Making The Mortgage
Process Easier For You!
For consumers who apply for most mortgages on or after October 3, 2015, the stress of shopping for a mortgage will be reduced, as the new mortgage disclosure rule takes effect. The new rules and disclosures ease the process of taking out a mortgage, helping you save money, and ensuring you know every detail.
Here’s What Will Change
Four overlapping disclosure forms will be streamlined into two forms: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. You’ll have more time to review your closing documents. Currently, lenders must give you your HUD-1 Settlement Statement disclosure 24 hours in advance, if you request it; after October 3, you’ll receive your Closing Disclosure three business days before you sign the forms and accept the terms of your mortgage, no request needed.
Here’s How These Changes Will Improve
The Mortgage Process
The new forms will make it easier to understand complicated mortgage terms. The Loan Estimate makes it easier to understand the process and terms. The three days required between getting your Closing Disclosure and signing on the dotted line allow you to understand what you were offered on your Loan Estimate. It also gives you time to ask your lender all the questions you might have about the terms of your mortgage.
Loan Estimate instead of GFE
Closing Disclosure instead of HUD
instead of Escrow Agent
Consumer instead of borrower
Consummation instead of closing date
Creditor instead of lender
Category instead of bucket
IRS Limits $100 Million Tax Payments
What’s the largest tax payment check you’ve ever written? If you find you need to send the U.S. Treasury $100 million or more, beginning next year you’ll have to split that amount into 2 checks.No kidding. A handful of taxpayers have sent the IRS such huge payments. This latest tax season, 14 such checks were received, according to a memo from the agency’s Wage and Investment Division.
While the IRS is happy to get the money, it does pose problems when it comes in such large chunks. Really big checks have to be processed manually. So the IRS will stop accepting checks of more than $99,999,999 effective Jan. 1, 2016. After that date, you’ll have to send in at least 2 checks to cover your big tax bill. Or, says the IRS, you can still send 1 large payment if you electronically wire it to the appropriate Federal Reserve bank.
4 Steps To Enhance Your Credit
We all know that a high credit score can help streamline life events like buying a house or landing a new job. But do you know how to boost your score? Try these four moves to give it a quick lift.
Fix Credit Errors
Don’t wait for a lender to check your credit before reviewing it yourself.
Request a credit report from each of the three major bureaus every year, reviewing the accuracy of your personal info, credit limits and the open or closed status of each account. Dispute any errors immediately.
Ask for Forgiveness
If you have blemishes on your credit, try clearing them up. Negotiate paying an old debt if the creditor will mark your account bpaid as agreed.b For a late payment on a long-held account, write the creditor, acknowledge your otherwise good history and ask for a goodwill adjustment
that will wipe it from your credit report.
Make Strategic Repayments
You may not be able to pay off your credit cards quickly, but you can strategically pay them down. Start by dividing each card balance by its limit. Demonstrate restraint to lenders by keeping each card balance below 30 percent. If your card debts are higher, make a plan to pay balances down to reach a more desirable ratio.
Increase Your Credit
Another way to reduce your debt-to-income ratio is to ask for an increased limit. It’s a bit of a numbers game, but if you keep future spending in check, you can end up with a lower ratio. (Experts say this ratio accounts for up to one-third of your credit score.)
Bathroom Safety Tips
Beyond your kitchen and stairs, the bathroom is a frequent site of accidents and injuries. Your bathroom represents a potential hazard due to the amount of water in use and the close proximity of fixtures made of unforgiving materials. When tile and linoleum flooring gets wet a significant slip hazard becomes present. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2008, an estimated 234,000 nonfatal bathroom injuries occurred in the U.S. among people 15 and older. Protect yourself and your family by following these tips.
1. Ditch your throw rugs. These slippery floor coverings are the No. 1 cause of household falls. If you just can’t part with them in the bathroom, secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or slipresistant backings.
2. Put nonslip strips, mats or tiles in your tub and shower to help prevent falls. To combat tripping, secure any loose corners on mats.
3. Be sure to keep the tub clean to counteract slippery soap scum or mold.
4. Keep the bathroom floor dry, making sure it has no water on it. A weighted shower curtain will help
ensure that no water leaks onto the floor.
5. Place grab bars or rails in or around the bathtub, shower and toilet. When installed properly and securely, they’ll help you balance as you stand or sit and give you something to hold on to if you do slip. They come in a variety of lengths, textures and styles. (Note that a towel bar or a soap dish isn’t a substitute for a grab-bar, as it’s not designed to hold your weight).
6. Your bathroom should be adequately lit during the day. At night, put a night light on the path to
the bathroom. Within the bathroom, use a night light, or install an illuminated switch.
7. Your bathroom should be adequately lit during the day. At night, put a night light on the path to the bathroom. Within the bathroom, use a night light, or install an illuminated switch.
8. Put a bath or shower seat or bench in the shower or tub. You’ll then have a place to sit.
9. Equip your shower with a hand-held or adjustable shower head. You can maneuver it where you want it, minimizing your movement in the shower. Also, you can use it while sitting safely on your bath seat or bench if you have one.
10. Take your time. The more you rush, the more likely you are to fall.
Make your bathroom the safe haven it was meant to be by eliminating potential threats.