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Archive for ◊ March, 2017 ◊

A change in the way credit scores are calculated means almost 12 million people are likely to see their scores rise this year.

Many kinds of long-overdue debts and unpaid taxes will no longer show up as black marks on credit scores, an industry association representing credit bureaus said in a statement on Monday. In the case of unpaid debts that have become subject to a court order, the “vast majority” of such judgments will no longer appear in people’s credit histories, it said.

The changes were estimated to have only “modest” impacts on people’s credit scores, according to the statement from the Community Data Industry Association. Almost 11 million people will see a score bump of less than 20 points, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing FICO data. About 700,000 borrowers will see a 40 point boost, the Journal said.

Court orders for unpaid debts are rarely obtained by the company that was originally owed the money — or even by the debt collectors they hire to chase down overdue bills. Instead, bad debts are sold further down the food chain as they get older and harder to collect, eventually making their way to buyers who pay pennies on the dollar for the right to try to recover the money.

Those buyers often seek court judgments, which can be easily obtained if borrowers fail to show up in court. In some cases the debt is so old that it can no longer be legally enforced.

These kind of court judgments have faced much scrutiny in recent years, as investigations revealed judgments connecting people to unpaid debts were often incomplete or wrong, due to sloppy record keeping.

Tax liens, obtained by governments seeking overdue taxes, have their own record-keeping problems, Liz Weston, a financial planner and columnist at NerdWallet, told BuzzFeed News.

Credit bureaus TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian are now changing their policies on when these court judgments and tax liens will be counted as black marks on credit scores. Such judgments will need to include at least a name, address, and birthdate or social security number — something the “vast majority” of civil judgements do not contain, the Consumer Data Industry Association said.

About half of tax lien data “may not meet” the new standards, the CDIA said.

The fact that the bureaus are making these changes suggests that such judgments are not useful indicators of someone’s creditworthiness, Weston said.

Credit bureaus “don’t do things if lenders get pissed off at them,” she said. “It’s not a consumer-oriented business — they are in business to sell information to lenders and other companies.”

The changes will start taking effect in July.

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12 million consumer credit scores about to go up
Friday, March 31st, 2017 | Author:

Millions of consumers may soon see their credit scores go up, clearing the way for some prospective borrowers to qualify for mortgages. But the move could also raise risks for lenders.

The three major credit-reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – have decided to take many tax liens and civil judgments off of people’s credit reports, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The data will be removed starting around July 1, in a move that could affect up to 12 million consumers.

According to the Journal, the credit-reporting agencies will remove tax-lien and civil-judgment data if it doesn’t include at least three data points: the consumer’s name, address and either a Social Security number or date of birth.

“The result will make many people who have these types of credit-report blemishes look more creditworthy,” the Journal reported.

The move comes shortly after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report dinging the credit-reporting agencies for problems including using inadequate identity-matching criteria on the information they collect.

According to a 2013 Federal Trade Commission study, one in five consumers has an error in at least one of their credit reports. According to the Journal, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian received a combined total of around 8 million disputes about information on credit reports in 2011.

The removal of tax-lien and civil-judgment data from credit reports could encourage more consumers to borrow. But it could also increase the risks for lenders, who might not be able to determine borrowers’ default risk accurately enough. Consumers with lien or judgments are twice as likely to default on loan payments, according to the Journal.

“It’s going to make someone who has poor credit look better than they should,” John Ulzheimer, credit specialist and former manager at Experian, told the Journal. “Just because a lien or judgment has been removed and someone’s score has improved doesn’t mean they’ll magically become a better credit risk.”

Related stories:
CFPB slaps another credit reporting agency with fine
CFPB slaps TransUnion with $17 million penalty

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The average American has a credit score of 669, the report said.

According to, an excellent credit score is considered 750 and above, good credit is 700-749, fair credit 650-699, poor credit 600-649 and bad credit below 600.

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The majority of Americans with a credit score over 800 can chalk up their successes to diligently managing their finances, not complicated tactics and hidden strategies only a select few can access. And the efforts to increase your credit score are likely worth the time, as borrowers with excellent credit have access to some of the best credit card sign-up bonuses and low mortgage rates.

The truth is, everyone can follow a few simple strategies to increase their credit scores. With that in mind, in the video below, Motley Fool analysts Michael Douglass and Nathan Hamilton discuss a handful of disciplined strategies that people leverage to land sky-high credit scores.

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Southern Nevadans’ credit scores inched higher last year but remain among the lowest in the country, a new report shows, the latest reminder of the region’s weak personal finances.

Las Vegas residents have an average credit score of 640.41, according to personal-finance website WalletHub, which ranked the city in the 13th percentile of the 2,534 communities it analyzed.

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Brett Esterberg joins Minnesota-based Marketplace Home Mortgage as Chief Financial Officer. With more than a decade of experience leading the Finance Department at US Bank Mortgage, the 5th largest mortgage lender in the country, he brings a prominent pedigree to the growing company.

Brett has a unique talent for directing and operating a finance department of scale, said Marketplace Chief Operations Officer Elly Cummings. His ability to forecast, model and manage finances lets us further expand Marketplaces unmatched offerings nationwide.

Esterberg is the latest in a long string of high-profile hires for Marketplace, which has opened new offices around the country as homebuyers increasingly select its unique products and services.

With undergraduate and masters degrees in the financial sector, CFO Esterberg melds his strong educational background with practical business experience.

Bretts enthusiasm for the Marketplace model is a testament to our business plan, said Marketplace CEO Keith White. A CFO of his caliber will help build the financial backbone for all of our future success.

About Marketplace Home Mortgage:

Marketplace Home Mortgage provides start-to-finish mortgage services to real estate professionals, builders and individual homebuyers. The company has built its reputation on competitive terms and swift and accurate processing with no surprises. Each step is carried out by experienced and highly trained staff, who embrace the highest ethical standards under absolute transparency. Marketplace is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, with offices in Florida; Duluth, Minn.; Omaha, Neb.; Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay, Wis.; and newly opened offices in Sioux Falls, SD, New Hampshire, Michigan, as well as Denver and Westminster, Colo. Learn more on Facebook or Twitter. Reporters and Editors: to schedule an interview with a mortgage expert in your market, contact Robb Leer 612.701.0608 or

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

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As more and more Americans have become credit-aware in the past few years, late payments have become the stuff of nightmares, and justifiably so.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have worked long and hard to improve your credit scores since the recession, making one late payment and seeing your scores dip 30, 40, perhaps even 50 points can be soul-crushing. Here’s why late payments do so much damage and what you can do to prevent them, undo the damage and recover your great credit score.

The Sting of a Late Payment

Late payments are the most important factor in credit scoring models, the algorithms that crunch all your credit data to produce that three-digit number.

In consumer credit scoring models, payment historygenerally accounts for 35% of your credit score. Generally, the better your credit score, the more damage a late payment will do. That sounds really unfair to a lot of consumers with great credit, but think of it this way — your credit score measures your risk to a lender that you’ll miss payments or default. If you have a lower credit score already, you might already have some late payments on your credit report, so it comes as little surprise to lenders that you would make another late payment. If you have a near-perfect credit score, however, you likely don’t have any late payments on your record, and your first missed or late payment in a while can signal to lenders that something might be wrong and your score will drop to show you may be riskier. However, with late payments, the biggest impact is felt immediately and that black mark begins to fade over time and you’ll see your score recover as long as you continue to make on-time payments.

In business credit scores, payment history accounts for even more of your credit score — 50%-100%, depending on which model is being used. That’s huge! But the models break down late payments a bit differently than consumer credit scores. Business credit scores look at not just whether you’ve made a late payment, but how late the payment is in “days beyond terms” (DBT). If your payment is due 30 days after the invoice and you pay it 42 days after the invoice, that’s 12 DBT. The Dun amp; Bradstreet PAYDEX score, for example, looks at payment history in a few ways: current DBT, average DBT and highest DBT. And, paying early, before the payment is actually due, isin fact the only way to get the highest Paydex score. The upside here is that you can help fix some past DBT mistakes by making some early payments, a luxury you don’t have with consumer credit scores.

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While many assume mobile technology is all about efficiency, it’s also about building a relationship. Millennials (and all buyers) hope to deepen connections with their mortgage advisors and improve their knowledge about their purchase through the use of mobile apps and technology-based communication.

Here are five reasons why mobile technology should be key to every lender’s strategy:

1. Buyers want personalization.

As an industry-leading study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) points out, personalization is the most important influencer of customers having a positive interaction with loan officers (42%), with strong communication (26%) andknowledgeable (18%) being important aspects of their experience. Personalization during the buying process means engaging with customers in preferred ways (ie digitally) and by reaching out and making the customer feel special (closing gifts, cards).

In an interview with Kelly Zitlow, a branch manager at Cherry Creek Mortgage, she states “[females] in particular like to have accessible information that is responsive and can be communicated in different ways…” Understanding how to personalize to your audience is important to establishing trust. Often, that personalization can occur efficiently and effectively through the use of technology or simply communicating digitally in the formats your customers prefer. Loan officers should be aware of how they can best communicate their message in a way that connects personally with their customers.

2. Buyers want relationship.

PwC summarized the engagement needs during various touchpoints in the buying process well, noting that all customers “want the convenience of digital at different stages, but when complexities arise, they want someone by their side.” Loan officers should remind themselves that their customers will remember the people they work with during the buying process, and the personal connections they build, much more so than any rate or mortgage product.

Ultimately, people do business with people. Despite the false narrative that Millennials only want technology, lenders will remain competitive over the next few years if they focus on strategies to build and sustain long-term relationships with today’s young and diverse buyers. Consumers want technology to enhance the relationship and improve the communication experience, not to get rid of either.

For example, in an interview with Sean Herrero from Commerce Home Mortgage, he states that he uses video to improve his relationships and build trust with borrowers. He was hesitant like most to begin using video, as it can be difficult to watch yourself on-screen, but he explains that it’s well worth the effort. Borrowers want to feel good about who they are working with –whether that is an individual or a brand. Getting personal and authentic is key to winning business with young buyers. Using video not only engages your audience, but Herrero shares “people can connect with who I am.” (Full interview here)

3. Buyers want education.

Millennial consumers are heavy researchers, and they expect their loan officers to be their guides through the purchasing process. PwC identified that customers “expect mortgage education (through webcasts, in-person events, and the lender website) to be a part of their experience.” Lenders can better utilize technology, social media, and various vendor solutions to leverage their expertise to build a strong reputation and bring in leads.

Top producerChong Yi, of Apex Home Loans, focuses his borrower experience and brand on financial literacy. He says that many people, especially Millennials and diverse segments, view debt as a bad thing, but Yi views his role as their advisor to help his customers understand and evaluate the investment. Loan officers would benefit greatly from focusing their marketing and branding efforts around building a reputation as a trusted advisor.

4. Buyers want transparency and options.

Today’s borrowers want to make informed and empowered decisions. According to an HBR article, the key to gaining a sale in today’s marketplace is making decisions simple and helping buyers “confidently navigate the purchase journey.” Buyers want to easily navigate and understand information about the company or product, they want to know whether or not they can trust the information, and lastly, they want to easily weigh their options.

Top producerDan Kellerfollows this exact formula for success with his clients. In an interview with Dave Savage.Kellerexplains how he walks his prospects through a simple and consistent path to understanding the mortgage process and their options every time. First, he has an educational blog where he hosts a simple packet of information that serves as a guide through the process and their work with him, including where he sources his information/expertise. Secondly, he builds trust through education and third-party reviews. Kellerstates that 27% of his business last year came from his blog and Yelp. Finally, when he meets with his customers, they trust his data when he explains their options through a total cost analysis.

5. Buyers want convenience.

Simply put, buyers are shopping on their mobile devices and want their lenders to be theretoo. According to PwC, 49% of customers are curious about how mobile apps can assist them in streamlining the mortgage process, and threeout of fivewould like their lender to offer a mobile app. Lenders have an opportunity to leverage technology to improve efficiency, convenience and customer service for consumers. As an added benefit to lenders, mobile technology and communication improves productivity significantly, often saving time and resources.

We recently released the industry’s first comprehensive report of all the top mobile apps for homebuyers at every stage of the purchasing process, so that lenders can know how to communicate with buyers using leading apps and make strong recommendations for improving the consumer experience through mobile technology (from finding the right home to making smart financial decisions). Download the free report here.

In an interview with Rick Sharga, chief marketing officer of Ten-X, formerly,he shares his perspective on companies who are successful in today’s environment, stating “[Millennials] would like to do a transaction any time they’d like, anywhere they happen to be, on any computing device they happen to prefer… Companies who successfully service this audience in the future will have to enable Millennials to get to your products and services online, on-demand.” (Watch interview clip here).

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What Is the Actual Collateral for a Home Mortgage Loan?
Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 | Author:

“Economics and finance are like going to the dog races,” my friend Desmond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute is fond of saying. “Stand in the same place and the dogs will come around again.” So they will.

US financial markets produced sequential bubbles first in tech stocks in the 1990s, and then in houses in the 2000s.

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Survey: How supplier credit rankings impact procurement
Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 | Author:

Dive Insight:

Financial stability is an often forgotten aspect of supplier-buyer relations, at least until one party is burned by the others liquidity problems.

While bankruptcies are the most notable examples, poor credit can often reflect poor payment practices or high debts that could result from, or in,mismanaged disruptions. Both of the latter examples can be far more troublesome and strain relations in the long-run. Credit will not always be the top determinant in a supplier selection process, but the survey shows many will look at it and raise a red flag when given a choice.

Yet, to place the burden of liquidity solely on the supplier is a disservice to the importance and influence of their buyers. The supply chain is a business in relationships, and often times an unbalanced relationship with a buyer will force suppliers into unsustainable practices that could harm their credit in the long-run.

Recent examples include General Motors bankrupt supplier Clark-Cutler-McDermott, which now alleges the automaker consistently forced unsustainably low priceson the dependent supplier. Or, more commonly, the many instances of buyers extending terms of payments, which has the side effect of disrupting the suppliers cash flow and stretching a companys emergency capital reserved for demand surges.

In other words, both buyers and suppliers should think long and hard about why financial stability is so important to the procurement process. The answer often reflects a desire for a long-term, healthy relationship –but if that is the case, both sides must make sure they are doing their part to keep financial risk at a minimum.

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