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  1. Hi everyone, I had really great credit for the longest time, and then unfortunately, lost my job about 6 years ago and was out of work for a long time. In that time, my credit took a steep nosedive and I'm still down in the dumps credit-wise. At this time, I have 7 charge offs. 5 of them, I was able to get them settled and all of them are past SOL at this point. The charge offs are all with OC credit cards that were never sent to CAs (should I consider myself lucky that none of them were ever passed on to CAs?) Specifically, the credit cards are 2 Citicards, 1 Amex, 1 chase, 1 USBank, and one BoA. All but the Chase and USbank have settled and showing as paid COs, and "settled for less" showing on the credit reports. Last activities on them are all about 2 years ago or longer but they report the COs every month. Is there anything at all I can do you get these to go away? Am I out of luck and just have to wait for them to fall off in 5 years or so? I'm assuming the 7-year falling off date is based on date of last activity? Or is there any strategy to getting these charge offs removed? Thank you!
  2. Hello, I refinanced my mortgage, and it was transfered to my new account as of July 26. With the old mortgage, I had an escrow balance of just over $900 that they were supposed to release back to me. Around Agust 12th, I got a check in the mail in the amount of $137.xx. So what gives?? I gave the bank a call, and they agreed that it needed to be the full escrow balance, but they need to send it to their "research dept." to find out why I wasn't sent the full amount. I've been calling for the past several weeks, obviously frustrated with them, and I still don't have my money. They always tell me they're "escalating the issue", and nothing happens! What are my rights here? Do I just wait indefinitely for my money to be sent back to me.. if they even ever do? Or can I do something/anything other than continuing to just call them with no results? Thank you!
  3. Thanks for the info on BOA. This time around, I only paid about $100 over the minimum on my BOA card since it has the lowest rate (5.15%) while concentrating on the others. Now that you mentioned it, I used to have a second BOA card a few years back that I used only once, and then paid off. After about 5 months on inactivity, they closed the account. I figured my mistake was simply not using the card at all. I'll stay on the path of making the bigger payments to the non-balance chasers first, and back off on Chase and BOA for now (at least until after I refinance my mortgage, at which time I would no longer care).
  4. Made the big payments, and as expected Chase immediately lowered my CL leaving only a few $100s in available. So that means, Chase has "chased me down from $21K, all the way down to just over $8K. Unfortunately for me, Chase is my oldest credit line, so I can't just pay it off and close it out of spite. It also happens to carry the largest interest rate. I guess Chase will remain in the "confirmed balance chaser file". So far none of the others have done so... hopefully, it'll just be Chase.
  5. The rates vary. Highest rate is about 29% based on me missing the due date a couple of months ago on Citi (was 15.9%). But with the new law, I don't think it affects old balances (?) and I don't use that card anymore. My Bank of America card has 5.15% on it... yep, I don't know how I'm so lucky either! Then again, and no derogs on my credit report... it's these balances that have been keeping my FICOs under 700 (689 last I checked on EQ) Yes, I realize it's best to pay high interest cards first, and that was going to be my strategy until I started thinking about possible balance chasing which would hurt my ability to refinance my car, and mortgage. I understand Chase is notorious for balance chasing (they had in the past chased me from a 25K CL down to it's current 10K). Same balance chasing story from Citi. All my CLs have stayed constant for over a year though. I was just wondering if anyone knows that certain cards will "for sure" balance chase. For those cards, I may pay them down more gradually, and be more aggressive with others. Goal is to be debt free, but don't want to hurt my credit in the process.
  6. I've incurred huge credit card balances over the years, and hope to pay it all off within 2.5 years (by my calculation). While in the process, I'd like to take the opportunity presented by lower balances and resulting higher credit scores to refinance certain other debt... which should free up extra cash to continue paying down these cards. I have a couple of rare cash infusions happening between now and march. I sold off most of my stock holdings (just got the proceeds today), and will be getting a good bonus in March. Now here's the dilemma. Balance chasing. Balance chasing will ruin my plan to refinance other debt while on this journey. For all these companies, I've only been able to pay barely over minimum, and I'm worried that sudden huge payments would cause them to drastically slash my CLs. Here are the credit card companies in question - - Bank of America - American Express - Chase - Citi (2 cards here) - US Bank Of these companies, which one would any of you (based on experience/knowledge) be comfortable making big payments to and which one would you be more cautious about? Or, would anyone advise to wait till I have the total amount I plan on paying in March before making the full payments?
  7. Thanks to everyone for their replies... been very helpful. So, as I mentioned, they've never been late on any credit obligation, and there are a couple of reasons for that. They don't apply for very much credit. One credit card, and no balance on it. They simply don't spend money they don't have. Also, they get help from their adult children, but it's not guaranteed "income". They've always put a high premium on making payments on time, and making the house payment (really their only debt), has become much harder; hence, the modification issue. So, given that their commitment to paying on time seems to now be a detriment, would it be a bad idea to simply miss payments for the next month or two (it would definitely ease their financial strain)? Or perhaps pay a fraction of the monthly payments, and only THEN apply for modification? The two of them have separate bank accounts. Also a joint savings account. Do they need to provide statements for all bank accounts? If they don't, would the bank find out?
  8. I'm helping a couple of family members go through a modification process, and I have a few questions. They are both a couple of senior citizens with low income. The mortgage was just in the wife's name and was originated in 2004. Up until recently, they've put everything into making sure not to be late on payments, but it's getting increasingly more difficult... so I recommended they try modification. Before getting into questions, here is some general info: 1. The wife is already retirement age, but works full time. The husband collects social security. 2. They have no debt other than the mortgage, and going by the only the wife's income (the only name on the mortgage), it is 65% of her total gross monthly salary. HAMP guideline is 31% I believe 3. Never a late payment since getting the mortgage in 2004 4. The mortgage isn't owned by either Fannie or Freddie, and not FHA. It is a Bank of America loan.. originally Countrywide. Now here are my questions: 1. Since the mortgage is only in the wife's name, when the bank asks for household income, does the husband's SS income need to be included? 2. Will the high 65% of income payment deter BofA from modifying? Or is there a chance that BofA might bring it down to 31%? 3. I've been reading conflicting info about whether or not one needs to be late before a modification can be considered. What say you? 4. Any chance of a principal reduction? Obviously, I'm not expecting biding answers... just need a general sense from someone who knows more about this stuff. Thanks much!
  9. So, you had 7 years left on a 15 yr mortgage at 4.5%. Now, it's you've added 23 years to the life of your mortgage at 4%?? I think it's really sad to have been forced to do a "deal" like that... especially being so close to being done with the mortgage. But if that was the difference between keeping your home being foreclosed, then congrats.
  10. fico25 (lower case) worked for me today!
  11. Thanks for the response. Well unfortunately, it's not a franchise dealership. It's family owned. One other thing is that, we talked to Penfed yesterday (Saturday), and was told there was no loan officer available. My wild guess is that the rep I talked to may not have known all there is to know about how to deal with this situation. So tomorrow, I'll be calling Penfed back to talk to a loan officer. I just have a hard time believing that Penfed wouldn't have a process to deal with Minnesota car dealers. I sure hope I don't lose this loan/car because MN dealers don't carry hard copy Titles.
  12. So, Penfed approved the loan, and everything's in place. The dealer faxed a copy of the purchase agreement, but Penfed said they also needed a copy of the Title. Now, I've bought cars in the past, and this is really the first time I've run into this. In my experience, the dealer would send the Purchase Agreement, the bank funds the loan, and the Title stuff is figured out *after* the car's mine. I can understand Penfed's issue had this been an individual seller, but this is a dealer. The dealer said they only carry virtual titles (he said that's how it is in Minnesota), so there's no hard copy to send to Penfed. Has anyone else ever run into this issue?
  13. This is for a cousin of mine (we'll call him Kevin) that got in over his head, and I was hoping I could get some expert/educated advice for him here. Quick background on the situation. 3 years ago, Kevin was duped into buying a terrible house as an investment property, and it was his first home purchase. He bought it off of someone who'd been in real estate for years and someone he thought he could trust. Long story short, I'm guessing at the time he bought the house 3 years ago, it was probably worth $120K, but Kevin got it for $150K (100% loan). He doesn't make a lot of money, so this was something he purchased in the hopes of making extra money off the rental income (the person he bought the house from was a real estate investor, so he was trying to get into the "business"). Now with the down market, the house is probably worth $70K on a good day. His tenant is now moving out at the end of October, and absolutely no way Kevin will be able to afford both the mortgage AND his own rent (he rents an apartment). The house is now in such bad shape, and he's sooooo upside down in it, and it's literally throwing the little money he has away by holding on to this house. He had a realtor come in to look at the house, and was told that he definitely needs to get rid of that house... absolutely no way that house will ever appreciate. Yeah, the house is bad and it even has foundation problems. Now here's the issue. Kevin's dream has been to move out of apartment living and buy a house for himself and his son to live in. Currently, his FICO scores range from 742 - 770 (he's been very responsible with money). Walking away from this house will no doubt ruin his credit as well as any chance to get a house any time soon. So whatever credit he needs to apply for needs to be done within the next 60 days before his credit is ruined for the next several years. My advise to him was to quickly find a house he can afford and start shopping around for a mortgage. This is in the hope that whatever bank he gets pre-approved with, won't re-check his credit right before closing. This is where I have questions for the experts. 1. He's currently paying $700 in rent, and looking to have a new mortgage payment of no more than $900. With his good credit (for now), do you see any issues that might come up if he were to apply for a loan right now? 2. How common is it for banks to pull credit multiple times? (I got my mortgage with Well Fargo, and I know they only pulled my credit once) 3. In he event that he IS able to get a new house (hoping), AND he's able to do a short sale/title for deed on the bad house, how might that affect his new house? As in, in case the bank comes after him. He doesn't have much in terms of assets, but I'm wondering if they might put a lien on the new house. 4. What are the chances that he might be able to get a loan with little or no money down? Or what options are available to him? Thank you! Quick note: Just to reiterate that the house that will be walked away from, currently has a renter. So I'm guessing on an application, the bank will see that as covering the mortgage. Let me know if I'm wrong about that.

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