good credit, some get sub-prime loans

Low interest rates and aggressive marketing campaigns have driven home lending to record levels. But increasingly Americans with good credit are being saddled with loans designed for high-risk borrowers.

These higher-cost loans have been the fastest-growing segment of the mortgage market — accounting for 20% of the home loans issued last year, up from 10% a decade ago.

Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance giant, estimates that more than 20% of people who get these so-called sub-prime loans could have qualified for more-conventional prime loans.
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Credit Card Debt Statute Of Limitation

Credit Card Debt Statute Of Limitation – What You Should Know

Credit Card Debt Statute Of Limitation – What You Should Know
By Delia Galley

Each state has a statute of limitations on old credit card debts. The statute of limitations refers to the period after which, creditors cannot sue you to collect the debt. The length of time is calculated from your last payment date or last activity date (this is when you last used the card).

Refer to the old debts statute of limitations chart, which details the statute of limitations by Oral Contracts, Promissory Notes, Written Contracts and Open-Ended Accounts. Note that the transient nature of state legislature requires you to verify the statute of limitations period with your State Attorney’s office. For more information go to

In the past 10 years, a growing trend has ensued, where aggressive debt collectors buy old debt accounts and actively pursue consumers to collect the debt, even though the statute of limitations has past. They purchase these accounts for pennies and hope that you will pay up. Even if, you pay $1 on the account – they make a good profit.

This is a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Some creditors even lie and say that the statute of limitations starts from the day that they purchased the debt account. These companies are so bold that some of them will threaten to sue you and in fact proceed with the court case – don’t give in. Others will harass you day and night, use profanity or promise to erase negative marks off your credit repot, if you send in a minimal payment.

If you find yourself in this situation here are a few tips on what to do:

  • Do not send in a payment – if the statute of limitations is past in your state. Doing so, will make your delinquency look recent. It will also give the debt collectors the idea that you are an easy target and they may attack you on other fronts.
  • Keep an eye on your credit report to make sure that they are not reporting negative information about you. Your old debt account should not be reflected on your credit report since the statute of limitations is past. If you find that they are reporting the information, take corrective action immediately and fix any errors.
  • If possible, ignore all contact with the debt collection agency. Do not accept their phone calls. If they send you notices in the mail, you will want to keep these as proof of their harassment.
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act indicates that there are certain things that creditors cannot do in their attempt to collect debt. Go to for a list in plain speak. For a complete list, go to
  • Verify the statute of limitations information with your State Attorney’s office and solicit further advice on how to navigate your situation.
  • The author is the owner of the information-rich website – a “Drudge Report” of credit. The website offers free advice on how to rebuild credit and manage debt. The site also features numerous articles and news stories on credit reports, credit cards and bankruptcy.

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    The 10 Step Debt Elimination System

    The 10 Step Debt Elimination System

    The 10 Step Debt Elimination System
    By Larry Holmes

    Over the years I’ve evaluated many debt elimination systems. The best one I’ve ever seen is also one of the simplest. So let me introduce you to…

    The Best Iron-Clad, No-Holds-Barred, Fool-Proof, No-Fine-Print, Debt Elimination System Ever Developed – Bar None

    Just follow the following 10 steps…

    1. Go back one year and record all of your expenses. You need to go back that far to make sure you account for seasonal spending. Check bank statements, cancelled checks, credit card statements, anything you’re spending money on.
    2. Carry a little notebook with you for a couple a weeks and record anything you’re spending cash on. For example, that cup of Starbucks coffee that you can’t seem to do without. You’ll be amazed at how much is falling through the cracks on that kind of stuff. I realize that this part is a pain. But the payoff will be tremendous.

    3. Divide your expenses by 12 to get your average monthly expenses.
    4. List the balance owed for all of your debts, including your mortgage. If you can’t find it from your records, call your creditors and lenders and ask them.
    5. List the minimum monthly payment for all of your debts. What is the total of all your minimum monthly payments? Let’s say, for example, the total is $2,000 per month.
    6. Divide the balance owed by the minimum monthly payment for each debt. This will give you the number of months it will take to pay off each debt assuming the minimum monthly payment.
    7. Rank your debts by how many months it will take to pay off each one. The fewest number of months all the way down to the most number of months.
    8. Prioritize your debts by the number of months it will take to pay off each one (again, assuming the minimum monthly payment). Your highest priority debt is the one that you can pay off in the fewest number of months. Your lowest priority debt is the one that will take you the most number of months. That will probably be your mortgage.
    9. Okay, in step Number 4, you totaled your monthly payments on your existing debts. We are using as an example a total of $2,000. Take 10% of that total, or $200.
    10. Re-direct $200 that you are already spending on something else to apply to getting out of debt. Don’t tell me that you can’t find the $200 because you can. I’ve worked with thousands of people in helping them improve their financial lives and I know you can do it. It may come from $20 here, $25 there, $30 from this other thing, but it’s there. We all spend more than we think we do.
    11. Apply the $200 to your highest priority debt. It will be the one that you can pay off in the fewest number of months. For example, if the minimum monthly payment on your highest priority debt is $200, you are now paying $400 per month toward paying off that debt.
    12. Once that debt is paid off, you now have $400 a month to apply to the second highest priority debt. For example, let’s say the minimum monthly payment for your second highest priority debt is $250. You are now paying $650 a month on that debt ($250 + $400).

      When that debt is paid off you have $650 a month to apply to the next highest priority debt. You keep doing that until you’re completely out of debt including your mortgage.

      The beauty of this system is that you’ll be totally debt-free in just a few years and the only extra money that you committed to paying off your debts is the original $200 that you applied to your highest priority debt.

      Also, you now have $2,200 a month ($2,000 minumum payments on all your debts plus the $200 extra commitment) that you now can apply to investments. And it’s those investments that are going to make you financially free.

      Visit for your common-sense guide for debt-free financial freedom.

      Larry Holmes is a Wall Street trained financial advisor with over 30 years of experience. He is also an accomplished public speaker who has presented well over 1,200 financial seminars and keynote addresses to audiences throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.

      Article Source:

      Stopping Collection Agency Harassment

      Stopping Collection Agency Harassment – Your Rights

      Stopping Collection Agency Harassment – Your Rights
      By Toni Phelps

      The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed in 1977 to protect you from abusive debt collectors. Here are rules a third-party debt collector must follow:

      Contacting a debtor. A collector may contact you in person, by mail, telephone, telegram or fax. However, a debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree. A debt collector also may not contact you at work if the collector knows your employer disapproves of such contacts. Tip: If a debt collector phones you at work, inform your boss that it is disrupting your performance, and have your boss tell the collector to stop calling you at work. Drawback: If your boss learns of your debt problems, it may interfere with your promotional abilities.

      Contacting a third party about your debt. If you have an attorney, the debt collector must contact the attorney rather than you. If you don’t have an attorney, a collector may contact other people but only to find out where you live, what your phone number is and where you work. Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting such third parties more than once. In most cases the collector may not tell anyone other than you and your attorney that you owe money.

      Giving written notice. Within five days after you are first contacted, the collector must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe, the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money and what action to take if you believe you do not owe the money. Tip: Once you receive the letter, you may want to attempt a settlement with the creditor or the collection agency. A collections agency is always authorized to take something less than 100 percent, usually 50 to 60 percent. Here are tips on how to proceed:

      – Whether you pay in full, negotiate for a percentage of the debt or accept a payment plan, get everything in writing before you give them any money.

      – Make them stipulate they will not report anything negative to the credit bureaus regarding the debt. And have your original creditor sign off on the deal. A collection agency could offer to settle a $1,000 credit card bill for just $500. But once they’re paid, the original creditor can still come after you for the other $500.

      – If you negotiate a settlement for less than you owe, you could end up paying taxes on the unpaid portion. But if the unpaid amount is less than $600, a collection agency does not have to report it to the IRS. Make this part of your written agreement.

      – Always pay with paper checks, not electronic bank drafts by phone or debit cards. It’s to your advantage to have a physical record that you’ve paid, plus you control exactly what you’re paying and when.

      – Be sure to get something in writing when the debt is paid. That way, if it does come up on your credit report, you have something to prove it was paid.

      When a consumer doesn’t owe the money. A collector may not contact you if within 30 days after you receive the written notice, you send the collection agency a letter stating you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed.

      No harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress or abuse you or any third party they contact. They cannot:
      – Threaten violence or harm.
      – Use obscene or profane language.
      – Repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone.
      – Lie.
      – Use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt.
      – Falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives.
      – Falsely imply that you have committed a crime.
      – Falsely represent they operate or work for a credit bureau.
      – Misrepresent the amount of your debt.
      – Give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit bureau.
      – Send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not.
      – Use a false name.

      Debt collectors may not state that:
      – You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt.
      – They will seize, garnish, attach or sell your property or wages unless the collection agency or creditor intends to do so and it is legal to do so.
      – Actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you when such action legally may not be taken or when they do not intend to take such action.

      A debt collector may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt from you. They cannot:
      – Collect any amount greater than your debt, unless your state law permits such a charge.
      – Deposit a postdated check prematurely.
      – Use deception to make you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams.
      – Take or threaten to take your property unless this can be done legally.

      Having bad debt collection harassment? Here are some extreme steps you may decide to take:

      1: Don’t take the calls. You can hang up, screen calls or stop them from calling entirely with what’s known as a “cease and desist letter.” If you send a “cease and desist,” include your name, address and account number, and tell the company “do not contact me further about this debt.” Send the letter certified so that you have proof the company received it. But this move doesn’t cancel your debt. The original creditor or the collection agency may decide to sue, or the creditor can simply hire another third-party collector.

      2: Keep a diary. If you do take the calls, write everything down: dates, times, names and what is said. If it’s legal in your state, tape the exchange. And if you tell them you’re taping the call; whether you are or not, they’ll be more likely to behave.

      3: Negotiate to pay the debt. Once a debt goes to collections, you may be able to work out a deal to pay less than the full amount.

      4: Understand the laws in your state. Garnishment, lawsuits and property seizure are illegal in some places, which gives you a little more leverage to work out a deal. To learn what is and isn’t allowed, call your state Attorney General’s office or the state consumer protection office.

      But third party collectors have a choice: they can operate under the laws of your state or those of the state where the debt originated, usually interpreted as where you were living when you opened the account. Also, time may have run out on the debt. While there is no federal statute of limitations on debts, most states limit the amount of time a creditor has to collect a debt. However, that deadline varies from state to state. There is also a question of which state’s rules govern the transaction, yours or the creditor’s. That’s a very gray area. Check with your local state authority or an attorney in your state who specializes in this kind of law.

      5: File a complaint. If you suspect that a collection agency has crossed the line, call the FTC and your state’s governing office and file complaints. (Yet another reason it’s good to keep a written or tape recorded diary.)

      6: Sue. If a third-party collection agency violates your rights, you can sue for actual damages and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and court costs.

      Article by Toni Phelps, with resources from Credit
      Federal’s Debt Negotiators
      and the Federal Trade Commission

      Article Source:

      Reduce Your Debt

      Reduce Your Debt – How To Use Debt Consolidation to Get Yourself Out Of Debt Permanently

      Reduce Your Debt – How To Use Debt Consolidation to Get Yourself Out Of Debt Permanently
      By Carrie Reeder

      Debt consolidation can get you out of debt permanently if you make it part of a financial plan. Within five years, you can have your unsecured loans paid off and on your way to debt-free living. The key is to plan for the future.

      Get Your Bills In Order

      If you are in the hole with debt payments, then debt consolidation may be your way out. Debt consolidation programs lower your interest rates on unsecured loans with creditors. With their low fee, they handle payments, account paperwork, and direct dealings with creditors. All you do is send them a monthly payment for all your consolidated bills.

      Initially, you will see a slight drop in your credit score, eliminating your ability to apply for more credit. However, within two years you can apply for credit as lenders see your commitment to repaying loans. You can even apply for a mortgage loan at this time.

      To make sure you are betting the best deal, shop around for a debt consolidation company. Request quotes on fees and information on their services. While you want the best deal, don’t be lured by false promises.

      Pay Bills Faster

      Once you have one account paid off, apply that monthly cash toward another account. Not only will you be paying off your bills sooner, but you will be saving money on interest payments. Also consider applying any refunds or bonuses toward your bills.

      Also, look for ways you can cut spending, even if just temporarily. Cell phones, cable TV, or eating out can all be reduced or cut out. It is difficult, but keep your eye on your goal of being debt-free.

      Plan For Your Future

      It is not enough to get out of debt, you also need to plan for your future. You may find a credit counselor can help you create goals and design a budget. You can also find a lot of good information on finances online or through books.

      One of your future goals should be creating a financial safety net. Even while you are paying off debt, you should be saving money every month. While a job loss or a major illness can’t be avoided, you can minimize their financial impact by being proactive with your finances.

      To view our list of recommended debt consolidation companies online, visit
      this page: Recommended Sources for Debt Consolidation Online.

      Carrie Reeder is the owner of ABC Loan
      , an informational website about various types of loans.

      Article Source:

      Foreclosure listings August-18-2005

      Foreclosure listings August 18, 2005

      If you need assistance getting started buying foreclosure properties
      we have partnered with a great site that literally walks you step by
      step through investing in foreclosures.
      You can find more information here:
      massive wealth with foreclosures

      The listings are updated once a week. Emails are sent out on Thursday.
      The email will contain a link to where you can download the zip file.

      This weeks foreclosure listings can be accessed here:
      Foreclosure for 8-8-2005

      Best of Luck,
      Have Good

      Foreclosure listings

      Foreclosure listings August 11, 2005

      If you need assistance getting started buying foreclosure properties
      we have partnered with a great site that literally walks you step by
      step through investing in foreclosures.
      You can find more information here:
      massive wealth with foreclosures

      The listings are updated once a week. Emails are sent out on Thursday.
      The email will contain a link to where you can download the zip file.

      This weeks foreclosure listings can be accessed here:
      Foreclosure for 8-1-2005

      Best of Luck,
      Have Good

      Debt Problems? You Can Negotiate With Your Creditors

      Debt Problems? You Can Negotiate With Your Creditors

      Debt Problems? You Can Negotiate With Your Creditors
      By Douglas Hanna

      It is always possible to negotiate with creditors – even if they have already taken you to court to get a judgment or to garnish your wages.

      Getting a creditor to reduce your monthly payment helps and does provide short-term relief. However, this is only a temporary measure and you need to remember that the interest on your debt will continue to pile up.

      You need to negotiate settlements with your creditors to get real debt relief and fix your credit.

      Let’s take credit card debt first. Suppose you owe $4,000 but that the original amount was only $2500 and the rest is interest. Let’s also assume you have been behind in your payments for six moths. Call the company and explain the reason why you have fallen behind. You will need to have a real reason such as illness or the loss of a job. Agree to pay $2500 as a settlement in full. In turn, have the company agree to report your account as current to the credit reporting agencies.

      Most creditors will buy off on this kind of settlement because they’d rather get the money now vs. having to wait many months or pay a collection agency. So you should be able to negotiate this kind of settlement with many, if not all, of your creditors.

      However, some creditors will elect to take you to court to get a judgment. A judgment is a court order stating that you must pay the amount owed. It gives the creditor the right to garnish your wages or seize your assets, including your bank accounts.

      Even if a judgment proceeding has begun, there is still time to negotiate a settlement. You can approach the creditor’s attorney (or have your attorney approach the other attorney) and make an initial offer of 40 percent to settle the case. You will probably have to go up from the 40 percent. However, a settlement may be attractive to the creditor because it saves the company attorney’s fees and the cost of seizing your assets or garnishing your salary.

      If you do reach a settlement with a creditor, be sure to receive proof of payment. Also, don’t send any funds until you have a legal document that spells out the terms of the settlement. Keep a copy of this document. Make the payment as agreed and then request that the creditor provide you with a receipt or some other proof of payment.

      Some creditors, especially contractors and subcontractors and the IRS, can file a lien on your property. A lien is a court order that gives the creditor an interest in a piece of some real property you own such as your home. When you sell the property, the creditor will be paid what he or she is owed out of the proceeds of the sale. Once a lien has been placed against your property, the only way to eliminate it is to pay or reach a settlement with the creditor. If it is the IRS that filed the lien, be sure to get a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien when you do pay it off.
      Negotiating with creditors may not be much fun, but it can help you get out of debt and repair your credit.

      For more FREE help with debt and credit, subscribe today to Douglas Hanna’s free email newsletter “8 Simple Steps to Debt Relief” at

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      Is There A Way Out Of Your Debt Problems

      Is There A Way Out Of Your Debt Problems?

      Is There A Way Out Of Your Debt Problems?
      By Roy Thomsitt

      Do you have multiple debts? Do you have just one large debt which you could afford, but your circumstances have since changed? Are you finding it harder each month to meet the payments on your debts?

      You know debt is a problem, but maybe do not have any idea what the best way out is. Financial problems rarely just go away, so a solution of some beneficial sort is needed. Otherwise the problems just keep piling up and eventually overwhelm you.

      While there may not be any instant debt solution, there are a number of things that can be done. Some of those things that can help you, apply across all methods of improving your debt situation, so let us have a look at those first:

      1. Change Your Attitude Towards Debt And Spending

      While debt is almost contagious these days, it is possible to be different from the crowd. Once you are determined not to follow social trends just because they are there, your mind can become a powerful ally in finding and achieving a solution to your debt problems.

      This part of the debt solution is a long term aid, but one that will act like an immunisation does with disease. You will build up an immunity to the debt traps in the future, and for your existing debt you will be far more inclined to plan and budget your way to a debt free future.

      2. Plan And Budget As Part Of Your Debt Solution

      Another essential debt solution element is for you to budget and plan your financial future. First of all, list your outgoings and give them an order of priority in monthly payment. If you have an annual charge, then divide by 12 and use that monthly figure, remembering to set aside that amount each month in a savings account.

      Include all your repayments, including credit cards, in those outgoings. Set a firm budget for yourself each month, and stick to it. If there is a surplus, use it to pay off extra each month on loans and credit cards, choosing the most expensive to clear first. Combined with 1 above, this is an important part of your debt solution, whatever other methods you may add.

      3. Cut Out From Your Budget Non Essential Items Of Expenditure.

      Now that you have gone through part 2 of your debt solution, take another look at the list of outgoings. First of all, ensure the list is complete. Then go through the list an item at a time, and see if there is anything that can be eliminated or at least cut. You may find it useful for the first month to take a detailed look at your supermarket and other household grocery spends, to see if there are possible savings.

      By going through the above three processes you are well on the way to finding a debt solution that is achievable and without penalty. In the long term, it will improve your financial welfare no end.

      If you want to go further though, and mix the above 3 suggestions with other solution possibilities, then you may consider the following:

      1. Debt Consolidation Loan

      If you have multiple debts a debt consolidation loan may well be a part of your debt solution possibilities. By taking out a debt consolidation loan, you could give yourself some breathing space by reducing your monthly payments. Combined with the three self help methods described above, you can give yourself an opportunity to plan and budget for debt elimination over the period of the loan.

      By setting aside the savings from your monthly reduction in payments, you can accumulate enough for just about all your needs. Aim for no further borrowing. Save for your next car, next vacation, or anything else you may have used a loan for before. Become a saver and cash buyer from now on.

      2. Debt Negotiation

      If you have debts getting out of control and are struggling to make monthly payments, or have started to fall behind, then debt negotiation or settlement is an option as a part of your long term debt solution. With debt negotiation, it is usual for the debtor to use a consultant to negotiate settling the debts, at perhaps a 40%-50% lower level, and then agreeing a repayment rate for that lower level of debt.

      Debt negotiation will have an impact on your credit rating, so if you can use a debt consolidation loan it will probably be better for you.

      There are other ways to reach a debt solution, but those above are the most likely and practical. But whatever way you choose to go, you will find your long term wealth growth improved by using the first 3 self help methods: changing attitude or mindset; budgeting; and cutting out non essentials. Later, you can look forward to all the non essentials you want, after your patient period of constraint.

      Never forget also that there are many ways to increase your income, whatever your age. Keep expanding your knowledge, and those possibilities will always increase. You may even find a way of earning money online.

      This debt solution article was written by Roy Thomsitt, owner of the Eliminate Credit Card Debt Now website.

      Article Source:


      Consolidate Debt to Help Get You Out of the Quagmire

      Consolidate Debt to Help Get You Out of the Quagmire

      Consolidate Debt to Help Get You Out of the Quagmire
      By Lee Bennett

      Will you agree with me if I tell you that, the key to financial success is to live within your means? This is an old belief that modern day income earners have completely forgotten. This is because it is now extremely easy to get into financial trouble. Credit card, store cards and other loans are easy to acquire. However, you will agree with me when I say that they are very hard to pay, you may end up living a paycheck-to-paycheck kind of life if you will not fix the situation immediately.

      Consolidation debt may save your sinking credit standing. However, you need to be careful if you need a consolidation debt. Many debt consolidation companies may offer their services when you need a consolidation debt. This may be helpful but it is more advisable if you try to make a realistic personal assessment of your financial condition before deciding on acquiring a consolidation debt.

      First, you need to consider the ultimate reason why you think a consolidation debt may be your only way out. Does interest rate burden you that even you pay your dues; your obligation remains that same. If this is so, then may be a consolidation debt can be your best bet. If you need to reduce your monthly payments to only one in order to avoid sacrificing other debtors in favor of another, then this may also be a reason for acquiring consolidation debt. Additionally, proper handling of a consolidation debt may speed up repair of your credit standing. This may be a very good benefit you will get from acquiring a consolidation debt.

      When you finally decide base on your personal assessment that really, consolidation debt is a good way to help take back your credit standing and credit worthiness, then you need to decide on the next issue. Do you want to negotiate for your consolidation debt or would you need a credit counselor? You may try to negotiate personally but this proves to be too tedious and that there may be technical terms you are not familiar to. Let us hope you do not fall prey to loan sharks that will apply unrealistically high interest rates on the consolidation debt you will acquire. It may be a good recommendation to get the services of a reputable and respectable lending institution to negotiate for your consolidation debt. There are benefits you may get from debt consolidation companies that you may not provide for yourself. Since, they are in the business of providing debt consolidation services, they may be able to negotiate better and may lessen your debt, lessen the interest rates and even lessen the late payment charges. This is going to be very beneficial. However, you need to be smart in choosing a debt consolidation company to represent you in your consolidation debt application. Because there are some who may take advantage of you. Get references and find resources that may help you in assessing the best lending institution to represent you.

      Finally, a good recommendation for acquiring a consolidation debt is to get as many proposals as you can. From there, you assess which offers the most flexible terms. Consider the monthly payments you need to set aside. You may also need to consider the length of the payment terms and the charges of the debt consolidation company for the services in acquiring your consolidation debt. After all these get the most advantageous offer and start from there. Take back your life and your credit standing. Avoid headaches and sleepless nights due to bugging creditors. When you finally get a consolidation debt, pay diligently, this is the best way for you.

      Lee Bennett

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