Greg Cowart on Zillow
Greg Cowart - Mortgage Broker or Lender at The Securus Group
Greg Cowart - Roseville Loan Guy

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Could the future of credit reporting be all new, different?

Part of three big settlements the big three credit bureaus have made over credit reporting mistakes recently (the other two were with the AG of New York and the AG of Mississippi), Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion have settled a 31 state class action suit; paying a fine and, more importantly, ensuring future errors are limited…

“Big 3” Credit Bureaus Settle With 31 States Over Credit Reporting Mistakes

The big story here isn’t the fine, $5 million is a lot of money but nothing to these guys, but how credit reporting is going to be affected going forward. The original settlement is now two year’s old but today the changes are starting to take effect…

Not the least important is the fact that they will now have to hold newly reported medical collection data before putting it on a credit report. This is very important because, more often than not, these kind of collections show up on someone’s credit report before they even find out someone is trying to collect the debt. It gives time for them to handle things, or dispute the debt, before it can ever hit someone’s credit report.
Speaking of disputing debts, the other big part of the settlement is about how these agencies investigate disputes. Up until now the onus was definitely on the consumer (you and me), and even when we are right about something if the creditor responded to the dispute request saying the debt is valid the credit bureau would often side with the creditor and nothing would change about the way the debt was reported.

Going further, and I think this is big, collection agencies now have to include in their reporting who the original creditor was. This might not sound like a big thing but as someone that has literally ready many thousands (probably tens of thousands) of credit reports over the years, helping hundreds of people correct errors on them, I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it ts to try and help someone fix a collection on a credit report where the collection agency isn’t even saying who the original creditor was!

It remains to be seen how these changes will be implemented, but it is nice to know someone is finally doing something about this. For decades now there was little to no oversight over these companies, companies who’s product might determine whether you get that job or apartment. Not to mention a mortgage!

If you have any questions or would like any help with your credit, or anything else for that matter, please don’t hesitate to reach out…

Greg!

(916) 412-3313

The Platinum Down Payment Assistance Grant

Almost no money down, literally? Yes, it’s true, and there are only a few places that can offer this program. What I’m talking about is the CHF Platinum Program (some companies have decided to rename it their own name to make it seem like something special only they can do for you, such as the Return to Homeownership Program and others like that, but they are all the same thing). However there are still only a handful of local lenders that can offer this program. Just know that if you hear/see something that sounds just like this but has a different name than Platinum Program, it’s probably the same thing.

This is such a great program and, as opposed to many Down Payment Assistance programs from agencies like SHRA and CalHFA, this grant is not only for the first time homebuyer, people not buying their first home can qualify, and is actually a grant. Not a 2nd mortgage that needs to be paid back over time or when the house is sold. This is true FREE grant money.

Of course there are some rules and not every buyer or property will qualify. However the vast majority of you that want to buy a home in this market should fit in under the guidelines.

Some of the pertinent features of the loan are:

  • The loan can be a 30 year fixed FHA or VA loan ONLY.
  • The grant is 3% of the total loan amount and the proceeds can be used for down payment, closing costs, prepaid items (taxes, insurance), and even earnest money.
  • The 3% grant is not a loan or second mortgage and does not need to be included in the loan calculations
  • No monthly payment: Since it’s not a loan there is no monthly payments and the grant does not have to be paid back

As far as eligibility, here you go…

  • Income limits (Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer counties $90,120)
  • Buyer does not have to be a 1st time homebuyer
  • Owner occupied primary residence in California
  • Single Family Residences, FHA approved Condos, Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s) are OK

And here is what is NOT allowed:

  • 2-4 Units
  • Rental Homes
  • Co-ops
  • Investment Properties
  • Recreational, vacation, or second homes
  • Manufactured Housing

Underwriting

  • Underwritten by our Innerwork Mortgage (FIMC) Underwriting Staff
  • Run through FNMA Desktop Originator Automated Underwriting
  • Minimum FICO score of 640
  • Seller paid closing costs up to 6% to cover normal and customary fees is allowed

Please let me know if you have any questions about the Platinum Program. It’s not going to be the perfect fit for everyone, but will be for a lot of people and will not be around forever!

~Greg