CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 |
A report on "60 Minutes" has resulted in a new California law giving consumers the ability to make sure their credit reports are accurate. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) said she was watching the CBS program and was struck by the results of a study by the Federal Trade Commission that as many as 40 million Americans have inaccurate information and errors in their credit reports. “As consumers, we deserve every right to view our credit histories, especially if a bank, landlord or employer has this information and can use it to deny our credit applications,” Skinner said.
August 16, 2013 |
Dear Liz: If I plan to stay invested for more than 15 years and I can tolerate the ups and downs of the market, why would I want to put any of my 401(k) money into bonds instead of putting it all in various stock funds? The bond funds in my 401(k) have a five-year return of 5% to 6% whereas the other funds are 8% to 13%. Answer: If you look at the more recent performance of those bond funds, you'll notice that their returns are considerably worse. Many have been losing money lately as interest rates have risen.
May 31, 2013 |
Dear Liz: My spouse has tenure at a university. Given that one of us will always be employed, should we change the way we look at the amount of money we keep in an emergency fund or our risk tolerance for investments? Answer: Even tenured professors can get fired or laid off. Tenure was designed to protect academic freedom, but professors can lose their jobs because of serious misconduct, incompetence or economic cutbacks, such as when a department is eliminated or a whole university is closed.
May 24, 2013 |
Dear Liz: I just finished paying off my last credit card and checked my credit report as I am now separated from my wife. I found we had one joint account that she had not been paying. There are two stretches of five months each of no payment. I immediately called up the creditor and paid off the balance and the creditor closed the account due to the lack of payments. This one account killed my credit score. I also found two old accounts on my credit report that are both still active but I have not used them for years.
May 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Are large numbers of homeowners who have negotiated short sales with lenders at risk because of a startling omission in the American credit system? Do their credit reports and scores indicate that they were foreclosed upon, rather than having negotiated a mutually agreeable resolution with their lender? The answer appears to be yes, and recently two federal agencies - the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - were asked to investigate why. The reality is this: The credit reporting system now in place does not have a separate code that distinguishes a short sale from a foreclosure.
May 4, 2013 |
Dear Liz: My husband and I are in the process of refinancing our mortgage. I just received my credit report in the mail, and my score was 724. The report indicated that a delinquency resulted in my less-than-stellar score. When I went to the credit bureau site to see where the problem was, I saw that I had a $34 charge on a Visa last year. I rarely use that card, so I did not realize that I had a balance. As a result, I had a delinquent balance for five months last year. I am sick about this, as I always pay my bills on time.