Part 4: How to Revive Your Credit Score after a Short Sale
As the economy slowly recovers the housing market is mending and short sales have become more frequent as homeowners scramble to avoid a foreclosure.
In the second quarter of last year, short sales made up 12% of nationwide home sales, according to RealtyTrac, and Bank of America (BAC), the county’s largest servicer of home mortgages, said it expects to process more than 100,000 short sales this year. California has one of the highest rates of short sales in the nation and more than a quarter of all homes sold in the state in spring 2011 were through this process.
A short sale is when a mortgage holder seeks permission from the bank to sell the home for less than owed on the mortgage. Sometimes homeowners do this when they need to move and they owe more than the house is worth. Sometimes a short sale is an alternative to foreclosure – a gesture by owners to show the bank they’re willing to work recoup the loss. Banks are often open to working with homeowners because they generally lose more money on a foreclosure than a short sale.
Geography can play a role in the whether a short sale is approved. In Florida, for example, foreclosures are relatively fast and inexpensive for banks to process so they may not approve a short sale. In Arizona, banks are prohibited from selling a foreclosed home for more than the mortgage amount, giving the seller more leverage.
Short Sale = Settlement
Many homeowners believe a short sale on their house will have less negative impact on their credit score than a foreclosure. This is a common credit score myth. The impact of a short sale or a foreclosure on an individual’s credit score varies depending on the exact circumstances, but according to credit scoring company FICO, a short sale on a home has almost the same effect as a foreclosure.
Sellers can expect to see their credit scores drop anywhere from 85 to 160 points after process. However, people who opt for a short sale might drop fewer points and have an easier time buying another house in the future.
A lot of the impact on a credit score depends on how the bank reports the sale. Short sales are most often reported as settlements on a credit history, rather than as paid debts. The term “settled” on a credit report indicates that the lender accepted a lesser amount than was owed, and that always has a negative effect. Occasionally, a lender will agree to report a short sale as “paid,” which will not affect a credit score negatively – but this is rare and takes some tricky lender-borrower negotiation. The chances of this are greater if the homeowner never missed any payments, wrote a compelling hardship letter to the bank (a hardship letter spells out the reasons that the borrower is having trouble making payments), and had a good credit history to begin with.
Negative History, Positive Score
When it comes to short sales and credit scores, there is good news and bad news.
The good news is no matter the health of a credit score before the property deed was transferred, a short sale doesn’t have to a credit report forever.
The bad news is people who are considering short sales often already have damaged credit from other late payments, and the short sale will only drag that credit score further down. Lenders don’t tend to look kindly on borrowers whose credit scores are already in the subprime range – about 620 or less. A person with a low credit score may take a greater hit than someone whose credit was more healthy before the short sale.
If you are forced to sell your home through a short sale, here are three guidelines to get your credit back on track and get back on your financial feet quickly:
Order a copy of your credit report. More than 80% of credit reports have mistakes, so order copies of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. With a short sale on your report, you don’t need anything dragging your score down further. Common culprits that hurt credit scores are medical collections you never knew existed and debts owed by people with similar names. Look for tips on how to get a high score with credit reporting agencies.
Be savvy about your existing accounts. Your length of credit history, on-time payments, a mix of loan types and debt-to credit ratio all play a part in your overall credit history. If you’ve still got credit accounts that are open, don’t close them, make payments on time, keep debt as low as possible, and try to keep accounts of different types open.
Open a secured line of credit . If your credit is truly trashed and all your credit cards are maxed out or frozen, you can probably still get a secured credit card, which requires a deposit as collateral. With an opening deposit from $200 to $2,000, you can get a credit card that will report to credit bureaus and help you rehabilitate your credit score. Make small purchases that you can afford and over time you will see your score will rise.
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Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/10/17/how-to-revive-your-credit-score-after-short-sale/#ixzz2WarrJWJb
In what some conservatives are calling the most important abortion measure to be considered by Congress since 2003’s partial birth abortion ban, the House today passed a bill that would make it illegal to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. The bill, which passed 228-196, is not expected to have an impact on federal abortion law. The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill and the White House has already threatened to veto such legislation if it ever lands on President Obama’s desk.
Championed by Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is symbolic. Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country have passed similar legislation, which has been sometimes struck down by the courts or tangled in ongoing litigation. The House effort is meant to add federal firepower to the slow and steady quest to challenge and eventually overturn the 40-year-old Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, which held that abortion should be legal until a fetus is viable, generally understood to be around 24 weeks. Roe opponents say their momentum is building, especially on the heels of the high-profile murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who performed illegal and sometimes gruesome late-term abortions and was recently sentenced to life in prison.
Not all Republicans endorsed the idea of bringing the 20-week abortion ban to a floor vote. Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times that doing so was a “stupid idea” that risks alienating voters with more moderate views on abortion at a time of economic uncertainty. The measure attracted six Democratic votes; six Republicans voted against the bill.
Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/06/18/house-passes-20-week-abortion-ban/#ixzz2WfSpHFWT
More than a dozen protesters interrupted a hearing on a tough enforcement-focused immigration bill Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives with chants of “shame! shame!” – bringing the proceedings to a halt.
A key committee in the Republican-led House moved toward approving the controversial bill opposed by Democrats and immigrant advocates. Protesters wore signs that said “Remember November," a reference to the loss of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in part, some experts say, to the party's hard line on immigration.
The House Judiciary Committee was meeting to consider the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. It would empower state and local officials to enforce federal immigration laws, make passport and visa fraud into aggravated felonies subject to deportation, funnel money into building more detention centers and crack down on immigrants suspected of posing dangers.
Those who back more lenient provisions dealing with undocumented immigrants assailed some of the Republicans in Congress for what they described as putting roadblocks to bipartisan steps to reforming the immigration system.
As soon as Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., opened the hearing, more than a dozen protesters who had been seated in the hearing room stood up and began clapping and chanting, "Shame, shame, shame! More of the same!" They were ushered out but their cries could still be heard in the hallway and Goodlatte stopped the proceedings until authorities escorted them out.
Goodlatte said that the bill under consideration – the first immigration bill to come to a vote in a House committee this year – "provides a robust interior enforcement strategy that will maintain the integrity of our immigration system for the long term."
But Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., an immigrant advocate, said that "this bill must be opposed, it would turn millions of undocumented immigrants into criminals overnight." She predicted mass protests were the bill to become law, along the lines of what happened in 2006 after the House passed a similarly tough enforcement bill.
The move by the House Judiciary Committee comes less than two weeks after the full House voted to overturn Obama's 2012 election-year order to stop deportations of many immigrants brought here illegally as youths.
Together, the two moves highlight the challenges ahead in getting a comprehensive immigration bill through Congress this year, as Obama wants. For many House conservatives, the priorities when it comes to immigration remain enforcing the laws and securing the border, not allowing the millions here illegally to gain legal status or citizenship.
Meanwhile in the Senate, a Republican lawmaker floated a compromise border security proposal he hopes can win over support for sweeping immigration legislation under consideration there.
And on a day of fast-paced developments on an issue that is a top priority for President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, moved to quiet speculation that he might bring the Senate immigration legislation up for a vote despite opposition from many conservatives in his chamber.
"Any immigration reform bill that is going to go into law ought to have a majority of both parties' support if we're really serious about making that happen. And so I don't see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn't have a majority support of Republicans," Boehner said.
He added that border enforcement would be key for any immigration bill, "And I frankly think the Senate bill is weak on border security."
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, one of the most vocal proponents in Congress for providing a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants, pointed criticism for the GOP in a speech from the House floor.
“Most Republicans in this body – up until a few weeks ago – were singing from a new and more harmonious hymnal,” said a transcript of his speech. “Police and local governments want immigrants in their community to be able to call the police if they are the victim of crime or are witnesses to crime? Too bad. Republicans in Washington know better than your cops, prosecutors and mayors at home. They will cut your federal funding unless you commit to full-frontal deportation and local immigration enforcement.”
Advocacy groups warned that hard-line Republican moves on immigration would come back to haunt the GOP in elections.
“As long as Republicans seek to treat us as criminals and destroy our families, we will continue to mobilize, organize, register, and turn out voters, until the last anti-family extremist has been voted out of office," said Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
Border security also is at issue in the Democratic-led Senate, where senators have been jousting over how to strengthen the provisions in a far-reaching bill being considered on the floor this week to remake the nation's immigration laws. At the heart of the bill is a 13-year path to citizenship for people now here illegally, but it is contingent on certain border security goals being met.
Republican critics say those "triggers" are too weak and have been demanding amendments to strengthen them. The Senate planned to vote Tuesday on an amendment by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., requiring 700 miles of double-layered border fencing before anyone here illegally could get a permanent resident green card.
A more far-reaching proposal by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has been getting attention, but Democrats and some Republicans have dismissed it as a "poison pill" because it would require 90 percent of people attempting to cross the border to be stopped before anyone here illegally could get a permanent resident green card.
The underlying bill also has the 90 percent figure as a goal, but doesn't make the path to citizenship directly contingent on achieving it.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., told The Associated Press Monday night that he has been working on an alternative with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and others. Hoeven said his proposal also would require the 90 percent apprehension rate to be met before immigrants could get green cards. But he said his plan, unlike Cornyn's amendment, would make the 90 percent rate objective and achievable by specifying all the equipment and technology the border patrol says it needs to achieve the rate in each of the nine Southwest border sectors, and carefully tracking attempted crossings.
Hoeven said he hoped to unveil his amendment in the next day or two and said it could garner the support needed to get bipartisan support for the immigration bill.
"Our effort is to get good legislation that truly secures the border," Hoeven said. "That people feel it's fair and it's not amnesty ... so we can get really a bipartisan consensus."
However, Hoeven's amendment could encounter skepticism from immigrant groups and Democrats who want to be sure that the bill doesn't change in a way that makes the path to citizenship harder to achieve.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2013/06/18/enforcement-only-immigration-bill-hearing-in-house-interrupted-by-protesters/#ixzz2WfFmQzev
SAO PAULO — Some of the biggest demonstrations since the end of Brazil's 1964-85 dictatorship have broken out across this continent-sized country, uniting tens of thousands frustrated by poor transportation, health services, education and security despite a heavy tax burden.
More than 100,000 people were in the streets Monday for largely peaceful protests in at least eight big cities. However, demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte were marred by vandalism and violent clashes with police.
About two dozen people were reported injured.
The wave of protests, which began over a hike in bus prices, was also in large part motivated by widespread images of Sao Paulo police last week beating demonstrators and firing rubber bullets during a march that drew 5,000. In Rio, the violent police crackdown on a small and peaceful crowd Sunday near the Maracana stadium incited many to come out for what local news media described as the city's largest protest in a generation.
Tuesday's newspapers and morning news shows were filled with images of clashes between demonstrators and police in Rio, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte. The vast majority of Rio's protesters were peaceful, but a small group of demonstrators attacked the state legislature building, setting a nearby car and other objects ablaze. The newspaper O Globo cited Rio state security officials as saying at least 20 officers and 10 protesters were injured there.
Monday's protests came during soccer's Confederations Cup and just one month before a papal visit, a year before the World Cup and three years ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The unrest is raising security concerns and renewed questions over Brazil's readiness to host the mega-events.
A cyber-attack knocked the government's official World Cup site offline, and the Twitter feed for Brazil's Anonymous group posted links to a host of other government websites whose content had been replaced by a screen calling on citizens to come out to the streets.
In a brief statement late Monday, President Dilma Rousseff acknowledged the demonstrations, saying: "Peaceful demonstrations are legitimate and part of democracy. It is natural for young people to demonstrate." Rousseff recently saw her popularity rating recently dip for the first time in her presidency, largely over sluggish growth, increasing inflation and security worries. Rousseff faces re-election next year.
Brazilians have long tolerated pervasive corruption, but in about 40 million Brazilians have moved out of poverty and into the middle class over the past decade and they have begun to demand more from government. Many are angry that billions of dollars in public funds are being spent to host the World Cup and Olympics while few improvements are made elsewhere.
In Rio, the confrontation between police and a small group of protesters dragged on late into the night despite sporadic rain. As the group moved on the state legislature building, footage broadcast by the Globo television network showed police firing into the air. At least one demonstrator in Rio was injured after being hit in the leg with a live round allegedly fired by a law enforcement official.
Local news media reported that a high school student in Maceio was shot in the face after a motorist forced his way through the demonstrators' barricade. Protesters were raining fists down on the car when a shot was fired. The extent of the 16-year-old's injuries were not immediately known.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic hub, at least 65,000 protesters gathered Monday at a small, treeless plaza then broke into three directions in a Carnival atmosphere, with drummers beating out samba rhythms as people chanted anti-corruption jingles. They also railed against the action that sparked the first protests last week: a 10-cent hike in bus and subway fares.
Thousands of protesters in the capital, Brasilia, peacefully marched on Congress. Dozens scrambled up a ramp to a low-lying roof, clasping hands and raising their arms, the light from below sending their elongated shadows onto the structure. Some congressional windows were broken, but police did not use force.
"This is a communal cry saying: `We're not satisfied,'" Maria Claudia Cardoso said on a Sao Paulo avenue, taking turns waving a sign reading "(hash)revolution" with her 16-year-old son, Fernando, as protesters streamed by.
"We're massacred by the government's taxes, yet when we leave home in the morning to go to work, we don't know if we'll make it home alive because of the violence," she added. "We don't have good schools for our kids. Our hospitals are in awful shape. Corruption is rife. These protests will make history and wake our politicians up to the fact that we're not taking it anymore!"
Protest leaders repeatedly warned marchers that damaging public or private property would only hurt their cause. Many Brazilians were angry over Sao Paulo's first protests last week after windows were broken and buildings spray-painted.
Police, too, changed tactics. In Sao Paulo, commanders said publicly before the protest they would try to avoid violence, but could resort to force if protesters destroyed property. There was barely any perceptible police presence at the start of Monday's demonstration.
In Belo Horizonte, police estimated about 20,000 people took part in a peaceful protest before a Confederations Cup match between Tahiti and Nigeria. Earlier in the day, demonstrators erected several barricades of burning tires on a nearby highway, disrupting traffic.
Protests also were reported in Curitiba, Vitoria, Fortaleza, Recife, Belem and Salvador.
Associated Press writers Jenny Barchfield in Rio de Janeiro, Marco Sibaja in Brasilia and Jill Langlois in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.
Julieta Venegas is widely recognized by her distinctive Mexican-American sound. She is a multi-instrumentalist focusing mainly on the piano, the guitar and her signature instrument: the accordion. She has made multiple collaborations with Latin artists, composed for theater and created many film soundtracks.
The 42-year-old singer/songwriter’s latest album, “Los Momentos Julieta Venegas” released earlier this year, perhaps best demonstrates she has come full circle as a woman and artist.
“Having a child kind of gives you like a good — ack! It totally shook me up and just took all my fears away creatively. It just made me fearless, somehow,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t know if it has to do with being a mom or it just has to do with growing up…”
Since the beginning of her career, Venegas’ music has been introspective and full of personal messages — qualities which have women identifying with and relating to her music.
“I have a pending date with my solitude to see who I am when nobody is watching,” writes Venegas in her song “A Donde Sea.”
Venegas, born on November 24, 1970 in Long Beach, Calif. to Mexican parents, grew up in Tijuana. At the age of eight, she began playing the piano and studying music theory. She has four more siblings and a twin sister, but none of them chose music as their careers. It was through a friend in high school that Venegas was invited to play with “Chantaje” — the original “Tijuana No” — a band whose musical style was ska and reggae.
But it wasn’t until she moved to Mexico City, where she continues to live, that Venegas was discovered by BMG records in 1996. She began to seriously pursue her own songwriting, which led to her first album, “Aquí,” produced in Los Angeles by Argentine Gustavo Santaolalla. From then on, Venegas helped invent modern Mexican rock music, with all its special charisma and traditional instruments.
Venegas, along with bands like Café Tacuba, created a Mexican alternative rock. Mexican rock had been, until then, an Anglo-American simple copy, with no local flavor. But then came Venegas, introducing a world of sensitivity and traditional instrumental sounds; thus inventing this new Mexican rock.
“Behind her sweet voice she hides lyrics strong enough to make male chauvinists run away in fear,” wrote Ciao.
Her most popular singles are “Eres Para Mi” and “Me Voy,” released by Gold Records in Mexico. She has also won one Grammy and Five Latino Grammys.
Venegas splits her time with various humanitarian organizations like the foundation ALAS and the Red Cross. She was named a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in 2009, and in 2011, the Cabinet of the Women of Central America (COMMCA) named her Goodwill Cultural Ambassador — two titles she holds dearly.
“It’s a big honor to be named as Ambassador by UNICEF and be part of such a valuable work. I believe UNICEF’s achievements are very important and I am thrilled to help to this cause anyway I can do it,” said Venegas when named Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in 2009.
It’s said that Julieta Venegas has musicianship to spare. Her worldwide record sales are estimated to be greater than 10 million. She, however, seems unconcerned with such fuss and chatter as she is simply busy and focused on her new projects that include contributing four or five songs to a Mexican animated children’s film and working on music for another feature film, which she’s not yet at liberty to name, as she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
But after much success and a career that spans about 10 years and eight albums, Venegas finds herself in a legal battle with her ex, Argentine musician Rodrigo Garcia Prieto, who demands the shared custody of Simona, their three-year-old daughter. In addition to custody, Prieto wants the baby to have his last name, since Julieta registered Simona with only the child’s maternal last name.
Venegas has taken Mexican rock to a whole new level, but further than that, she is able to sing from her soul and stroke one’s heart with her lyrics and music.
Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/julieta-venegas-jewel-mexican-rock-music/#ixzz2WZf3za8l