Category Archives: General

The “Subprime” Car Loan and Its Effect on Landlords and Employers

March 15th, 2016 | admin | Tags: , ,

“No credit? Bad credit? Pulse? 100 percent approved! Sign here and drive your new car home today.” What they don’t say is that the people who have no credit or bad credit qualify as “subprime,” that is a FICO score at or below 640, and they stand a 10 percent chance of having the lender take that car back. One of five car loans is made to a subprime borrower, that’s 11.5 percent for new cars and 32.2 percent for used cars. Experian, the credit reporting company, predicts that this […]

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How “Hard” or “Soft” Inquiries Can Affect Credit

January 21st, 2016 | admin | Tags: , ,

Sally wanted to refinance her mortgage to take advantage of the lower rates lenders offered.  She went to the Home Show and spoke to a couple of mortgage brokers there and even filled out an interest form at one booth.  Then she continued on her way around the Home Show and came across a satellite TV booth. Sally had always wanted satellite TV, so she filled out a form there to sign up.  The satellite TV company ran her credit to see if they could expect to be paid regularly, […]

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Tax Return Fraud

November 18th, 2015 | admin | Tags:

You open the letter from the IRS, and it is the dreaded one. No, not that one, this one reads “You filed more than one tax return or someone has already filed using your information.” Whoa! You thought you did everything right. Chances are you did, well almost. You most likely have joined a not-too-exclusive club of some 16 million victims of tax return identity fraud. Tax return fraud is a gold mine for bad guys. Because of IRS puzzling systems, it is all but impossible to spot a fraudulent […]

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Vendors and Our Liability

August 17th, 2015 | admin | Tags:

You are careful about tenant selection and employee hiring.  Every applicant gets a thorough screening including a credit check, criminal background search and verification of all the information on the application.  In fact, you make sure the application is filled out completely when the applicant hands it to you, and if it isn’t, you hand it back and tell him to fill it out. As a result, you have almost no problems with bad tenants or poor employees.  No way can they escape your careful attention. But imagine this.  You […]

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Raise the Rents, Tighten the Standards

July 22nd, 2015 | admin | Tags:

Occupancy rates stood at 95.3 percent in May 2015. Builders started 1.17 million new homes in June 2015 with a high percentage of those in apartment construction. In fact, multifamily construction has risen 28.6 percent and apartments 16.1 percent in June. Add to that that rents increasing some 16 percent over the last five years and we have the makings of an excellent time for rental owners. So it’s time to think about raising rents and tightening rental standards. Tighten the Standards In the doldrums of the last recession, many […]

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New Cards, New Chips. Safer?

June 17th, 2015 | admin | Tags:

To hear them tell it, it’s the most secure thing outside of Fort Knox.  We don’t have to worry about our credit card information being stolen once we have one of these. That’s the new, reformatted, updated-chip credit cards that are supposed to be in place by October of this year.  But are they as secure as they are made out to be?  How are they different from the cards we have now with the magnetic strip on the back? Will hackers and other crooks still be able to steal […]

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The Perils of the Social Network

March 19th, 2015 | admin | Tags: , , , ,

Ms. Driver was mad. She drove an ambulance for the “We Really Care Ambulance Service,” (not the real company) and one day her supervisor asked her to write a report about an incident that involved a customer complaint. Ms. Driver (not her real name) asked for a union representative to be present when she wrote the report. She never got the representation. That’s one of the reasons she was mad. Apparently there were more. When Ms. Driver got home from work, she went into her Facebook page and posted comments […]

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For Want of a Sheet of Paper

You would think they would know better.  They employ 168,500 people, have 1091 stores, eight distribution centers, and 10 manufacturing facilities, all in the South.  But Publix Stores is paying $6.8 million to settle a class action suit because when they hired, they neglected to use a separate piece of paper. They have 11,000 stores in 40 states, but Dollar General is about to settle a $4 million-plus class action suit because they “conducted background checks on job applicants without complying with federal law,” reports  You would think they […]

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Collections Lurk in America’s Credit Jungle

March 19th, 2015 | admin | Tags: , , , ,

Danger lurks in what has become America’s credit jungle.  While the danger is an issue for all, it can be a huge concern for employers and landlords.  Here’s why. More than a third of people with a credit file, 35 percent, are in collection, some 77 million people with an average collection debt of $5,178 reports the Urban Institute.  Multiply that out and the total is $398.7 billion in debt in collection. The data at least give pause. What is important in these figures is that they show a problem […]

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Average Credit Card Debt

March 19th, 2015 | admin | Tags: , , ,

Average isn’t always average, is it?  If we look at the overall credit card debt without regard to income, education, and age, the average credit card balance is $3,600.  But that’s only per person for resident U.S. adults.  That includes people who don’t have a credit card and who have a Social Security Number reports What we’ll look at here are the several different ways that “average” credit card balances get calculated.  Your conclusions from this are up to you, as Ezra Becker of TransUnion says, “It depends on […]

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