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About brownstar

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  1. Here's the situation. I would appreciate any advice. My wife co-signed a mortgage with her father a few years ago on a house in a development in sparsely populated community in northern california. It's significantly underwater and in a development that I cannot possibly believe will return to its purchase price for years to come. In addition the mortgage payment is interest only at the moment. Even with the renters there's still $1100 a month for the mortgage payment, and when you factor in the property management fees, insurance, property taxes etc. they're laying out $19000 a year. In addition, now that they're renting it they won't get the big tax refund for the mortgage interest. My feeling is that they have to get out of this asap. I cannot see the sense in paying for this property which won't appreciate, especially as they're only paying the interest at this time. My wife is struggling with this because she has always had flawless credit, and the thought of obliterating it is understandably hard on her. In addition she was younger when she got into this and didn't understand the potential impact (it's the peril of doing any financial stuff with the family). I have rebuilt my credit, we own our own home and have newer cars, so I'm of the opinion that ruining her credit temporarily (7 years?) is better than paying out that kind of money on a losing investment. Good credit you can restore, but money is gone forever. Also, her parents (and my own) are at an age that we have to plan on supporting them so it seems again like it's a bad move to keep throwing money into this. The options are both bleak, but I want to weigh this unemotionally and purely on the financial basis. So: Let the bank foreclose? Short sale? Keep paying the mortgage? Thanks in advance. B*
  2. I have received a letter from DCS with regard to an outstanding/defaulted student loan. A couple of years ago I went through my old student loans and paid everything off that I had records for. I went through the department of ed to determine what all my liability was and they said I was square. I thought there may be more, but was never able to find any paper work or references on my credit report. A week ago I got a letter from DCS, an edu collections agency, about an outstanding $22,000 student loan. It doesn’t show up on my credit report at this time but I would guess that this is accurate (I moved many times and had very few paper records from my schooling). I want to square this away, but I’m worried about it. My parents and in-laws are all currently out of work, so we don’t have much money to spare. I’d like to pay back about $150 a month for the time being, but I haven’t been in touch with DCS yet. Specifically I’m worried about the following: If I make contact per their letter, will they immediately ding my credit report (right now my score is really good and I’ve worked hard to get it there)? Is there even a chance they’ll accept a payment that low ($150) on a $22,000 debt Any advice on how to proceed is appreciated.
  3. While I appreciate what HSBC did for me in terms of improving my credit (when I had bad/none) I want to get rid of it. A) They have never agreed to a CLI without a fee (and the increase was $100) and They charge an annual fee (I killed CrapOne early this year for the same reason.) On the other hand it’s my oldest credit line. Based on my info below, should I keep HSBC for the credit line age and pay the annual fee or can I kill it without significantly hurting myself (I’m not planning any significant credit based transactions such as home purchase in the near future)? I want to be done with sub-primes. One additional note, I’ve lost over 20K in credit in the past few months based on behalf of the credit crunch! I’m only in this fortunate position because of the advice and help on this bored. Keep working at it! Fako 729 Bofa Amex Opened 8/2007 Limit $10,000 (lowered from 20K) Bofa Visa Opened 10/2007 Limit $6,000 (lowered from 10K) Amex Blue Opened 10/2008 Limit $6500 (lowered from 12K) Citi Visa Opened 1/09 Limit $4800 HSBC -- The one I want to Kill off Opened 2/2007 Limit $320 (increased from $300) Capital One Opened 4/2007 Closed 1/2008 (didn’t want to pay their fees) Limit $500
  4. I got an amex with a 0% introductory rate. I missed a payment deadline by a couple of days which wrecked that and drove the rate to 18%. Then they lowered me from a $12500 limit to just over my balance. I have approximately $5500 on the card which I’m paying down at about $1000 per month, but even at that rate, I’m paying a huge premium. I would like to contact Amex and ask them freeze the card (including the interest rate) so that I can pay it down without incurring all the finance charges. First, does anyone even think they’ll agree to it? If they do agree, what is the likely affect on my credit score (what will the account status be)?
  5. I have had major improvements to my credit in the last year and now I'm wondering if it's time to kill my sub-prime cards (CrapOne and Orchard). I'm just not sure if it's too soon as my new/improved credit history is short (since I opened the Orchard account in 2/07). Should I wait until I reach the two year anniversary or can i cancel now (thus avoiding any additional annual fees)? I don't mind a temporary dip in scores, but I don't want to do anything really detrimental. Here's my status: Credit Scores as of 10/2/08 TU - 770 EQ - 741 Ex - 703 Active Credit Cards HSBC/Orchard ($300) – opened 2/1/2007 Capital One ($500) – opened 4/1/07 Bofa Visa ($6,000) – opened 10/13/07 Bofa Amex ($20,000) – opened 8/1/2007 Amex Blue ($10,000) – opened 10/13/08 Any help is appreciated. Thanks B*
  6. Thanks everyone for the really kind words! I think a success story section would be great. I know I found the stories really inspirational in my darker moments. You're absolutely right about being responsible for our own debts (personally and as a nation). Clearly some people get into trouble through no fault of their own (medical bills, unemployment, serious emergencies, etc.), but most people have a big hand in their own financial destiny. I am certainly responsible for where I was, but also where I am now. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to teach your children, from a young age, how money works. When you give them an allowance, make them put some away for savings, take some out for "taxes" (which you'll refund at the end of the year), and give them discretionary income. If your parents were a bit of a mess financially (as mine were), and you've continued the tradition (and you're obviously working to fix it since you're here), do the next generation a favor and pass on your knowledge. Cheers! Chris
  7. Just a quick success story for any newbies feeling overwhelmed. I started dealing with my credit/debt issues in February of ’06 after years of putting my head in the sand. I didn’t grow up with much and never developed the necessary skills for handling money responsibly. After generating debts (soon after college) and not facing up to my responsibilities, I just avoided anything credit related. I would get hives if a transaction required my credit report or a store offered me a new card. It call came to a head when I got married 2 years ago and it came time to file joint taxes. I had to come clean to my wife (who is uber responsible and money savvy), and while I expected the worst, she was a truly great about it. She was angry and hurt obviously, but she also understood how badly I wanted to fix the problem. At that point in time I was dealing with the following: No bank account (due to a chexsystems record) No credit cards (hadn’t bothered applying in years) Cashing my paychecks at a check cashing/pay day loans place (paying $120 a month just for the privilege) Credit scores in the 500s and very low 600s Through this site, I have completely turned it around in 18 months. I have never felt better about my financial position. I am not dreading the mail’s arrival or phone calls from unknown numbers. I feel like I finally have choices again and I know that when something does come up, I will be able to handle it appropriately. So my status is now: 2 checking and savings accounts Credit Cards (my original subprimes Cap 1/Orchard plus Bofa Amex and Visa with approximately $30,000 in available credit) PIF every month Credit Scores all solidly in the 700s If you’re just starting out, be strong. Even if it looks insurmountable, you just have to break it down in the small steps. You will start feeling good as soon as you address even small issues, because it means you’re taking control. I have a huge soft spot for this board. This community is saving lives. Good luck and keep the faith!
  8. I recently lost my Bofa Amex card. No charges were made on it and I had it cancelled. I checked my credit report and see that the card is listed as stolen or lost. Does anyone know if the new card now triggers a new account (thereby wiping out the year of credit history on the old card)? I'm a year and a half into my credit repair and I hate to lose any of my efforts.
  9. Thanks for the advice. I have one follow up. As I mentioned, the collection is not currently listed on my credit report. If I agree to the rehabbing, will it then appear on my report. If so, what would the expected impact be (i.e. will my score go down? Up? or no change?) Cheers, B*
  10. I have been repairing my credit since this time last year. My scores have gone up significantly and I've paid off everything I was aware off (based on my credit report). After getting a credit pull byDCS (Diversified Collection Services), I was waiting for the shoe to drop because I didn't know who they were. So today just received a collection notice indicating that I owe HESC (ny state higher ed) $22,000 for student loans. I have no idea what I should do. Should I contact the collection agency or try to work with the the OC? Given that the amount is significant (although it's not itemized by princpal/interest/fees in the letter) I will definitely need a pretty liberal payment plan. Also now I'm afraid that they will update my credit report with a default loan which no doubt would crush my scores. Any advice on what to do and where to start? Thanks in advance.
  11. I received a collection letter for $746 from Asset Acceptance for a citibank credit I don't ever recall having. I sent a DV letter a couple of weeks ago (the day their letter arrived) and received a response topday. It does not include any dates of the original account, or any other the other validation information I requested, only the balance and what they claim is the original citibank account number. As of yet, this has not shown up on my credit reports, but I'm unsure of how to proceed. I obviously want them to get stuffed and leave me alone since I'm fairly sure I don't owe this debt, and if I did, it's definitely past the California SOL. If you have advice, please let me know my next steps. Thanks for all the great help the board has provided! Brownstar
  12. OK, so I got an alert that someone ran my credit. Lo and behold it was the original edu creditor. My concern is that they will begin actively pursuing the debt and the judgement will show up on my report negating all the work i've been doing (from 500's to 700's in the past 12 months). I have a bit of cash so I would like to settle with them in exchange for closing out the debt and ensuring it will never show up on my report. So, if my debt is 13K and change, what could/should I offer them (I could pay half or a bit more)? Should I get a lawyer or is this something I could handly myself with some well written letters? I want to avoid screwing myself on this. Thanks, Brownstar
  13. Once again, I turn to the board! I have an edu debt from when I was in school in 94. After unsuccessful attempts to collect, the university sued and got a judgement in 2003 for approximately $13000. I was unaware at the time and only recently received a copy of the judgement when I got in touch with the school to try to get on a payment plan (finally facing all my old debts). This judgement has never shown up on my credit report (thank the lord). I have spent the last 9 months working on resolving debts and cleaning up my credit. My scores are now all in the low 700s. When I spoke to the University's collections department they would not offer me an official payment plan because apparently they don't do that once they have a judgement. The gentleman I spoke with said I could just start sending in payments but they couldn't do anything official. He also indicated that this is a really old debt which they had to dig up from their old files when i called for information. So, I'm not sure how to proceed. On the one hand I would like to resolve this by making payments; but I'm really concerned that by trying to rectify the situation they may either nail my credit report or try something else to get their money faster (wage garnishment or a lien). On the other hand, they were so laissez faire about the whole thing, I can't tell what they're thinking. I spoke with them 3 months ago, and they've made no attempt to follow up with me. Any opinions out there? Thanks B*
  14. I need advice about whether or not i should try to remove an old capital one account from my credit reports. Here's the deal: I had a capital one card from Feb 01 to Sep 02. During that time I had a couple of 120 day late payments which are reflected on my credit report. This year, while I have been repairing and re-establishing credit, I received another capital one card. I have made all my payments on time. In addition, I got a Orchard Visa (which was my first new card) and then bingo/bango BofA has since pre-qualified and given me an Amex and a Visa. So things have been going really well. My current Equifax score is around 720. All these accounts are less than a year old. the only old account is the previous capital one which has the late payments. 1) Should I ask capital one if they will remove it? I tried before I had their new card and they said no dice. Maybe now I might have more leverage. 2) Should I leave it alone? Even with the lates is it helping my score because it was an account from a while ago? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, Bstar