NACSO Applauds Injunction against Fraudulent Credit Repair Services

The National Association of Credit Services Organizations, NACSO, supports and applauds the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint and injunction (Civil Action Number: CV15-01921-DDP-PJW filed in The Central District of California Federal Court) request against First Time Credit Solutions of Bell, California. According to Court Documents, First Time Credit Solutions allegedly preys on Spanish-speaking consumers by posing as affiliates of the Federal Trade Commission in an effort to defraud consumers with fraudulent credit repair services.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 09, 2015

The National Association of Credit Services Organizations, NACSO, supports and applauds the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint and injunction request (Civil Action Number: CV15-01921-DDP-PJW Federal Court: Central District of California) against First Time Credit Solutions of Bell, California. According to Court Documents, First Time Credit Solutions allegedly preys on Spanish-speaking consumers by posing as affiliates of the Federal Trade Commission in an effort to defraud consumers with fraudulent credit repair services. In the lawsuit, the FTC seeks an injunction and subsequent penalties for violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Credit Repair Organizations Act, as well as misrepresentation and deceptive trade.

The National Association of Credit Services Organizations is an association of responsible credit repair advisors who advocate integrity and honor as well as ethical business practices in the credit repair industry. NACSO promotes compliance with federal guidelines throughout the industry at the national level. In addition NACSO encourages high standards among credit repair professionals with the NACSO Standards of Excellence promoting trustworthy industry growth and enrollment certification to aid in the prevention of fraudulent practices throughout the credit repair industry such as the ongoing lawsuit against First Time Credit Solutions in California.

NACSO supports regulatory enforcement efforts to root out bad actors posing to be legitimate providers of credit repair services. The alleged egregious behavior is unlawful and it appears the FTC appropriately responded swiftly. NACSO represents the professional credit repair industry and its standards of excellence and code of conduct is centered on ethics and integrity in serving consumers Nick Owens, CEO Magnolia Strategy Partners, LLC.

The Federal Trade Commission lawsuit CV15-01921-DDP-PJW filed in Federal Court – Central District of California on March 16, 2015 is aimed at First Time Credit Solutions, a company which also operates under the names FTC Credit Solutions, Doctor de Credito and First Consumer Credit USA according to the FTC compliant. The company is accused of allegedly taking advantage of consumers by charging thousands of dollars for fraudulent services and posing as licensees of the US Government’s Federal Trade Commission. First Time Credit Solutions’ is accused of making false promises include debt elimination, negative information removal and a guaranteed credit score of 700 or more. Evidence features a Spanish-language ad claiming licensure by the Federal Trade Commission and purported phone conversations asserting the Federal Trade Commission is a law signed by President Obama allowing First Time Credit Solutions to remove all negative credit report information, according to the FTC Compliant.

NACSO continues to work in a transparent manner with regulators and consumer advocates to ensure consumers have access to professionals who are experienced in navigating the dispute process whether with a credit reporting agency or a debt collection firm. Educating public policymakers on the value of credit repair professionals remains a top priority as Congress considers Credit Repair Organizations Act legislation Jason Kaplan, Esq., Member NACSO Board of Directors and President and Co-Founder of The Credit Pros Intl.

NACSO supports the efforts of the FTC and the Federal Government in acting quickly to stop the flagrant attempts by unscrupulous credit repair organizations in defrauding consumers. NACSO works on behalf of authentic, legal credit repair professionals and consumers in need of credit repair and within the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Credit Repair Organizations Act to ensure credit repair professionals deliver honest understandable services to consumers, improving their credit and their lives.

Zillow seeks to drive home buying with data

Pittsburghs historic Manchester community is spotlighted by Zillows top executives in their new book as a prime example of a hot neighborhood where it was possible for someone to buy a home in the bottom 10 percent in that community in 2008 and still outperform the neighborhood as a whole in terms of price appreciation.

These arent the worst houses in the best neighborhoods. Theyre the worst houses in the hottest neighborhoods. In a hot neighborhood, even the bottom 10 percent of homes can turn a cool profit, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and chief economist Stan Humphries wrote in Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate.

Manchester is so hot that the bottom 10 percent of homes are not only keeping pace with the rest of the neighborhood, the authors wrote, theyre outperforming the more expensive homes by an average of 4 percentage points.

Broadly speaking, the authors also suggest that buyers are more likely to come out ahead by purchasing real estate on the outer fringes of a hot neighborhood rather than buying directly in the middle.

For example, instead of buying a home in Lawrenceville, one of the citys most sought after places to live, they say, the data indicates home buyers should look to neighborhoods just outside, like Garfield or Friendship, where prices are lower and homes stand a better chance of appreciating.

But there are exceptions.

There are circumstances where a neighborhood next to a hot one wont grow because of an important demarcation between the two, Mr. Humphries said. Railroads, highways or rivers could make it hard for neighborhoods next to each other to be identified with each other.

The Seattle-based real estate website that brought the word Zestimate into mainstream vocabulary has also discovered that investors can hardly go wrong buying real estate anywhere near a Starbucks coffee shop.

Looking at home value appreciation in areas located within a quarter mile of a Starbucks, they found that 17 years ago, a home now near a Starbucks would have sold, on average, for $137,000. A home that is not near a Starbucks would have sold, on average, for $102,000.

Fast-forward to 2014: the average home has appreciated 65 percent to $168,000. But the Starbucks-adjacent property has appreciated 96 percent to $269,000.

A lot of it has to do with being tied to how walkable a community is, Mr. Humphries said. Increasingly people value areas that are walkable. Home values rise more quickly there. The presence of a Starbucks is a likely indicator that an area is walkable. Starbucks is both a cause and an effect.

Starbucks is good at picking neighborhoods on the move, he said. And when a Starbucks shows up, it is a good sign of progress a neighborhood has already made.

Beyond that, its a cause, because home values appreciate even more than you expect once a Starbucks locates there. Why that happens is Starbucks serves as a stamp of approval for that neighborhood, which draws in more commercial development.

Real estate is likely the most important economic asset in which most families and individuals will invest. From the authors standpoint, too many people make poor decisions by allowing emotions to be their guide instead of following a trail lit by cold, hard data.

One area where homeowners are most commonly influenced by emotions is home renovations.

While many homeowners wont hesitate to sink tons of money into a new kitchen, the data shows kitchen renovations, at any level, offer among the lowest return on investment of all home improvements.

Every dollar you spend on a new kitchen only increases the value of the home by 50 cents regardless of how much the kitchen renovation costs.

A basement renovation, on the other hand, returns even less only 48 cents on the dollar, the lowest return on investment of any home improvement.

According to Zillows data, homeowners get the biggest bang for their buck with a mid-range bathroom remodel, which returns $1.71 in home value for every dollar spent.

Peoples prior beliefs were not based on data, but instead based on surveys of what people thought, Mr. Humphries said. Bathroom upgrades have a higher return on investment than kitchens. The amount you put into kitchens is greater, but the return on a bathroom is higher. It appears people value functionality over fashion.

Real estate is an area that is very emotional to most people and thus far has not always been guided by data-driven insight, he said.

Its a combination of excitement and fear that leads people to ignore data when it comes to real estate. Real estate is something we fall in love with and we do because it is associated with our vision of who we are and want to be.

MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon, 4/17

LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2015 /MILITARY-TECHNOLOGIES.NET/ — $2.5 billion Clinton, mobile payments, marijuana business, credit repair, search directories; this week on MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon. MoneyTV is the internationally syndicated television program all about money and what makes it happen, (http://www.moneytv.net), featuring informative interviews with company CEOs, providing insights into their operations and outlooks for their futures.

Free information packages from the featured companies can be requested by sending an email to info@moneytv.net.

The television program can also be viewed online immediately at www.moneytv.net.

Featured companies on this weeks program include:

New Media Insight Group, Inc. (OTCBB: NMED) CEO Michael Palethorpe discussed the companys mobile payments business model. MoneyTV has re-initiated coverage of NMED.

Players Network (OTCBB: PNTV) CEO Mark Bradley updated news regarding the companys marijuana operations.

Singlepoint, Inc. (OTCPINK: SING) CEO Greg Lambrecht announced progress having been made with their efforts to uplist to the OTCBB.

Gawk, Inc. (OTCPINK: GAWK) CEO Scott Kettle announced the company has secured $11 million in funding commitments.

TheDirectory.com, Inc. (OTCPINK: SEEK) CEO Scott Gallagher announced recent financial results.

Trycera Financial, Inc. (OTCPINK: TRYFD) CEO reported on a recent convention attended in Chicago and progress on their fully reporting status.

A complete menu of TV listings is available at the MoneyTV web site, http://www.moneytv.net.

MoneyTV Executive Producer and Anchor Donald Baillargeon is also the host of MoneyRap Radio, http://www.moneyrap.com and the daily television program Global Financial News Minute with Donald Baillargeon.

MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon television program, Copyright MMXV, all rights reserved. MoneyTV does not provide an analysis of companies financial positions and is not soliciting to purchase or sell securities of the companies, nor are we offering a recommendation of featured companies or their stocks. Information discussed herein has been provided by the companies and should be verified independently with the companies and a securities analyst. MoneyTV provides companies a 3 to 4 month corporate profile with multiple appearances for a cash fee of $11,995.00 to $17,250.00, does not accept company stock as payment for services, does not hold any positions, options or warrants in featured companies. The information herein is not an endorsement by Donald Baillargeon, the producer, publisher or parent company of MoneyTV.

Contact:

Donald Baillargeon
info@moneytv.net
949 388 5267

 

Source: PrNewsWire All
MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon, 4/17

Is Buying A Home A Better Deal In Las Vegas Than Renting?

The modest rise in housing appreciation in Las Vegas means it takes a little longer these days for buying to begin paying off.

Home-sales website Zillow sets the Las Vegas break-even point at 1.5 years. That’s up from 1.2 years in 2013.

But, despite the relatively quick payback, Zillow says renters aren’t buying. The website estimates 82 percent of renters nationwide are ‘long-term renters,’ meaning they don’t plan on getting into the housing market any time soon.

Senior director of economic research at Zillow, Svenja Gudell, said many renters want to get into the market but three stumbling blocks are really holding them back: being able to qualify for a mortgage, having a large enough down payment and finding a home that they like.  

“Those three things are making it tough for renters to break into the for-sale market,” Gudell told KNPR’s State of Nevada.

Qualifying for a mortgage is getting easier than it once was. Following the housing crisis and credit crunch, many banks required 20 percent down and demanded buyers show more financial stability.

Those strict rules have loosed a bit, but are still a road block for some buyers, according to Gudell.

“It’s gotten a little bit looser in terms of credit availability but it is still tight. You still need fairly good credit to get a mortgage,” she said.

Event briefs: Unified superintendent to speak Thursday

Unified superintendent to speak Thursday

KENOSHA Kenosha Unified School District Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis will speak on the districts Pathway to Success Thursday.

The program, presented by the AAUW-Kenosha, begins at 7 pm in the Madrigrano Auditorium at Gateway Technical College, 3520 30th Ave.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Carthage hosting Relay for Life

KENOSHA Colleges Against Cancer will be hosting Relay for Life at Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive, from 6 pm Friday to 6 am Saturday in the Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center on the campus.

A dinner will for cancer survivors begins at 4 pm

There is a $10 registration fee. However, survivors and caregivers will receive a free T-shirt, dinner, and free registration. To register for the event, please visit relayforlife.org/carthage.

Rally planned in support of police

KENOSHA We Back the Badge, a rally to show support for law enforcement, will be 1 to 2 pm Saturday at the Sesquicentennial Band Shell in Pennoyer Park, 3601 Seventh Ave.

Speakers include Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, a survivor of domestic violence; Kenosha Unified School Board members Gary J. Kunich and Dan Wade, and local clergy.

There will be a balloon release and We Back The Badge yard signs available for a donation. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Shop with a Cop.

For more information, contact Samantha Kerkman, at 262-279-1037.

Book sale Saturday at Carthage College

KENOSHA A spring book sale, hosted by the Carthage College Center for Childrens Literature, will take place 9 am to 1 pm Saturday in the Hedberg Library at Carthage, 2001 Alford Park Drive.

All levels of childrens and young adult books will be sold. Hardcover books are $3 each; paperbacks are $1 each.

For more information, contact Marilyn Ward at 262-661-5875 or mward@carthage.edu or go to www.carthage.edu/childrens-literature.

Financial Fitness Fair slated for Saturday

KENOSHA A Financial Fitness Fair will take place 10 am to noon Saturday at Brass Elementary School, 6400 15th Ave.

Attendees will be able to meet with local organizations and financial institutions to find out about local services. There will also be workshops addressing home buying, budgeting and credit repair.

This is a family event with free lunch provided and raffles.

This event and program are hosted by United Way of Kenosha County and the Kenosha County Financial Education Network.

For more information, go to www.kenoshaunitedway.org.

Shredding event set Saturday morning

KENOSHA Shred Away Hunger will be 9 am to noon Saturday at Friarswood, 4039 80th St.

Kiwanis Club of Western Kenosha is hosting the event, which will feature Abrahams On Site Shredding providing free personal and legal document shredding (no magazines, newspapers, etc.). Maximum of three bags.

PC TEC will provide free secured computer and components recycling (no TVs), and used cellphones can be donated to Women and Childrens Horizons.

Recovery group hosting speakers

KENOSHA Southport Lighthouse Recovery Club is hosting Unity in the Community Speak-athon from noon to 6 pm Saturday at 8017 Sheridan Road.

Civil War battle topic of program

KENOSHA Harvest of Death: The Battle of Jenkins Ferry, Ark., will be presented at 1 pm Saturday at the Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave.

Author Joe Walker will tell the story of one of the largest and most vicious battles in Arkansas Civil War history..

The program is free and open to the public.

Gov. Wolf, Rep. Saylor in same ballpark on property tax relief (YDR opinion)

Take a look at the calendar. It says April. Its about 2 1/2 months until the deadline for passage of a state budget.

Now take a look at whats going on in Harrisburg.

Lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf seem to actually be working toward a budget. The governor and legislative leaders even sat down last week to start negotiating. This is good! Its certainly better than a typical year, when leaders dont start talking until mid-June, and we wind up with the kind of budget youd expect from college kids pulling an all-nighter.

There are many moving parts in a state budget, but probably the biggest issue this year is school funding.

Gov. Tom Wolf put his budget proposal on the table some time ago.

He would like to increase sales and income taxes and use that funding to decrease hated property taxes. His plan would also increase state funding for schools and would especially help urban school districts such as York citys.

Republicans have nit-picked the governors budget and regrettably so; thats part of the Harrisburg stalemate. Democrats are good at that too.

But Republicans hadnt really put forth much of a counterproposal until last week.

State Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, chairman of the House Education Committee, introduced an alternative school funding plan that would cut property taxes.

His proposal has some strong similarities to Gov. Wolfs plan.

Texas lawmakers debate where to give tax relief

Lawmakers in Austin are looking to give Texans some tax breaks.

But where exactly the relief will come from is still up for debate.

With billions of dollars in surplus this year, the Texas Senate has voted in favor of tax cuts for homeowners as well as small business owners.

The number one complaint we receive is property taxes are too high,” said Texas Senator Juan Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen.

Hinojosa supports the package deal that would return $4.6 billion to homeowners and small businesses owners.

Senate Bill 1 raises the state homestead exemption from $15,000 to 25 percent of the median Texas home value, which is between $33,000 and $35,000.

The increase more than doubles the exemption, saving every homeowner hundreds of dollars a year.

It’s a way to help people buy homes, afford to keep them and not lose them because they cant pay their property tax,” Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa said school districts would not see any budget cuts as the legislature would make up the difference in lost property tax revenue.

With the real estate market already on the rise, realtors said the expanded exemption would reach beyond just the homeowners.

Everybody in society is benefitting by an improved market, said Lee Jinks, the association executive at Greater McAllen Association of Realtors.

Lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives want to go another direction. They’re now considering cutting state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5.95 percent.

The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most affordable places to build or buy a home in Texas.

Census data shows home ownership in the Valley is about 5 percent above the state average at about 68 percent.

Some economists believe lowering the property tax instead of sales tax will have a much bigger impact on the pocketbooks of South Texans due in part to low home values.

You are still going to get the same amount of deduction whether you have a $100,000 home or a million dollar home. As a percentage of appraised value, people who have smaller valued homes end up getting a better deal,” said UTPA economics professor Dr. Salvador Contreras.

Contreras said a .3 percent decrease in sales tax will be hard to visualize.

On the margins, you are looking a pennies here when you spend ten bucks at the store,” Contreras said.

The property tax may make for better politics.

I think the impact is much larger, you always see this bill at the end of the year and the number is much larger and people are much more likely to appreciate the magnitude of the savings,” Contreras said.

Before the taxpayer sees any savings, those in Austin must first reach a consensus.

AICCCA Offers Training for Student Loan Counseling

Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) March 19, 2015

With the recent announcement of President Obama’s “Bill of Rights” for students, the ever-increasing problem of student loan debt continues to be in the forefront of the national news. Earlier this month, the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies launched a new website dedicated to student loan counseling, StudentLoanCounselors.org. AICCCA is now proud to offer its intensive student loan counseling training for members and non-members alike.

“The goal of our training program is to give counselors and interested parties the tools needed to understand and apply the various student loan solutions to consumers in need. Each student loan situation has unique circumstances and each solution should be unique to those circumstances,” said Kevin Weeks, President, AICCCA. “Upon completing our Student Loan Certification Program, counselors will be able to guide borrowers through the often complex and overwhelming process of evaluating options and ultimately advocating for the debtor accordingly. This training will provide counselors the tools needed to help consumers struggling with student loan debt and is a significant and much needed step to provide debtors legitimate assistance they desperately need.”

The first four-week class will begin March 30, 2015. The cost to participate is $199 for AICCCA members and $299 for non-members. Class size is limited and additional classes will be forthcoming.

The four-part course will cover:

  • State of Student Loans
  • Student Loans Types and Programs
  • Real World Application of Student Loan Programs
  • Enrollment in Student Loan Programs

A course of on-line self study, each module is designed to be completed weekly with access to the instructor via email as needed throughout the course. The instructor will also conduct a weekly 1-hour call in session for review and group discussion. Each module includes interactive quizzes and a final test will be administered at the end of the course.

For more information, visit http://www.aiccca.org or http://www.studentloancounselors.org.

AICCCA: Founded in 1993, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies is a national membership organization established to promote quality and professional delivery of credit counseling services. AICCCA and its members are focused on financial education, efficient processes and advanced technology to best serve consumers. AICCCA members are independent nonprofit agencies that advocate for debtors and annually counsel millions of consumers.

Math on homeownership fails to motivate renters

If the buy versus rent decision were about simple math, wed likely have millions more homebuyers in the market, because the equation is tilted heavily in favor of buying, said Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. But no matter what the numbers say, buying a home is a huge commitment. Every day, Americans make decisions to buy or rent based on any number of personal dynamics, including preference, flexibility needs, family factors and, yes, financial considerations.

Another survey done in March by mortgage giant Fannie Mae found respondents less inclined than ever to buy a home if they were to move. This may be because people also feel less confident that their financial situation will improve. This dovetails with new numbers from the US Labor Department showing still slow income growth.

Read MoreWeak March jobs may not be crying wolf: Ex-Bush aide

Younger renters, who may in fact want to buy, are struggling to save for a down payment, given their high rents and high level of student loan debt. Of renters surveyed by Zillow, 16 percent said they couldnt qualify for a loan and 13 percent said they didnt have enough for the down payment.

Mortgage credit availability is tight, according to most industry surveys, but some argue that the numbers dont paint an accurate picture. Todays borrowers, they claim, may have higher credit scores, but only because borrowers with lower credit scores generally dont have the means to purchase a home, so theyre not even applying. That takes them out of the credit mix.

Read More4 million mortgages that never were: What happened

This also shows up in demand for both new and existing homes–the bulk of which is on the higher end. Home builders say thats where their business is, and that is why theyre not building as many cheaper, entry-level homes as they have in the past. On the existing home side, still very tight inventory paints a similar picture. There are so few homes for sale that lower-end owners who may want to move up are not listing, for fear they wont find somewhere else to live, somewhere they can afford.

Its still a sellers market, said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com. Supply is not keeping pace with surging demand. We expect rising prices to persuade those who may be on the fence about listing their homes to do so in the coming months, leading to closer parity between supply and demand.

Home prices, however, will be the key driver. Fast, investor-fueled home price appreciation in 2013 threw a wet blanket on sales in 2014. Thats because investors priced themselves out, and regular owner-occupant buyers couldnt afford the new market. As price gains eased toward the end of last year, the hope was that buyers would return; the trouble now is, again, still-short supply buoying prices.

The number of homes for sale grew by just 2 percent from February to March, according to Realtor.com, far below normal spring growth. Fence-sitting sellers may be more inclined to list, but only if they know they can afford the move-up home and only if they feel certain the investment is the right move. If their confidence in both the broader economy and their own personal wealth potential is anything like that of renters, they may continue to ride the fence.