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Credit Report Agencies Forced to Refund Consumers $17.7 Million

TransUnion and Equifax are refunding $17.7 million to consumers and paying $5.5 million in fines for giving consumers misleading and deceptive credit scores.

Credit Reports are Improving Since the Housing Crisis

Credit Reports are Improving Since the Housing Crisis

Homeowners that suffered from foreclosure during the housing crisis and Great Recession are starting to get their foreclosure histories taken off their credit reports. Removing foreclosure from a credit report can make it easier for a consumer to increase their credit score. Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. helps consumers’ correct errors on their credit reports and assists homeowners fight foreclosure.

The Great Recession refers to the economic decline during the financial crisis and the housing crisis that happened between 2007 and 2009. The rise of unemployment during the financial crisis caused many homeowners to fall into foreclosure, which negatively impacted their credit reports. Foreclosure stays on a consumer credit report for seven years.

There are many reasons that simultaneously caused the recession. The rise in foreclosures and drop in number of people buying homes at that time led to the United States housing bubble collapsing. The prices of homes were dropping, current homeowners were struggling to pay back mortgages, and people were frantically looking for jobs after being laid off. The recession left many Americans with long-lasting consequences.

If your foreclosure history is not being removed from your credit report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) grants consumers the right to write a letter asking the credit reporting agency investigate the error. The removal of foreclosure from a credit report is going to influence consumers getting approved for lower interest rates.  If the credit reporting agency is denying your request to have foreclosure cleared from your credit report after seven years the lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. can provide legal assistance. Contact us today at (614)-944-5219.

 

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Do You Want to Improve Your Credit Score?

Do You Want to Improve Your Credit Score?

Experian estimated Columbus, Ohio’s average credit score to be 666 in 2015. That is only three points below the 669 national average. If your credit score falls below these averages, there are steps you can take as a consumer to gain some points. The lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. can also offer advice about the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and how to correct problems on your credit report.

 

Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

1.You should first check your credit report for errors using at least one of the three main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Your credit score may differ a little on each report based on resources the agency used to develop your score. If there is an error on your credit report, the FCRA says you can send a letter to the credit reporting agency asking for the error to be corrected. If the credit reporting agency fails to correct the error, you can contact Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. for help on correcting your report or read more about the FCRA on our website by clicking here and they may have to pay our fees. Correcting the errors on your credit report can improve your credit score.

2.Get a credit card. Having a credit card shows that a creditor can trust you to pay back borrowed money. If you use the credit card correctly without developing debt, then you can increase your credit score.

3.Pay off your credit card debt. Some people cannot pay off all their debt in one payment. If that is the situation for you, stop using your credit cards and focus on minimizing your debt by making the required minimum payments every month.

4.Pay your bills on time. This includes all bills such as credit card bills, utility bills, medical bills and student bills. Failure to pay bills on time lowers your credit score.

5.Ask for a raise on your credit card limit. Getting a raise does not mean you have to spend more on your credit card, but shows that your creditors trust you more.

6.Get involved in paying off different types of loans, whether it is all at the same time or separately. Your credit score can be improved if you have history of accurately paying off a credit card, an auto loan, student loans and a home mortgage loan. If you encounter problems paying off a home mortgage loan the lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. have experience helping homeowners secure loan modifications and fighting foreclosure lawsuits.

 

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Do You Want to Start a Business?

Do You Want to Start a Business?

New entrepreneurs are often excited, nervous, anxious and confused all at the same time when starting a business.  Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. is here to alleviate some of that stress by helping with negotiations, contracts, litigation and other legal matters. The firm also has developed a free video seminar on drafting contracts to help new business owners, which you can find here.

Ohio also offers many great resources for new small business owners to learn about running a business, how to get started and events such as the BizStartNow Business Planning Session in Columbus.

Columbus is one of the fastest developing cities in Ohio when it comes to the number of business startups. In 2011 the Office of Research in Ohio recorded 2,863 business startups in Franklin County alone out of the 22,287 that started statewide. That is more than any other county that year.

Ohio.gov offers many free resources for starting a business in Ohio. Entrepreneurs can access a simple step by step process to learn about the many factors that come with starting a business. There is also information regarding licenses and permits, laws and regulations, employee information and how to obtain financial assistance.

There are many Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) around Ohio where new entrepreneurs and existing business owners can access one-on-one help and participate in events. Locally in Columbus, Ohio the SBDC is at the Columbus State Community College. The BizStartNow Business Planning session in Columbus is a monthly series of events that beginning no the first Tuesday. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can access BizStartNow registration information by clicking here. Another great resource is the Small Business Administration SCORE program that matches retired professionals to business owners that need assistance.

If you need legal help, Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. can assist you. You may also find our contract drafting seminar helpful available for viewing here. Call Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. today for assistance at (614)-944-5219.

 

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