- How to Boost Your FICO Score, Part 1
Fair Isaac Corporation uses a trade secret algorithm to construct your FICO score. However, the broad parameters of credit score construction are now known and consist of five components, with their approximate percentage contribution to the final FICO number. The following are three of the components; the remaining two will be discussed in the next blog.
- How Your Credit Score Is Derived
Most lenders will rely on your FICO score to assess your creditworthiness. Your FICO score is derived by the Fair Isaac Corporation from information reported by three national credit reporting bureaus: Equifax Inc., TransUnion LLC, and Experian Group. These agencies, in turn, get their information from voluntary submissions from certain creditors across the country. Mortgage companies, auto loan financiers, and consumer credit card companies are the major contributors of information.
- Elder Abuse: Sexual
Sexual abuse is any sexual contact without consent of both people. Sexual abuse may also include indecent exposure, sexual harassment, incest, and unwanted viewing of pornography. Here are some indicators:
- Elder Abuse: Physical and Emotional
Physical abuse is a pattern of coercive control, or an act or threatened act of violence. Often, the victim is not only physically harmed but is also rendered dependent, helpless, and fearful. Emotional and psychological abuse frequently attends the physical violence.
Abusers often leave telltale signs of physical and emotional maltreatment:
- Elder Abuse: Financial Exploitation
Financial exploitation is the second most common form of elder abuse. Exploitation is theft, pure and simple. Theft by strangers includes lottery scams, telemarketing and sweepstakes fraud, identity theft, and other con games. But theft by those who aren’t strangers is more subtle, hidden, and insidious.
- Elder Abuse: Neglect
The most common form of elder abuse is neglect. Your state’s criminal statutes likely prohibit a pattern of conduct that deprives someone of some necessity for physical or mental health. We all need food, water, shelter, appropriate heating or cooling, and medical services to maintain health. Caregivers who consistently fail to deliver these things are abusers.
Telltale signs of neglect
- Elder Abuse: An Overview
Last year, I was privileged to attend a training course on elder abuse with some of Colorado Springs’ finest. Under a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, 50 or so police officers, detectives, and I spent two days of intense immersion into the social crisis of elder abuse. The statistics were grim; the videos horrific. We left with an increased awareness and recognition of the tactics that abusers use to victimize those over 60 years of age. My next several blogs will convey some of what I learned.
- Reverse Mortgages: Final Thoughts
This final posting on reverse mortgages is more of an editorial. One last drawback to them is the aggressive and often misleading advertising targeting seniors. The promotional copy is often designed to tap into our most primitive emotions—fear and greed—to get you to sign on.
I received one such pitch in the mail a few weeks ago. The mortgage lender was hoping that I would pass on the “newsletter” to my elder law clients. I won’t. What follows are some of its claims and my parenthetical thoughts.
- Reverse Mortgages: The Cons
By far the biggest downside of reverse mortgages is the high cost imposed on the senior. Front-load fees, closing costs, and mortgage insurance may eat up 7% to 10% of the home’s value. Recent federal law has eased this burden somewhat, capping origination fees at 2% for the first $200,000 and 1% on any amount over that, with a total cap of $6,000.
- Reverse Mortgages: The Basics
Federally insured reverse mortgages, also called home equity conversion mortgages, have been available since 1990. Aggressive marketing, the deflation of the housing bubble, and last year’s stock market crash have all contributed to a surge of interest. Applications are expected to exceed 120,000 for 2009.