So other than the standard check out other phone companies like metro pcs to cut a possible $150 monthly bill to $100 and start saving that for a year but did you know:
There are things called focus groups where you can get paid anywhere from $50-$125 for your opinion? That’s right; companies if you’re in the demographic they are looking for will pay you.

Try checking out to start www.focusgroup.com to start, there are many other companies like these so you could alone make $200 or more monthly.

Go to google and also put in your local city to see what’s available.
How about doing good and getting paid? Donate blood or plasma monthly and that could pay an extra $50 a month and have ability to possibly save a life?

Now imagine cutting your phone bill down by switching carriers (ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT UNDER CONTRACT), participating in focus groups twice a month and donating lifesaving plasma and do that for one year and put money into a savings account.That could add up to over $3,600 in one year. That’s just one way to save a little extra for a future budget in case disaster strikes.

If you can just start that and then commit for one year you will mentally get yourself to a place where you look at somethings and say I don’t need it but do I want it really or just want it on an impulse.

That’s it for this week’s blog, remember when it comes to credit and your credit score paying bills on time is all it takes but as life happens on in this week’s blog when mother nature happens you need to know the ramifications of what it will do to that perfect credit score.

In the 12 years of doing this and being in the trenches of the credit industry there are so many other things that are linked to your credit when you are trying to get things that without a good credit repair person to help you and guide you are obstacles to make sure you are doing what’s best for YOU!

You would be surprised how what seems logical may not be the best thing for you.

Want to learn more about the credit system? Email me about getting my book as currently having an issue with the website page.

wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

Talk with you all soon!
Wayne

Stop Credit card companies from selling your information

Stop Credit card companies from selling your information

So the reason for this week’s blog is I was recently approved for a card that I wanted to get that gives you all sorts of points. I got all the official “disclaimers” and what made me laugh was during my approval and when the card was sent they raised the “late fee to $38.00”.

What I did like was that they provided to me and let me point out not because they are good people but they are required by law to is give me a breakdown of what they do with my information and how they sell it and how to stop them from doing most of that but of course not all of that.

That made me realize that I do not think I ever did a blog to help everyone reading this how to stop these companies or should I say limit them from “sharing our information”. As I was told by my web guy to always use “key words” (not really sure how that stuff works I will say them throughout this blog so sorry!)

As you already know I am a credit repair expert and while I hate using that term that’s what people automatically think of when they need some help with their credit in whatever form it may be.

I have been doing this for over 12 years now and always stay in the thick of it and in the trenches to see what the credit bureaus are doing and how they are “interpreting” the new laws based on case law etc… BUT back to the blog!

 

So I wanted to point out some things to the people smart enough to read this and act on it to stop not only the junk mail but the email spam and hopefully the annoying calls you get. While this is no guarantee everything will stop as it won’t, it will lower it and I do not know about you but I would prefer less people/companies to know about me who could care less about me.

What amazed me and I checked the papers on other credit card disclaimers it says on them “When you are NO LONGER our customer, we continue to share your information as described in this notice. However you can contact us at any time to limit our sharing”.

WOW…..just WOW….. if THATS’s not a reason to do this then I do not know what will make you take out a few minutes to stop these annoying jerks.

Many banks tell you to call them to “opt-out”. But the easiest way is to call customer service and ask them for the website to opt –out of sharing your information. Some banks use their website name and add “ /privacy ”.

I would try that first so you do not have to call but the odds are you will have to call. Once you do that it may take a bit, But there are SO MANY companies out there that take and sell our information I created a list and links to help make it easier for you.

Opt out of prescreened credit & Insurance:

www.optoutprescreen.com

**Operated by the credit bureaus & only for 5 years, to do it permanently you have to sign the form. All information requested is confidential.

Telemarketing:

The odds of this are nil as I get bombarded with calls like this regardless but who knows if I would have gotten more if I didn’t do this.

www.donotcall.gov

Mail & Email:

www.DMAchoice.org

This scumbag group ( yes I said that and when you will see why) has the nerve to charge us $2.00 (told ya)for a ten year period and you can choose to decide what mail you want and don’t want. They also offer the ability to reduce your unsolicited commercial email.

NOW, is that a joke to pay them NOT to sell your info, YES, but I look at it as it’s only $2.00 but it’s your call.

JUNK MAIL:

http://www.directmail.com/mail_preference/

This will help remove your name off the thousands of mailing lists out there, not all of course but the point is to greatly reduce it.

CATALOG CHOICE:

www.catalogchoice.com

This one requires a little more work as when you get a catalog go to the site above and login to enter the senders information, it can take up to 90 days for it to get into the system and they are a nonprofit so if you want to donate a dollar or 2 then it’s your call. I would suggest saving a bunch then entering them all in at one time.

VALPAK:

http://www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm

I don’t know about you but when I get a Valpak in mail I walk it over to the recycle bin. EVERY

Once in a while I will go through it and 99% of the time I may find something I may consider using but for me personally I got rid of this, but if you have a family and are what seems to be constantly buying things you may want to keep this for any possible deals.

Valassis Direct Mail  (RED PLUM):

https://www.redplum.com/tools/direct-mail-preferences

Same thing as Valpak only in more of a magazine type lay out.

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS:

Go to the company website, typically found at the bottom of the page there is usually a FAQ section or even an OPT OUT link to click on. Let’s face it, maybe it bothers you, maybe it does not but at least you have the information now.

And we are at the end of this week’s blog…

This of course had nothing to do with credit issues or credit repair problems but one thing I have learned in the 12 years of credit education and consulting is the smart ones know a lot about a lot of things BUT are humble enough to let people know the only reason they know this much is they have just been around a long time.

ONE THING you will never see on this site is computer advice since that is one topic you do NOT want to be taking any advice on that from me.

 

Want to learn more about how credit actually works and how lenders view you? Buy my book “The Real World of Credit” on my website www.waynethecreditguy or go to www.BN.com and get the electronic version on Barnes and Nobles website!

WANT a HARD COPY in full color? Just contact me below to get one!

OR

Get a copy of your credit report and contact Wayne to review today at:

wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

 

SPECIAL NOTE:

The below article is many, many years old but shows you just HOW MUCH companies value data. And this company Epsilon Data Services is one of the vampires sucking information about our online habits, etc…. very worth the few minutes to read.

https://www.cnet.com/news/who-is-epsilon-and-why-does-it-have-my-data/

That company screwed me….. or did they? (Part I)

That company screwed me….. or did they?

Part I

#RealityCheck

This week’s blog will probably hit a nerve with some of you as its more designed to identify how as the “little guy” who signs a contract for goods or services hardly EVER pays any actual attention to what they are signing and rarely follows through. And if not done correctly you will be seeing it on your credit report and may have to hire a credit expert to help you navigate it as once you are in “the system” it is painstakingly difficult to get out of it.

NOW… we are ALL guilty of this but hopefully you have not been harmed too badly when a “company screwed you over” as I have been told more times than I could count so the phrase “you live, you learn” increases as we get older and more wise to the world.

But there are plenty of times as we move on in life that it does not happen and it is NEVER too late to learn how to not become a financial victim.

In this blog I will be going over PART I of a major life example and the “gotchas” as well as what I have seen typically over the years on the standard things that we all deal with. Hopefully this will help you if you’re currently with or in that situation and get out unscathed.

The really big one that can stop most forward progress in life:

APARTMENT COMPLEX/HOME RENTAL

When you move into a rental home or apartment complex it is explained at the time that for an apartment (we are going to insert example numbers to help you understand) that the rent is normally $1200 a month. BUT if you sign a 12 month lease we will give you a monthly $200 discount making the rent $1,000 per month. The agreement you nodded your head and they will also say:

  • You agree to give them 60 days “written notice” prior to moving out.

NOTE: If you don’t keep a copy for your records THEN they can hit you for MORE MONEY YOU OWE THEM and you have no proof to back you up.

  • If you break the lease you are charged a “re-letting fee” typically 80% of the rent.
  • If you break the lease then that negates the $200 monthly discount and you owe that money to the apartment complex in addition to the rest.
  • If you move out in June and the lease ends in January AND they do not re-rent the apartment until September then YOU are responsible for the rent for those two months.
  • When you moved in you did a MOVE IN checklist with the apartment reps or manager. When you leave you agree to doing a move out check list to ensure you left things in good condition and it helps as if they try to charge you for things that were already damaged you can point it out.
  • If you do not get a receipt showing you returned the keys or the garage controllers then you WILL have them added to the bill.

That is the bulk of how they get you AND you agreed to it, so now the question is since they told you everything when you moved in and you agreed to it as well as signed on the dotted line and when you left (for whatever reason)…..

Did they really screw you over?  They could say you left them high and dry and you are the one who screwed them over.

What seems like valid excuses (to you):

  • Obvious drug use in complex 9 dirty needles found in parking lot etc…
  • Burglary or crime either next door or very close to you.
  • Management is not or fixing issue like air conditioning or water, etc.(note: a hole in wall you created is not an emergency)

** now for this one above it can easily be hearsay so you need to prove this by emailing the apartment manager and say if it’s not fixed within a reasonable time ( a/c in summer is an emergency) then you are filing complaint with the city for code violations. (that is trouble for apt complex).

Understand 2 wrongs do not make a right, if you DO NOT document this then you have no leverage.

No leverage means if it goes on your credit it will stay on your credit. Typically apartment complexes like to sue so imagine going to court, showing the judge you gave written notice, you have pictures and you have complaint on living quality and then have it documented that when you left it still was not fixed.

Too many times people do not show up to fight and then they can add everything they want as you are not there to dispute it, thus you lose…..

Like I always impart to all my clients and that even includes the ones who call me and I just give them some free advice is ALWAYS remember….

Documentation is KING! It is not what you say but what you can prove.

 

Companies have your SS# and report to the credit bureaus and you do not. Think of it as if you went in front of Judge Judy, you tell her you gave them 60 days written notice as required and then she says did you get a copy of it from them acknowledging it by them signing for it?

When you say no she says, watch this…

Mr. Apartment complex manager, did she give you the 60 days written notice?

Answer? No she did not.

Now Judge Judy looks at you and says well what am I supposed to do now? It has become a he said, she said issue which cannot be rectified.

Now it is horrible if an apartment collection goes on your credit report but what makes it worse is if you are sued for the money in court then it will not go away.

You could be buying a $200,000 home and put down 100k and have a 700 credit score, if the judgment was $200 no mortgage bank would loan you money as a judgment can get paid before the 1st lien holder can which banks DO NOT LIKE!

And unless the judgement is removed from public records (NOT YOUR CREDIT REPORT) it will always come back to haunt you.

This ends part I of 3 of this series, ultimately you need to know what you sign. Contracts NEVER favor the consumer when you are signing for goods or services there are too many gotchas in there and majority of consumers just flat out don’t pay attention and basically get screwed.

 

Want to learn more about how the credit system works? Go buy my book online at here at : Barnes and Noble The Real World of Credit

Or contact me directly for a full blown color copy to truly grasp the real world of credit.

And of course have a question on credit for yourself? Contact me directly at: wayne@waynethecreditguy.com