A debt validation request is a secret weapon that enables you to verify any debt you owe. This simple tool can help you clarify any outstanding debt, stall the collections process and provide you with all the information you need to determine what debt is actually your responsibility and what is not.
Debt collection agencies will attempt to collect a debt from you regardless of whether that debt is actually one you incurred or not. The best way for you to verify if the debt is yours is to use a debt validation letter.
In order to clean up your credit and any past due accounts, you must first find out if the debt you owe actually belongs to you. Too often, people do not take advantage of tools available to them to check their credit, such as free credit reports. When a debt collector calls, the consumer feels pressured and instead of pursuing avenues of debt verification, they simply pay the debt.
Finding out if a debt that is in collections is yours is rather simple and does not always require the assistance of a debt lawyer. First, contact the creditor or collection agency and tell them that you want debt verification. This means that you want to verify that the delinquent account is yours and that the activity on it is comprised of transactions you made and not those resulting from fraud. This will help stop debt collection harassment – at least for 30 days while the debt is being verified. People with rather common names can find themselves with other people’s debt information on their credit without their knowledge. Taking this first investigative step is critical to keeping your credit clean and avoiding any unnecessary credit collection actions.
[click to continue…]
Last year, my husband and I looked into the possibility of purchasing a rental home. It seemed like a good time to buy real estate, and we could swing the down payment on a small home in our area.
However, despite the fact that we were comfortable with the idea of being landlords and everything that went with that, the additional mortgage and paperwork headaches that we would be facing with a non-owner occupied purchase was enough to put the brakes on our scheme. It seemed fairly clear that the best path to becoming a landlord was one several friends had taken—buy a new house to live in, and rent out the previous home.
Unfortunately, even that path is not necessarily an easy one. If you are in the situation where you are renting out your old house, you may be surprised to find out how difficult it is to refinance your rental. If you’re thinking about refinancing a home you’re currently (or are planning on) renting out, here’s what you need to know:
The bank will want to see a good deal of equity in your rental home
Considering the fact that you do not live in the house, lenders will see a refinance with less than 25% equity in the home as a default risk. With little invested, you’ve got little to lose if you walk away.
[click to continue…]
In case you don’t know what an asymmetric investment means, asymmetry is the opposite of symmetry. Thus, in a “symmetrical” investment (for example, you bought stocks), the probability of those stocks going up and going down is theoretically 50-50 (hence the symmetry). Oppositely, in an asymmetric investment the probability is jiggered in your favor beforehand – the odds of the market moving in a direction that’s favorable to your investment is far greater than the odds of the market moving against your investment. Hence, the important question is, how does one create an asymmetric investment? There are 2 methods – the best investors combine these two methods.
Asymmetric Market Prediction
An asymmetric market prediction is exactly what it sounds like – the odds that your market prediction is right is greater than the odds of it being wrong. An asymmetric market prediction is completetely based upon 1 fact: history repeats itself.
Obviously, history doesn’t exactly repeat itself, or else we’d still be in the days of the Flintstones. However, the SYMPTOMS in history are always the same. Symptoms such as economic growth, contraction, loose monetary policy, etc are always the same (there are only so many types of economic conditions!). Same story, different scenery.
Here are the steps to creating an asymmetric market prediction:
[click to continue…]
There are two different ways of viewing the world. One could call it pessimism or optimism; glass half-empty or half-full. Another way of looking at it is: are you an abundant thinker or a scarcity thinker? It is more than just looking at the positives and negatives of the situation; it is how you respond and react in order to shape the world you live in. Those who are successful and happy understand the difference and make an active choice to be an abundant thinker.
There is a book by Stephen Covey called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In this book Stephen teaches his readers how to become an abundant thinker, and how to move from a recipient of what goes on around them to playing an active role in shaping the circumstances around them. He later went on to define this idea as the abundance vs. scarcity mentality. What it boils down to is that many people feel the world is filled with a finite number of resources. They believe that successful people are taking those resources from the less successful. In this mindset one should live as simply as possible, only taking and using exactly what they need and no more. However, the world is not a zero-sum game. When the proper abundance mentality is applied, there can be win-win or win-win-win situations. The more abundantly a person lives, the more resources there will be to go around.
So how do you spot abundant thinking? Once you start to see it, you will be able to recognize it everywhere.
[click to continue…]
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms. Today is truly a special day, because we get to celebrate the ones who have made life possible. I am so grateful for everything that my Mom has done for me. She is a remarkable person and has helped me become the man I am today. This year is also very special for me because it is the first year that I get to celebrate my wife being a Mom. She has done such an amazing job with our six month old daughter Colette. From trying to get her to bed at night to late night feedings, she has really been a rock star. Parenthood is by no means easy, but it is the greatest thing in the world.
Now let’s talk about a few of my favorite personal finance articles from the past week.
Do You Trust Your Partner With Money? - Monster Piggy Bank
Live the Life You Imagined – Prairie Eco-Thifter
A Childhood Play on Words and Finding Our Happy - Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
Three Hands and an Action Plan – Canadian Budget Binder
How to Navigate the Financial World After Graduation - The Heavy Purse
Carnival of Financial Independence
Festival of Frugality
Carnival of Personal Finance
Financial Carnival for Young Adults
Carnival of MoneyPros
Fearless Men’s Most Wanted