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Archive for December, 2010

Dear Liz: We just refinanced our $100,000 mortgage into a 15-year fixed-rate loan at 3.75%. We have an extra $500 a month and want to know what we should do with it. Should we use the money to pay off the mortgage early, increase the contribution to my 403(b), or start a rainy day fund and try to save up to three months of my take-home salary? I’m 44, my wife is 35, and we have three kids ages 5, 3 and 9 months. I would like to retire in 16 years.

Answer: At least two of your children won’t be through college by the time you want to retire, so you may need to rethink your plans unless you have an exceptionally generous pension or a lot of money saved in that 403(b) already……

Click here for the entire article

Money Talk: What to do with extra money from refinancing a mortgage – latimes.com.

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RISMEDIA, November 30, 2010—(MCT)—If you’ve been through a foreclosure, you may wonder if there is hope for you to become a homeowner again. The answer is yes, but it will take a while. “It doesn’t mean you’ll never be a homeowner again,” said Linda Davis-Demas, director of housing at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas.

But you’ll need to examine what caused you to fall behind on your mortgage and take steps to fix the problem. “You have to look at what were the reasons you didn’t make the payment,” said Davis-Demas. “Was it budgeting? You can modify that type of behavior.”

A foreclosure is a major hit to your credit history and stays on your credit report for seven years.

“Foreclosure is one of the FICO seven deadlies,” said credit expert John Ulzheimer, referring to the dominant FICO credit score. “It’s considered a major derogatory item, regardless of the back story”— whether it’s a job loss, rate reset, underemployment or other reasons.

Your credit score will also suffer “the minute the foreclosure process begins,” said Ulzheimer, founder of 2StepCredit.com, a credit education website. “It doesn’t have to be completed for it to be very damaging,” he said. “The damage will vary based on your scores, but it can damage the score as much as 200 points, especially if your scores are very strong to begin with.”

So, after a foreclosure, your priority has to be rebuilding your credit. You’ll have some time to do so, because mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac impose strict rules on how long it will take before you’re eligible for another mortgage.

For example, borrowers with a prior foreclosure and extenuating circumstances—such as a job loss, divorce or medical issues—must wait three years before they can qualify for a Fannie Mae-backed loan, said spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus. For all other borrowers, the waiting period is seven years.

At Freddie Mac, those who can prove extenuating circumstances must wait three years before applying for a new mortgage; everyone else must wait five years. But that will change in February, when the waiting period for those whose foreclosure was caused by their own financial mismanagement will increase to seven years.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have strict rules on the credit score and the size of the down payment required of borrowers with a prior foreclosure.

Here’s what you need to do to rebuild your credit to qualify again for a mortgage:

Pay your bills on time: The FICO score, the dominant credit score used by lenders, gives the greatest weight to payment history, so make sure you consistently pay your bills on time. “Stability is the key,” said Craig Jarrell, president of the Dallas region of IberiaBank Mortgage Co. “Have you demonstrated that you are now capable of owning a home and paying the bills, and have recovered from whatever circumstance caused the original foreclosure?”

Review your credit report: You’re entitled to a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three national credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You should get a copy and check it for any inaccuracies.

To get your free credit report, go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com. “Make sure it is about you and only you,” said Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “If you find errors, dispute them. If you discover old debts, it will weigh in your favor to satisfy them. Paid late looks better than not paid at all. Make sure that debts older than seven years have rotated off your report, as these could be dragging your score down unnecessarily.”

Check your mortgage: You want to be sure that you don’t still owe anything on your old mortgage. Sometimes proceeds from a foreclosure sale aren’t enough to cover what’s owed on the mortgage, which would leave you owing the difference.

“Make sure there is a zero balance reflected, and if you are responsible for a shortfall, make arrangements to repay the remaining balance,” Cunningham said.

Many lenders are willing to settle that “deficiency judgment” for less than what’s owed because “it’s better than getting no money at all,” Jarrell said.

Apply for credit: In particular, apply for different varieties of credit. “Credit scoring models value having different types of credit,” Cunningham said. “Having some revolving accounts, typically credit cards, and some installment fixed-payment loans, such as a car payment, can improve your score.” But don’t apply for too much credit at once. “This can appear as though you’re desperate for credit and perhaps make lenders less inclined to extend credit to you,” Cunningham said. “Further, too many credit inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score.”

Don’t fall prey: Watch out for credit repair companies that promise to clean up your credit report so you can get a car loan, a home mortgage, insurance, or even a job—after paying a fee for the service. “The truth is, that no one can remove accurate, negative information from your credit report,” according to the Federal Trade Commission. “It’s illegal.” Only the passage of time can assure that negative, but accurate, information on your credit report will be removed.

When it comes to repairing your credit, there are no quick fixes, the experts say. What lenders want to see is responsible financial behavior over time.

“Know that time is your friend, as the farther you move away from the financial distress, the less negative impact it has,” Cunningham said. “Follow with responsible behavior with your new credit, and you’ll soon have a solid credit file.”

(c) 2010, The Dallas Morning News.

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Warfield Evans is proud to announce this great bank owned condo in an Amazing location North of Wilshire! Gorgeous 2 Bedroom unit with lovely patio off the living room for outdoor dining or enjoying the Ocean Breeze. Granite Counters,Stainless Steel Appliances, built-in cabinetry, extra storage, hardwood floors and laundry inside. The building was built-in 2000 and is located minutes to the 3rd Street Promenade, Montana and the Beach.

 

1018 4th Street Unit 106 Santa Monica

MLS Number 10-473235

OPEN this Sunday, December 12th from 1 to 4 pm

Stop by and enter our Raffle for a $25 Visa Gift Card

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L.A. Philharmonic to host free Disney Hall concert in honor of Ernest Fleischmann

December 8, 2010 |  4:24 pm

Ernest The Los Angeles Philharmonic said Wednesday that it will host a free concert in honor of the late Ernest Fleischmann that will take place at Walt Disney Concert Hall on March 29. The concert will feature the L.A. Philharmonic New Music Group and conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pierre Boulez and Lionel Bringuier.

Fleischmann, the orchestra’s former general manager, died in June at the age of 85. The orchestra said that tickets for the concert will be available to subscribers starting Feb. 22 by calling (213) 972-3051 or e-mailing specialevents@laphil.org.

Remaining tickets will be made available to non-subscribers starting Feb. 26 via the same contact information.

A spokeswoman for the orchestra said the program for the concert will be announced at a later date.

During his tenure as the head of the L.A. Phil, which lasted nearly 30 years, Fleischmann raised the stature of the orchestra to new levels in the classical world. He oversaw a revamping of the Hollywood Bowl and was instrumental in bringing in Salonen as music director in 1992.

Though he officially retired from his top position at the orchestra in 1998, Fleischmann continued to exert considerable influence over the organization until he died. He helped to oversee the orchestra’s move to Disney Hall in 2003 and continued to scout new talent.

Salonen stepped down from his post as music director of the L.A. Phil in 2009 and currently holds the title of conductor laureate. Bringuier serves as associate conductor of the orchestra.

Earlier this year, Salonen recalled to Times music critic Mark Swed that Fleischmann stood by him through his early difficult months at the L.A. Phil. “Crisis management always brought out the best in Ernest,” said the conductor.

— David Ng LA TImes

Photo: Ernest Fleischmann at the Hollywood Bowl in 1969. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Check out our most recent REO listing located at 700 W. Sierra Madre Blvd Unit 4 in Sierra Madre

MLS No. 10-494641

DIRECTIONS: East of Michilinda, South of Sierra Madre Blvd – Visitor Parking off Sierra Madre Blvd

REMARKS: Bank owned, ready to sell, easy to show – near the village. The main level features a living room adjacent to an enclosed patio, dining area and half bath. Kitchen with tile counter tops, dishwasher and plenty of storage space. Both bedrooms, lots of closet space, upstairs. Central air, forced air heating, parking, nice complex with newer roof, community pool, landscaped grounds with mature trees and garden area, separate laundry, 2 assigned parking spaces.

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Fast Facts
Calif. median home price: October 2010: $304,220 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. highest median home price by C.A.R. region October 2010: Santa Barbara So. Coast $864,000 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. lowest median home price by C.A.R. region October 2010: High Desert $125,060 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. First-time Buyer Affordability Index – Third quarter 2010: 64 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates: Week ending 11/24/2010 30-yr. fixed: 4.40 Fees/points: 0.8% 15-yr. fixed: 3.77% Fees/points: 0.7% 1-yr. adjustable: 3.23% Fees/points: 0.6% (Source: Freddie Mac)

 

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Friends and Family

Warfield Evans wants you to pay it forward with us.  As we build our online community on Twitter, we want to donate toys to the children in your name.  For every new Twitter follower we gain between now and Friday, December 17, we will make a toy donation.

Please share this email with your family, friends, dry cleaner, dog groomer, librarian, and the people in your community.

Tweet:@WarfieldEvans TODAY!
Thank you for your support and participation!

Blessings,

Cristina Warfield & Ron Evans
Keller Williams Realty
310.686.7038 Cristina
310.403.9951 Ron
Twitter @WarfieldEvans

Cristina Warfield Ron Evans

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